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Shelley Welton | November 8, 2023
This summer, we marked the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States’ most significant climate change law. Many advocates for environmental justice, myself included, were disappointed by several features of the Act, including the greenlighting of certain fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Nevertheless, the law unlocked unprecedented streams of investment into clean energy via tax credits and direct spending mechanisms.
Shelley Welton | June 12, 2023
The scientific concept of net-zero emissions has quickly become an organizing policy paradigm, enshrined in the Paris Agreement and manifested in thousands of “net-zero” pledges developed by countries, states, cities, and private companies. Collectively, these pledges now purport to cover more than 91 percent of the global economy. If this figure sounds too good to be true, that’s because it likely is. Net zero is anti-democratic, inequitable, and imperial. For related reasons that I focus on in this post, it is also unlikely to work as a strategy to achieve the collective global aim of net-zero carbon emissions.
James Goodwin, Shelley Welton | June 29, 2022
These days, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can no longer be described as a technocratic, under-the-radar agency that sets policies on energy infrastructure and market rules, rates, and standards. As energy policy has become front-page news, FERC has begun updating its regulations to meet new exigencies. The agency has taken big steps to support affordability and a transition to cleaner energy, including proposing updates to the way it permits natural gas pipelines and beginning to overhaul how regions plan and pay for the expansion of electricity transmission infrastructure. These moves have provoked controversy because their stakes are high: Billions of dollars of infrastructure expenditures are on the table. What gets built, who pays, who hosts this infrastructure, and who makes those decisions also have major implications for equity and racial justice.