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Showing 161 results

Alice Kaswan | June 13, 2024

Planning for Deep Decarbonization

Deep in the heart of state and regional environmental and energy agencies, engineers, economists, scientists, and lawyers are working hard to develop comprehensive climate action plans (CCAPs). Created by the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG) program is funding a range of state and subnational planning and implementation measures, including the CCAPs, which are due in 2025. In our recent issue brief, Comprehensive Climate Action Plans: What’s a Greenhouse Gas Reduction “Measure”?, we explore a key question: What is the nature of the “actions” that planners should include in their climate action plans? Or, to use the program’s term, what’s a climate “measure?”

Alice Kaswan, Catalina Gonzalez | May 21, 2024

Defending and Influencing State Climate Justice Investments

States like California face sobering budget shortfalls, and their governors and legislatures are grappling with how and where to make cuts. These debates cast a spotlight on the critical importance of state budgets to an equitable clean energy future.

Federico Holm | May 1, 2024

Permitting Reform and the Incidence of NEPA as a Source of “Delays”

Since the passage of landmark legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law during the Biden administration, we’ve repeatedly heard that we’re at a critical junction: There is a need to expand and accelerate environmental, climate, and clean energy policy implementation and opportunities to do so, but the pathway toward this goal will be plagued by significant delays. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has become a common scapegoat in this fight, with critics charging that the sometimes lengthy and complicated environmental review process NEPA requires is the main thing holding up decarbonization and the clean energy transition. This has led to calls from across the political spectrum for “reforming” the statute. This assumption, however, misrepresents what happens on the ground.

Climate Change Protest showing a sign that says "there is not planet B"

Daniel Farber | April 29, 2024

Climate Policy and the Audacity of Hope

The bad news is that we’re not yet on track to avoid dangerous climate change. But there’s also good news: We’ve taken important steps that will ease further progress. We should resist the allure of easy optimism, given the scale of the challenges. Neither should we wallow in despair. There’s a good basis for hope.

air pollution

Daniel Farber | April 25, 2024

EPA’s New Power Plant Rules Have Dropped. What Happens Next?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a cluster of new rules designed to limit carbon emissions from power generators. Once upon a time, the presumption would have been that the rules would quietly go into effect, until someday a court rules on their validity. These days, we can expect a lot of action to begin almost right away.

Sophie Loeb | March 27, 2024

North Carolina Needed an Emissions Reduction Plan. They Asked a Utility Company to Create It.

Today, the Center for Progressive Reform is publishing a new policy brief. Missing the Mark: How North Carolina’s Decarbonization Efforts Fall Short and How to Fix Them examines the pitfalls of North Carolina’s decarbonization plan (known as the Carbon Plan and developed by Duke Energy) and alternative models to address those shortcomings.

Federico Holm | March 25, 2024

What Three Ohio Counties Can Tell Us About a Major Obstacle to Our Clean Energy Future

My colleagues at the Center for Progressive Reform and I recently published a report and interactive map examining how local ordinances that restrict clean energy development can impose major obstacles in our efforts toward a just clean energy transition. Among the many important findings in our report, we highlighted the high degree of variability that exists between states in the way large-scale clean energy generation is regulated. In some cases, like Illinois and Michigan, governments have empowered state authorities to override local siting measures; other states have given local governments more decision-making powers to decide if and how renewable infrastructure can be built. Among the latter is Ohio.

Federico Holm | February 28, 2024

New Report and Interactive Map: Communities Left Behind: How Local Ordinances Can Obstruct Energy Democracy and a Just Transition

A profound energy transition is sweeping the United States. In addition to mitigating dangerous greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, it means new economic opportunities and a safer and healthier environment for communities across the country. A better future is certainly within reach, or at least it is for some communities, which are the ones that will be able to capitalize on the green transition. But for many others, there is no guarantee that this clean energy transition will be a just and equitable one. Why is this the case? As we explore in a new report and interactive map, it turns out that one of the biggest obstacles is self-inflicted: local ordinances that restrict new renewable energy development projects, including wind, solar, and battery storage.

Sophie Loeb | February 15, 2024

North Carolina Utilities Commission Should Ensure Public Participation on Proposed New Methane Gas Plants

As North Carolinians continue to grapple with rolling blackouts and rising energy bills, yet another pending environmental catastrophe is developing in our backyards. Duke Energy, our state’s monopoly utility provider, has submitted filings for two new methane gas power plants — one at the current Roxboro coal plant in Person County and another at the Marshall plant on Lake Norman.