August 16, 2022

What should a climate emergency be?

Reprinted from GreenBuzz, the free weekly newsletter. Sign up here

You probably don’t need two hands to count the number of columns I write about politics and policy. It’s not that I don’t care either. Actually, I’m a political junkie. but professionally and editorial it’s not my problem

I prefer to focus on the world of business. After more than 30 years, this is still the birthplace of interesting actions and inactions. in dealing with the climate crisis and other important environmental and social issues. That’s what I wake up most thinking about.

Along the way, I found myself distracted from Washington, D.C., despite having lived there for over two decades. until the late 1990s for all possible powers Our elected representatives can take action on climate and other issues. They are unable and unwilling to view these issues as anything other than their partisans. instead of systematically solving problems We have broken down systematically.

Results as you already know It is an unreasonable waste of time and resources in solving an urgent problem that exists.

The latest round of parliamentary scrutiny feels like the last straw.

Indeed, the latest session of the House of Representatives felt like the last straw. It’s unfathomable why the 51 U.S. Senators would want to maintain the status quo, given the turbulent freight trains of the climate affecting us.

So I was intrigued last week when the talk class began discussing the possibility of President Joe Biden’s announcement. “Climate emergencies,” which are actions that will unlock administrative and regulatory actions. that can act in lieu of the actions of Parliament

Until now Biden didn’t do thatWhat he proposed last week was a few minor fixes: financing a cooling center during a heat wave. Opening new leases for offshore wind There’s nothing that can’t even be said. “emergency” from a distance

So what will the actual declaration of a climate emergency be like? The answer to that question comes in the form of Tweet stream — a series of Twitter posts — from Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, probably the most progressive lawmaker in DC, so I’ll hand him the rest of the column.

I have taken the liberty to retype every word in the tweet stream. Minor edits were made to spell abbreviations or to increase clarity. (Bold is mine) Whitehouse’s tweet stream provides a guide on what Biden can and should do. (for those who seek scuba diving The Center for Biodiversity has published an in-depth guide to the President’s Emergency Powers on Climate)

Now go to Sen. Whitehouse:

with compromise as a guide for ambitious climate action. Congress must therefore turn to potential bipartisan climate solutions, such as carbon scaling at the border. meanwhile Management also has a wide variety of tools to choose from. Let’s review branch by branch what the “Climate Beast Mode” executive branch might look like:

  • The Office of Management and Budget must Declare a strong social cost of carbon. (above $100/ton) and is widely used in government decisions such as procurement, regulations, grants, leasing, licensing, royalty rates investment decision foreign aid trade agreements, etc.
  • Supreme Court’s WV v. EPA ruling It doesn’t end the EPA’s ability to control carbon pollution. From power plants, the EPA’s options include requiring all coal and natural gas power plants to be equipped with carbon capture technology. Just as the EPA did in 2015 for new coal plants.
  • But power plants are not the only source of carbon pollution. It also pollutes our air and water with soot, heavy metals and other toxic pollutants. The EPA must tighten its controls. for PM 2.5 (soot), coal ash, mercury, nitrogen oxides, etc.
  • Cars and light trucks are the single largest source of carbon pollution. EPA and DOT restored Obama-era standards. But now they have to go a step further and push the industry towards Producing 100 percent pollution-free cars by 2035
  • Heavy-duty trucks are also a huge source of carbon pollution. The EPA has yet to address this. and need to change California’s Advanced Clean Truck Rules Pollution-free trucks will be added and the EPA must comply.
  • green purchasing cans Use the government’s enormous purchasing power (over $600 billion per year contracts!) to extract carbon from steel, cement, asphalt, buildings, vehicles and more.
  • The EPA must declare a Strict regulations limit methane emissions. from oil and gas fields This rule must be applied throughout the supply chain. This includes low-producing wells. (but high leakage) and ventilation and flare suppression. It’s not just a leak.
  • satellite measurement Methane leaks can be identified to target strict enforcement against companies that do not comply.
  • It’s time for the Ministry of Justice to Explore the fossil fuel industry For decades of lying, the DOJ led civilians. RICO investigating Against the tobacco industry for its disassembly history and big wins.
  • Interior must follow the rules Rapidly limiting methane emissions from oil/gas produced on federal land/waters Using the Social Cost of Carbon to Increase Royalty Rates and reforming the rules of obligation so that companies Wells can’t be abandoned to release methane and leave taxpayers at risk.
  • The Ministry of Energy has many Energy saving rules must be strong.Together, these rules can significantly reduce carbon pollution and save families money. Win-win!
  • The president should use his Bully pulpit warns Americans talk about such dangers Call for a Fossil Fuel Exclusion in Congress and ultimately make the rest of America’s organizations rely on climate action. To create space in Congress for climate success on both sides.
  • (There is no trade association that misuses the weather. Large lobbies such as the US Chamber of Commerce hostile and Many tools of corporate political influence It ends up against us. Stop it.)
  • Management should Sit down with G7 partnersDesign border tariffs and create a carbon group of countries dedicated to reducing carbon. Good for the environment and a big win for the American race!

as i said It is a thoughtful and promising guide on how America can regain its stance in tackling the climate crisis. Can Biden find the courage to enact these laws? Will he stand for the powerful benefit of preserving the status quo? It might be the president’s biggest test ever.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. You can find my past articles. here. invite you follow me on twitter and LinkedInsubscribe to my monday morning newsletter, GreenBuzzwhich was reprinted and listened to Green Biz 350My weekly podcast with Heather Clancy.

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