EESI Welcomes More Ambitious Clean Power Plan
EESI welcomes the Obama Administration’s more ambitious Clean Power Plan, whose final version will be unveiled today according to a White House press release. Drafts of the plans called for reducing carbon emissions by at least 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The final plan sets the reductions goal at 32 percent. "This is a very big deal," said Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) Executive Director Carol Werner. "An extra 2 points may not sound like much, but they lead to a 6.7 percent more ambitious target. The Administration is clearly trying to push other countries to be similarly ambitious in their carbon reduction goals ahead of the climate change talks in Paris at the end of this year. That’s excellent news.”
EPA Adherence to “Blend Wall” Damages Advanced Fuels
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) regrets that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in releasing renewable fuel volumes for 2014, 2015 and 2016, artificially caps renewable fuels at under 10 percent of the U.S. fuel supply going forward. This will ultimately impair the growth of advanced cellulosic fuels, a nascent but growing sector of the fuels sector.
More Action Needed to Address Health Impacts of Climate Change
On April 7, the White House announced a series of actions to protect communities from the health impacts of climate change. "Many excellent reports, apps, data gathering and educational initiatives were announced,” said Laura Small, a Policy Associate at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. "We’re pleased to see the President taking action to gather more data about the public health impacts of climate change, and we're particularly excited about the decision to educate new healthcare professionals about climate change health risks. However, we hope the Administration will announce direct actions to shore up the health sector's ability to deal with climate change exacerbated vector-borne diseases, mental health issues, decreased air quality, and physical threats from wildfires and other extreme weather.”
Important Step, Some Missed Opportunities
In a sign that the Obama Administration takes an international climate deal seriously, the White House met the March 31 deadline to submit its plan to cut domestic greenhouse gases, known in U.N. jargon as its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), to the United Nations Forum Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The U.S. plan represents a critical step in crafting an ambitious, global deal to stop climate change.
EPA Models Could Result in Higher Ozone and Air Toxic Levels
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) commends the EPA for addressing the health effects of ground level ozone in their proposed update to the agency’s ozone air quality standards. However, along with the Urban Air Initiative, the Energy Future Coalition, and the Clean Fuel Development Coalition, EESI cautions that the tools which states are tasked to use in crafting their State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for ozone and other air toxics are flawed. If used by state regulators, these models would force air quality policies and practices that would actually cause ozone and other air toxins levels to increase. Additionally, the role of gasoline aromatic hydrocarbons (gasoline aromatics) in ozone formation are being ignored by the EPA.
Critical First Step in Reducing Methane Emissions
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) salutes the Obama administration’s decision to tackle methane emissions, a topic recently covered in an EESI Congressional briefing. Methane is a powerful climate warming pollutant – at least 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years of its presence in the atmosphere. Because of its potency, reducing methane emissions can reduce the rate of warming substantially in the near term.
U.S.-China Climate Change Agreement Is Game-Changer
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) salutes the climate change agreement reached by the leaders of the United States and China. According to EESI Executive Director Carol Werner, "This climate agreement represents what many Members of Congress said was an essential precondition for stronger U.S. commitment on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The onus is now on Congress to support climate change action.”
Must Read ‘Summary for Policymakers’: Fighting Climate Change Can Be Good for Economy
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) salutes the imminent release of the 'Summary for Policymakers,' the culmination of five years of work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading authority on climate change. The 'Summary for Policymakers,' expected to be unveiled on Sunday, November 2, 2014, is a synthesis of three IPCC reports released over the past year, which covered the science of climate change, our vulnerability to it, and what options are available to mitigate it.
EESI Commends EPA for Toxics Progress, Urges More Focus on Mobile Sources
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) applauds the recent Urban Air Toxics report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which documents a decrease in air toxics that are “known or suspected of causing cancer and can damage the immune, respiratory, neurological, reproductive, and developmental systems.” Thanks to EPA actions, toxic air pollutants have been reduced by millions of tons in the last 20 years. Yet, the report does not give sufficient consideration to toxic air emissions from gasoline, which may be getting worse. EESI urges, therefore, that emissions from gasoline vehicles be recognized as a potentially worsening public health threat by the EPA.
EESI Expands Residential Energy Efficiency Initiative with New Grant
EESI is proud to announce the expansion of its on-bill financing initiative into a national effort to significantly improve the energy efficiency of homes served by rural electric cooperatives (co-ops) and public utilities, thanks to a grant from The JPB Foundation. Over the past five years, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) has helped to demonstrate and build support for on-bill financing, in which loans for energy efficiency retrofits are repaid through participants’ utility bills. Utilities that adopt this approach will cut energy consumption and emissions while improving home comfort and energy affordability for their customers and members.