Congressional Climate Camp: Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 09 Mar 2023 19:00:00 GMT

What to learn more about climate policy? But not sure where to start? We have you covered. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to join us for our start-of-the-new Congress briefing series, Climate Camp. We will go over the basics of the legislative process, highlighting key areas and opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation policy.

Our fourth session in EESI’s Congressional Climate Camp series is on implementing the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. These laws provide billions of dollars to confront the climate crisis and strengthen critical infrastructure. Panelists will provide an update on the status of their implementation, describe how state and local governments and organizations are accessing funds, and explain the oversight role Congress must play to maximize these investments.

Speakers
  • Dr. Henry McKoy, Jr., Director, Office of State and Community Energy Programs, U.S. Department of Energy
  • David Terry, President, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)
  • Sarah Kline, Consultant, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Kevin Rennert, Fellow; Director, Federal Climate Policy Initiative, Resources for the Future
  • Duanne Andrade, Executive Director, Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
  • Jana Barresi, Head of Washington, D.C., Office, Lowe’s Companies Inc.

This event, at 2168 Rayburn, 2 PM-3:30 PM, is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to expedite check-in.

A live webcast will be streamed at 2:00 PM EST at www.eesi.org/livecast.

Rising Risks: Managing Volatility in Global Commodity Derivatives Markets

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 09 Mar 2023 15:00:00 GMT

Hearing page

Witnesses:
  • Michael Gelchie, Group Chief Executive Officer, Louis Dreyfus Company
  • Derek Sammann, Senior Managing Director, Global Head of Commodities, Options & International Markets, CME Group
  • Alicia Crighton, Chair of the Board, Futures Industry Association
  • Christopher Edmonds, Chief Development Officer, Intercontinental Exchange
  • Dan Berkovitz, Former Commissioner, Commodities Futures Trading Commission

Protecting Public Health and the Environment in the Wake of the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment and Chemical Release in East Palestine, Ohio

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 09 Mar 2023 15:00:00 GMT

On Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM ET, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, led by Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), will hold a full committee hearing on addressing the environmental and public health threats from the Norfolk Southern train derailment and chemical release in East Palestine, Ohio.

Witnesses

Panel I
  • Sherrod Brown, United States Senator, The State of Ohio
  • JD Vance, United States Senator, The State of Ohio
  • Bob Casey, United States Senator, The State of Pennsylvania
Panel II
  • Alan Shaw, President and CEO, Norfolk Southern Corporation
  • Debra Shore, Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,, Region V
  • Anne Vogel, Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Richard Harrison, Executive Director and Chief Engineer, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission
  • Eric Brewer, Director and Chief of Hazardous Materials Response, Beaver County Department of Emergency Services

A Sectoral Approach to Climate Mitigation: The Energy Sector

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 07 Mar 2023 18:00:00 GMT

Analyzing climate change and proposing solutions at the nation-state level can obscure the path forward, as ambition varies widely across countries and can change dramatically as soon as the next election. Furthermore, coordinating the actions of nearly 200 nations (including more than a dozen major emitters) presents its own challenges. Viewing climate solutions as sectoral rather than “national,” may be more productive and give a clearer of how to cut the most emissions in the fastest manner.

This webinar series, sponsored by American University’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) and the not-for-profit think tank Energy Innovation, reframes causes and solutions of climate change as “sectoral” issues.

The energy sector has been the focus of many mitigation efforts to date, as clear alternatives like renewable technologies are readily available and increasingly competitive. Should the energy sector be the highest priority for mitigation strategies? What has been done right and what has been done wrong to date? What sort of changes would enhance energy sector mitigation strategies (particularly as these relate to the energy grid)?

Speakers:
  • Michael O’Boyle, Energy Innovation
  • Michelle Solomon, Energy Innovation
  • Dan Fiorino, Center for Environmental Policy, School of Public Affairs
  • Moderator: Gabriela Siegfried, EPRI

Mike O’Boyle is Energy Innovation’s Director, Electricity. He directs the firm’s Electricity Program, which focuses on designing and quantifying the impacts of policies needed to affordably and reliably decarbonize the U.S. electricity grid. Mike’s expertise includes clean electricity standards, wholesale market design, monopoly utility regulation, and energy efficiency policies.

Michelle Solomon is a Policy Analyst in the Electricity program at Energy Innovation, working to accelerate the transition to a clean and affordable electricity sector in the United States. Prior to joining Energy Innovation, she completed her PhD at Stanford University in Materials Science and Engineering, focusing on nanotechnology. Immediately after graduate school, she was a Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow in the office of Senator Ed Markey, where she worked on all things energy and environment.

Daniel J. Fiorino is the founding Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Distinguished Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Fiorino is the author or co-author of seven books and some 60 articles and book chapters, including A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth (Oxford University Press, 2018), Can Democracy Handle Climate Change? (Polity Books, 2018), and Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy (with James Meadowcroft, MIT Press, 2017). MIT Press also published the second edition of Environmental Governance Reconsidered (with Robert F. Durant and Rosemary O’Leary) in 2017.

Gabriella A. Siegfried is a Senior Sustainability Analyst at the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI), Gabriella performs research within the energy sector related to ESG governance/disclosure, corporate social responsibility, and cross-industry benchmarking. While at EPRI, Siegfied has led projects on climate change mitigation through sustainability goal-setting and circular economy metric development for the energy sector. Through AU’s Center for Environmental Policy, where Siegfried worked during her MA program, she conducted research on environmental justice, such as analyzing Hurricane Katrina reconstruction and the Texas Freeze of 2021 from an environmental justice lens.

RSVP

The economic case for tackling climate change now

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 06 Mar 2023 16:00:00 GMT

The dangers of global warming are increasingly evident—extreme weather, rising sea levels, wildfires, and melting glaciers—but there hasn’t been sufficient political will to take the steps needed to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, which scientists deem essential.

To examine the economic case for moving sooner rather than later, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy and the Center on Regulation and Markets at Brookings will convene a virtual conference on March 6 to discuss two recent papers. The first, by the IMF’s Tobias Adrian and coauthors, focuses on the benefits of phasing out coal as an energy source. Following the presentation, the World Bank’s Carolyn Fischer will react. The second, by Hutchins Nonresident Senior Fellow Glenn Rudebusch and coauthors, quantifies the inverse relationship between carbon prices and future temperatures, illustrating how climate policy choices determine climate outcomes. Following this presentation, Irene Monasterolo of EDHEC Business School will respond. All four will then participate in a panel discussion on the broader implications of these issues.

Viewers may submit questions by emailing [email protected], on Twitter using the hashtag #ClimateEcon, or at sli.do using the code #ClimateEcon.

Welcome
  • David Wessel, Director – The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy Senior Fellow – Economic Studies
Paper presentation – The Great Carbon Arbitrage
  • Tobias Adrian, Financial Counsellor & Director – Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund
Discussant
  • Carolyn Fischer, Research Manager of the Sustainability and Infrastructure Team in the Development Research Group – World Bank
Paper presentation – Climate policy curves: Linking policy choices to climate outcomes
  • Glenn Rudebusch, Nonresident Senior Fellow – Economic Studies, The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy
Discussant
  • Irene Monasterolo, Professor of Climate Finance – EDHEC Business School, EDHEC-Risk Climate Impact Institute
Panel discussion
  • Moderator: Sanjay Patnaik, Director – Center on Regulation and Markets, Bernard L. Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Development Fellow – Economic Studies
  • Tobias Adrian
  • Carolyn Fischer
  • Irene Monasterolo
  • Glenn Rudebusch

RSVP

Future Generation: Exploring the New Baseline for Electricity in the Presence of the Inflation Reduction Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 15 Feb 2023 17:00:00 GMT

What does the future of electricity look like in the wake of major climate policy packages including the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act? EPRI and Resources for the Future (RFF) will explore recent findings and the latest power sector modeling.

Join us on Wednesday, February 15 for this RFF Live virtual event featuring opening remarks by EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, Joseph Goffman, followed by a panel of energy sector modelers from RFF, EPRI, EPA, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Panelists will present recent findings on how the electricity sector is expected to transform in the coming decades as a result of the IRA, illuminating a new baseline for the sector.

Presented by EPRI and RFF

Opening and Framing
  • Billy Pizer, RFF
  • Robert Chapman, EPRI
  • Joseph Goffman, EPA

Panelists

  • Karen Palmer, RFF (moderator)
  • John Bistline, EPRI
  • Cara Marcy, EPA
  • Daniel Steinberg, NREL
  • Kevin Rennert, RFF

Register to attend virtually.

Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 10 Feb 2023 22:30:00 GMT

Join the Climate and Community Project for a briefing and happy hour to discuss its latest report, “Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility and Less Mining.”

Where: Friday, February 10 at 5:30PM

When: Creative Grounds DC, 1822 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20002

Please be ready to show proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination.

We need to decarbonize the US transportation sector — one of the top contributors to our country’s GHG emissions. Decisions made now will affect the speed of decarbonization and the mobility of millions — and decarbonization will transform global supply chains, with implications for climate, environmental, and Indigenous justice beyond US borders. Join us for a discussion with Dr. Thea Riofrancos, lead author of Climate and Community Project’s latest report Achieving Zero Emissions with More Mobility with Less Mining, to consider the future of the transportation system, futures of lithium mining, and how we make it just and equitable for all.

RSVP

Stakeholder Perspectives on the Impacts of the Biden Administration's Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 08 Feb 2023 15:00:00 GMT

The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Chair David Rouzer, R-N.C.) will hold a hearing titled “Stakeholder Perspectives on the Impacts of the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule” on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. ET, in Room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Witnesses:
  • Garrett Hawkins, President, Missouri Farm Bureau
  • Alicia Huey, Chairman, National Association of Home Builders
  • Mark Williams, Environmental Manager, Luck Companies, On Behalf of National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
  • Susan Parker Bodine, Partner, Earth & Water Law LLC
  • Dave Owen, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Scholarly Publications, UC College of the Law, San Francisco

AGU Quietly Began Divesting From Fossil-Fuel Industry in 2021

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 11 Jan 2023 16:44:00 GMT

After years of protests from its climate-scientist members for its ties to climate polluters, the American Geophysical Union quietly divested its $100-million-plus investment portfolio from the fossil-fuel industry. In November 2021, AGU leadership posted a video labeled only “AGU announces change in its investment strategy.” In the video, AGU president Susan Lozier announced the implications of its newly adopted ESG investment policy:

Also as a result of this policy, AGU has no direct investments in fossil fuels. However, a recent audit of AGU’s portfolio showed that approximately five percent of our holdings are invested in fossil fuels through our mutual fund accounts. Today’s announcement is to let you know that AGU has started to divest its portfolio of these holdings to strengthen our commitment to mission-related investments and to better align with our strategic plan, which places a strong focus on a sustainable future.
In the video, AGU president-elect Susan Gramlich explained the decision was a result of the “unprecedented climate emergency” which makes this an “all-hands-on-deck moment for our scientific community,” while recognizing that AGU members include employees of fossil-fuel companies.
As Susan mentioned, AGU’s Board’s decision was focused on making sure our actions match our strategic plan, who we are as an organization and our investment policy. Core to all three is that we must address our global climate crisis. The world is facing an unprecedented climate emergency where every decision – and inaction – affects all who inhabit our planet. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for our scientific community as we are called upon to continue to build our capacity to anticipate the impacts of climate change and work with others to ground policy and practices in our science. As we continue to pursue our science, we are also engaging with an ever broadening array of fields of expertise from scientific to social to political. We aspire to deepen our collaboration with the private sector, especially those companies that are committed to truly doing better for future generations by advancing science-based solutions. . . Our members also work in and for a variety of organizations, including non-profits, academia, scientific organizations, government programs and corporations, including fossil-fuel companies.

AGU past president Robin Bell, a cryosphere geophysicist, discussed the AGU Finance and Investment Committee’s plan for “net carbon neutrality” with AGU investments, which opens the door for further investment in the fossil-fuel industry.

The current landscape is very dynamic and as Earth scientists, we understand that the fossil fuel companies have the potential to become truly renewable energy companies driving carbon sequestration and direct air capture. Carbon Capture and sequestration will be essential to meet the Paris Agreement goals. We know developing robust metrics for a carbon neutral portfolio will not be simple given the complexities of the carbon cycle. We will build on the evolving understanding of carbon in the Earth system that our membership brings to this discussion. We are grateful for the work of our scientists and will be looking to our community to help us hone our strategies.

At that time AGU adopted a new investment policy with the vague language:
Based on a desire to align the Long-Term investments with the mission of the organization, AGU will emphasize Mission Related Investments (“MRI”) that include the following characteristics: Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) integration, thematic investments, transparency and women and minority owned or managed investments.
In a June 2022 communication with Scientists for Global Responsibility, executive director Randy Fiser confirmed:
To better align with our new strategic plan, which places a strong focus on a sustainable future, and to strengthen our commitment to mission-related investments, the AGU Board of Directors voted to entirely divest AGU’s portfolio of fossil fuels, starting October 2021. We recently announced this decision in a From the Prow post.

The post to which Fiser refers is the one having only the vaguely named video.

It remains unclear whether AGU has any policy or standard against accepting funding and sponsorships from fossil-fuel companies, the subject of massive protest from members in 2016. At the time, the board rejected member calls to sever its long-standing financial and promotional relationship with ExxonMobil. Although Exxon chose not to continue its sponsorship of the Fall Meeting student breakfasts, Chevron continued as a sponsor of Fall Meetings through 2019. No fossil-fuel companies were public sponsors for the 2020, 2021, or 2022 meetings.

At the 2022 fall meeting in December, AGU expelled climate scientists Rose Abramoff and Peter Kalmus for interrupting a plenary session with a call for their fellow AGU members to engage in more climate activism. AGU staff complained to Abramoff’s employer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, leading to her firing in January 2023.

Soccer in a Warming World Workshop

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 16 Nov 2022 18:00:00 GMT

Join the Columbia Climate School Office of Research and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for this hybrid, half-day workshop to address questions about how climate change will affect the way soccer is played, and the health and performance of soccer players worldwide.

Co-hosted by Co-Founding Dean for Research, Dr. Maureen Raymo and World Cup winning member of the US Women’s National Team, Samantha Mewis, this workshop will feature short talks from Columbia researchers, followed by small panel discussions and Q&A.

A light reception in the Monell Lobby will follow.

A Zoom link will be sent to virtual attendees approximately 24 hours prior to the event.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Tickets are free: RSVP here.

Samantha Mewis is an American professional soccer player who currently plays as a midfielder for the KC Current of the NWSL and the United States Women’s National Team. Mewis is considered one of the best midfielders in the world, having won 3 NWSL titles, a FIFA World Cup and was named the #1 Player in the World by ESPNFC in 2021.

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