Hurts Energy and the Environment – EPA Greenlights California Auto Standards
Welcome to the Wednesday Energy and Environment Night, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.
Today we look at the EPA giving California back control of its clean car standards, Georgia’s plan to suspend the gas tax, and the Secretary of State’s response to increased production. oil from the United Arab Emirates.
California emissions authority reinstated
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Wednesday it would restore California’s authority to set its own clean car standards after the Trump administration revoked the state’s authority.
The standards, which have been adopted by other states, are stricter than federal standards and should push the market toward electric vehicles.
What does that mean? the EPA action allowed California to re-set its own limits on how much of the planet-warming gas cars can emit and mandate a number of electric vehicle sales.
The EPA also restored the ability for states to use California standards instead of federal standards.
“Today, we proudly reaffirm California’s longstanding authority as a leader in fighting pollution from cars and trucks,” the EPA administrator said. Michael ReganMichael ReganOvernight Energy & Environment – Biden Pushes To Reduce Truck Pollution Pentagon Shuts Down Fuel Tank Facility In Hawaii That Leaked Drinking Water Second Joint Base Andrews Intruder At Large After Search MORE said in a statement.
He added that the decision restores “an approach that for years has helped advance clean technologies and reduce air pollution for the people of not just California, but for the entire United States.” United”.
The story so far: In 2019, the Trump administration revoked an exemption this allowed California to set its own vehicle standards and argued that having a standard for the entire country provided more certainty for the auto industry.
At that time, the industry was divided, some car manufacturers on the side of the Trump administration in litigation and others sign an agreement with California to undermine Trump-era clean car rollbacks.
Wednesday, the governor of California. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomNewsom Proposes California Rebate To Tackle Soaring Gas Prices Overnight Health Care – Featured By Alexion – Manchin Speech Sparks Exasperation Democrat Newsom Unveils Plan For California Mental Health Courts To Help homeless MORE (D) celebrated the decision.
“I thank the Biden administration for righting the reckless wrongs of the Trump administration and acknowledging our decades-old authority to protect Californians and our planet,” Newsom said in a statement.
“Restoring our state’s exemption from the Clean Air Act is a major victory for the environment, our economy and the health of families across the country that comes at a pivotal time underscoring the need to end our reliance on fossil fuels,” he added.
And the EPA argued that the Trump administration’s decision was “inappropriate,” saying the waiver did not contain factual errors, so it should not have been revoked, among other arguments.
Read more about the announcement here.
Blinken touts UAE’s support for oil production
Secretary of State Antoine BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense and National Security – More aid heading to Ukraine Poland says it is transferring MiG fighters to US base amid calls for help from Ukraine on Wednesday welcomed statements by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that the country supports increased oil production to offset rising prices as the United States and its allies seek to steer Russia away from the oil market following a his invasion of Ukraine.
Blinken called it “important” for OPEC+, a group of oil-exporting nations, to increase oil production to “stabilize global energy markets, to ensure there remains an abundant supply. in energy in the world”.
UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba reportedly said shortly before Blinken’s remarks that Abu Dhabi was in favor of “increasing production and will encourage OPEC to consider levels of higher production”, according to the Financial Times.
The Emirati envoy’s remarks follow those made by Blinken on Tuesday addressing his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, with the secretary saying they had ‘spent quite a bit of time on the phone “.
A reading of the appeal provided by the State Department said Blinken “reiterated the value of close coordination on Ukraine and the importance of building a strong international response to support Ukrainian democracy and sovereignty after the premeditated, unprovoked and illegal invasion of Russia”. The Secretary also underscored the United States’ commitment to helping the United Arab Emirates build its strong defensive capabilities against threats from Yemen and elsewhere in the region.
How we got here: The United States, which is not part of OPEC+, has pushed for months to accelerate the pace of increasing supply to combat high gasoline prices, although the countries have not considered the issue before.
During the pandemic, OPEC+ cut supply in response to lower oil demand as fewer people traveled and commuted. As economies reopened and demand rebounded, the group stuck to steady increases of 400,000 barrels per day.
In recent weeks, oil prices have risen further following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, putting further pressure on consumers in the United States and around the world.
Learn more about Rachel Frazin and Laura Kelly of The Hill.
GEORGIA PLANS TO DROP GASOLINE TAX
Governor of Georgia Brian KempBrian KempFox News Poll: Kemp leads Perdue in Georgia GOP gubernatorial primary Kemp drops millions on ad buys ahead of Georgia primary (R) announced on Wednesday that he and the state General Assembly would work to temporarily suspend state gasoline taxes, citing the drastic rise in fuel prices.
In a press release, Kemp’s office noted that average gas prices in Georgia have risen more than 50% over the past year. The tax stay would take effect when Kemp signs the legislation, which he said in a Twitter post it is working with the Georgia House and the Senate to “move quickly” and last through the end of May.
“Because of our strong and fiscally prudent approach to the budget, Lieutenant Governor [Geoff] duncan [R]Speaker [David] Ralston [R]and I can confidently propose a state fuel tax suspension to reduce exorbitant gasoline prices while returning money to hard-working Georgians through a tax refund and reduction income tax,” Kemp said in a statement.
“With this latest measure, we’re showing even more clearly that in Georgia, we’re going to empower families to keep their money in their own pockets,” he added.
Kemp has also sought to blame the high prices on President BidenJoe BidenBiden phones family of American detained in Russia Susan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary: Proposed defense budget includes excessive amount for private contractors PLUSalthough experts say that presidents have only a limited impact on the global market.
Read more from Joseph Choi of The Hill.
Nearly 50 million Americans are exposed to higher levels of air pollution due to discriminatory “redlining” policies decades after the practice was officially banned, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.
According to the research, black and Latino Americans of all income levels live in areas with higher levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates. A major factor in these results is the practice of redlining or classifying minority neighborhoods as riskier for investment, thereby limiting residents’ access to loans or insurance.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley compared Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) maps from the 1930s to 2010 air pollution levels in 202 cities comprising 75% of US urban dwellers. They found a strong correlation between air pollution levels and the worst HOLC ratings, with nitrogen oxide being 50% higher in neighborhoods receiving a “D” grade than in those receiving an “A.”
The researchers also found racial and ethnic disparities within classes, with white residents having less exposure to fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide than black and Latino residents. This suggests that while redlining has played a role in disparities, other, perhaps more recent, racially discriminatory practices have also contributed to environmental inequalities.
Read more about the study here.
OMNIBUS FOR THE REST OF US
The new omnibus compromise bill includes modest increases in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Interior and the Department of Energy.
EPA will get a raise of nearly 4% and Interior will get a raise of about 6%. Not including last year’s emergency funds, the Department of Energy will get an increase of about 7%.
The funding came as part of a $1.5 trillion bipartisan deal to fund the government.
WHAT WE READ
- U.S. officials backtrack on pesticide damage to wildlife (The Associated Press)
- Ukraine perceives risk of radioactive leak at Chernobyl, IAEA sees ‘no critical impact’ on safety (Reuters)
- The Russian crisis could lead to a natural gas surge in the United States (E&E news)
And finally, something quirky and quirky: Squid vicious
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Discover The Hill’s energy & environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.