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Page Updated:
June 13, 2021


• Government. Agencies     • Environmental Action
• The Fading Solar Tax Credit  

Noteworthy

  • History of the Clean Water Act
    History of the Clean Water Act

    Sep. 12, 2019  (EPA)- The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 was the first major U.S. law to address water pollution. Growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to sweeping amendments in 1972. As amended in 1972, the law became commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA).

    The 1972 amendments:

    Established basic structure for regulating discharges into the waters of the U.S.
    Gave EPA the authority including setting wastewater standards for industry
    Maintained requirements for water quality standards
    Illegalized discharge any pollutant into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained under its provisions
    Funded the construction of sewage treatment plants
    Recognized the need for planning to address the critical source pollution problems

  • Is Ethanol Really a Good Idea?
    Food Vs. Fuel: What
    Trump's Ethanol Policy
    Means For The Food System

    Forbes Magazine -The EPA moved forward with President Trump’s directive to lift a federal ban on high ethanol blended gas during the summer months, though not quickly enough for Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who Reuters reports is urging the EPA to lift the ban on a much quicker timeline.

    Lifting the ban is a policy shift that’s being celebrated by large-scale corn growers and decried by biofuel opponents. But the policy has implications for the food system too, as many food system reformers say the last thing U.S. farmers should be growing is more corn.

  • EPA to Halt Fuel Economy Standards
    California Getting Ready
    to Fight Back

    Mar. 29, 2018 - The Trump administration is poised to abandon America's pioneering fuel economy targets for cars and SUVs, a move that would undermine one of the world's most aggressive programs to confront climate change and invite another major confrontation with California.

    The EPA is expected to announce in the coming days that it will scrap mileage targets the Obama administration drafted in tandem with California that aim to boost average fuel economy for passenger cars and SUVs to 55 miles per gallon by 2025, according to people familiar with the plans.

  • The E.P.A is a Sinking Ship
    E.P.A. Officials,
    Disheartened by Agency’s
    Direction, Are Leaving in Droves

    Dec. 22, 2018 - More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.

  • How Low Can the EPA Go?
    EPA Reverses Policy on
    'Major Sources' of Pollution

    Jan. 25, 2018 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it was withdrawing a provision of the Clean Air Act that requires a major source of pollution like a power plant to always be treated as a major source, even if it makes changes to reduce emissions.

    The decision to withdraw the "once-in always-in" policy is part of President Donald Trump's effort to roll back federal regulations and was sought by utilities, the petroleum industry and others. Never mind about the health of the American people.

  • Trump Imposes Tariffs on PV Imports
    30% Tariff Disappoints
    Trade Industry

    Jan. 22, 2018 - Trump has agreed to a recommendation by the International Trade Commission (ITC) to grant U.S. solar manufacturers relief from unfair trade practices in the form of tariffs on solar cells and modules imported to the U.S.

    This will hurt the solar industry which currently employs over 250,000 workers.

  • Fed. Compromise on Anti-PACE Law
    Industry, Lawmakers Compromise
    on Anti-Property Assessed
    Clean Energy Legislation

    Dec. 27, 2017 - A financing program that’s let more than 180,000 homeowners pay for solar panels and clean-energy appliances through their local tax bills is poised to survive an effort by Republicans to add regulations that would have effectively shut it down.

  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
    Summary of the National
    Environmental Policy Act

    Originally Passed in 1968 (EPA) — NEPA was one of the first laws ever written that establishes the broad national framework for protecting our environment. NEPA's basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment.

    NEPA requirements are invoked when airports, buildings, military complexes, highways, parkland purchases, and other federal activities are proposed. Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), which are assessments of the likelihood of impacts from alternative courses of action, are required from all Federal agencies and are the most visible NEPA requirements.

    Click now for more,
    including a history of this act.

  • Shouldn’t We Abolish Fossil Fuel Subsidies?
    America Spends Over $20Bn Per
    Year On Fossil Fuel Subsidies.

    July 30, 2018 (The Guardian) -Imagine that instead of taxing cigarettes, America subsidized the tobacco industry in order to make each pack of smokes cheaper.

    A report from Oil Change International (OCI) investigated American energy industry subsidies and found that in 2015–2016, the federal government provided $14.7bn per year to the oil, gas, and coal industries, on top of $5.8bn of state-level incentives (globally, the figure is around $500bn). And the report only accounted for production subsidies, excluding consumption subsidies (support to consumers to lower the cost of fossil fuel use – another $14.5bn annually) as well as the costs of carbon and other fossil fuel pollutants.

  • The D.O.E. Solar Decathlon
    How To Shine In The Solar Village

    October 6, 2017 - At noon Eastern Standard Time today — the second day of competition for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Denver — the Northwestern University team was sitting in first place, according to scores released on the competition website.

    The Solar Village, where all 13 teams’ houses are standing for the competition, is now open to the public.

    With scoring under way on three of the 10 competition categories — Heath & Comfort, Appliances, and Home Life — Northwestern was tied with Swiss Team and UC Berkeley/U of Denver on the three segments in Health & Comfort — temperature, humidity and indoor air quality.

  • Budget Slashed for Clean Energy
    Trump’s Budget Expected
    to Massively Slash Research
    On Renewable Energy
    — And ‘Clean Coal’

    May 18, 2017 -The Trump administration is expected to propose massive cuts to federal government research on wind and solar energy next week, according to current and former Energy Department officials familiar with budget discussions.

    The department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which funds research on advanced vehicles as well as other aspects of clean energy, would face a roughly 70 percent cut in 2018, carving about $ 1.45 billion from its $2.09 billion 2017 budget.

  • The SunShot Initiative
    What is the SunShot Initiative?

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office focuses on achieving the goals of the SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade.

  • The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
    Notes from the Solar Underground:
    US Solar’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act

    The global solar industry relies on mandate. Let's hope it doesn't go away.

  • Carbon Tax Center
    What is the Carbon Tax Center?

    Why revenue-neutral carbon taxes are essential,what’s happening now, and how you can help.

    In a carbon-constrained world, a permanent U.S. carbon tax is essential to reduce emissions that drive global warming.



  • Governmental News (In the past year)

  • EPA Will Correct Trump-Era Harmful Soot Failures
    It Will Reexamine Health
    Standards for Harmful Soot

    June 12, 2021 (CleanTechnica)-This week, EPA announced that it will reconsider the previous administration’s decision to retain the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which were last strengthened in 2012.

    The EPA is reconsidering the December 2020 decision because available scientific evidence and technical information indicate that the current standards may not be adequate to protect public health and welfare, as required by the Clean Air Act.

  • Biden Seeks More $$$ to Combat Climate Change, Build Renewables
    Money to Be Earmarked
    for the Dept. of the Interior

    (Renewable Energy World), June 1, 2021 -Last week, the Biden-Harris administration submitted to congress the budget for fiscal year 2022. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) 2022 budget proposal totals $17.6 billion — an increase of $2.5 billion, or 17%, from the 2021 enacted level. The significant investment will help DOI address the climate crisis while creating good-paying union jobs and investing in healthy lands, waters, and economies in communities across the country, said the Whitehouse in a press release.

    The 2022 budget proposal includes more than $1.9 billion in new climate-related investments to conserve and manage natural resources, increase understanding of how natural resources are changing and what that means, build resilience to protect communities and lands from significant impacts, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

  • Boston City Council Unanimously Endorses Carbon Dividend Bill
    They Voted to Urge
    Congress to Pass the Bil

    (Charlestown Patriot Bridge), May 26, 2021 -The Boston City Council unanimously voted on May 12, to pass a Resolution Urging Congress to Enact the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend ActM/em>, H.R. 2307.

    Boston joins 136 other local governments who endorse the legislation, including Los Angeles County, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Miami, Pittsburgh, and New Haven, CT. The resolution was introduced by Lydia Edwards of East Boston and Matt O’Malley of West Roxbury.

  • TVA Used $3M in Ratepayer Money to Fund Anti-Clean Energy Efforts
    Office of Inspector General
    Urged to Begin Formal Investigation

    (Center for Biological Diversity), May 26, 2021 -Four nonprofit organizations called today for a federal investigation of newly uncovered records showing that the Tennessee Valley Authority used $3 million of ratepayer money to fund litigation and lobbying efforts by organizations that fight the EPA’s Clean Air Act rules. TVA is the largest public energy provider in the United States.

    Today’s letter from Energy Alabama, the Center for Biological Diversity, Appalachian Voices and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy urged TVA’s Office of the Inspector General to begin a formal investigation to determine if the utility violated its board-approved policies.

  • Entergy New Orleans: Get With the Program
    NOLA's Message Threatens
    Penalties for Non-compliance

    (CleanTechnica), May 25, 2021 -The New Orleans City Council has given Entergy an ultimatum: power the city’s homes and businesses with emission-free technologies by 2050 and go 100% carbon-free or face penalties.

    The city council backed its rules requiring Entergy New Orleans to go 100% carbon-free within three decades and 90% carbon-free in two decades, NOLA.com reported. This may seem far too slow to many CleanTechnica readers, but it is actually one of the quickest timelines approved in the South, or even the nation as whole, according to council officials.

  • SCOTUS Gives Big Oil a Win in Cities Climate Fight
    But the High Court
    Gave the Fossil Fuel Industry Far
    Less Than it Had Asked

    May 18, 2021(NY Times Climate Forward), -The Supreme Court handed a victory to fossil fuel companies on Monday in a major climate change case, but gave the industry far less than it had asked for.

    The decision in the case did not deal with the merits of the lawsuit, which Baltimore filed to try to compel fossil fuel companies to help pay the costs of dealing with climate change. Instead, the justices focused on narrow issues concerning the rules for appealing lower-court decisions that send cases to state courts.

  • Administration Releases “America The Beautiful” Conservation Plan
    Currently, About 12% of U.S. lands and 25% of U.S. Waters are Protected

    May 10, 2021 (CleanTechnica)-The Biden administration laid out its plan on Thursday to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. The report seeks to rebrand what has become known as “30×30” and emphasizes “voluntary efforts” by states, tribal nations, and private landowners instead of expanding the footprint of federal land ownership.

    The multiagency plan was signed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and CEQ head Brenda Mallory.

  • Wash. State Now Has the Nation's Most Ambitious Climate Policy
    And, Yes, it Includes Carbon Pricing.

    May 5, 2021 (Volts), by David Roberts -Washington elected a whole mess of Democrats over the last several cycles and it is paying off handsomely. Without much national attention, the last few years have seen Washington quietly put into place the most comprehensive and ambitious slate of climate and energy policies of any US state. (including California).

    The legislature just passed a carbon cap that will reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 95% by 2050 (it awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature). I want to talk about that bill, but first, to understand its significance, we need to quickly review all the other stuff the Washington legislature has been up to lately.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • PA Governor Takes Next Step to Start Carbon Emissions Caps
    Planned to Begin in 2022

    May 5, 2021 (POWERGRID) - Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration on Tuesday solidified its intention to begin imposing a price on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants next year as part of a multi-state consortium, over the protests of coal- and gas-region lawmakers and elements of the energy industry.

    After fielding thousands of written public comments, Wolf’s administration issued a final rule for the regulatory plan with the same timeline and same goals for reductions in carbon dioxide, considered a major driver of global warming.

  • Why California Is Planning to Ban Fracking
    Gov. Gavin Newsom Plans
    to Ban Fracking and Phase Out
    Oil Extraction In California

    May 4, 2021 (NY Times) -A little more than a week ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that not only would California effectively ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, by 2024, but the state also would work to phase out oil extraction entirely by 2045.

    “As we move to swiftly decarbonize our transportation sector and create a healthier future for our children,” he said in a statement just after Earth Day, “I’ve made it clear I don’t see a role for fracking in that future and, similarly, believe that California needs to move beyond oil.”

  • Biden’s infrastructure Plan Targets Lead Pipes
    Lead Pipes Threaten
    Public Health Across the U.S.

    May 4, 2021 (THE CONVERSATION), by Gabriel Fillpelli-President Biden’s infrastructure plan includes a proposal to upgrade the U.S. drinking water distribution system by removing and replacing dangerous lead pipes. As a geochemist and environmental health researcher who has studied the heartbreaking impacts of lead poisoning in children for decades, I am happy to see due attention paid to this silent killer, which disproportionately affects poor communities of color.

    Biden’s proposal includes US$45 billion to eliminate all lead pipes and service lines nationwide. The funding would go to programs administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Wash. State Waves Bye-bye to Foam Coolers
    State Bans Sales of Some Plastic,
    Requires More Recycled Content In Others

    May 3, 2021 (Seattle Times) -As a teenager living in Kentucky, state Sen. Mona Das went to her father’s office, where he worked in the aluminum industry. He held up a can, and proudly said that within 60 days it would be recycled into a new one.

    Reusing plastic to make new containers has long been much tougher. A bill to make it easier, introduced by Das this session, has been passed by the Legislature and Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law.

  • The Senate Just Passed $35 Billion for Clean Drinking Water
    America's Water Systems are Aging
    and Underfunded. This Bipartisan
    Bill Might Change That

    May 1, 2021 (Grist) -A massive, bipartisan clean water infrastructure bill passed the Senate 89-2 on Thursday. The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act would create a $35 billion fund for states and tribes to improve water systems — 40% of which would go to underserved, rural, and tribal communities.

  • Army Corps Sued for Failure to Protect Waterways,
    Endangered Wildlife From Pipeline Construction
    Nationwide Permit 12 Greenlights Environmental Destruction

    Apr. 30, 2021 (Center for Biological Diversity)- Environmental groups filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a nationwide permit that allows streamlined development of oil and gas pipelines through wetlands, streams and rivers. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Montana by the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Waterkeeper Alliance and Montana Environmental Information Center.

    In reissuing Nationwide Permit 12, during the final days of the Trump administration, the Corps failed to analyze the environmental impacts of pipelines, including from oil spills and the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of waterways relied on by people and endangered wildlife.

  • U.S. Approves Massive Solar Project In California Desert
    It Will Be Capable of Supplying
    Energy to Nearly 90,000 Home

    May 3, 2021 (REUTERS)- The Biden administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes.

    The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2,000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement. It is being developed by Canadian Solar unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison.

  • E.P.A. to Announce Sharp Limits on Powerful Greenhouse Gases
    The Administration is Moving
    Quickly to Limit Hydrofluorocarbons

    May 3, 2021 (NY Times)-The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday took its first significant step under President Biden to curb climate change, moving to sharply reduce a class of chemicals that is thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.

    In proposing a new regulation, Michael S. Regan, the E.P.A. administrator, said the agency aimed to reduce the production and importation of hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, in the United States by 85% over the next 15 years.

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline Permit Rejected Again
    North Carolina Legislators
    Do It Again!

    May 1, 2021 (CleanTechnica)-North Carolina regulators denied, for the second time, a request to extend the Mountain Valley Pipeline into the state. Environmental groups hailed the decision, the latest in a series of setbacks for the already behind schedule and over budget gas pipeline.

    The rejection of MVP Southgate comes less than two months after a federal appeals court sent the case back to the state Department of Environmental Quality for further review and to explain its denial of key water quality certifications for the controversial pipeline project.

  • Senate Reinstates Obama-Era
    Controls on Climate-Warming Methane
    The Are Methane Regulations
    That Trump Had Wiped Away

    Apr. 28, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -The Senate voted on Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation designed to clamp down on emissions of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate change promises.

    Taking a page from congressional Republicans who in 2017 made liberal use of a once-obscure law to roll back Obama-era regulations, Democrats invoked the law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer. That rule had eliminated Obama-era controls on leaks of methane, which seeps from oil and gas wells.

  • Biden Taps Oceanographer to Lead NOAA Weakened by Trump
    Rick Spinrad to Head National
    Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    (Key Player in Protecting Environment

    Apr. 22, 2021 (The Guardian), -Joe Biden has tapped Rick Spinrad to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency at the vanguard of climate, weather and ocean science for the United States.

    The nomination marks the potential end to a rocky period in NOAA’s history, where the agency went years without a permanent leader while enduring scandal during the Trump administration.

  • Massachusetts Approves Sweeping Climate Change Bill
    Gov. Baker, a Republican, Signed the Bill

    Mar. 29, 2021 (POWERGRID International) -Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a sweeping climate change bill into law Friday, ending months of negotiations as the legislation shuttled back and forth between the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the Republican governor.

    Baker and lawmakers have both hailed a key goal of the new law — creating a net-zero greenhouse gas emission limit by 2050.

  • New York State Legislators
    Introduce Deforestation-Free Procurement Bill
    The Bill, Second of its Kind
    in the U.S., Moves New York
    Towards Green State Purchasing

    Mar. 23, 2021 (Investorideas) -Today New York State legislators introduced the New York Deforestation-Free Procurement Act to ensure New York State government procurement practices do not drive deforestation in tropical and boreal forests.

    "The days are long past when New Yorkers can pretend that what goes on in another part of the world has no impact on us," said Senator Krueger. "New York State needs to ensure that the products we buy are not contributing to the loss of Earth's most vital ecosystems."

    The bill will tighten an existing state ban on the use of tropical hardwoods for government projects and create a new statute requiring state contractors who deal in forest-risk commodities to certify that their products don't drive deforestation.

  • EPA Brings Back Climate Change to Its Website
    Climate Facts are Back!

    Mar. 22, 2021 (ZME Science) - Following a four-year break during the Trump administration, climate change information is now fully back on the website of the United States government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The move is part of President Joe Biden’s promise to “bring science back” and take more ambitious climate action.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • New E.P.A. Head: Agency Has Climate Regs Underway
    The E.P.A. is Already Working on
    New Rules to Control Planet-Warming
    Emissions From Cars and Power Plants.

    Mar. 15, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) - Michael S. Regan, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, confirmed on Monday that the agency is preparing new regulations on the electricity sector in an effort to meet President Biden’s aggressive climate change goals.

  • What's In the US CLEAN Future Act?
    What the House Energy and
    Commerce Committee Came Up With

    Mar. 14, 2021 (CleanTechnica) - U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, together with subcommittee chairs Bobby Rush and Paul Tonko, introduced the CLEAN Future Act on March 2, 2021.

    While numerous climate bills are introduced in each Congress, this proposal deserves special attention: It is the first major piece of climate legislation to be introduced since President Biden assumed office, and it is authored by leadership of the committee with primary jurisdiction over climate policy in the House. It is an updated version of a discussion draft circulated last year, reflecting dozens of hearings, input from experts and activists, and the changing political and physical climate.

  • The Oil Industry Says It Might Support a Carbon Tax
    Why That Could Be Good For
    Producers and the Public Alike

    Mar. 5, 2021 (THE CONVERSATION) -The oil industry’s lobbying arm, the American Petroleum Institute, suggested in a new draft statement that it might support Congress putting a price on carbon emissions to combat climate change, even though oil and gas are major sources of those greenhouse gas emissions.

    An industry calling for a tax on the use of its products sounds as bizarre as “man bites dog.” Yet, there’s a reason for the oil industry to consider that shift.

  • Virginia Assembly Bans Foam To-Go Containers
    The State's Lawmakers Gave Final
    Approval on a Bill that Will
    Ban Polystyrene Food Containers

    Feb. 25, 2021 (wtopnews) - The ban will be phased in over four years. Larger businesses, with more than 20 locations, will have to stop using foam food containers by July 2023.

    Smaller businesses will need to comply by July 2025.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • Jennifer Granholm is Confirmed as Energy Secretary
    Granholm Could Face Challenges in Managing the Sprawling DOE

    Feb. 25, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -The Senate confirmed Jennifer M. Granholm to be energy secretary on Thursday, positioning the former governor of Michigan to play a key role in President Biden’s plans to confront climate change.

  • The US Returns to the Paris Agreement
    With Lots of Work
    Ahead for the World

    Feb. 19, 2021 (The Nation) -The US formally reentered the Paris Agreement. Signed in December of 2015 by the Obama administration and abandoned in 2017 by then-President Trump, the accord was and remains a landmark achievement in global climate diplomacy. Heads of government, business leaders, and climate activists the world over have welcomed the US return.

    President Biden will host world leaders at a virtual climate summit at the White House on Earth Day, April 22, to prepare for the next big UN climate meeting, in November in Glasgow, Scotland. And there’s a lot to be done before then if the Paris goal of preserving a livable climate is to be achieved.

  • Appeals Court Strikes Down Trump's ACE Rule
    The Move Marks a Major Blow to
    the Former Administration’s Coal-Favoring Agenda

    Jan. 19, 2021(Renewable Energy World)-In what many might consider one more defeat for Ex-President Trump, today on his last full day in office, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated and remanded back to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the Trump administration’s “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule.

  • Environmental Sleuthing
    Helping Scientists Intensify Their
    Studies of a Changing Planet.

    Jan. 5, 2021(NY Times Climate Forward)-Linda Zall played a starring role in American science that led to decades of major advances. But she never described her breakthroughs on television, or had books written about her, or received high scientific honors. One database of scientific publications lists her contributions as consisting of just three papers, with a conspicuous gap running from 1980 to 2020.

    The reason is that Dr. Zall’s decades of service to science were done in the secretive warrens of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Now, at 70, she’s telling her story — at least the parts she’s allowed to talk about — and admirers are praising her highly classified struggle to put the nation’s spy satellites onto a radical new job: environmental sleuthing.

  • US Extends Clean Energy Tax Credits
    It Was a Last-Minute Deal

    Jan. 4, 2021(Renewable Energy World),-Just before the group broke for the Christmas holiday, US Congress struck a last minute bipartisan deal on a major energy bill as part of the omnibus package to fund the federal government. The energy bill includes increased funding for renewable and energy efficiency programs.

    The legislation provides a two-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and additional funding for research and development, including on soft costs critical to distributed energy deployment and support for more sensible access to federal lands for renewable energy projects.

    Under the legislation, the solar ITC will remain at 26% for projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022, step down to 22% in 2023, and down to 10% in 2024 for commercial projects while the residential credit ends completely. Companies beginning construction on projects in 2021 would still have a four-year period to place their projects in service to take advantage of the ITC, with the statutory deadline for projects placed in service reset to before Jan. 1, 2026.

  • Sale of Arctic Drilling Leases Draws an Unusual Taker
    It's the Government of Alaska!

    ( NY Times Climate Forward), Dec. 30, 2020, -After a three-year push by the Trump administration to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling — an effort that culminated in a rush to sell leases before the White House changes hands — in the end the only taker may be the state of Alaska itself.

    With a Thursday deadline for submitting bids for 10-year leases on tracts covering more than one million acres of the refuge, there is little indication that oil companies are interested in buying the rights to drill under difficult conditions, to extract more costly fossil fuels for a world that increasingly is seeking to wean itself off them.

    Amid the uncertainty, a state-owned economic development corporation voted last week to authorize bidding up to $20 million for some of the leases.

  • The Lead Paint in Housing
    HUD Has Not Identified High-Risk
    Project-Based Rental Assistance Properties

    Dec. 16, 2021(U.S. Govt. Accountability Office)-The law requires the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reduce the risk of lead paint hazards in HUD-assisted housing. Exposure to lead paint can cause brain damage and slow development in children under 6 years.

    HUD monitors lead paint-related risks in its Project-Based Rental Assistance program that provides subsidies to make privately owned multifamily properties affordable to low-income households. Although HUD periodically does physical inspections, it hasn't done a comprehensive risk assessment to identify the properties posing the greatest risk to young children. We recommended it assess and manage such risks.


    Click now for more.
  • Pebble Mine Permit DENIED!
    The Army Corps Finally
    Acknowledged the Real Risks

    (National Resources Defense Council(NRDC)), Nov. 25, 2020 -In a sweeping about-face, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today rejected the Pebble Mine—the widely condemned gold and copper mine proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. The mine would have threatened the world’s greatest wild salmon fishery that generates $1.5 billion in annual revenue and 14,000 jobs. Salmon have sustained the subsistence culture of Alaska Natives for millennia.

    In a statement, the Army Corps “determined that the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest.”

    In denying Pebble’s permit, the Army Corps is finally acknowledging the very real risks to Bristol Bay—and the economies, people, wildlife and fish that depend upon it.


    Click now for more.
  • EPA Awards $2.23 Million For “Clean Diesel” Projects
    Clean Diesel? Yeah, Right

    (CleanTechnica), Oct. 27, 2020 -If you thought “clean diesel” was a scam long left in our automotive past, you haven’t met the Donald Trump “Environmental Protection Agency” being run by former fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler.

    The EPA is awarding over $2.23 million for supposed “clean diesel” projects in Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. Nine organizations in EPA Region 7 were chosen to receive the funding from the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants Program funding.

    EPA Administrator and former fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler announced over $73 million in grants and funding were expected to be awarded to support numerous “clean diesel” programs and projects across the country at both the state and local level.


    Click now to cheer them on (NOT).
  • EPA Reapproves Dozens of Ultra-toxic Pesticides
    Some of World’s Most Dangerous Pesticides Were Included

    (Center for Biological Diversity), Oct. 22, 2020 -The Environmental Protection Agency reapproved dozens of toxic pesticides today that are known to cause serious harm to people, wildlife and the environment.

    The pesticide reapprovals, known as interim decisions, finalize the EPA’s own assessments of human and environmental impacts, which have found far-ranging harms from these chemicals.

    The hasty reapprovals include paraquat, which is extremely toxic to people and has been shown to double the risk of Parkinson’s disease in farmworkers. They also include most of the extremely dangerous pyrethroid insecticides that are linked to autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and are highly toxic to pollinators and fish.

  • EPA: Radioactive Road Surfaces Are Good For Your Health
    EPA Approves Use of Radioactive Phosphogypsum in Roads

    Lisa Friedman,(Tampa Bay Times), Oct. 14, 2020 -Reversing a strict, decades-old policy, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced it will allow limited use of a radioactive byproduct of phosphate mining to build roads.

    Supported by the fertilizer industry, the change holds major ramifications for Florida, at the core of America’s phosphate production. A billion tons of the solid substance, phosphogypsum, sits piled in high mounds called stacks, including several around greater Tampa Bay.

    “The approval of this request means that phosphogypsum, which already requires significant engineering and regulatory controls to be disposed of in stacks, can now be put to productive use rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,” said the agency’s administrator, Andrew Wheeler, citing a “commitment to working with industry in a way that both reduces environmental waste and protects public health."

  • New Jersey Legislature: No More Neonics
    An Important Step in
    Preventing Bee Die-Off

    (Environment New Jersey), Oct. 8, 2020 -The New Jersey Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee just passed legislation (A2070) by a 4-1-1 vote to classify neonicotinoids, AKA neonics, as restricted use pesticides and establish a list of chemicals belonging to this class of pesticides.

    New Jersey is on its way to joining other states, including Maryland, Connecticut and Vermont, that have implemented similar restrictions on neonics.The restriction would limit application of the pesticide to certified and licensed applicators, removing use in non-agricultural settings such as gardens, lawns and golf courses.


    Click now to get a buzz.
  • Energy Innovation Act
    100+ Local Governments Support It

    National Resources Defense Council(NRDC), Aug. 10, 2020 -One of the most powerful actions our volunteers are taking, even during the pandemic, is generating local government resolutions in support of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. We can think of local government resolutions as “endorsements on steroids,” since they are made on behalf of the entire population of a village, town, city, county or tribal entity and send a strong signal of support to our members of Congress.

    As of last week, with the addition of the Town Council of Chapel Hill, NC, CCL volunteers have been successful in passing 100 municipal, county and tribal resolutions in support of the Energy Innovation Act in 25 states across the country. These local governments represent a total population of 21,567,912. From small towns to large cities and counties, it’s clear that local governments are ready to push forward on climate action, even under difficult conditions, and that they are asking Congress to join them by enacting legislation which puts a national price on carbon and returns the net revenue to citizens.

  • Intensive Oil and Gas Drilling Permitted
    Around Chaco Culture National Historical Park
    Beloved Dark-Sky Park
    Lost to Oil and gas Drilling

    (SKYTRUTH), Aug. 6, 2020 - Reminders of an ancient civilization dominate the desert landscape in northwestern New Mexico. Ruins of massive stone “Great Houses,” once several stories high with hundreds of rooms, remain at Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

    Their complexity and numbers reveal that a sophisticated culture thrived in this place a thousand years ago. Descendants of those native peoples — today’s Pueblo tribes and several Navajo clans — say that Chaco was a central gathering place where people shared ceremonies, traditions, and knowledge. Yet much about Chaco remains a mystery. During the late 1200s, construction of buildings and monuments slowed and the Chacoan people moved from the area. However, Chaco is still considered to be a spiritual and sacred place by many Native Americans.

    Parts of Chaco were first designated as a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. Eighty years later the United Nations recognized the monument as a World Heritage Site because of its unique cultural significance.


    Click now for the story and graphs.
  • The Inspector General Giving the E.P.A. a Conscience?
    E.P.A. Inspector General to Inves-
    tigate Trump’s Biggest Climate Rollback

    July 27, 2020,(NY Times Climate Forward)-The Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog said Monday it had opened an investigation into the agency’s weakening of Obama-era regulations that would have limited automobile emissions by significantly raising fuel economy standards.

    The inspector general demanded that top E.P.A. officials turn over briefing materials and other documents pertaining to the regulation, which was finalized in late March as the Trump administration’s single largest rollback of federal climate change rules.

  • States Vs. Trump on Water Rule Rollback
    In Latest Lawsuit, U.S.
    States Take on Trump
    EPA for Water Rule Rollback

    July 21, 2020,( REUTERS )-California, New York and Washington on Tuesday filed a lawsuit with 17 other states against the Trump administration for undercutting their ability to deny permits for projects that could harm their waterways.

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit in the Northern District court of California against the Environmental Protection Agency, which last month finalized a rule limiting state powers to block energy infrastructure projects by curtailing their authority under the Clean Water Act.

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Acts Wisely
    Dismissing New England Ratepayers Association Petition

    July 16, 2020,(Environment America) -The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dismissed a petition Thursday from the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) that threatened crucial state net metering policies and states’ long-held jurisdiction over solar rights.

    This decision comes after more than 57,000 comments from utility commissions, advocacy organizations, state officials, members of Congress and the public were submitted in opposition to the petition. In contrast, there were only 22 public comments in support of the NERA petition.

  • Wildlife Services Is Not Helping
    The Secretive Government Agency Plants
    'Cyanide Bombs' Across the US

    June 26, 2020,(The Guardian) -Wildlife Services kills thousands of animals at ranchers and farmers’ behest. But it operates with little oversight – and critics describe it as out of control

    The call came over Tony Manu’s police radio one March day in 2017: some sort of pipe had exploded in the hills outside Pocatello, Idaho and the son of a well-known local doctor was hurt, or worse.

    Manu, a long-time detective with the county sheriff’s office, was shocked. A pipe bomb in Pocatello?

  • Atlantic Coast Pipeline-1, Appalachian Trail-0
    Supreme Court Hands Win to
    Atlantic Coast Pipeline

    June 15, 2020,(National Resources Defense Council(NRDC)) -In a 7–2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline today, ruling that the proposed project can legally cross underneath a federally owned portion of the Appalachian Trail. Despite the setback for environmental groups and the roughly three million people who hike parts of the treasured trail each year, the court’s ruling only impacts one of the project’s multiple required permits—many of which have not yet been granted.

    “This decision doesn’t green-light or advance the dangerous Atlantic Coast Pipeline,” says Gillian Gianetti, an attorney in NRDC’s Climate & Clean Energy Program who helped prepare an amicus brief against the pipeline developers. “The fact remains that the developers cannot move ahead without securing eight crucial federal and state permits required for construction—concerning air pollution, endangered species, rights of way, and clean water.”

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    Federal*, state and local agencies
    that can assist with your questions
    about renewableenergy, environmental
    protection, tax credits, rebate
    incentives and more.


    Governmental Agencies

    Federal Agencies

    Note: During the current
    administration, services and
    staff have been cut significantly


    The Bureau of Ocean
    Energy Management


    BOEM Logo
    BOEM offshore leasing and operations are governed by a wide variety of laws, regulations, and other communications with the offshore industry.
    The Bureau enforces compliance with these regulations and periodically updates rules to reflect advancements in technology and new information. This section provides access to BOEM rules, regulations, and guidance to the offshore industry.

    Combined Heat and Power Partnership


     CHP Logo
    The CHP Partnership is a voluntary program seeking to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the use of CHP. The Partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits.

    The Solar Energy
    Technologies Program

    (Dept. of Energy)

    The Solar Energy Technologies Program focuses on developing cost-effective solar energy technologies that have the greatest potential to benefit the nation and the world. A growing solar industry also stimulates our economy by creating jobs in solar manufacturing and installation. See also the SunShot Initiative which strives to make solar competitive with fossil fuels by 2020.
     

     

     

    National Oceanic and
    Atmospheric Administration

     
     NOAA Logo
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas and skies, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment.
     

    National Renewable
    Energy Laboratory


     NREL Logo
    Focusing on creative answers to today's energy challenges.
    From fundamental science and energy analysis to validating new products for the commercial market, NREL researchers are dedicated to transforming the way the world uses energy.
    With more than 35 years of successful innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy, today our discoveries provide sustainable alternatives for powering our homes, businesses, and our transportation system.

     

    U.S. Dept. of Environmental Protection


    EPA had employed 17,000 people across the country, including headquarters offices in Washington, DC, 10 regional offices, and more than a dozen labs.

    Staff were technically trained; more than half were engineers, scientists, and policy analysts. In addition, a large number of employees are legal, public affairs,financial, information management and computer specialists.

    EPA is now led by the Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyest, who has a questionable allegiance to the environment.
     
     

     

    State Agencies

    The California Solar Initiative - CSI


     Go Solar Logo
    The California Solar Initiative offers cash back for installing solar on your home or business.
    The state strives to create megawatts of new solar-generated electricity, moving it towards a clean energy future.
    And you can help!

    Join the thousands of home and business owners who have earned cash back rebates by installing solar energy systems through the California Solar Initiative. Customers earn cash rebates for every watt of solar energy installed on homes, businesses, farms, schools, and government and non-profit organizations.


    Connecticut Energy and
    Environmental Protection


    Connectivut Environental Symboldd>
    In charge of conserving, improving and protecting the state's natural resources and environment. Promotes the supply of clean, affordable and reliable energy.

     

     

    Database of State Incentives
    for Renewable and Efficiency


    Overview of Florida's state rebate program. Applies to Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Multi-Family Residential, Institutional. Also covers other states' similar incentive programs.

     


     

     

    State Agencies (continued)

     

    Florida Dept. of
    Environmental Protection


    The lead agency for environmental management and stewardship and is one of the more diverse agencies in state government, protecting air, water, and land. It is divided into three primary areas: Regulatory Programs, Land and Recreation and Planning and Management.

     

    Illinois Environmental
    Protection Agency


    Illinois EPA Logo
    This site covers all aspects of the environment in the state.
    Use the link to report violations of air and water quality rules and regulations.

     

    Maine Department of
    Environmental Protection


    Maine Dept of Env Protection Logo
    The DEP is responsible for protecting and restoring Maine's natural resources and enforcing the state's environmental laws.
    The agency can trace its roots back to the Sanitary Water Board that was created in 1941. The purpose of that Board was to study, investigate, recommend means of eliminating and preventing pollution in waters used for recreational purposes.
    The Board was renamed the Water Improvement Commission in 1951. In 1969, the Commission's title was abbreviated to the Environmental Improvement Commission.

     

    Massachusetts Department
    of Environmental Protection


    Massacheusetts EPA Logo
    The Department of Environmental Protection is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water, the safe management of toxins and hazards, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

     

    NJ Board of Public Utilities


    A regulatory authority with a statutory mandate to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in New Jersey.



    NJ Department of
    Environmental Protection

    NJ Dept Env. Protection Logo
    On America's first official "Earth Day" — April 22, 1970, the NJ DEP was born. It became the third state to consolidate its past programs into a unified major agency to administer aggressive environmental protection and conservation efforts.
    Since then it began a role to manage natural resources and solve pollution problems. In what started with about 1,400 employees in five divisions, NJDEP now has a staff of approximately 2,900 and is a leader in the country for its pollution prevention efforts and innovative environmental management strategies.

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    NY: NYSERDA


    NYSERDA’s earliest efforts focused solely on research and development with the goal of reducing the State’s petroleum consumption. Subsequent research and development projects focused on topics including environmental effects of energy consumption, development of renewable resources, and advancement of innovative technologies. Check the website for funding opportunities and other incentives to go green.

     

     

    Ohio EPA


    State of Ohio Logo
    Their mission is to protect the environment and public health by ensuring compliance with environmental laws and demonstrating leadership in environmental stewardship.


    Oregon Department
    of Environmental Quality


    Oregon Government Logo
    The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is a regulatory agency whose job is to protect the quality of Oregon's environment. Well, YEAH!

     

     

    PA Department of
    Environmental Protection


    PA Dept of Env Protection Logo
    Responsible for administering Pennsylvania's environmental laws and regulations. They work to reduce air pollution, insure water quality, and more.

     

    Sarasota County (Fla.) Government

    Roadmap to Sustainability.


    Sarasota County government is committed to environmental, cultural and economic sustainability. This means:
      Replenish the resources we use or consume.
      Ensuring our values guide us into the future.
      Investing in our community to ensure future prosperity.
    To achieve the balance necessary for a sustainable community, our programs and services must be economically viable, environmentally sound and socially equitable.

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