April 19, 2019

NYC's Big Buildings Face Big Emissions Cuts

New York City has set an ambitious new standard for combating greenhouse gas emissions, approving a package of climate policies designed to slash energy use in big buildings, the top emitters in the nation's biggest city. Supporters it represents one of the largest emissions cuts adopted by any city worldwide and offer a template others can follow.

Climate Change: The Next Great Risk to Municipal Bonds Is Already Here

An increasing number of states and local governments are including climate change in their list of risks investors should consider when buying bonds. BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager, says that within a decade, more than 15 percent of debt in one leading municipal bond index will come from regions at risk of losses from climate change.

New Jersey Regulators Approve $300 Million Nuclear Bailout

New Jersey utility regulators have voted to award the state's largest utility subsidies worth up to $300 million per year for three years to keep the state's three remaining nuclear reactors operating. This is follows the legislature's approval last year of hotly contested measures that allowed for the subsidies as part of a package that also increased requirements for renewable energy.

April 18, 2019

Rick Perry Plans His Exit as Trump’s Energy Secretary, Sources Say

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to leave the Trump administration and working on the terms and timing of his departure, according to two people familiar with the plans. Perry has been preparing his top deputy, Dan Brouillette, for the transition, sources said. An Energy Department spokeswoman rejected the idea that Perry would be leaving any time soon.

Montana House Unexpectedly Rejects Bill to Save Colstrip Coal Plant

Montana lawmakers rejected legislation that would have allowed a utility to purchase more energy from the coal-fired Colstrip plant in an effort to save the struggling plant. Lawmakers "finally figured out that this bill was toxic. It was anti-consumer and anti-constituent. It was going to raise utility bills," said Anne Hedges of Montana Environmental Information Center.

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change

After the 2011 nuclear plant meltdown in Japan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission directed operators of U.S. nuclear power plants to evaluate their flood risk using the latest weather modeling technology and accounting for climate change. The process revealed gaps, and NRC's new leadership under the Trump administration hasn't done much to address them.

April 17, 2019

Former Interior Secretary Zinke Hired by Mining Company

Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has a new job with a gold-mining firm that's pursuing project approvals involving the federal agency that Zinke left fewer than four months ago. Zinke says it isn't lobbying, but U.S. Gold's CEO cited Zinke's "excellent relationship" with the Bureau of Land Management and Interior in explaining his hiring.

Colorado Governor Signs Major Overhaul of Oil and Gas Rules

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a major overhaul of state oil and gas rules, turning the focus from encouraging production to making public safety and the environment top priorities. The law also gives local governments new authority to restrict the location of wells, which could limit or prohibit drilling in some areas near homes and schools.

April 16, 2019

Inside Top EPA Officials' Secret Polluter Meetings

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and high-ranking aides held several previously unreported meetings with a Missouri-based electric utility company accused of violating the Clean Air Act, agency documents show. One meeting was redacted; another was unlisted, E&E reports.

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