The government's plans are expected to include a broad range of issues such as extending grants for electric car buyers, expanding a network of charging stations, raising road taxes for polluting vehicles, improving building energy efficiency, raising a green surcharge on air travel and a possible carbon tax.
This tax would come into effect from the 4th of November, and would apply to all stationary installations that are currently subject to the EU ETS.
If the UK were to leave the EU without a deal, the country will also not be subject to the 28-member European Union's Emissions Trade System (EU ETS) which is key to the EU and its member nations meeting emission reduction obligations.
While UK businesses currently pay a carbon tax rate of £26 under the EU ETS, a "No Deal Brexit" carbon tax would result in a £10 cut in the carbon tax rate and would be profitable for UK industries. (Source: Herald Media, 10 Sept., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS, Carbon Tax, Carbon Emissions,
Social Justice Ireland notes these subsidies effectively cancel out 80 pct of all tax revenues collected through environmental taxes -- the carbon tax -- and thus undermine any positive impact environmental taxes might have.
The group classed fuel allowances for low income households as a potentially damaging subsidy because they could result in increased greenhouse gas emissions through the unnecessary use of fossil fuels. The group suggests the subsidies be spent on fuel allowances for low income households to refurbish properties through improved energy efficiency. The group is also opposed to indirect subsidies -- including tax revenues forgone by the imposition of lower excise duties on diesel, kerosene, gas oil, aviation fuel, so-called green diesel and other fuel oil -- and most farm related subsidies as being potentially environmentally damaging.
Also included in the €4 billion targeted by Social Justice Ireland are direct government subsidies such as the transfer of €115 million from electricity consumers through a PSO levy to subsidize the burning of peat for electricity to maintain jobs in the midlands.
(Source: Social Justice Ireland, RTE.ie Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster, 3 Sept., 2019) Contact: Social Justice Ireland, +353 1 213 0724, www.socialjustice.ie
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,
The province, Canada's most populous, argues that Ontario's Court of Appeal was wrong to find the carbon price was "constitutional and within the federal government's right to impose."
Federal lawyers had argued that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act -- under which the carbon tax is imposed -- was a legitimate response to potentially catastrophic climate change.
(Source: Various Media, Canadian Press, 28 Aug., 2019) Contact: Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, www.ontario.ca/page/premier
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Carbon Tax, Canada Carbon Tax, Doug Ford,
The measure, which includes the creation of an Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency, would apply to commercial and industrial buildings in Denver. The Nov. 5 vote may, however be postponed until June 1, 2020 in light possible amendments to consider funding and other issues.
The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency would, under the agreement, be functional by next July 1, 2020 and will combine employees from the existing Office of Sustainability and Department of Public Health and Environment. It would report to the mayor.
(Source: The Denver Channel, 26 Aug., 2019)
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According to the study, the federal carbon tax, which is set to reach $50 per tonne in 2022, will increase the cost of energy and make some Canadian businesses less competitive compared to firms in other countries including the U.S..
The study identifies petroleum and coal-product manufacturing sector (which will see costs increase 24.8 per cent due to the federal carbon tax), agriculture chemical manufacturing (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), basic chemical manufacturing, cement and concrete product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing as the most vulnerable to waning competitiveness and carbon leakage.
Access the report
(Source: Fraser Institute, PR, Aug., 2019)
Contact: Fraser Institute, Elmira Aliakbari, Dir. of Natural Resource Studies, (514) 281-9550, www.fraserinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Fraser Institute, Carbon Emissions, CO2, Carbon Leakage,
Under the scheme, cement producers and traders will be charged US$0.09/t of clinker, equivalent to US1.35/t of CO2. The tax is lower than the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility pledge to pay for emission reduction efforts in North Central Region of US$5/t of CO2. The provinces running the tariff are expected to generate around US$7.4 million per year.
(Source: Vietnam News Agency Bulletin, Global Cement News, 4 Aug., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Cement, Carbon Tax,
The 61 pct was higher in Quebec at 76.8 per cent, 67.3 pct in Atlantic Canada and 62 pct in British Columbia. In oil-soaked Alberta only 36.5 pct agreed.
roughly 47 pct of respondents said a carbon tax was not helpful to the economy and 85 pct agreed that private companies should have to pay to pollute.
Also, just under 68 pct of respondents agreed there is a "collective moral duty to future generations to not destroy the environment further, even if it means paying more taxes in the short term." (Source: iPolitics, 30 July, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,
The act would rebate about 70 pct of its revenue to families with under $130,000 per year income and use the remainder for energy infrastructure, job retraining for fossil fuel workers, and low-carbon energy R&D.
The bill would cut U.S. carbon emissions 55 pct by 2030 and 100 pct by 2050 compared to 2017 levels. (Source: Various Media, Reuters, Japan Times, 25 July, 2019)
Contact: Senator Dianne Feinstein,
www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me; Senator Ghris Coons, www.coons.senate.gov/contact
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax, U.S.Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Carbon Emissions,
According to the International Monetary Fund, carbon tax is the best way to cut greenhouse gas emissions as it allows for a reduction in energy consumption.
(Source: Southern Courier, 18 July, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax, GHG Emissions, CO2, South Africa Carbon Tax,
In addition to the existing carbon tax regime, the Liberal government aims to make the heating and transportation fuel supply cleaner to reduce carbon emissions and help Canada meet targets set under the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to a government backgrounder, fossil fuel suppliers will be able to meet the performance standard by "taking action themselves" to make fuels cleaner -- through improvements to the refining process, for example, or by purchasing credits from low-carbon-intensity fuel producers and other credit generators.
(Source: CBC News, Various Media, 8 July, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Vehicle Emissions, Clean Fuel Standard, Paris Climate Agreement, Clean Fuel,
The mayors also voted in support of a resolution endorsing the idea of a Green New Deal, called for Congress to adopt "a comprehensive national response" to climate change, The mayors also voted to oppose President Donald Trump's plan to freeze vehicle fuel economy standards, and to endorse individual cities' right to sue over climate change damages and protect taxpayers from related mitigation and adaptation costs. The mayors also oppose any action by Congress or in state legislatures "to limit or eliminate cities' access to the courts by overriding existing laws or in any way giving fossil fuel companies immunity from lawsuits over climate change-related costs and damages."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors includes the leaders of about 1,400 cities with populations greater than 30,000. about 1,400 cities.
(Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors, Inside Climate News, 2 July, 2019) Contact: U.S. Conference of Mayors, www.usmayors.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News U.S. Conference of Mayors, Climate Change, Green New Deal,
The carbon tax is expected to start at €30 ($34) per ton of carbon emissions in 2021 and rise as high as €150 ($170) per ton in 2030, according to the government release.
The Netherlands is aiming to generate 70 pct of its energy from by 2030 and to become 100 pct carbon neutral by 2050. (Source: Netherlands Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Yahoo Finance, Various Media, 28 June, 2019) Contact: Netherlands Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, +31 70 379 89 11,
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax, Carbon Emissions,
The commercial air transport industry is targeting a cap of CO2 emissions through carbon neutral growth from 2020 and aims
to halve emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 levels, ensure the aviation industry's compatibility with the Paris climate agreement goals. (Source: International Air Transport Association, Biofuels Int'l, 24 June, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Biofuel news, Carbon Tax news, news,
"We oppose any carbon tax. A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans' effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives", the letter claimed.
The letter was reportedly a reaction to mainstream Republican Sen. Mitt Romney's comment on possibly co-sponsoring a $15 per ton carbon tax bill with Delaware Democrat Cris Coons.
If Romney were to co-sponsor carbon tax legislation, he would likely be the only Republican senator openly supporting it.
(Source: Goldwater Institute, The Hayride, 15 June, 2019) Contact: Goldwater Institute, 602-462-5000, www.goldwaterinstitute.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
In a statement the Manitoba Minister of Sustainable Dev elopement said; "We've removed the carbon-pricing (tax) element from our plan and are moving forward with getting real emissions reductions. (There are) several more initiatives to come that will help us transition to a low-carbon future without imposing a tax on Manitobans."<
the federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Manitoba's then proposed carbon tax was insufficient an demanded the province match the federal carbon tax of $20 a tonne rising to $50 per ton by 2022. To date,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick have challenged the federal carbon tax plan.
(Source: Manitoba Ministry of Sustainable Development, CBC, Canadian Press, 10 June, 2019) Contact:
Manitoba Sustainable Development, Hon. Rochelle Squires, Minister, (204) 945-6784, www.gov.mb.ca/sd
More Low-Carbon Energy News Manitoba Carbon Tax, Canada Carbon Tax, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change,
The province had stopped charging the tax last week, although it is still imposed on large CO2 emitters.
Alberta's action will automatically trigger a Canadian liberal government imposed carbon tax of
C$20 ($14.91) per ton, increasing by C$10 ($7.46) per year to a high of C$50 ($37.28) per ton in 2022.
(Source: CBC News, Kallanish, Various Cdn. Media, 6 June, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax, Canada Carbon Tax,
It's expected the rebates will be worth $44 million this year and the maximum rebate for any individual business will be $20,000.
A separate program will allow businesses to apply to get rebates for energy efficiency retrofits. That program, which will be about $106 million this year, will be for projects that cost up to $1 million.
The funds come from the revenues Canada is collecting from the $20-a-tonne carbon price imposed April 1, 2019. (Source:Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Press, 30 May, 2019) Contact: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html
More Low-Carbon Energy News Catherine McKenna, Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency Rebates,
A separate program will allow businesses to apply for rebates for energy efficiency retrofits. That program, which will be about $106 million this year, will be for projects that cost up to $1 million. It's expected the rebates will be worth $44 million this year and the maximum rebate for any individual business will be $20,000.
The funds come from the revenues Canada is collecting from the $20 per-tonne carbon price imposed April 1, 2019. (Source: Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Press, 30 May, 2019) Contact: The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canada Minister of Environment and Climate Change, www.facebook.com/McKenna.Ottawa
More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency Rebate, Energy Efficiency, Catherine McKenna,
Beginning June 1, 2019 to December 2022, the carbon tax rate will be 120 rand ($8.34) per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
Allowable tax breaks will reduce the effective rate to between 6 rand and 48 rand per tonne of CO2, according to the National Treasury release. (Source: South African National Treasury,Citizen, Various Media, 26 May, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
CEO Climate Dialogue is aiming for economy-wide carbon emission reductions of 80 pct or more by 2050, with aggressive near- and mid-term emission reductions commensurate with that goal.
The group also "aims to build bipartisan support for climate policies that will increase regulatory and business certainty, reduce climate risk, and spur investment and innovation needed to meet science-based emissions reduction targets." BP, Shell, BG&E, DTE Energy, Exelon and other energy majors are among the group's membership.
(Source: Dominion Energy, Bacon's Rebellion, Blog, 16 May, 2019) Contact: Dominion Energy, Thomas F. Farrell, CEO, Keith Windle, VP Business Development, www.dominionenergy.com; CEO Climate Dialogue, http://business.edf.org/blog/tag/ceo-climate-dialogue
More Low-Carbon Energy News Dominion Energy, Carbon Tax, CEO Climate Dialogue,
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe (C), along with the province of Ontario and New Brusnwick, had challenged the Trudeau government's carbon tax in Canada's top court Friday, after a lower court ruled it is constitutional.
Apparently still itching for a fight, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe immediately vowed to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada. Oil-soaked Alberta's newly-elected Premier Jason Kenney vowed to join Moe and (Conservative) Ontario Premier Doug Ford in opposition to the fed's imposed carbon tax. (Source; CBC, National Observer, Various Media, 3 May, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,
Merkel's government is under pressure to complete measures and legislation that will ensure greenhouse gas reductions of 55 pct by 2030, so as to avoid target failure and costly payments for emission allocations under the EU effort sharing regulation. To that end, the government is exploring the introduction of a CO2 tax. (Source: Various Media, Clean Energy Wire, 11 April, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
According to the organization's website, The founding Members of the Climate Leadership Council believe that America needs a consensus climate solution that bridges partisan divides, strengthens our economy and protects our shared environment."
The Council's carbon dividends solution embodies the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. It also offers an equitable, popular and politically-viable way forward, paving the way for a much-needed bipartisan climate breakthrough. The Council's carbon dividends program is based on four interdependent pillars:
Alongside a growing carbon tax, the Climate Leadership Council wants to rollback carbon regulations that are no longer necessary and pay these carbon taxes back to citizens in the form of dividends. The group also plans to push for rising carbon taxes in replacement of other climate legislation while protecting its members from historic climate damage payments, according to its website.
Microsoft recently committed to a $15 per ton internal carbon tax and announced that its campus will soon be run with 100 pct carbon-free electricity. It also ramped up its data center plans to run on 70 pct renewable by 2023. (Source: Microsoft, Climate Leadership Council, WinBuzzer, 2 May, 2019) Contact: Climate Leadership Council, www.clcouncil.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Leadership Council, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Tax,
O'Rourke's proposal calls for halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050 through a program of: executive action; a $5 trillion over 10 years investment in a clean energy transition; and preparing vulnerable communities for the impacts of climate change.
Although the plan is focused on climate and energy -- cutting emissions and creating alternatives -- approximately $3.5 trillion is allocated through tax incentives, loans, and other financing mechanisms for infrastructure, research, resilience, and clean energy deployment. The outlay would be funded by "structural changes to the tax code" that end tax breaks to fossil fuel companies and raise rates on corporations and top earners. Of the remaing $1.5 trillion, $1.2 trillion would go to grants for sustainable housing, transportation, public health, farming, and start-ups.
As opposed to a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, O'Rourke is advocating a legally-binding net-zero emissions standard by 2050. The plan doesn't rule out pricing carbon but instead focuses on setting definitive goal posts.
If elected, O'Rourke noted will re-enter the Paris climate agreement, implement rules to cut methane and other "super-potent" GHG emissions, tighten clean air rules, ramp up appliance efficiency standards, demand clean energy procurement from federal contractors, and end new fossil fuel leases on public lands. (Source: Vox, Various Media, 30 April, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Tax, Methane, Clean Air,
Additionally, Microsoft plans to nearly double its 2012 "internal carbon tax" to $15 per metric ton as part of the effort. The "internal carbon tax" is based on projected carbon emissions from each part of the company -- everything from carbon use in buildings to transportation.
The tax produces about $30 million annually for a fund Microsoft uses to invest in energy improvements.
The company also plans to join the Climate Leadership Council and advocate for carbon pricing nationwide as part of the new sustainability push.
(Source: Microsoft, GeekWire, 16 April, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Microsoft, Renewable Energy,
The funds from this higher fee will both maintain Microsoft's carbon neutrality and help the company take a tech-first approach that will put sustainability at the core of every part of the company's business and technology to work for sustainable outcomes and to cut
the company's operational carbon footprint.
(Source: Microsoft Blog, Brad Smith, Pres., 15 April, 2019)Contact: Microsoft Corporate Offices, www.headquartersinfo.com/microsoft-headquarters-information
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Fee, Carbon Tax, Microsoft,
Washington is the fourth state to pursue carbon-free electricity. California, Hawaii and New Mexico have already passed similar plans, while Nevada and New York are considering similar bills.
Washington, under Dem, Governor Jay Inslee's direction, is pursuing specific measures focused on slashing emissions from specific sectors rather then imposing a an all encompassing carbon tax to meet its carbon reduction goals. Inslee, a recently announced 2020 Presidential hopeful, has pushed the state's power companies to obtain 80 pct of their energy from carbon-free sources by 2030 and to offset emissions for the remaining 20 pct with renewable energy credits. Come 2045, all retail electricity sales must come from carbon-free sources.
State legislation calls for a 25 pct emissions reduction of 1990 levels by 2035, and 50 pct by 2050. (Source: Various Media, 16 April, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,
Merkel's government is under pressure to complete measures and legislation that will ensure greenhouse gas reductions of 55 pct by 2030, so as to avoid target failure and costly payments for emission allocations under the EU effort sharing regulation. To that end, the government is exploring the introduction of a CO2 tax.
(Source: Various Media, Clean Energy Wire, 11 April, 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
The federal levy, which starts at $20 (US$15) per tonne of pollution and rises incrementally to $50 per ton, is expected to add about 4.5 cents to the price of a liter of gasoline, as well as drive up drive up other energy related costs. To ease the pain on consumers, the feds pledged to refund most of the carbon tax cash directly to taxpayers.
Canada's remaining six provinces are exempt from the federal tax having imposed their own carbon tax or cap-and-trade system to help Canada meet its Paris Agreement target of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 pct from 2005 levels by 2030. (Source: Canada Ministry of the Environment, CBC, Various Media, 1 April, 2019)Contact: Canada Ministry of the Environment, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html
More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Carbon Tax,
The plan was rolled out by the Canadian Government today, Monday, April 1. In the initial study, 28 pct opposed the pricing plan and 13 pct were undecided.
But when told about the rebate aspect of the carbon tax program, the number of Ontarians in the GTHA who actually support the plan rose to an unexpected 70 pct majority. (Source: Univ. of Toronto, Narcity, 29 Mar., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Carbon Tax, Canada Carbon Tax,
"Many people working on this subject believe the world needs a carbon tax on dirty fuels -- coal and oil -- to solve the problem. However, the problem with a carbon tax is that it has so far been impossible to impose without governments falling. The Australian government tried to bring one in and they were kicked out -- the new government cancelled it. In November 2018, the state of Washington voted against a carbon tax for the second time in two years.
"Carbon taxes are of course well-intentioned. But others are skeptical that they will raise enough resources to tackle the problem, or if the money will actually even be spent on the issue. So aside from being unpopular with the companies, carbon taxes are also often unpopular with the public and unpopular with governments. There are really no winners -- except ultimately the globe and the environment.
"So I would like to propose the following: a Clean Energy Dividend. Every company in the world should accept a Clean Energy Dividend to be imposed on the fossil fuel they use and the carbon emissions they cause. The dividend could be the equivalent percentage that a carbon tax would have been, and based on cutting pollution at the rate the climate science shows is necessary. However, unlike a carbon tax, that money wouldn't disappear into government coffers, but would be used specifically to be invested in generating clean energy through wind farms and solar panels, as well as the development of more low carbon fuels and other breakthrough technologies. The companies, through those investments, can get that money back, plus dividends (it would be wise to have some independent governance to make absolutely certain that all companies comply with this remit.)
"The good news about this approach is that:
"This is a win-win all-round. It's a win for companies, a win for the people who work in them, a win for the public, a win for creating new jobs, win for governments, and most importantly of all a win for our beautiful globe.
Today I am just throwing this open to debate and would love feedback. We will work hard with The B Team, The Elders, The Rocky Mountain Institute and others to get something along these lines implemented as soon as possible." (Source: The Virgin Foundation, Mar., 2019) Contact: The Virgin Foundation, Sir Richard Branson, www.virgin.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change, Carbon Tax, Richard Branson,
The Minister noted that the government expects to provide at least $1.46 billion over five years to small and medium-sized businesses, including $155 million in the fiscal year starting April 1. Hospitals, municipalities and other community organizations will share at least $727 million over five years, starting with $73 million in 2019-2020 fiscal years.(Source: City News, Various Media, Canadian Press, Mar., 2019)
Contact: Office of Canadian Environment Minister, Hon. Catherine McKenna, www.canada.ca/en/government/ministers/catherine-mckenna.htm
More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency Rebate, Canada Carbon Tax,
The bill's supporters claim it is a market-based solution that will drive down carbon pollution and reduce America's carbon emissions by 40 pct or more within 12 years,
According to the Centre Daily Times on Feb. 1, 2019, "Pennsylvania is the only major natural gas state that does not tax the product."
(Source: Center Daily Times, 2 Mar., 2019)
Contact: Center Daily Times, www.centredaily.com
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
In Quebec, energy and industry produce a relatively small percentage of the province's overall emissions due primarily to the province's reliance on carbon-free hydroelectricity.
The transport sector is responsible for more than 40 per cent of the province's carbon dioxide emissions, according to the most recent figures available.
(Source: CBC, Various Media, 28 Feb., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Quebec Carbon Market, Carbon Tax, Carbon Market, Western Climate Initiative ,
The economists are specifically supporting the Baker-Schulz plan authored by former Republican U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz in 2017. The statement comprises four main pillars: gradually increasing a carbon fee; returning all proceeds from the fee to Americans via dividends; instituting border carbon adjustments; and eliminating regulations that are no longer necessary upon the fee's enactment.
The Economists' Carbon Dividends Plan aims to be a first step in solving climate change through a carbon tax based on basic economic principles.
(Source: Climate Leadership Council, Harvard Crimson, 25 Feb., 2019) Contact: Harvard Climate Leadership Council, www.clcouncil.org; Tackling Climate Change, Harvard University,
www.harvard.edu/tackling-climate-change; Climate Leadership Council, www.clcouncil.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change, Carbon Tax, Climate Leadership Council,
According to the Center for Biological Diversity's senior council Bill Snape, " Senator Feinstein's climate resolution is outmoded and cynical politics at its worst. It's more of the same half-measures and loopholes for polluting industries that have failed us for more than three decades. Feinstein can't hide behind this anemic proposal to avoid supporting the real Green New Deal. She needs to get with it or get out of the way," Snape added.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. (Source: Center for Biological Diversity, PR, 25 Feb., 2019) Contact: Center for Biological Diversity, Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351, email@example.com, www.biologicaldiversity.org; Sen, Dianne Feinstein, (415) 393-0707,www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (929) 388-6141, https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018
Editor's Note: The New Republic commented on Sen. Feinstein's encounter with school children as follows:
"The children pleaded with Feinstein to be 'brave' and to think about their future. "We're the ones who are going to be impacted," one girl pleaded. The 85-year-old (Sen. Feinstein) insisted she understood, citing her seven grandchildren, but then dashed the schoolchildren's hopes. "I've been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century." she said, "and I know what can pass and I know what can't pass." Later, Feinstein put out a statement calling climate change one of her top priorities and released a draft resolution of her alternative to the Green New Deal."
The Green New Deal basically sets goals for measures to cut carbon emissions from electric power generation to transportation to agriculture. The bill calls for a "10-year national mobilizations" toward accomplishing a series of goals, including "meeting 100 pct of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources." The ultimate goal is to stop using fossil fuels entirely, as well as to transition away from nuclear energy.
"Still, lawmakers from coal-producing states and members of the current presidential administration have long attempted to justify their defense of coal on the grounds that it's more than a fossil fuel -- it's a way of life. This has been a reasonably effective tactic, up to a point. If you're trying to neutralize the arguments of those who want to see coal phased out of the U.S. energy diet, the best way to do so is to play the culture card: Point to all the people who rely on the coal industry for a regular paycheck and appeal to their sense of history and heritage.
"But this last line of defense -- 'Renewables may be all the rage in San Francisco or Seattle or wherever, but where I come from, the people still love coal and always will' -- may not be effective for much longer.
Two recently released reports show how public sentiment regarding coal and renewables has shifted dramatically in recent years. One of them looks at attitudes at the national level; the other explores them in the historically coal-friendly state of Ohio. Both spell trouble for the future of an industry that's already, by nearly all accounts, on its last legs.
"The University of Michigan's National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) is a biannual survey of public opinion surrounding issues of climate and energy policy, providing perhaps the best snapshot we could ever hope for in regard to how Americans stand on subjects like coal, renewables, climate science, geoengineering, a carbon tax, and a host of other climate-related topics. Late last year, to commemorate its 10th anniversary of publication, NSEE released a trove of reports that illustrate just how much public opinion has changed on these matters over the past decade.
"One of them in particular should strike fear into the hearts of the coal industry's dead-enders and spark joy in the hearts of the rest of us. It shows that between 2016 and 2017, the number of Americans who strongly support a coal phaseout increased 11 percentage points, from 18 pct to 29 pct. In that same one-year period, the number of Americans who oppose a phaseout fell by the same amount. Remarkably, in states with active coal mines, strong support for a phaseout rose even more: by 13 points. Just as remarkably, this trend seemed to cut across political lines, rising among Democrats, independents, and Republicans. Among the last group, strong support for a phaseout actually increased by 5 percentage points, whereas the number of Republicans who strongly oppose it fell by 14 points.
"Another NSEE report provides a perfect complement. As more Americans announce their willingness to say goodbye to coal, they're also saying hello to the opportunity presented by renewables. This report reveals that 88 pct of Americans are in favor of increasing the use of solar energy in their state, and 82 pct feel the same about wind energy. Here, too, there's real bipartisan buy-in, with 79 pct of Republicans getting behind solar and 72 pct getting behind wind. What's more, the numbers show that a sizable majority of Republican, Democratic, and independent respondents support requiring and/or subsidizing renewable energy production at the state level. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans surveyed -- 64 pct -- said they like the idea of a state renewable energy requirement; even more amazingly, 65 pct of them said they have no problem with boosting the nascent renewables sector through subsidies.
"But an even more eye-opening poll is making news too. An organization with a somewhat eyebrow-raising name, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, released the results of a survey last week suggesting that support for renewables is no longer a politically exploitable issue. In a survey of 400 Ohioans who self-identify as conservative, two-thirds of respondents said they believe their state needs to diversify its energy portfolio by having at least half of its energy come from renewable sources. Nearly the same percentage of respondents said they were more likely to support a politician who voted for or otherwise expressed support for renewable energy or energy efficiency legislation. "Ohio, just as a reminder, ranks 11th in coal production among U.S. states, and its coal industry supports about 33,000 jobs. It also ranks fourth among states in coal consumption.
"For too long, it's been too easy for lawmakers and administration officials to claim that by kowtowing to the coal industry's wishes, they were simply doing right by voters. It's getting harder. The gap between the interests of average Americans and the interests of coal-company executives is getting wider every day. And solar and wind are wedging their way in. (Source: NRDC, 22 Feb., 2019) Contact: NRDC,
Jeff Turrentine www.nrdc.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy, Coal, NRDC,
The Carbon Tax Bill follows the "polluter-pays" principle and will ensure that the cost of damage caused by greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are included in the price of high carbon-emitting goods and services. Under the bill, a number of tax-free allowances will apply during the first phase and will be capped at 95 pct. An initial headline tax rate of 120 Rands (1 Rand = $0.71 US) per tonne CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and various tax-free allowances will thus result in an effective tax rate that will vary between R6 and R48 per tonne of CO2e.
South Africa's emissions are expected to peak between 2020 and 2025, plateau between 2025 and 2035, and decline thereafter.(Source: BusinessLive, BusinessDay, 19 Feb., 2019)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,
According to the attached Sierra Club BC report, climate-warming carbon emissions released from B.C. forests in both 2017 and 2018 were more than three times higher than emissions from all other sources combined in 2016 when the province pegged its carbon footprint from non-forestry sources at 61.3 million tpy.
The report notes that forests can act as either a "carbon sink" that absorbs excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, or a source of carbon emissions if it releases more carbon than it absorbs, as occasioned by the recent major forest fires.
The Sierra Club is calling on the province to produce an annual report measuring emissions from forests and to take steps to reduce forest carbon emissions, including banning slash burning, protecting old-growth forests and ramping up B.C.'s FireSmart program, which outlines best practices for reducing wildfire risk to properties in vulnerable communities.
In January, the B.C. government introduced the Clean B.C. plan to cut GHG emissions by 40 pct by 2030, 60 pct by 2040 and 80 pct by 2050. The plan redirects revenue from the provincial carbon tax into incentives like rebates for the province's biggest industries to move to cleaner operations.
Download the Sierra Club Hidden, Ignored and Growing:B.C.'s Forest Carbon Emissions report HERE.
(Source: Sierra Club BC, CBC, Feb., 2019) Contact: Sierra Club BC, (250) 386-5255, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sierraclub.bc.ca
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The bill under consideration targets carbon emissions of 25,000 tons or more, meaning that small industrial polluters would avoid the tax. There are 22 major polluters in the state that would fall under the carbon tax. The businesses range from the Malteurop North America malting facility in Great Falls to the Colstrip Power Plant, tops the list at 14.3 million tpy of CO2, according to EPA pollution data. All told, 21 businesses subject to the tax produce 20.8 million tpy of CO2. The three biggest polluters after Colstrip are in the Phillips 66 refinery, Yellowstone Energy Limited Partners, CHS refinery and ExxonMobil refinery, all in the Billings area.
If mandated, the carbon tax is expected to add
about $210 million a year to the state's coffers, $21 million of which would be used to help affected communities transition away from fossil fuel-based economies.
(Source: Various Media, Billings Gazette, 7 Feb., 2019)
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The Fund was introduced by the Tony Abbott government in 2014 after it abolished the previous Labor government's carbon tax. Abbott is perhaps best remembered for his comment "climate change is a load of CRAP." The $2.55 billion Fund pays businesses, landowners and others to reduce carbon emissions or capture and store carbon that already exists in the atmosphere.
About half the carbon abatement pledged under the fund -- or 95 million tonnes -- relates to farming projects that use one of two native revegetation method that are presently being examined by a government-appointed committee. has been examining the performance of the revegetation methods. In a joint submission to the committee, CSIRO and the NSW Department of Primary Industries question whether all emission reduction claimed under the methods were genuine and whether existing revegetation successes are attributable to funded projects or to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations or the changing climate.
The agencies also noted "uncertainty" in the carbon accounting model used to measure abatement under the two methods, which also lacked "underpinning research" to support its predictions.
Under the scheme, estimates of abatement should be conservative. However the CSIRO and the department expressed "particular concern" over a reliance on "subjective assessments by project proponents" of factors such as the effect of grazing on carbon stocks.
(Source: CSIRO, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Feb., 2019)
Contact: CSIRO, 1300 363 400,
+61 3 9545 2176, email@example.com, www.csiro.au
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The bill calls for all fees collected from the carbon tax would be used to help reduce Maine State power consumer electric bills.
Rep. Rykerson claims his bill already has over 70 cosponsors. (Source: Rep. Deane Rykerson,WABI News, 22 Jan., 2019) Contact: Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery), www.facebook.com/RYKERSONFORKITTERY
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The freshman Ontario Premier, not unlike the populist US president Donald Trump, ran a campaign and was elected on promises. Premier Ford promised to cut the price of beer to $1.00 a can and to scrap the preceding Liberal govenment's carbon tax, cap-and-trade system. Contact: Office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, www.ontario.ca/page/premier
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