Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) is looking for other ways to push through licensing reform. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has a new rule proposal for federal building emissions, and the first offshore wind lease sale on the West Coast is winding down.
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Allowing the NDAA to be rescinded, Manchin continues
Sen. Joe Manchin’s (DW.Va.) push to authorize reform was dropped from a major defense spending bill Tuesday night, but on Wednesday the senator announced a new plan.
The published text of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual military funding bill, did not include Manchin’s provisions after left and right opposition to his policies aimed at speeding up the country’s energy approval process.
While the senator slammed the move in a statement late Tuesday, Wednesday his office said it would try to pursue the policies as an amendment.
- “The Senate must vote to amend the NDAA to ensure that the comprehensive, bipartisan licensing reform that our country desperately needs is included,” Manchin said in a statement.
- His office also released the text of what that amendment would look like, including some changes from his previous proposal that appear aimed at garnering GOP support.
But that may not be enough to rally skeptical Republicans: “It’s a failure for me, it’s a failure for our conference,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told The Hill.
Barrasso was particularly concerned about a policy to give federal regulators the power to direct the construction of power lines.
- The amendment reduces this provision by giving states one year to block a proposed transmission project.
- But, Barrasso said that was not enough, saying the provision should be removed altogether.
Some of the other changes:
- Republicans have previously complained that the package’s timelines for environmental reviews weren’t strong enough. The most recent version replaces language that called on agencies to consider major projects for an average of two years, instead setting a two-year deadline for such projects.
- It also gives companies the right to seek a court order requiring agencies that have missed deadlines to make a decision, and requires courts to expedite such requests.
Read more about the NDAA reform authorization exclusion here and read more about Manchin’s latest ruling here.
Energy rule cuts emissions from government buildings by 90%
A new rule proposed by the Biden administration would reduce emissions from new federal buildings by 90% from 2003 levels over the next two years.
Under the proposed rule, new or renovated federal buildings would be required to reduce emissions from the 2003 baseline by 90% starting in 2025. Starting in 2030, the rule would make new buildings and major renovations completely carbon neutral, according to the Department of Energy. .
- “Removing pollution from our buildings and embracing clean electricity are among the most cost-effective and forward-looking solutions we have to combat climate change,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in a press release.
- “For the first time ever, the DOE is setting a firm timeline to reduce the government’s carbon footprint at new and existing federal facilities, ensuring the Biden-Harris administration leads by example in its efforts to meet ambitious climate goals. from the country.”
About a quarter of federal emissions come from burning fossil fuels in government buildings. The proposed rule is estimated to reduce emissions from federal buildings by approximately 1.86 million metric tons and 22.8 thousand tons of methane emissions over the next three decades.
Not everyone is happy: “Eliminating natural gas in federal buildings is an impractical, unscientific and expensive idea that will have no environmental benefit. In reality, the demand for electricity powered by natural gas will only increase and the costs will be borne by every ratepayer,” American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert said in a statement. .
Learn more about the proposed rule here.
First West Coast Offshore Wind Turbine Sale Surpasses $750 Million
The first auction for wind development off the country’s Pacific coast concluded on Wednesday, bringing in a total of $757.1 million after two days of fierce bidding.
- The auction, which was the third major offshore lease sale this year, will see five companies develop around 4.6 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, enough to power more than 1.5 million homes, according to the Ministry of Energy. Interior.
- It is also a significant leap forward in President Biden’s efforts to promote wind energy. Biden had set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
“The Biden-Harris administration believes that to tackle the climate crisis head-on, we must spark a new era of clean, reliable energy that serves every American home,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said. in a press release.
The auction was also the first sale in the United States to support the development of commercial-scale floating offshore wind, which is a relatively new technology.
Because waters on the west coast deepen much faster than those on the east coast, using floating infrastructure is more practical than attaching foundations to the seabed, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Learn more about The Hill’s Sharon Udasin.
WHAT WE READ
- Climate haters push Great Reset conspiracy theory (E&E News)
- Vanguard leaves the Net-Zero group, marking the biggest defection to date (Bloomberg)
- The UN COP15 conference in Montreal will be a great moment for nature (Vox)
- Effects of climate change hit farmers in US, rice, citrus and almond crops (USA Today)
🤔 Lighter click: Hair-d to argue with that.
That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.
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