Single wind turbine, a coal burning power plant with pollution and electricity pylons in the background.

Outsmarting Climate Change: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Greenhouse Gas Regulation

For nearly a decade, there has been a trend of decreasing industry greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions … that is, until now. According to the World Meteorological Organization, atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—all reached new record highs in 2021. In addition, these emissions have increased almost an additional 1% in the United States for 2022. Although the reason for this increase is not entirely clear, it is likely the result of both biological and human-induced processes, including a …

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What to Expect at The Upcoming COP27 U.N. Climate Conference

Due to increasing droughts, wildfires, flooding, and more severe storms, most of the scientific community and political leaders around the world agree that climate change is a real and significant threat facing this planet requiring more action to be taken sooner rather than later to address.

Those that share this assessment also agree that it cannot be left up to just one nation to stifle further climate change. In an effort to foster international cooperation, every year since 1995, a large-scale global event takes place …

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New Law Provides Clean Energy Tax Credit Bonanza

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that President Biden signed into law on August 16 ran, all told, about 725 pages. One of the more complex and—for businesses—interesting portions of this law involves its restructuring and expanding of clean-energy tax credits, which may provide opportunities for companies operating in and around the clean-energy area. 

The IRA increased the tax credits’ appeal by extending them at full value for 10 years; the credits only decline once power-sector carbon emissions fall to 75% of today’s levels. It also expanded the scope of these …

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What would the declaration of a “national climate emergency” mean for businesses?

President Biden is reportedly contemplating the declaration of a “national climate emergency” (NCE).  According to his advisors, all options are on the table for the administration as it seeks to meet its ambitious climate goals.  But what are these options, and what practical effect would they have?

The most probable economic consequence of an NCE would be a further spike in energy prices.  An NCE would give President Biden access to several tools allowing him to restrict the trade, development, or extraction of fossil fuels.  …

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A REVERSED REVERSAL OF NEPA RULES

Last week, through the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) publication of a final rule at the close of phase one of a two-phase rulemaking process, the Biden administration began its efforts to reverse the prior administration’s reworking of the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Originally signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970, NEPA requires federal agencies to assess environmental, social, and economic impacts of any activities those agencies are seeking to undertake. The list of such actions is broad, but …

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White House Proposes Modifications to Trump Administration’s Changes to NEPA Regulations

On October 6, 2021, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed modifications to provisions of its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA is a federal law that requires all federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of any proposed actions as part of its decision making. The proposed rule is the first of a two-phase rulemaking process, which would reverse changes to NEPA that went into effect during the Trump Presidency after being in place for decades prior to such modifications. …

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President Biden Continues to Act on Climate Change with Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk

On May 20, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on climate-related financial risk, in which the new president directs the federal government to develop a strategy to curb the risk of climate change on public and private financial assets in the United States. The order notes that it is the policy of the administration to “advance consistent, clear, intelligible, comparable, and accurate disclosure of climate-related financial risk” and directs certain federal agencies to incorporate climate risk and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into …

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