October 3, 2016: Energy Matters: Climate Change

Courtesy of American Energy Society
 

Policy

- Featured: At root, the case against the Clean Power Plan is about whether, not how, power plants can be regulated by the EPA for carbon dioxide emissions. So far, arguments have centered on one issue: are the changes mandated by the CPP "transformative?" If so, then such changes can only be required by Congress, thus making the CPP unconstitutional.

 

- Of the 27 states challenging the EPA Clean Power Plan, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota are already on track to meet the CPP targets.

 

- PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM: for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Climate Change and National Security
DATE: September 21, 2016

MESSAGE: By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

SECTION 1. Purpose. This memorandum establishes a framework and directs Federal departments and agencies (agencies) to perform certain functions to ensure that climate change-related impacts are fully considered in the development of national security policies, and plans.
SECTION 2. Background. Climate change poses a significant and growing threat to national security, both at home and abroad. 
AES Members have access to the full memorandum.
 

- Inside the Beltway: US Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is talking to Congress about passing tax credits for utilities that burn coal more cleanly and allowing private companies to dispose of the growing stockpile of nuclear waste at US power plants. Previous attempts to store nuclear waste on public lands have been blocked.

 

- California regulators have established the first mandatory energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors - gadgets that account for 3 percent of home electric bills and 7 percent of commercial power costs.

 

Climate Change: 

 - The most sustainable city in the world?  Zurich. The most sustainable city in North America?  Vancouver. The most sustainable city in the United States? New York City.  AES Premium Members have access to the full report and rankings.
 

- A coalition of 25 military and national security experts, including former advisers to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, have warned that climate change poses a “significant risk to US national security and international security” and requires more attention. AES Premium Members have access to the Briefing Book by the Climate and Security Advisory Group.

 

- The chemical hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, gained notoriety as the carcinogenic water contaminant that Erin Brockovich sued a utility over in California. Water supplies in a number of US cities appear to contain unsafe levels of chromium-6. The worst offenders: City of Phoenix, Missouri American Water (St. Louis County), City of Houston, City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Suffolk County Water Authority in New York.

 

- About 5,600 animal species and about 30,000 plant species receive some sort of endangerment protection. The upcoming Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 17th Conference of Parties (CoP17) in Johannesburg, South Africa, held through October 4, will decide which new species will receive protection and which will not. About 500 species, ranging from tropical timbers like rosewood and agarwood to marine species like corals, nautiluses, sharks, and rays to iconic mammals like African elephants and lions, and lesser known ones like pangolins, are up for review.
 

- About 100,000 beetle-infested trees die every day in Wyoming ... and also in Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and especially California.  

 

- Obama is getting a new namesake — a species of fish. Discovered 300 feet deep in the waters off Kure Atoll, the fish reminded scientists of Obama's campaign logo. The dorsal fin coloration of the male is a circular red spot ringed with blue. It's the one fish known to live only within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument that President Obama set aside for protection.