Federal

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions seeks to inform the design and implementation of federal policies that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Drawing from its extensive peer-reviewed published works, in-house policy analyses, and tracking of current legislative proposals, the Center provides research, analysis, and recommendations to policymakers in Congress and the Executive Branch. Read More
 

Bob Perciasepe on the Clean Power Plan repeal

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

October 10, 2017

On the repeal of the Clean Power Plan:

The Clean Power Plan provided a clear and achievable path for reducing U.S. carbon emissions, and abandoning it means huge new uncertainties for the power sector. Although market and technology forces thankfully continue to drive down emissions, power companies are telling the EPA they need a sensible replacement. The Administration’s apparent intent to develop a new plan is a welcome acknowledgement that climate change is real and that it has a legal obligation to address it. But, the EPA needs to move quickly and offer more than the bare minimum.

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To reach a C2ES expert, contact Alec Gerlach at press@c2es.org.

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Projecting and Accelerating U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Projecting and Accelerating U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reductions

September 2017

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More than 190 nations representing more than 95 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions offered “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement reached in December 2015. The NDC submitted by the Obama administration on behalf of the United States is an economy-wide target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The Trump administration is now weighing whether to “suspend, revise, or rescind” policies to help meet this goal, and has announced its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. President Trump has also suggested the possibility of “re-entry” under revised terms; one option may be a recalibrated U.S. NDC. Analyses suggest that even with some key climate policies rolled back, U.S. emissions in 2025 could range from 14 percent to 18 percent below 2005 levels. In the absence of additional federal policy, stronger action by states, cities and companies can help reduce emissions further. The brief looks at progress in reducing U.S. emissions, how existing and proposed policies may affect emissions through 2025, and additional steps that can achieve stronger reductions.

Doug Vine
Doug Vine
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Webinar: Using Climate Data in the Real World

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Watch video

Please join the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions for a free webinar

Using Climate Data in the Real World

Sept. 27, 2017
1 – 2:30 p.m. ET

Register Here

The recent landfalls of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the potential threat to the U.S. mainland from Hurricane Maria, demonstrate the importance of climate data for companies concerned with resilience planning. Join us Sept. 27 for a free webinar on real-world use of climate data. We’ll explore what data to use, where to find it, downscaling climate models, and a practical example from the energy sector.

Speakers

Ellen Mecray, Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region, NOAA

Ellen Mecray is the NOAA Regional Climate Services Director for the Eastern Region, based in Taunton, Mass. Ms. Mecray helps bring NOAA’s climate information to other federal agencies as well as regional, state, and local geographies and specific sectors of importance to the eastern region. She currently works with the transportation, coastal, public health, marine fisheries, and energy sectors. Ms. Mecray is currently serving as the Federal Convening Lead Author for the Fourth National Climate Assessment, Northeast Chapter and an author on the Energy national chapter. Her work is published in a number of research journals. Mecray holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Colgate University and a master’s degree in geological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Thomas Wall, Infrastructure and Preparedness Analyst, Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Thomas Wall leads Argonne’s Climate Impact Data and Decision Support effort, which aims to leverage Argonne’s deep capabilities in climate science and modeling, advanced computing, infrastructure risk analysis, and decision science to provide actionable climate impact information to the engineering and planning communities, to industry, and to state and local governments. Dr. Wall also has extensive experience in the area of critical infrastructure analysis and protection. He earned an honors BS in civil engineering at Oregon State University, and an MS and Ph.D in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where his research focused on climate resilience, adaptation, and infrastructure management for transportation systems.

Dr. Yan Feng, Atmospheric and Climate Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory

Dr. Yan Feng is an Atmospheric and Climate scientist in the Environmental Science Division at the Argonne National Laboratory, and a fellow with the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago. Her research work includes improving the accuracy of climate change predictions by global and regional climate models. Dr. Feng is also interested in modeling global life cycle of atmospheric particles such as dust, soot, and sulfate and their impact on climate and environment. She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed journal papers including Nature Geoscience, PNAS, and contributed to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 3rd Assessment Report by the Working Group I. Dr. Feng obtained her Ph.D. in atmospheric science (2005) and M.S. in computer science and engineering (2002) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Brian D’Agostino, Meteorology Program Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric

 

Brian D’Agostino is the Meteorology Program Manager in Emergency Management for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). As program manager, Mr. D’Agostino provides operations support for the delivery of safe and reliable energy. D’Agostino oversaw the design and construction of SDG&E’s weather network, one of the United States most sophisticated and extensive weather networks. Mr. D’Agostino currently serves as an advisor and former chair of the American Meteorological Society’s National Energy Committee and works closely within the meteorological community coordinating research projects specializing in fire science, solar forecasting, climate adaptation and emergency management. He is a graduate of Plymouth State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in meteorology.

Ashley Lawson, Senior Solutions Fellow, Policy and Resilience, C2ES

Ashley Lawson is Senior Solutions Fellow for Policy and Resilience at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). She evaluates climate policies and provides expert advice to policymakers, especially on market-based approaches to mitigating climate change. She also works on climate resilience efforts by businesses, cities, and states. Ms. Lawson was previously part of the Point Carbon analyst team at Thomson Reuters, where she developed and maintained forecasting models for North American carbon markets and contributed to the team’s domestic and international research publications. Ms. Lawson holds a master’s degree in environmental science and engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Carolina.

 

 

 

 

Watch video of the Webinar

Getting Down to Business: Corporate Climate Leadership

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JPMorgan Chase & Co.270 Park Ave, 50th FloorNew York, NY 10017

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Please join C2ES and JPMorgan Chase & Co. for a conversation on
business leadership on climate change at Climate Week NYC  2017

Getting Down to Business: Corporate Climate Leadership

Thursday, September 21, 2017
4 — 7 p.m.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
270 Park Ave, 50th Floor
New York, NY 10017

 

This event was invitation-only.

Businesses are leaders in creating solutions that address climate change, while creating jobs and growing the economy. Leaders across a range of industries will discuss what's driving investment in actions that address climate change across their value chain—from reducing carbon emissions, to deploying innovative financing solutions, to investing in clean energy technologies. 

Agenda

4:00 p.m. – Registration

4:30 p.m. – Discussion
 

Welcome Remarks

Marisa Buchanan
Deputy Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

 

Panel

Kevin Butt
General Manager, Environmental Sustainability, Toyota

Steve Harper
Global Director, Environment and Energy Policy, Intel

Erin Robert
Head of Capital Strategies, JPMorgan Sustainable Finance

Bjorn Otto Sverdrup
Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Statoil ASA

Moderator
Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

5:45 p.m. – Reception

Additional speakers may be announced here

 

JPMorgan Chase seeks to comply with applicable rules concerning meals, gifts and entertainment offered to public officials and employees, including related disclosure requirements. We estimate the cost of hospitality to be provided at Getting Down to Business: Corporate Climate Leadership to be $53 per person. To the extent you wish to pay the cost of, or to decline, the hospitality to be provided at this event please contact Pauline Chow to make the necessary arrangements.

Why clean innovation makes business sense

Microsoft clean innovation panel

Left to right: Bob Perciasepe, President, C2ES; Seth Roberts, Global Director, Energy & Climate Change, The Dow Chemical Company; Michelle Patron, Director, Sustainability Policy, Microsoft; Peter Fuller, Vice President, Market & Regulatory Policy, NRG Energy; Paul Steffes, CEO and President, Steffes Corporation. Photo courtesy of Microsoft.

Companies have discovered that finding innovative ways to procure, generate, and store energy not only helps them meet their emissions goals, but also reduces energy costs.

That’s why the private sector is leading the charge to invest in clean technology as companies seek to engage suppliers through supply chains, increase competitiveness, gain access to new markets, and diversify to prepare for long-term decarbonization.

Reducing energy use at data centers has become a priority for Microsoft, as the company continues to expand its operations. Michelle Patron, Microsoft’s director of sustainability policy recently told an event co-sponsored with C2ES that the company considers this both a responsibility and opportunity.

Microsoft is using cloud computing and advanced analytics to meet its goal of procuring 50 percent of its data center energy from solar, wind, and hydropower by 2018, and 60 percent by the early 2020s. By using sensors to accurately collect and process real-time energy use data, Microsoft has reduced energy consumption by 15 percent in 125 buildings across its 88-acre Redmond, Washington, campus. The advanced data collection has also saved the company $10 million a year on energy.

Microsoft is also showing leadership in the drive to obtain more energy from renewable sources. A recent agreement with Seattle-area utility Puget Sound Energy (PSE) allows Microsoft to directly procure renewable energy in the region, rather than buying energy from PSE, which generates most of its power from fossil fuels. In return, Microsoft has committed to buying more renewable energy than required under Washington state’s current renewable portfolio standard. To make the deal beneficial for all ratepayers, Microsoft paid a $24 million transition fee that will be distributed back to PSE customers. The company will also continue to make payments to PSE’s energy efficiency and low-income assistance programs.

The Dow Chemical Company is also a leader in procuring renewable energy. Seth Roberts, the company’s global director for energy and climate change, told the gathering that the company has committed to supplying its Texas facilities with 350 MW of wind energy—equivalent to the electricity needed to power nearly 50,000 homes. Roberts pointed out that this would have not been possible a decade ago, when renewable energy prices were not competitive with fossil-fuels and natural gas in Texas.

On the production side, Roberts said the company is making insulation that goes into lighter, fuel-efficient cars. It’s also providing reverse osmosis technologies for water purification that use 30 percent less energy than other filtration technologies.

Peter Fuller, NRG Energy’s vice president of market and regulatory policy, said his company is making a significant investment in carbon capture, use and storage at the 240 MW Petra Nova project near Houston. As the world’s largest carbon capture project at an existing power plant, the facility captures more than 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and sequesters 1.6 million tons of CO2 annually.

Fuller said NRG is on track to meet its science-based goals of 50 percent reduction of absolute emissions from 2014 levels by 2030, and 90 percent reduction by 2050. The company had already reduced its emissions 36 percent by 2016.

Steffes Corporation, a North Dakota based manufacturer of residential and commercial electric thermal storage equipment, serves more than 200 electric utilities across the United States and Canada. “Thermal energy storage is an extremely efficient and cost-effective way of storing energy and managing the grid of the future,” said CEO and president Paul Steffes.

The company’s devices include ceramic storage units that can store 15 to 500 kilowatts of energy. Steffes uses tools such as Microsoft Azure to process big data in real time for more predictable energy regulation and greater integration of renewables, saving consumers money, reducing emissions, and contributing to a cleaner grid.

While climate change is one of the most pressing global problems, these companies have demonstrated that it also presents to them an opportunity to be a part of the solution by investing in clean technology that is good for business as well.

Video: Why Clean Innovation Makes Business Sense
July 19, 2017 at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center


 

Bipartisan support grows for carbon capture

Bipartisan support is growing on Capitol Hill and beyond to accelerate carbon capture deployment on power plants and industrial sources like steel and cement plants. This support comes from lawmakers who share a common interest in increasing the production of domestic energy resources and reducing carbon emissions.

On July 12, a bill co-sponsored by 25 senators was introduced that would provide a performance-based incentive to capture CO2, put it to productive use, and store it safely and permanently underground.

The FUTURE Act (Furthering carbon capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions) would extend and expand a federal tax credit, known as Section 45Q, which incentivizes capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from power and industrial sources for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and other uses. CO2-EOR is a decades-old process that produces domestic oil from existing fields, while safely and permanently storing billions of tons of CO2. Recent analysis demonstrates its climate benefits.

Bill supporters cross the aisle and the country. They include Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Other bipartisan bills would help unleash private capital to scale up more carbon capture projects. The Carbon Capture Improvement Act, introduced in April by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), would authorize states to use private activity bonds to help finance carbon capture equipment. A companion bill was introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Marc Veasey (D-TX). Private activity bonds are widely used to develop U.S. infrastructure, such as airports and water and sewer projects. (Join a free C2ES webinar on private activity bonds July 24.)

Strengthening Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Communities

Strengthening Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Communities

July 2017

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Energy efficiency programs offer an effective way to reduce energy consumption and address energy burden. These programs are particularly beneficial to low-income households, which spend a higher percentage of their income on energy bills. There are many energy efficiency programs offered by states, cities, and utility companies, but often only a subset of these programs is specifically designed for and directly benefits low-income communities. This fact sheet provides an overview of how energy efficiency programs could benefit low-income communities, and how to design efficiency programs to better serve low-income communities.

Jason Ye
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Containing the Costs of Climate Policy

Containing the Costs of Climate Policy

Updated: June 2017

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This policy brief outlines various options for containing costs under a cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although cap and trade is generally considered a more cost-effective approach than traditional regulation, excessive allowance prices are a concern. High allowance prices could mean high compliance costs for regulated firms and high energy prices for consumers. A number of the design elements of a cap-and-trade policy including the stringency of the emission reduction targets and the distribution of allowance value will influence the cost of the policy for consumers. However, uncertainty regarding allowance prices, and in particular, short-term price volatility and persistently high prices, are of concern to stakeholders. Policy options to address these concerns include allowing facilities to bank allowances, permitting firms or the government to borrow allowances from future allocations, allowing (or expanding) the use of offsets, allowing the use of multi-year compliance periods, setting a ceiling on allowance prices, or even relaxing the cap or emission targets associated with the policy in times of high prices. Each of these options has strengths and weaknesses and their desired results must often be weighed against the reduced certainty of meeting the environmental objective. To ensure the viability of any cap-and-trade program, policymakers will likely want to include a variety of cost-containment mechanisms.

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Letter to Congress on the value of investment in energy innovation.

C2ES is a signatory of a letter to Congress, asking lawmakers to maintain robust funding for energy innovation programs at the Department of Energy. The letter highlights the benefits of investment in energy innovation and explains how such investment can help the United States stay ahead of global competition.

Bob Perciasepe's statement on on climate change discussions at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

May 27, 2017

On climate change discussions at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy:

President Trump is returning to Washington with a much clearer sense of the overwhelming global support for the Paris Agreement.  As he considers next steps, we hope the president pays close attention to the many U.S. business leaders who are telling him that staying in the agreement is good for U.S. jobs, growth and competitiveness.

U.S. emissions are at a 25-year low and the transition toward cleaner energy is well underway.  Cities, states and companies are all stepping up their efforts. We’re confident a balanced and thorough analysis will show that the U.S. can maintain or even strengthen its climate ambition, with significant economic gains.

The Paris Agreement is a sensible global response to a truly global challenge.  Pulling out would undermine the climate effort, damage U.S. relations, and put U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage.  World leaders, business leaders and a strong majority of Americans think the U.S. should stay in Paris.  President Trump will hopefully arrive at the same conclusion.

To talk to a C2ES expert, contact Marty Niland at nilandm@c2es.org

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

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