E.P.A. Lays Out Rules to Turbocharge Sales of Electric Cars and Trucks – Coral Davenport – The New York Times


“WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Wednesday will propose the nation’s most ambitious climate regulations to date, two plans designed to ensure two-thirds of new passenger cars and a quarter of new heavy trucks sold in the United States are all-electric by 2032.

If the two rules are enacted as proposed, they would put the world’s largest economy on track to slash its planet-warming emissions at the pace that scientists say is required of all nations in order to avert the most devastating impacts of climate change.

The new rules would require nothing short of a revolution in the U.S. auto industry. Last year, all-electric vehicles were just 5.8 percent of new car sales in the United States and fewer than 2 percent of new heavy trucks sold.

“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Michael S. Regan, said in a statement.”

E.P.A Lab Helps Plan the Fastest Road to an EV Future – Coral Davenport – The New York Times

Coral Davenport spent a week in Michigan at a government laboratory in Ann Arbor and at the Ford manufacturing complex and the United Autoworkers Local 600, both in Dearborn.


“Inside a secretive government laboratory, behind a tall fence and armed guards, a team of engineers has been dissecting the innards of the newest all-electric vehicles with a singular goal: Rewrite tailpipe pollution rules to speed up the nation’s transition to electric cars.

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose ambitious greenhouse gas emission standards for cars that are so stringent, they’re designed to ensure that two-thirds of the new vehicles sold in the United States are all-electric by 2032, up from just 5.8 percent today. And the rules could put the nation on track to end sales of new gasoline-powered cars as soon as 2035.

Transportation is the largest source of the greenhouse gases generated by the United States and scientists say that slashing pollution from tailpipes — fast — is essential to averting the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.

But that would also require overcoming myriad technical and logistical challenges: electric vehicles are still too expensive for most consumers, in part because of snarled global supply chains for the materials to build them. The cars also need a national network of millions of easy-to-use fast-charging stations.”

How Climate Change Is Making Tampons (and Lots of Other Stuff) More Expensive – Coral Davenport – The New York Times


“When the Agriculture Department finished its calculations last month, the findings were startling: 2022 was a disaster for upland cotton in Texas, the state where the coarse fiber is primarily grown and then sold around the globe in the form of tampons, cloth diapers, gauze pads and other products.

In the biggest loss on record, Texas farmers abandoned 74 percent of their planted crops — nearly six million acres — because of heat and parched soil, hallmarks of a megadrought made worse by climate change.

That crash has helped to push up the price of tampons in the United States 13 percent over the past year. The price of cloth diapers spiked 21 percent. Cotton balls climbed 9 percent and gauze bandages increased by 8 percent. All of that was well above the country’s overall inflation rate of 6.5 percent in 2022, according to data provided by the market research firms NielsonIQ and The NPD Group.

It’s an example of how climate change is reshaping the cost of daily life in ways that consumers might not realize.”

Republican Drive to Tilt Courts Against Climate Action Reaches a Crucial Moment – Coral Davenport – The New York Times


WASHINGTON — Within days, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision that could severely limit the federal government’s authority to reduce carbon dioxide from power plants — pollution that is dangerously heating the planet.

But it’s only a start.

The case, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, is the product of a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists and their funders, several with ties to the oil and coal industries, to use the judicial system to rewrite environmental law, weakening the executive branch’s ability to tackle global warming.”

David Lindsay:  The West Virginia coalition of Republicans won 6-3 at the Supreme Court.

However, Wikipedia adds some filler since then.

“Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in August following the West Virginia decision. Among other actions, the bill was written towards several of the points raised in the majority decision and possibly overturns it. The law’s language addresses the major questions doctrine by explicitly granting EPA new authorities to regulate greenhouse gases. The law clarified that carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels is indeed one of several greenhouse gases to be treated as pollutants covered by the 1970 Clean Air Act, codifying Massachusetts. Some legal experts believe this would allow the EPA to set “outside the fence” regulations on existing power plants as to promote clean energy.[37][38] Other analysts say the law does not extend the EPA’s authority to alternative sources; Vermont Law School professor Patrick Parenteau said the Act does not include specific language towards generation shifting, leaving it as a potential major questions doctrine concern.[39]   “

How the New Climate Law Can Save You Thousands of Dollars – Coral Davenport – The New York Times

“The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by President Biden in August includes about $370 billion to fight climate change, some of it in the form of tax credits and rebates to help consumers save thousands of dollars on energy-efficient appliances, plug-in vehicles and renewable electricity for their homes.

But taking advantage of those savings will require patience and initiative.

The Biden administration has created a website designed to help you figure out which cars, appliances and home improvements will qualify for the tax credits and rebates. The answers are not yet clear in many cases because the programs are so new or the requirements of the law so stringent. White House officials say the website will be frequently updated as details take shape, and they advise consumers to subscribe to receive emailed updates.

Here’s what we know so far about how to use the new law to save money. One thing all the benefits have in common: Each one runs through at least 2032.”

Climate Activists Rally at the White House to Demand Action – Coral Davenport – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — Environmental activists, distraught by the government’s slow pace of action on climate change, amassed in front of the White House Saturday afternoon, calling on President Biden and Congress to swiftly pass a climate bill that has been stalled in the Senate since December.

The White House demonstration was one of dozens of “Fight for Our Future” rallies held across the country to press the government to cut the pollution that is dangerously heating the planet, capping a week of events timed to coincide with Earth Day.

“We’re here because in North Carolina we keep getting hit by hurricanes back to back, and we ain’t got nothing fixed,” said Willett Simpkins, 68, a retired nursing home maintenance director from Wallace, N.C. “And it’s getting worse every year. It’s time for them to stop talking about it and do something about it.”

The event, which drew several hundred people under the pale green trees in Lafayette Park, was emceed by Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, a nonpartisan group that tries to engage young voters.

Many in the crowd work for environmental organizations, but sprinkled among them were voters who wanted Mr. Biden to know that failure to enact climate legislation could cost him their vote.

Mr. Biden, who came into office promising urgent action on what he called the existential threat of climate change, has seen his ambitious plans pass the House but get watered down and stuck in the Senate because of unified opposition from Republicans as well as Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, a powerful swing vote in an evenly divided chamber.”

Interior Dept. Report on Drilling Is Mostly Silent on Climate Change – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — The Interior Department on Friday recommended that the federal government raise the fees that oil and gas companies pay to drill on public lands — the first increase in those rent and royalty rates since 1920.

The long-awaited report recommended an overhaul of the rents and royalty fees charged for drilling both on land and offshore, noting one estimate that the government lost up to $12.4 billion in revenue from drilling on federal lands from 2010 through 2019 because royalty rates have been frozen for a century.

The Interior Department said its goal is to “better restore balance and transparency to public land and ocean management and deliver a fair and equitable return to American taxpayers.”

But the report was nearly silent about the climate impacts from the public drilling program. The United States Geological Survey estimates that drilling on public land and in federal waters is responsible for almost a quarter of the greenhouse gases generated by the United States that are warming the planet.”

Court Blocks a Vast Alaskan Drilling Project, Citing Climate Dangers – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday blocked construction permits for an expansive oil drilling project on the state’s North Slope that was designed to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 30 years.

The multibillion-dollar plan, known as Willow, by the oil giant ConocoPhillips had been approved by the Trump administration and legally backed by the Biden administration. Environmental groups sued, arguing that the federal government had failed to take into account the effects that drilling would have on wildlife and that the burning of the oil would have on global warming.

A federal judge has agreed.

In her opinion, Judge Sharon L. Gleason of the United States District Court for Alaska wrote that when the Trump administration permitted the project, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management’s exclusion of greenhouse gas emissions in its analysis of the environmental effects of the project was “arbitrary and capricious.””

Here’s How Biden Aims to Increase Electric Car Sales – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — President Biden has a two-step strategy to cut tailpipe emissions, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases: First, restore the standards to roughly the level set by President Barack Obama. Then, tighten them even further, with an aim of making the electric car the dominant vehicle sold in the United States.

The Biden administration plans this month to propose a tailpipe emissions rule that would largely mimic the Obama standards, which were jettisoned in 2019 by President Donald J. Trump.

At the same time, according to four people familiar with the plan, the administration is starting to write more stringent auto pollution rules that could cut emissions more deeply and force carmakers to increase sales of electric vehicles but could also face political pushback and disrupt the auto industry.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
We need to fast trackk the EVSE rollout of 500,000 stations, since the public and yours truly are waiting for these stations, before buying a 300 mile electric car for $50,000. This begs the question, shouldn’t the Biden Team just roll out the new infrastructure deal asap, and not hold it up for 6 or 12 months to try and get as much of a second giant spending package through reconciliation. We need the infrastructure evse’s asap, and there is no guarantee that waiting will vastly increase the size of the second tranche using reconciliation.

Gina McCarthy Leads Biden Climate Push – Coral Davenport – The New York Times


“WASHINGTON — Gina McCarthy worked six or seven days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day, to produce America’s first real effort to combat climate change, a suite of Obama-era regulations that would cut pollution from the nation’s tailpipes and smokestacks and wean the world’s largest economy from fossil fuels.

Then the administration of Donald J. Trump shredded the work of President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency chief before any of it could take effect.

Ms. McCarthy is back, as President Biden’s senior climate change adviser, and this time, she is determined to make it stick.

She is the most powerful climate change official in the country other than Mr. Biden himself, and her charge is not simply to reconstruct her Obama-era policies but to lead an entire government to tackle global warming, from the nation’s military to its diplomatic corps to its Treasury and Transportation Department. She will also lead negotiations with Congress for permanent new climate change laws that could withstand the next change of administration.  . . . “