U.S. renewable investments surged in 2019 to record $55 billion

RENEWABLES: U.S. wind and solar companies rushing to qualify for federal tax credits invested a record $55.5 billion in the sector last year. (Bloomberg)

EMISSIONS:
• Microsoft pledges to remove as much carbon as it has emitted in its 45-year history, though questions remain about the technology. (Reuters)
• A new report indicates that California will have to nearly double its current rate of emissions reductions to achieve its goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. (Monterey Herald)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend Intersolar North America, February 4-6 in San Diego. With a dynamic exhibition hall, comprehensive programming, and lively events, #isna2020 is the place to advance business, expand education, and drive networking.

House Republicans huddle on climate legislation

CLIMATE: The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, and scientists see no end in sight to human-caused warming. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Congressional Republicans meet today to discuss the party’s climate legislation after Democrats unveiled their sweeping proposal last week. (The Hill)
• A key Oregon Republican continues to oppose cap-and-trade legislation, saying he would prefer to see the policy referred to voters. (Oregon Live)

***SPONSORED LINK: Already on its 10th edition, ACI’s National Conference on Microgrids will be hosted in Boston on March 18-19. The conference will also feature an exclusive tour of the Sterling Municipal Light Department’s award-winning microgrid!

Under Trump, environmental policy in hands of those who fought it

OVERSIGHT: Most of the people in charge of environmental policy in the Trump administration have ties to the fossil fuel industry or have fought against environmental regulations they are now supposed to enforce. (New York Times)

PIPELINES: “I was just flabbergasted.” Activists fighting against a planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Union Hill, Virginia, react to last week’s federal court ruling against the project. (Energy News Network)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend Intersolar North America, February 4-6 in San Diego. With a dynamic exhibition hall, comprehensive programming, and lively events, #isna2020 is the place to advance business, expand education, and drive networking. Register for free Expo Hall access.***

OIL & GAS:
• The cost to plug orphaned oil and gas wells in Ohio could reach $2 billion as the number of confirmed wells continues to grow.

Investor firms grapple with growing climate risks

FINANCE: The CEO of the world’s largest investment manager says company boards need to step up efforts on climate change or risk growing backlash from investors concerned about unsustainable business practices. (Reuters)

ALSO: Vanguard, the world’s second-largest asset manager, refuses to join a group of major investors demanding climate action from polluters. (The Guardian)

***SPONSORED LINK: Already on its 10th edition, ACI’s National Conference on Microgrids will be hosted in Boston on March 18-19. The conference will also feature an exclusive tour of the Sterling Municipal Light Department’s award-winning microgrid! Secure your space today!***

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:
• As the NAACP cautions local chapters against utility and fossil fuel influence, the Indiana chapter has for years led a vibrant energy justice movement.

Emails show Justice Dept. helping oil industry fight climate lawsuits 

OIL & GAS: Internal emails reveal that Department of Justice attorneys have been working closely with the oil industry to oppose climate lawsuits filed by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. (InsideClimate News)

COAL:
• A southern Illinois coal company’s fight to dump mine water into a nearby river is a sign of things to come as the industry looks to cut costs amid worsening market conditions, analysts say. (Energy News Network)
• U.S. coal-fired power plants continue to shut down at a near-record pace despite President Trump’s efforts to prop up the industry. (Reuters)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend Intersolar North America, February 4-6 in San Diego. With a dynamic exhibition hall, comprehensive programming, and lively events, #isna2020 is the place to advance business, expand education, and drive networking.