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It’s been a year since the Inflation Reduction Act let loose a wave of clean energy and climate investment across the U.S. — and it’s propelling the country at least part of the way to its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
When congressional Democrats passed the IRA last August, it wasn’t immediately clear what manufacturers and products would be eligible for the $369 billion in tax credits it authorized. But that didn’t stop a ton of both United States and foreign companies from quickly announcing plans for new battery, electric vehicle, solar and other clean energy manufacturing facilities.
A large chunk of those investments are concentrated in a “battery belt” spanning from Michigan south into Georgia. That area includes many Republican-led states, where some governors and Congress members are fighting the IRA while benefiting from its policies. Meanwhile, in the few states that haven’t accepted IRA funding, the Biden administration has found a workaround: sending funds to their biggest cities instead.
Still, the IRA alone isn’t going to get the U.S. all the way to its climate goals. The Rhodium Group, an analytics firm that tracks U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, found the IRA and state-level climate measures together are expected to cut emissions between 29% and 42% in 2030, from 2005 levels. That’s a bigger reduction than a previous analysis estimated, but short of the Biden administration’s goal of cutting emissions in half.
More clean energy news
📝 Permitting reform backup plan: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on federal regulators to enact rules to speed clean energy and transmission deployment as bipartisan permitting reforms appear unlikely to pass. (E&E News)
🛠️ Working it out: Labor unions worry that U.S. renewable energy jobs aren’t paying workers as much as the fossil fuel jobs that they’re displacing. (Inside Climate News)
🏭 What race-neutral programs miss: The Biden administration’s race-neutral efforts to curb air pollution disparities will only have moderate success if they don’t consider a history of racist policies, a report finds. (Washington Post)
🌬️ Wind power comes to the Gulf: President Biden will announce the first offshore wind power development rights sale in the Gulf of Mexico for three areas totaling more than 300,000 acres off the Louisiana and Texas coasts. (Reuters)
🛢️ Cracking down on drilling: Newly proposed federal rules would increase royalty rates for oil and gas companies to drill on public land, while also tightening requirements for cleaning up old and abandoned wells. (Associated Press, E&E News)
⚠️ FEMA’s funding flop: The Federal Emergency Management Agency is running low on disaster funding as hurricane season looms, but Congress seems unlikely to replenish it before it recesses for the month of August. (E&E News)
🌡️ How heat waves happen: Heat waves scorching the U.S. would’ve been “almost impossible” without climate change and will become more frequent as the world warms, an analysis finds. (Inside Climate News)
☀️ Renewables on the rise: Wind and solar together produced more power than coal in the first half of the year. (Canary Media)
- Office Administrator | Fresh Energy
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