Climate Policy Update – 29 November 2022

Good evening! This is Akin Gump’s weekly newsletter on climate change policy and regulatory developments, providing information on the past week’s major climate policy headlines and upcoming climate events and hearings:


  • Biden gives PG&E $1.1 billion to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open (CNBC) The Biden-Harris administration announced it will give Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) a “$1.1 billion grant to help the utility prevent the closure of Diablo Canyon.” , the last nuclear power plant in California.” The funding, provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will create “a path forward for Diablo Canyon to remain open and could allow PG&E to repay part of the $1.4 billion loan for the plant that parliamentarians will do it. approved.”
  • Biden gives Chevron permission to restart Venezuelan oil sales (politico) The Treasury Department has given Chevron the green light to produce and export oil from Venezuela. The decision by the Biden-Harris administration could “add supply to the world oil market, which could reduce fuel prices and accelerate the decline in US gasoline prices, which have been a political burden for President Joe Biden since Russia invaded Ukraine in February”.
  • EPA Drops Tighter Aircraft Pollution Rules (E&E News) The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Aircraft Pollution Control has released a final rule – which seeks to harmonize US emissions standards for new engines with International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines (ICAO) – will have “no immediate effect in limiting emissions of harmful particles”, but will emphasize “the importance of keeping domestic engine manufacturers competitive in the global market”.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor announces a final rule to remove barriers to considering environmental, social, and governance factors in plan investments (Department of Labor) social and governance factors when selecting retirement investments and exercising shareholder rights , such as proxy voting.” This rule follows a robust stakeholder process in which the DOL “concluded that two rules issued in 2020 during the previous administration unnecessarily restricted the ability of plan fiduciaries to weigh environmental, social and governance factors when choosing investments, even when these factors would benefit from plan participation. nts financially.”
  • White House Releases Environmental Justice Screening Tool (E&E News) The Biden-Harris administration released the latest version of the Economic and Climate Justice Screening Tool, which “will help federal agencies ensure that disadvantaged communities benefit from at least 40% of climate benefits. expenses, the fulfillment of an administration plan known as Justice 40″.

State and Local

  • Western states mull regional grid as renewables grow (E&E News) Experts are urging Western states to coordinate on a unified electricity market, as it could “unlock regional cooperation, lower prices and facilitate decarbonization.” Specifically, Colorado and Nevada are pursuing laws “requiring utilities to join a [regional transmission organization] or the organized market by 2030.”
  • RGGI Third Program Review Update (RGGI) States participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) have launched an updated program review. The assessment highlights that the RGGI states have developed their electricity sector modeling assumptions, laying the groundwork for the baseline scenarios and program review policy, which is set to begin concurrently with the publication of the US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook in early 2023 .
  • Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Advance New York’s Transition to Clean Transportation (Governor Hochul) Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) signed S. 8518A which “will prevent homeowners associations from prohibiting homeowners from installing gas stations loading on their private property, while also allowing associations to provide information about the installation process.” By removing barriers to New Yorkers’ transition to electric vehicles, the new law will advance New York’s “goal to reach 850,000 zero-emission vehicles by 2025 and have all new passenger vehicles be zero-emission by 2035.”


  • China ‘played a great game’ with lithium and we were slow to react, says industry CEO (CNBC) American Lithium CEO Simon Clarke detailed that China dominated the lithium industry and that the US was too slow to react. . However, Clarke noted that “The Inflation Relief Act and a number of other measures meant that people were ‘beginning to wake up to it.’
  • Air Set’s New CO2 Capture Technology to Test in Japan (Nikkei Asia) NGK Insulators is trying to use Honeyceram, “a ceramic catalyst used primarily in vehicles to clean up car emissions,” to capture carbon emissions. The demonstration plant is expected to open in fiscal 2025 and is slated to “be able to absorb hundreds to thousands of tons of carbon dioxide per year.”
  • After decades as a nuclear powerhouse, France gets its offshore wind game (CNBC) electric de France (EDF) has announced that “France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project” is now fully operational. The 480-megawatt Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm aims to “support the French state’s energy transition goals, which include targets to generate 32% of energy from renewable sources by 2030.”
  • EU to propose boosting recycled content and packaging reuse (Reuters) The European Commission is set to announce a revised directive on packaging and packaging waste that will seek to push towards a European Union (EU) goal to “ensure that all packaging are reusable or recyclable. by 2030 and help reduce the bloc’s carbon footprint to zero by 2050.” The proposal culminates in “recycling targets of 65% by 2025 and 70% by 2030 since the last update of the directive in 2018” and targets for 2030 and 2040 for packaging reuse.

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