THe unabridged version of this morning's newsletter is available here.
The Texas Tribune will convene a panel of public health experts, local officials, and community advocates to explore ways communities can adapt to a hotter Texas, featuring Coalition for Environment, Equity, and Resilience (CEER) Houston. Tomorrow, August 3, at 9:00 am CT (10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT).
TOP STORIES Offshore Wind Could Meet Quarter Of US Elec. Demand By 2050 — Report: The U.S. has over 4,000 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, one of the best offshore wind resources in the world, a new report from UC Berkeley, Energy Innovation, and Grid Lab finds. If the correct policy actions are taken in the near-term, those resources could account for as much as one quarter of U.S. electricity generation in less than 30 years, employ up to 390,000 people, and generate up to $1.8 trillion in economic development — all without materially impacting electricity costs. Offshore wind resources are also located near some of the country's most populous regions. “The good news about this offshore wind potential is it is spread out across the country from the East Coast, West Coast to the Gulf, as well as the Great Lakes region,” UC Berkeley senior scientist Nikit Abhyankar said in a statement. “This will be a critical resource to diversify our clean energy supply.” The Biden administration has set goals of generating 30GW of traditional offshore wind by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind generation by 2035. (The Verge, Recharge News, Riviera, KCBX, reNEWS, Staten Island Live, EnergyPortal.eu, California Examiner)
LNG Export Terminals Polluting More Than Claimed: There is growing evidence that gas export terminals along the Gulf Coast consistently violate pollution limits, releasing more climate-heating methane and other toxins not previously estimated or accounted for, The Lens reports. Worryingly, the facilities are not required to make the residents aware of such leaks and accidents in real time, exposing them to respiratory and other issues. This threatens the lives and air quality of the overwhelmingly Black and Brown communities nearby, and calls into question the climate and community impact of 20 more terminals planned nationwide. The Louisiana-based Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass export facility, for example, exceeded hourly emissions limits of air permits over 100 times last year. And throughout its first year of operation, the Calcasieu Pass facility was out of compliance with its air permits for a whopping 286 days of the year. Now, like many other firms seeking to loosen public safeguards, the facility is lobbying the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to increase its carbon dioxide and toxic standards by 17%. “They’ve got significant problems all over the place,” Anne Rolfes, head of local environmental justice group Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said of Venture Global. “And then their response is not to fix any problems but then apply to the state to increase their permits.” (The Lens NOLA)
Accelerating EV Battery Demands Could Strain Supplies: The growing range and size of electric vehicles, including gargantuan 8,000 pound trucks, threatens to strain the supply of raw materials and supply chain capacity needed to keep up with battery demand, BlombergNEF's recent Electric Vehicle Outlook warns. Worldwide, average EV battery pack sizes have increased 10% annually from 2018 to 2022 and now average about 60 kWh, but the megalotrucks heavily marketed in the U.S. routinely include 100 kWh batteries. The outsized consumption of battery resources by trucks approaching the size of a WW2 tank is especially stark given the range penalty caused by the vehicles' colossal weight. A report earlier this year from the Climate and Community Project found reducing EV battery sizes, along with other transportation policy reforms and improved lithium recycling, could cut lithium demand by as much as two-thirds. (EV battery size increase: Bloomberg $; Critical minerals: Washington Post $)
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MEDIA: Journalists can help explain climate’s role in extreme weather, even before all the data comes in (Nieman Lab)
FINANCE: Ratings firms struggle with climate risk in $133 trillion market (Bloomberg $)
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EPA: Biden’s EPA has resolved only one civil rights complaint brought since 2021 (Capital B News) [ ... ]
LIGHT BULBS: [ ... ] It’s official: stores can no longer sell most incandescent lights (New York Times $, The Verge, Washington Examiner) [ ... ]
THE HILL: Republicans want to plant a trillion trees. Scientists are skeptical. (Washington Post $) [ ... ]
EAST ASIA: A powerful typhoon pounds Japan’s Okinawa and injures more than 30 people as it moves toward China (AP, Bloomberg $), Beijing records 29 inches of rain from Saturday to Wednesday, its most in at least 140 years (AP) [ ... ]
HEAT: Climate change made July hotter for 4 of 5 humans on Earth, scientists find (AP) [ ... ]
WILDFIRES: America’s fire season has only just begun (Heatmap $)
YORK FIRE: Progress made against massive California-Nevada wildfire but flames may burn iconic Joshua trees (AP, The Hill, AP, Axios) [ ... ]
The full roundup of this morning's climate and energy news is available here.
Analysis and opinion
Wind farms off California’s coast should be the future of the state’s clean energy grid (LA Times, Michelle Solomon and Taylor McNair op-ed $)
It’s time for the US to chart a new path for offshore wind (Forbes, Michelle Solomon op-ed)
Deep inside mountains, work is getting much more dangerous (New York Times, Drew Harris op-ed $)
The full roundup of this morning's climate and energy A&O is available here.
If Your Lightbulbs Disappear This Week, Blame Biden… (If They Don't, You'll Know Who's Lying)
Yesterday, an Indiana ban on abortion went into effect, one of many such laws Republicans are pushing in states across the country in the wake of the Leonard Leo-packed Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade last year.
"So much for getting government out of our homes and lives," tweeted Sarah Fields, President of the Texas Freedom Coalition. But she wasn’t talking about dystopian restrictions on reproductive rights! She was referring to the Biden administration's new regulations going into effect yesterday phasing out the sale of inefficient lights…
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Read the full Denier Roundup for more.