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About 11.5 million workers — a record number — were employed worldwide by the renewable energy industry in 2019, according to new market research. It's an encouraging sign for the burgeoning field, though one that comes with an asterisk — as the figures provide a snapshot of a sector still largely unaffected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Solar jobs led the pack last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. About 3.8 million employees were working in solar photovoltaic manufacturing and installations.
While Biden’s plan is more aggressive than anything from any other major party candidate, the Green New Deal sought for more. That plan, which Biden’s eventual running mate Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) co-sponsored, called for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the entire U.S. economy within just 10 years. Ocasio-Cortez and Markey's nonbinding resolution set a goal, but didn’t specify how those emissions cuts would be achieved, and labor leaders said the timeline was too unrealistic.
President Trump misrepresented his rollback of clean car standards and his record on electric vehicle subsidies at the first presidential debate last night, in a remarkably substantive exchange on climate and transportation policy. As part of an unexpected series of questions on climate change, moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked Trump why he loosened fuel economy standards established by former President Obama, a move that will increase pollutants in the atmosphere. Trump said earlier that he wanted "immaculate air."
Former Commonwealth Edison executive Fidel Marquez could have faced years behind bars for his role in a massive bribery scheme that directed illicit payments to allies of powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Instead, by cooperating with prosecutors, Marquez is in line to avoid prison altogether.
French oil major Total SE said oil demand could peak by 2030 under a scenario where global warming is limited to 1.7 degrees Celsius, according to a company report yesterday. The report, "Total Energy Outlook," said that under a "rupture scenario" where all countries are committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions, oil demand peaks by decade's end and coal "almost disappears" on a worldwide scale.
Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden pledged his plan for a carbon-free energy sector by 2035 would create "millions" of jobs in a chaotic first presidential debate last night marked by testy exchanges and frequent interruptions. Biden's defense of his clean energy plan that would involve a massive overhaul of the U.S. power sector came as he parried President Trump's inaccurate assertion that Biden's plan to tackle climate change would cost $100 trillion.
The U.K. is the largest market in the world for offshore wind and has set a target to build 40 gigawatts by 2030, a four-fold increase from now. Achieving this would cost as much as 50 billion pounds and require one turbine to be installed every weekday during the whole of the 2020s, according to Aurora Energy Research Ltd. Linking all this capacity to the onshore grid is likely to be both costly and difficult.
A different kind of clean-energy vehicle is emerging, and it isn’t made by Tesla. At least nine clean-energy companies, most of which have little to no revenue, are planning to go public between now and the end of the year via reverse mergers with “blank-check” financiers, also known as special purpose acquisition companies. The deals are emerging at a time of increasing scrutiny of SPACs. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said last week that regulators are examining whether investors are receiving appropriate disclosures from these vehicles about insiders’ lucrative pay structures.
With the U.S. oil industry reeling from the collapse in demand this year, the New Mexico shale patch has emerged as the go-to spot for drillers desperate to squeeze as much crude from the ground without bleeding cash. There’s just one problem: Joe Biden wants to ban new fracking there. Just over the border with Texas, in a two-county stretch that forms the far western edge of the Permian shale basin, there are more rigs boring oil wells today than anywhere else in the nation. The rock here, once overlooked by wildcatters obsessed with the much-bigger Texas side, has quietly become the most profitable place to produce oil in America. That’s attracting cash-strapped fracking outfits after the pandemic pushed crude prices down to just $40 a ba.
The Trump administration's offshore drilling moratorium off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas will also extend to renewable energy. The presidential memorandum Trump signed barring the Interior Department from offering oil and gas leases off the coasts of some Atlantic states "addresses all energy leasing, including conventional and renewable energy, beginning on July 1, 2022."
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday questioned California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to require all new passenger vehicle sales in 2035 be zero-emission models, according to a letter seen by Reuters. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the plan “raises serious questions regarding its legality and practicality” and said it could cause problems for the state’s electrical grid. He also declared the move could be subject to federal approval, saying it “may require California to request a waiver to U.S. EPA.”
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler yesterday blasted California's Democratic governor for seeking to ban sales of gas-powered cars to combat climate change. In a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Wheeler criticized the governor's executive order requiring that 100% of new vehicles sold in the state be zero-emission by 2035. The order "raises serious questions regarding its legality and practicality," Wheeler wrote, adding that the directive "seems to be mostly aspirational and on its own would accomplish very little."
With global warming already fueling wildfires, hurricanes and mass migrations, Biden would face the monumental task of decarbonizing the world’s biggest economy. And he would have to do it quickly at a time when China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is recasting itself as a climate leader and as the European Union ramps up its environmental ambitions. The stakes are high: Failure would not only erode global confidence in the U.S. but contribute further to the destabilization of the climate, with grave consequences for people and planet.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, in a Friday letter, said he won't testify before a special committee looking into his conduct in connection with a utility's alleged bribery scheme designed to curry favor with the Democrat. The committee formed at the request of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs is to probe Madigan's activities in a scheme relating to Commonwealth Edison Co. Durkin accuses Madigan of engaging in conduct unbecoming to a legislator.
The United States is not expected to electrify passenger cars fast enough to stay on track with the Paris climate accord's goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change yesterday, the study by engineers at the University of Toronto concludes that 90% of light-duty cars on American roads would need to be electric by 2050 to keep the transportation sector in line with climate mitigation targets.
Energy was not a topic at tonight's presidential debates, but it's on the ballot in several states where policy fights are heating up ahead of the November elections. Taxes on oil production, a renewable energy mandate and changes to a state regulatory commission are among the energy issues set to go directly before voters this year. Some measures have spurred costly political battles: In Alaska, oil companies and industry groups have spent millions of dollars campaigning against a proposal to increase certain oil taxes, the campaigns said.

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