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An energy bill with bipartisan support was zipping through the Senate, but it ran into a roadblock when President Trump and conservative Republicans blocked an amendment that would have phased out greenhouse gas trapping chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) because the Democrats refused to ban states’ right to pass stricter standards on them.HFCs are used in air conditioners and refrigerants and are known as “super greenhouse gasses” — they were developed to replace a similar chemical refrigerant that was phased out by international agreement because they were causing a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer.
Why This Matters: The White House argues that any such phase-out should be governed by a uniform federal law to provide certainty and consistency across the country, but Congressional Dems claim that this “federal pre-emption” provision is not needed because if the federal law is stringent enough states won’t want to pass tougher laws. Most federal environmental laws contain the type of provision the White House is insisting on — and in the past, Democrats would have agreed because state laws have generally been lax (less protective) than federal ones and citizens across the country deserve to have the same level of environmental protections. But the landscape has changed fundamentally — with more pro-conservation Democrats in control in States and an administration that is rolling back regulations and environmental enforcement. Federalism used to be the rallying cry of conservatives but now it is conservationists who are calling for states’ rights. It is just another way that President Trump has totally upended the “norms” of government. Unfortunately, this dispute over HFCs is holding up a bill that if enacted would increase energy research and development by the government for the first time in a decade and that could have extended tax credits for renewable energy.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Hurricane Ida hit the shores of Louisiana nearly a month ago, bringing Category 4 hurricane winds and severe flooding. The storm caused at least $584 million in damage to agriculture in the state, as estimated by experts at the LSU AgCenter. More than 50% of the damage costs were […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed a $15 billion package to fund climate change and drought mitigation strategies. The new legislation consists of 24 bills that focus on climate and clean energy efforts, droughts, and wildfire preparedness. Why this Matters: This is the largest climate funding package in […]
On Tuesday night, seven late night hosts teamed up for “Climate Night” and used their platforms to build climate change awareness. Planned to coincide with Climate Week NYC, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, and more took to the airwaves to talk infrastructure, environmental justice, and advice for how to talk to deniers. […]
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