Energy and Environment – SEC extends deadline for comments on climate risk rule

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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

A financial regulator is granting more time for public comment on a climate risk proposal, California is reaching for the skies on offshore wind, and the Department of the Interior is funding nearly 50 water infrastructure projects.

It’s the night of energy and the environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, we are Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

SEC extends deadline for public comments

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the time the public will have to weigh in on a proposal that would require companies to disclose their vulnerabilities and contributions to climate change.

What would he ask? In a Monday press release, the SEC said people will now have until June 17 to comment on the proposal, which would require publicly traded companies to tell investors how climate-related risks like severe weather and efforts to limit their use of fossil fuels could have an impact. Their business.

It would also require listed companies to disclose their own contributions to climate change, requiring them to reveal information about the direct contribution of their activities to global warming emissions. If deemed “material” to investors, companies should also disclose emissions they cause indirectly, such as those that come from the use of their products.

For many industries such as fossil fuel companies and car manufacturers, emissions from the use of their products may account for a greater share of their climate contributions than their operations.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement that he would extend the comment period for the proposal due to “significant interest” from investors and others.

“Commentators with varying opinions noted that they would benefit from additional time,” he said. “I’m glad the public has more time to provide thoughtful feedback.”

Not everyone is happy: March’s long-awaited climate proposal has been criticized from both sides of the aisle.

Republicans have argued that the rule is too broad and goes against the agency’s mission to “protect investors; maintaining fair, orderly and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.

Meanwhile, Progressives have said the indirect emissions requirements are not comprehensive enough and contain loopholes that could allow companies to get away with it.

Learn more about Rachel.

California reveals offshore wind targets

California’s energy regulator has unveiled an ambitious set of offshore wind goals as part of a broader statewide campaign to make electricity 100% renewable by 2045.

About 3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy is expected to power the state’s grid by 2030, enough to power about 3 million average homes in the state, the California Energy Commission has determined.

An additional 7-12 gigawatts are expected to be available by 2045, bringing the state’s total offshore wind capacity to approximately 10-15 gigawatts by then. according to a draft report published on Friday.

They have their work cut out for them: The report also acknowledges that California has more than 21.8 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, with the potential for greater technology developments to drive production over the coming decades.

“These preliminary megawatt planning goals are set at levels that can contribute significantly to achieving California’s climate goals,” the report said.

Local and national environmental groups have applauded the targets, calling them essential to eventually powering the state solely with renewable energy sources.

“The powerful winds off the Pacific coast are one of California’s largest untapped sources of renewable energy,” said Laura Deehan, state director of the California Environment Research and Policy Center, said in a press release.

The announced targets mean “that now we are really sailing towards a better and 100% renewable future”, she added.

Learn more about The Hill’s Sharon Udasin.

Interior unveils financing for water infrastructure

The Biden administration will allocate funds to improve water infrastructure in 46 projects in 11 states, the Interior Department announced Monday.

The funding will include $240.4 million through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and will include projects such as repairing and upgrading canal surfacing and replacing water pipes.

The 46 projects selected, according to the department, include:

  • Canal repair projects in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming
  • Utah Pipeline Repair
  • Nebraska Dam Spillway Repair

“President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act is a historic investment in drought resilience and water infrastructure,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “As communities across the West face increasing challenges accessing water following record-breaking drought, these investments in our aging water infrastructure will protect communities’ water supplies and revitalize water distribution systems.”

“The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with states and local water districts receiving municipal water and irrigation water from federally owned projects, is responsible for much of the water infrastructure in the West,” added Bureau of Reclamation Acting Commissioner David Palumbo.

“These water systems are operated through this federal-non-federal partnership, and this funding will help perform the extraordinary maintenance needed to keep the projects viable and the partnerships strong.”

The Infrastructure Act devotes a total of about $10 billion to water infrastructure and drought resistance measures.

Learn more about Zack here.

G7 NATIONS TO BAN RUSSIAN OIL

President Biden held a call on Sunday with other Group of Seven (G-7) leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during which the new measures were likely to be discussed.

The G-7 leaders pledge “to phase out or ban the import of Russian oil,” according to the White House fact sheet, which did not include a timeline for the pledge.

The United States has already banned imports of Russian oil and natural gas, but European countries are much more dependent on Russian energy exports. Biden announced the ban warning that it could cause gas prices to spike further.

The announcement comes a day before Russia’s Victory Day, on which some have speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin may attempt to declare a symbolic victory over Ukraine despite heavy casualties and challenges from the Russian side.

“We are committed to phasing out our dependence on Russian energy, including by removing or banning the import of Russian oil. We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly manner,” the leaders of the G7 countries said in a joint statement on Monday. “We will work together and with our partners to ensure a stable and sustainable global energy supply and affordable prices for consumers.”

The announcement also comes days after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a plan a ban on Russian oil imports to the EU as part of its latest sanctions package.

“Let’s be clear: it won’t be easy, because some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil,” she said on Friday. “But we just have to do it, so today we will propose to ban all Russian oil from Europe.”

Learn more about Brett Samuels from The Hill.

WHAT WE READ

  • AP analysis reveals an increasing number of poor and high-risk dams (The Associated Press)
  • Hydrogen is the preferred future savior of all US gas utilities (Bloomberg)
  • A drought so severe it revealed a homicide from long ago. Collecting water will be more difficult than ever (Los Angeles Times)
  • EU plans one-year renewable energy permits to accelerate green transition (Reuters)

And finally, something quirky and quirky: Damn it.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy and Environment page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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