Energy & Environment — 100K clean energy jobs announced since climate law
Clean energy jobs are booming since the Inflation Reduction Act became law. Meanwhile, a new report warns a third of U.S. species are at risk, and an Arizona water official predicts the federal government will step in on the Colorado River.
This is Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk.
Analysis: 100K green jobs since climate bill passage
More than 100,000 climate-friendly jobs were created in the months following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a new analysis from an environmental group has found.
The legislation, passed with only Democratic votes as part of a unique budget process that prevented the bill from being filibustered in the Senate, included tax credits for the production of carbon-free energy technology.
The tax credits were widely expected to spur significant investments in renewable energy.
The analysis released Monday by a group called Climate Power showed that companies announced 101,036 new jobs in carbon-free energy and more than 90 new clean energy projects since the passage of the legislation.
The new jobs are being created by wind, solar, batteries and electric vehicles industries, and include electricians, mechanics, construction workers and technicians.
Read more about the findings here.
34% of US animals, plants at risk of extinction: report
More than a third of both animals and plants in the U.S. are currently at risk of extinction, while more than 40 percent of ecosystems are at risk of collapse, according to an analysis released Monday by nonprofit NatureServe.
The nonprofit group’s analysis, based on 50 years of data, determined that 34 percent of plants and 40 percent of animals are threatened, with wide variations for particular species and by region.
About 37 percent of bee species are at risk, for example, with the threat greater in the Western U.S. than in the East.
The plant species threatened include about 20 percent of grasses, some 200 tree species and nearly 50 percent of cacti. The report was first shared with Reuters.
The details: The most at-risk animal species are those in freshwater habitats, including snails, amphibians, crayfish and mussels, according to the report.
Not only are the conservation needs of those species frequently overlooked in environmental strategies, but they are also often essential to their ecosystems, risking a potential domino effect on their surroundings if they were to vanish.
At the ecosystem level, a slight majority — 51 percent — of 78 grassland types are at risk of collapse, while 40 percent of 107 native U.S. forests are at risk of collapse, according to the report.
The analysis found a major risk for tropical ecosystems, with 100 percent in the U.S. at the highest threat level, but those make up a relatively small percentage of total ecosystems as there are only seven nationwide.
Read more about the report here.
Water chief: Feds will step in on Colo. River conflict
The federal government will likely end up putting its foot down in a state-to-state squabble over cuts in Colorado River consumption, Arizona’s water chief told The Hill.
“We will continue to try to get an agreement,” said Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. “The path we’re on seems like the federal government’s going to step in.”
Negotiations among the seven states that rely on this key Western waterway have been taking place for months, with the goal of significantly reducing usage of an overallocated resource.
The states had agreed to a rough deadline of Jan. 31, aware that the Federal Bureau of Reclamation had threatened to impose cuts itself if an agreement failed to materialize.
What did materialize were two opposing proposals — a joint deal from six out of the seven states last Monday and a competing offer from the outlier, California, on Tuesday.
- The details of the plans are so incompatible that the government will likely intervene, either with a unilateral solution or a combination of imposed and voluntary measures, according to Buschatzke, who has served as Arizona’s chief negotiator in the matter.
- “Differences between the six-state proposal and California’s proposal just further cements in my mind that that’s the path we’re on,” Buschatzke said.
Some 40 million people across seven U.S. states and Mexico rely on the Colorado River for drinking water, agriculture and hydroelectric power. But this lifeblood of the West is governed by a century-old agreement that allotted river users with more water than was actually available.
Read more about the ongoing negotiations here, from The Hill’s Sharon Udasin.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- LNG export terminals pose a growing and invisible threat: air pollution (Louisiana Illuminator & Floodlight)
- Why Nuclear Waste May Be An Overlooked Climate Solution (HuffPost)
- Atmospheric rivers aren’t just a problem for California. They’re changing the Arctic, too (CNN)
- Feds warn Rio Grande settlement could trigger disaster (E&E News)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.
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