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OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden admin hopes to take on 500 maintenance projects next year | Biden bolsters push for offshore wind | RNC fireworks caused over $42K in damage to National Mall

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden admin hopes to take on 500 maintenance projects next year | Biden bolsters push for offshore wind | RNC fireworks caused over $42K in damage to National Mall
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Today we’re talking about the Biden administration’s hope to take on 547 maintenance projects in FY22, taking a deeper dive into its offshore wind goals and looking at the cost of damage to the National Mall from an RNC firework display. 

MAINTAINING AMBITION: Biden administration hopes to take on 500 maintenance projects next year

The Biden administration said on Thursday that it hopes to take on more than 500 maintenance projects next year using a fund designated to restore public lands and parks for fiscal year 2022. 

A statement from the Interior Department said that it would house 63 projects while 484 would fall under the National Forest Service. The administration estimated that together, they would support more than 20,000 jobs.

The administration will take on additional projects through the separate Land and Water Conservation Fund, including 28 forest legacy projects. 

Read more about what the Biden administration is requesting here.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THOSE #WINDGOALS: Biden bolsters push for offshore wind

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The Biden administration is leaning into offshore wind as part of its push to transition the U.S. to clean energy, even as the federal government is already on course to meeting a new target for the energy source.

The administration has taken several steps in recent weeks to advance its goal of being able to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by the year 2030 — enough energy to power more than 10 million homes.

So how close are we? There were already 28.5 gigawatts in the "offshore wind pipeline" as of 2019, before President BidenJoe BidenChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  EPA announces new clean air advisors after firing Trump appointees |  Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior | Watchdog: Bureau of Land Management saw messaging failures, understaffing during pandemic Poll: Majority back blanket student loan forgiveness MORE took office. The Energy Department, which provided updated figures after publication, said there are currently more than 35 gigawatts in the pipeline, more than enough to meet Biden's target.

This gives the department the better part of a decade to see those projects come to fruition. Advocates and experts say Biden's goal is still significant given the work needed to get projects across the finish line.

“It’s both ambitious, but I think it’s also very doable,” said Erin Baker, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. “We may not be halfway there in five years, but I think then it’ll really start to speed up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we actually end up surpassing it by 2030.”

Read more about the specifics here.

SPARKING DAMAGE: RNC fireworks caused over $42K in damage to National Mall

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpChinese apps could face subpoenas, bans under Biden executive order: report Kim says North Korea needs to be 'prepared' for 'confrontation' with US Ex-Colorado GOP chair accused of stealing more than 0K from pro-Trump PAC MORE’s Fourth of July fireworks last summer caused more than $42,000 in damages to the National Mall, according to documents obtained by a watchdog group.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released the documents on Wednesday, including a letter that the Department of Interior sent to the Republican National Committee (RNC) in February listing the damage.

In the letter, Interior officials told the RNC that the fireworks show held at the National Mall "injured" park resources.

Okay, like what? "Those injuries included turf damage from a forklift operator who drove at a high rate of speed across the turf near the sidewalks, turf damage from fireworks setup and activation such as tire rutting and spinouts, scorch marks from the fireworks and extensive compaction damage from improper setup and security/setup/takedown vehicles driving throughout the turf," the letter reads.

"In addition, when a dumpster was being positioned, it struck a Park drinking fountain causing damage."

But, they paid for it. The organization found a March receipt indicating that the RNC paid the Interior Department back in full for the damages.

Read more about the letter here.

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POWER TO THE PEOPLE: Progressives call for publicly owned power

A coalition of progressive lawmakers is calling for electric power to be publicly owned in a new resolution unveiled Thursday.

The resolution says that the country should “transition away from investor-owned utilities and marketized energy systems...by acquiring them through the Federal Government” and turning them over to state, local or tribal ownership, or community or cooperative ownership. 

Since the call, spearheaded by Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), is a resolution rather than a bill, it will not become law if it is approved and instead would simply express congressional sentiment. 

Specifically, it seeks to express that “the United States must establish electricity as a basic human right and public good, and eradicate the reliance on monopolized, profit-driven utility corporations and providers and the flawed regulatory regime that has failed to regulate these utilities in the public interest." 

Read more about the push here.

WHAT WE’RE READING:

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Tasked to Fight Climate Change, a Secretive U.N. Agency Does the Opposite, The New York Times reports

Treaties offer new aid in environmental fights, Indian Country Today reports

Private equity bet on troubled Caribbean refinery blows up on retirement funds, Reuters reports

The birding community faces a difficult debate about the names of species connected to enslavers, supremacists and grave robbers, The Washington Post reports

NC Senate Republicans act to deny Cooper environmental appointee’s confirmation, a first, The News & Observer reports

ICYMI: Stories from Thursday…

White House requests $2.8 billion for parks, conservation projects

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Trump's 2020 July Fourth fireworks show caused over $42K in damage: CREW

Tech, entertainment giants team up for climate change solutions

Progressives call for publicly-owned power

Top EU court: Germany 'persistently' broke air pollution rules

Biden bolsters push for offshore wind

New study says endangered whales have shrunk in size three feet over 20 years

FROM THE HILL’S OPINION PAGES:

What U.S. policymakers can glean from Iceland's clean energy evolution, by Einar Hansen Tomasson, head of energy and green solutions at Business Iceland.

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