Overnight Energy: House passes Interior, EPA, Energy budget package | Study suggests US undercounts costs of climate deaths | Automakers to reportedly join Biden in 40 percent electric vehicle pledge

Overnight Energy: House passes Interior, EPA, Energy budget package | Study suggests US undercounts costs of climate deaths | Automakers to reportedly join Biden in 40 percent electric vehicle pledge
© Greg Nash

HAPPY THURSDAY!!! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day’s energy and environment news. 

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Today we’re looking at a House-passed budget package, a new study on potential climate deaths, and automakers reportedly joining the Biden administration in an EV push. 



BUDGET BLUES: The House on Thursday passed a sprawling appropriations package for fiscal year 2022 that includes funding for the Interior and Energy Departments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several others. 

While the budget still has to go through the Senate, and isn’t likely to be enacted as-is, it’s an indication of where Democratic budget priorities lie.  

Bill summaries put out by the Appropriations Committee showed the top lines as: 

  • $15.6 billion in Interior discretionary funding, $2.3 billion more than that enacted in fiscal 2021 
  • $11.34 billion for the EPA, up $2.11 billion from the enacted fiscal 2021 level
  • $45.1 billion for the Energy Department, $3.2 billion more than the 2021 level

Some policies that were part of the package include:

  • The creation of a Civilian Climate Corps
  • Initiatives to clean up abandoned mines and cap abandoned oil and gas wells 
  • Funding to start transitioning the federal vehicle fleet to electric vehicles

Read more about the overall appropriations package here and click here for a refresher on the initial draft of the Interior-EPA bill. 



GRIM STATISTICS: Study suggests U.S. undercounts costs of climate deaths 

A new study suggests the United States is undercounting the cost of additional deaths caused by climate change — a finding that could spur governments to do more to reduce carbon emissions.

The study published in Nature Communications advances the idea of the social cost of carbon, which combines the market cost of carbon dioxide with “non-market” costs, such as rising sea levels and fatalities from higher global temperatures.

The Biden administration is temporarily putting the social cost of carbon at $51 per metric ton but the paper published Thursday suggests a much higher total that could reach up to $258 per ton.

If emissions continue unabated, the author’s model found, 75 million additional people will die from heat-related causes who would otherwise survive if the world reaches net zero by 2050.

Read more about the study here.


GETTING ON BOARD: Automakers to reportedly join Biden in 40 percent electric vehicle pledge

Three major automakers will reportedly join President BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE in a promise to make 40 percent of car sales electric by 2030. 

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which was previously known as Fiat Chrysler, will offer support for a shift to electric vehicles making up 40 to 50 percent of their new car sales. 

Ford spokesperson Melissa Miller in an email highlighted the company's prior announcement that it expects 40 percent of its worldwide vehicle volume to be electric by 2030, but didn't say whether the company would be part of a White House push.

Spokespeople for the White House and Stellantis declined The Hill’s request for comment. GM didn’t immediately respond.

A spokesperson for the United Auto Workers, a major industry union, told The Hill via email that it too, was in discussions regarding the announcement.   

Read more here.




For FEMA head, trip to wildfire regions reaffirms drive to address climate change, Axios reports

Washington state county is first in US to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, The Guardian reports

Low-carbon hydrogen is not cheap and needs support, says major energy organization, CNBC reports

Water shortage, fire threat move to top of Californians’ environment concerns, The Orange County Register reports



ICYMI: Stories from Thursday...

Interior Department to review proposal for first wind power project off North Carolina coast

Tesla reports over $800M in energy business revenue in second quarter

Automakers to join Biden in 40 percent electric vehicle pledge: report

Study puts a price on climate-driven death



Senate's proposed clean energy standard is a major win for health write Sarah Spengeman of Energy Innovation and Neelu Tummala of George Washington University School of Medicine