FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Do all citizens have a right to a hospitable climate? Can legislation be passed to mitigate the consequences of greenhouse gases? How do regulations (or deregulations) have the power to promote sustainable practices and curb emissions, or do the reverse? Are high-emitting corporations liable for climate-related damages? Where does the judicial system come into play? Climate change has pushed these questions to the forefront of our national conversation. They all highlight the integral role of our government in confronting climate change and the critical need for policies.

As a nation we have three branches of government with separate but interrelated responsibilities. This “separation of powers” was intended to prevent one governmental body from gaining too much power and becoming autocratic.

Our federal laws are created by Congress (the legislative branch) which is comprised of the Senate (2 Senators from every state) and the House (there are currently 435 representatives, a number fixed by law since 1911, representing each state in proportion to the size of the state’s population).

The laws, once passed by both House and Senate and signed into law by the President, are carried out by the executive branch, which also has the power to regulate and deregulate, as well as to issue executive orders. The President, supported by the Vice President, department heads (cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies such as the EPA make up the executive branch.

The third branch is the judicial system wherein the courts retain responsibility for interpreting the laws that have been passed by the legislative branch and enforced by the executive branch. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States.

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U.S. senator blocks Biden EPA nominees over carbon capture

By Timothy Gardner  Photo: Rod Lamkey/Pool via   02/17/22  
A Republican U.S. senator said on Wednesday he is blocking President Joe Biden's nominees for environmental regulatory positions in a bid to win permission for his state to regulate storage of the primary gas blamed…

The White House is going after one of climate change’s thorniest problems

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: The Atlantic   02/16/22  
It is one of the strangest feelings that modern transportation can afford: You’ve just gotten on a train and are gazing out the window. And then, slowly, the scene outside begins to move, and for…

EPRI, Battelle Announce Unique Research and Development Partnership to Accelerate Clean Energy Transition

By Battelle Media Relations   02/15/22  
Research and development powerhouses the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Battelle are teaming up, announcing today a new partnership with industry and other key stakeholders to accelerate the demonstration and deployment of new low-carbon…

DOE will build nation’s first large-scale facility to turn fossil fuel waste into rare materials for tech

By Ella Nilsen   02/14/22  
The vast majority of critical minerals and rare earth elements that help power electric vehicles and wind turbines come from mining operations overseas. But a new initiative spearheaded by the US Department of Energy is…

U.S. Energy Dept to provide about $3 bln to boost production of advanced batteries

By Reuters  Photo : Mike Blake , Reuters   02/12/22  
The U.S. Energy Department said it intends to provide $2.91 billion to boost production of advanced batteries to grow clean energy industries, including electric vehicles, as directed in the infrastructure legislation.
CNN

US Army releases climate strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

By Ellie Kaufman   02/08/22  
The US Army released its first climate strategy on Tuesday with goals to reduce the Army's greenhouse gas pollution by 50% by 2030 and attain "net-zero" emissions by 2050.

How The Pentagon and Partners Are Working Together to Combat Climate Change

By Joseph Gordon and Jack Greenberg  Photo: Carolene Brehman , Getty Images   02/04/22  
For years, the U.S. Defense Department has been advancing on another front that is critical to—but not often associated with—national security: conservation. In fact, the Pentagon, which oversees millions of acres of land and water,…

DOE Announces $420 Million to Advance Clean Energy Breakthroughs at Energy Research Centers Across America

01/13/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a $420 million funding opportunity for DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC). This funding will advance climate solutions through early-stage research on clean energy technology, advanced and…

DOE Invests $13.4 Million to Combat Plastic Waste, Reduce Plastic Industry Emissions

01/11/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $13.4 million in funding for next generation plastics technologies that reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of single-use plastics. The seven selected research and development (R&D)…

DOE Establishes New Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

12/21/21  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the establishment of the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, a new DOE office that will help deliver on President Biden’s bold climate agenda, create new, good-paying jobs…

Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

03/21/17  
Executive Order 12866 requires that federal agencies assess the cost and the benefits of intended regulations as part of their regulatory impact analyses (RIAs). The 1993 executive order stated