Before you do anything else, the EPA Climate Tracker is Back!!!

CABINET

CABINET

President George Washington created the Cabinet by having meetings with three advisers, but James Madison gave the group its enduring name. Today, the President’s Cabinet has expanded from three to fifteen, including the Vice President. Cabinet members determine the order of succession should the President pass away or be unable to serve — the Secretary of State, for example, follows the Vice President, Speaker of the House, and President pro tempore of the Senate — but they are also heads of their own Executive Departments. Cabinet members are nominated by the President and require a majority vote from the Senate to be confirmed.

Examples include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Transportation. The presidentially-appointed Secretaries of each Department develop, enforce, and oversee federal regulations. Because climate change touches every single aspect of our lives, the position of every government leader towards climate change has significant consequence; however, there are certain positions, like Head of the Department of Energy and the Department of Interior, where this connection is especially explicit.

It is for this reason that, on occasion, the relationship between a Cabinet member and private interests have drawn public ire. For example, it doesn’t sit well that Dan Brouillette, the Secretary of Energy under President Trump, was a former lobbyist for Ford Motor Company. Similarly, Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, was a former lobbyist for oil and gas companiesThese conflicts of interest are undoubtedly connected to the approximately 100 environmental rollbacks that occurred under President Trump.

Most of these rollbacks came from the Environmental Protection Agency, then headed by Andrew Wheeler. While the EPA Administrator is not a part of the Cabinet, the position has Cabinet-level rank, and also has regulatory power. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, continued trends set by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (who was also appointed by Trump and one who does not believe in scientific evidence supporting climate change) to aggressively challenge Obama-era environmental regulations. As Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA under Obama vocalized, rollbacks that allow for increased pollution exacerbate the threat of Covid-19, particularly for marginalized populations who are more likely to live in areas with poor air quality and less likely to have access to health insurance.

Many of President Joe Biden’s climate team have been announced.

  • John Kerry has been, a cabinet level post named special presidential envoy on climate change with a seat on the National Security Council. Kerry helped write and steer the negotiation of the Paris Agreement, and the appointment signals Joe Biden’s commitment to the climate crisis.
  • Jennifer Granholm will be the Energy Secretary. A former governor of Michigan, she is currently teaching at UC Berkeley and will be the second woman to run the 14,000-employee department, long focused on maintaining the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons. She has long advocated for renewable energy sources.
  • Michael Regan will run the EPA, and will be responsible for crafting fuel-efficiency standards for the nation’s cars and trucks, overseeing emissions from power plants and oil and gas facilities, and cleaning up the country’s most polluted sites.
  • Deb Haaland, if confirmed, will be the Interior Secretary. Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, will be in charge of an agency that has tremendous sway over the nearly 600 federally recognized tribes as well as over much of the nation’s vast public lands, waterways, wildlife, national parks and mineral wealth.
  • David Hayes, will be special assistant to the president for climate policy, coming to the Biden White House with a background in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as deputy secretary at the Department of the Interior.
  • Brenda Mallory will be the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and  brings deep and versatile expertise working directly with communities and partners across the public and private sectors to solve climate challenges and advance environmental protection and environmental justice.
  • Gina McCarthy will be the first-ever National Climate Advisor. McCarthy will head up the newly formed White House Office of Climate Policy, where she will drive an “all of government” approach to combating climate change. A leading voice on climate and environmental issues for more than 30 years, she will oversee the National Climate Task Force, which President Biden created as part of a series of executive actions during his first week in office.
  • Ali Zaidi will be Deputy National Climate Advisor, Zaidi helped draft and implement the Obama-Biden Administration’s Climate Action Plan and negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition

02/24/22
Demand for clean energy technologies such as wind turbines and batteries for electric vehicles has increased significantly as technology costs have plummeted over the last decade and countries seek to diversify their energy systems with…

Investing in a Clean Energy Future: Solar Energy Research, Deployment, and Workforce Priorities

09/13/21
The immediate need for action on climate change has been made clear in the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Limiting the rise in global temperatures would help avoid future catastrophic…

Climate Change Indicators in the United States

05/18/21
The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events – like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures – are already happening. Many of these observed…

Vineyard Wind

05/16/21
The Departments of the Interior and Commerce announced the approval of the construction and operation of the first large-scale, offshore wind project in the United States, located offshore Massachusetts. The 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind energy project…

Climate Change Adaptation: Department of the Interior

03/02/21
The Department of the Interior (DOI) and many agencies within it, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and U.S. Geological…

Tracking turnover in the Trump administration

01/01/20
The rate of turnover among senior level advisers to President Trump has generated a great deal of attention. Below, we offer four resources to help measure and contextualize this turnover. The first set of resources…

The Cabinet

01/27/19
Established in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.

MORE NEWS

Exclusive: DOE official warns of solar supply chain risks

By Jael Holzman   01/05/23  
Relying on Asia for imports could pose a risk to U.S. solar growth, a top Department of Energy official told Axios in an interview. Why it matters: The department is shedding light on where it…

EPA enacts tougher pollution rule for trucks, vans and buses

By Anna Phillips   12/20/22  
Manufacturers would have to reduce harmful tailpipe pollution from new trucks, delivery vans and buses under a long-awaited regulation the Biden administration finalized Tuesday — a rule that could protect public health in poor communities…

DoD Solicits Carbon Pollution-Free Electricity

12/16/22  
Today, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy issued solicitations for the purchase of carbon pollution-free electricity (CFE) to support Department of Defense installations and federal agencies in two key regions. This is an important step forward…

EPA revokes Trump-era air permitting policy

By Sean Reilly   12/15/22  
EPA Administrator Michael Regan has scrapped a Trump-era permitting policy whose development ensnared a top appointee in allegations of ethical overstepping.

FERC climate reviews in limbo as Glick departs

By Miranda Willson   12/15/22  
The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had big plans at the start of the Biden administration for assessing planet-warming emissions from new gas pipelines.

EPA proposes rule to cut HFC use, speed transition to efficient heating and cooling technologies

By Robert Walton   12/14/22  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose a new rule to limit hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, in some products including refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump equipment, the agency announced Friday. The proposed rule will be…

BOEM Identifies Draft Wind Energy Areas in the Central Atlantic for Public Review and Comment

11/16/22  
As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, today the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced eight draft Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore the…

At COP27 Biden says U.S. will ‘do our part to avert’ a ‘climate hell’

By Siobhán O'Grady   11/11/22  
President Biden pledged that the United States will “do our part to avert” a “climate hell,” citing a warning by the U.N. secretary general earlier this week in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian resort city hosting…

EPA to regulate methane leaks from oil and gas to fight climate change

11/11/22  
In a bid to show U.S. commitment to tackling climate change, the Biden administration outlined in Egypt a renewed effort to curb emissions from domestic oil and gas producers.

Manchin Won’t Hold Renomination Hearing for FERC’s Glick (2)

By Daniel Moore   11/10/22  
Sen. Joe Manchin has decided against scheduling a confirmation hearing for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick with only weeks left before the end of the current Congress. “The chairman was not comfortable holding…

EPA touts largest-ever investment in monitoring air pollution

By Rachel Frazin   11/03/22  
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said that it would be able to fund 132 projects for monitoring air pollution in 37 states after recent legislation passed Congress.

How will DOE loan out $250B to make dirty energy systems clean?

By Jeff St. John   11/03/22  
The Inflation Reduction Act contains $369 billion in tax credits, grants and incentives meant to drive investment in new clean energy technology over the next decade, a fact that has been widely reported. But it…

This oil refinery poses a major environmental justice test for Biden

By Maxine Joselow and Others   10/28/22  
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Our colleague Brady Dennis will moderate two conversations today at 11 a.m. ET with Jigar Shah, director of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, and Liane Randolph,…

‘It’s like a death:’ What it’s like to leave one flood-prone community

By Brady Dennis   10/25/22  
On the day she would finally move to higher ground, Terri Straka awoke in the neighborhood where she had lived for three decades, but a place steadily becoming less recognizable. “No Trespassing” signs adorned the…

EPA to further slash emissions from climate super-pollutants

By Allyson Chiu   10/20/22  
The latest actions aim to reduce emissions from chemicals that can be thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet.

BLM Announces Completion of Crimson Solar Energy Storage Project

10/19/22  
A fund managed by Axium Infrastructure US Inc. owns 80% of the project and Recurrent Energy, the project developer, retains 20% ownership. CSI Energy Storage was the turnkey system integrator of the project, delivering the…

Treasury Dept. to ask insurers for data on climate risks

By Ephrat Livni   10/18/22  
The department is proposing to gather information from across the country to establish where climate change is making property insurance unaffordable or inaccessible.

Republicans plan legal assault on climate disclosure rules for public companies

By Adam Lowenstein   09/15/22  
Republican officials and corporate lobby groups are teeing up a multi-pronged legal assault on the Biden administration’s effort to help investors hold public corporations accountable for their carbon emissions and other climate change risks.

Solution for Pollutions

09/15/22  
President Biden promised to address the climate crisis by cutting climate pollution in half by 2030 and to deliver strong public health protections for all communities, including those historically overburdened by pollution.

Climate law: What to watch at Interior, FERC and DOE

By Heather Richards and Others   09/12/22  
The Department of Energy, Interior Department and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are grappling with how to implement the landmark climate law and carry out President Joe Biden’s priorities for shifting the country towards low-carbon energy.…

To decarbonize industry, DOE makes road map

By Robert Walton   09/08/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday published an industrial decarbonization road map, laying out a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions associated with five sectors: chemical manufacturing, petroleum refining, iron and steel, cement production, and…

White House policies rescued U.S. economy, Treasury’s Yellen says

By Chelsey Cox   09/08/22  
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen praised Biden administration’s economic policies Thursday during a speech at a Ford Motor Company electric vehicle plant in Michigan.

The Department of Energy wants feedback on how to recycle lithium-ion batteries

By Justine Calma   08/30/22  
The Department of Energy just took a first step toward launching new lithium-ion battery recycling programs in the US. It issued a Request for Information (RFI) yesterday to ask for public input on how to…

EPA tells 15 states they missed air pollution plan deadline

By Zack Budryk   08/29/22  
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued notices to 15 states for failure to submit plans for air pollution reduction, four months after a lawsuit on the matter from a coalition of environmental groups. In…

DOE begins accepting applications for $425M in major boost to state clean energy funding

By Robert Walton   08/29/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced a significant expansion to its state energy program and is now accepting applications for $425 million in formula funding for the development of renewable resources, efficiency improvements,…

DOE Announces $540 Million for Technologies to Transform Energy Production and Cut Emissions

08/25/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced more than $540 million in awards for university- and National Laboratory-led research into clean energy technologies and low-carbon manufacturing. Most greenhouse-gas emissions come from the production and…

The EPA Just Quietly Got Stronger

By Robinson Meyer   08/24/22  
All carrots, no sticks. That is the story of the Inflation Reduction Act. Since the law was unveiled last month, savvy commentators have noted that its policies consist almost entirely of “carrots,” incentives meant to…

Greens ask EPA to ban new natural gas heating

By Rachel Frazin   08/23/22  
Environmental advocates are asking the Biden administration for a federal ban on new natural gas-powered heating appliances in homes and commercial buildings. In a petition submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday, 26…

Biden appoints Robinson to DOE grid office after GOP pushback against previous nomination

By Catherine Morehouse   07/19/22  
Maria Robinson, whose name was withdrawn to lead the DOE Office of Electricity just last month after Republican criticism, has been appointed again by the White House.

Four ways the United States can still fight climate change

By Coral Davenport   07/15/22  
With the president’s most potent tools to fight climate change stripped by Congress and the courts, the administration will now have to rely on smaller, less powerful actions.

Energy Department to fund initiatives focused on ‘barriers’ to clean energy tech

By Rachel Frazin   07/14/22  
While the department selects Technology Commercialization Fund projects each year, an energy official told The Hill that this year the department was taking a “new approach” that doesn’t target specific kinds of energy like wind…

Biden administration unveils new funding for domestic solar manufacturing

By Reuters   07/14/22  
The Biden administration on Thursday said it would pour $56 million into programs aimed at spurring domestic manufacturing of solar energy products as the U.S. seeks to move its clean energy sector away from a…

DOE Awards $14 Million to Improve Climate Change Predictions

07/07/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $14 million in funding for 22 projects aimed at improving climate change predictions. As extreme weather events and impacts of climate change continue to escalate, the research…
tti

USDOT announces proposed greenhouse gas emission reduction framework

By Tom Stone   07/07/22  
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for states and municipalities to track and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Biden opens door to more offshore drilling, despite earlier climate vow

By Dino Grandoni and Others   07/01/22  
President Biden’s administration opened the door Friday to more offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters over the next five years, setting a potential course for future U.S. fossil fuel extraction just a day…

Biden admin to hold first onshore drilling auctions in blow to climate agenda

By Reuters   06/29/22  
The U.S. Interior Department this week will hold its first onshore oil and gas auctions since President Joe Biden took office, a setback to his administration's early efforts to end federal drilling to fight climate…

Biden to pause new solar tariffs as White House encourages adoption

By Ana Swanson, David Gelles and Jim Tankersley   06/06/22  
The Commerce Department had been considering whether to impose the tariffs as part of a trade case against Chinese companies.

Biden administration to cut costs for wind and solar energy projects

By Lisa Friedman   06/01/22  
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said the government would sharply reduce the fees it charges to companies that operate on public lands.

SEC extends deadline for public to comment on climate risk proposal

By Rachel Frazin   05/09/22  
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended how long the public will have to weigh in on a proposal that would require companies to reveal their vulnerabilities and contributions to climate change.

Biden administration launches $6 billion nuclear plant bailout

By Evan Halper   04/20/22  
The Biden administration moved Tuesday to revive America’s troubled nuclear power industry with $6 billion in spending aimed at keeping open financially strapped plants.

Interior Dept. Report on Drilling Is Mostly Silent on Climate Change

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman   11/26/21  
The Interior Department on Friday recommended that the federal government raise the fees that oil and gas companies pay to drill on public lands — the first increase in those rent and royalty rates since…

White House creates new energy division to help craft climate change policies

By Maxine Joselow   11/24/21  
The announcement, scheduled for Wednesday, illustrates that the White House is racing to fulfill President Biden’s ambitious commitments to combat climate change, particularly as Republicans ramp up their attacks on the administration over high gas…

Jigar Shah has a new strategy to boost climatetech through DOE loans

By Jeff St. John   11/15/21  
Jigar Shah has spent his private-sector career working to bring once-unfinanceable long-shot clean technologies to multibillion-dollar commercial scale, from utility-scale solar at SunEdison to community solar, electric buses and other ​“sustainable infrastructure” projects at Generate…

Biden, other G-20 world leaders formally endorse groundbreaking global corporate minimum tax

By Jeff Stein   10/30/21  
The new global minimum tax of 15 percent aims to reverse the decades-long decline in tax rates on corporations across the world.
DOE

DOE Awards $20 Million to Help States Deploy Carbon Capture and Storage

10/15/21  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million in funding to four projects working to accelerate the regional deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). The projects, representing all four corners of…

CEQ chief touts climate goals, laments ‘ping-ponging policy’

By Pamela King   10/13/21  
The president’s top environmental adviser said today that she is laser-focused on addressing planet-warming emissions while preserving some stability for regulated industries. Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, told an…

DOE commits $20M to create clean hydrogen from nuclear power with Palo Verde project

By Scott Van Voorhis   10/12/21  
The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday unveiled plans to spend $20 million on research into the production of clean hydrogen from nuclear power. The money will help pay for a demonstration project by PNW…
EPA

EPA Releases Draft Strategic Plan to Address Climate Change and Advance Environmental Justice and Equity

10/01/21  
Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that its Draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2026 EPA Strategic Plan has been published in the Federal Register and is available for public comment through November 12, 2021. The Strategic…

The International Energy Agency Aims for Net-Zero by 2024

By Sami Grover   09/30/21  
Whether it’s promoting building efficiency or pushing for renewables, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has been talking about decarbonization for quite some time. Now the agency is putting what it preaches into practice, announcing a…

USDA pledges billions for climate-smart farm projects, resilience

By Marc Heller   09/29/21  
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today he’ll use billions of dollars from a Depression-era agency to pay for a carbon-saving program for farms, and to help farmers prepare for drought and adverse weather associated with…