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Principles for National Climate Action

Author(s): Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Chair, Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change, U.S. House of Representatives
Co-Chair, Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition
Date: April 15, 2019 at 1:48 PM

Americans are living, and dying, in the path of unprecedented flooding, raging wildfires, and battering storms driven by Earth’s changing climate. Regardless of the origins of our predicament, we have inherited these conditions. It falls to us to set aside past disagreements and rise together to meet this challenge. The principles outlined here, and in greater detail at Tonko.house.gov/climate, are meant to provide a framework that moves the lines of our agreement forward and help us build a comprehensive national climate action plan together. This is an appeal to everyone who takes solving the climate crisis seriously. As more detailed… [more]

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Grid Reliability: What Congress Can Learn From New York’s REV Initiative

Author(s): Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Chair, Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change, U.S. House of Representatives
Co-Chair, Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition
Date: February 1, 2016 at 10:00 AM

On a hot day in August 2003, a stretched transmission line tripped after dipping into an overgrown tree in Ohio. Soon after, multiple transmission lines nearby also tripped beginning what would become the second largest blackout at that time in history, impacting eight Northeastern states and Southern Canada. Since this massive blackout, power generation in the United States has changed dramatically both in form and quantity. In 2005, Congress recognized the need for mandatory grid reliability standards and expanded the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) authority to regulate the bulk power system. However, despite FERC’s efforts to improve grid reliability,… [more]

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Time-Variant Pricing in NY’s REV

Author(s): Beia Spiller
Economist
Environmental Defense Fund
Date: March 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Throughout most of the country, residential electricity customers pay the same price for electricity regardless of when it is consumed. Such flat rates mask the fact that true system costs vary over time according to electricity demand. Prices that better reflect the time-varying costs of producing and delivering electricity can lead to a number of economic and environmental gains, such as reduced wholesale prices, increased investment in clean distributed energy resources, and lower overall carbon emissions. Time-variant electricity pricing gives customers greater control over their electricity bills, since they can use electricity when it is cheaper and cut back when… [more]

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States Require Climate Information from Insurers

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 6, 2012 at 8:05 AM

California, New York, and Washington will require that large insurance companies operating within those states disclose how they respond, and plan to respond, to the risks posed by climate change. [New York Times] The U.S. in 2011 experienced a record number of natural disasters, and the costs of recovery – much of which will be borne by the insurance industry – are expected to exceed $50 billion. [New York Times] “We want to make sure that the financial soundness and stability of the insurance companies are not jeopardized by inadequate preparation for climate change,” said Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike… [more]

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Natural Gas and Hydrofracking

Author(s): David J. Manning
Director, Stakeholder Relations/External Affairs
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Date: January 6, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Hydrofracking for natural gas in shale formations has generated a heated national debate, complicating and in some cases preventing efforts to extract the resource. Critics of hydrofracking cite the process’ uncertain environmental and geologic risks. Meanwhile, natural gas developers and policymakers have been working to identify and implement technical standards and best practices to overcome or reduce these risks to negligible levels. In my home state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said of hydrofracking: “Let’s get the facts. Let the science and the facts make the determination, not emotion and not politics.” I agree. State of the art… [more]

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