Presidential Action Triggered by Crisis in the U.S. Solar Industry

In recent months, the U.S. solar industry has been in the midst of an existential crisis, triggered by the threatened imposition of retroactive and future tariffs on a significant portion of U.S. imports. That crisis began on April 1, 2022, when the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) initiated an inquiry to determine whether solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) orders on solar cells from China. Solar cells from these countries generally accounted for approximately 80% of U.S. solar module imports in 2020.[1] If Commerce finds circumvention, solar cells and modules from the four target countries could not only be subject to combined AD/CVD tariffs approaching 250%, but Commerce’s regulations also allow for the agency to apply these tariffs retroactively to merchandise entering on or after April 1, 2022 (and potentially as far back as November 4, 2021). This threat of AD/CVD tariffs triggered a steep decrease in imports of solar cells and modules from Southeast Asia, and caused parts of the U.S. solar industry to come to a stand-still, furthering domestic reliance on coal.[2] Given this paralysis in the solar industry, lawmakers and others urged the President to provide relief from potential AD/CVD tariffs.[3]

Continue Reading President Acts to Prevent Import Tariffs on Solar Cells and Modules from Southeast Asia

The Fifth Circuit recently allowed the federal government to resume use of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC), after a district court enjoined reliance on the metric earlier this year.  The SCC aids cost-benefit analysis of regulatory actions and can provide insights into the impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.  The continued

This is the twenty-sixth post in our series on “The ABCs of the AJP.”

As we wrap up our blog series on the climate and energy implications of the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan (AJP), it is an opportune moment to revisit our journey from A through Z, and reflect on whether the Biden Administration’s proposed investment in infrastructure can set the nation on a path to achieve its 2050 net-zero target.
Continue Reading Zeroing-In on Net-Zero Emissions

This is the twenty-fifth in our series on the “ABCs of the AJP.”

The American Jobs Plan aims to electrify 20% of the country’s iconic yellow school bus fleet through a new “Clean Buses for Kids” program, alongside a broader effort to replace 50,000 diesel transit vehicles.  The move will have important health benefits and assist in the electrification of the heavy duty transportation and freight sectors, which face additional challenges as they seek to decarbonize.
Continue Reading Yellow School Buses and Diesel Electrification

This is the twenty-fourth in our series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

In 2020 alone, the United States suffered 22 separate extreme weather and climate-related disasters that each caused at least $1 billion in damages, for a total of more than $100 billion in losses.  That staggering statistic is not an anomaly, as climate change continues to result in more and more extreme weather events every year.  For example, the Texas freeze that rocked the state earlier this year and killed more than one hundred people, also shut down the state’s significant petrochemical industry, disrupting supply chains nationwide, and caused an estimated $80 billion to $130 billion in direct and indirect economic losses.  Hundreds of deaths are attributed to the unprecedented and record-breaking heat wave of the Pacific Northwest, and a British Columbia village where the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada was devastated by wildfire.  Taking into account these and other weather-related tragedies, the losses become inestimable on a human scale.
Continue Reading X-Treme Weather and the Need for Climate Resiliency

This is the twenty-third in our series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) proposed $111 billion of investments into improvements in drinking water and wastewater management systems across the United States.  The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that the President endorsed last week would provide just about half of that amount – $55 billion – which the President nevertheless described as “the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history.”
Continue Reading Win-Win Solutions for Clean Water, from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C.

This is the twenty-first in our series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) sets an ambitious goal of “achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035.”  To accomplish this, the AJP proposes significant investments in grid modernizationtransmission infrastructureoffshore wind, and energy storage, as detailed by our prior posts.  Whether these investments – carrots, if you will – will be sufficient to drive down emissions in all states and achieve the 2035 target, in the absence of an enforceable clean electricity standard (CES), remains uncertain.  Equally uncertain is the pathway for Congress to enact a CES.
Continue Reading Using Carrots and Sticks to Unleash the Potential for Clean Utilities

This post is the 17th in our series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan (AJP) sends strong signals in support of carbon capture and sequestration as an important tool to achieve the President’s ambitious decarbonization objectives.
Continue Reading Qualifying Carbon Capture and Storage under 45Q: How Biden’s Infrastructure Plan and Congressional Action May Provide a Realistic Role for CCS in Achieving Net Zero

This blog is the sixteenth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

 The American Jobs Plan (AJP) envisions moving to 100 percent carbon pollution-free power by 2035.  To do this, the Plan contemplates sweeping updates to the power sector to increase use of zero-emissions electricity and modernize the physical infrastructure to make it cleaner, more resilient, and more cost-effective for end users.

The AJP’s reimagining of the American power sector is a critical component of the President’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, as significant investments in electric vehicles (EV), EV charging, and electric heat pumps for both commercial and residential dwellings are intended to accelerate the nation’s progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Continue Reading Pioneering a Net Zero Emissions Future through Investments in Power