President Biden doesn’t plan to ease up on climate change initiatives if reelected next year. In fact, it looks like the current commander-in-chief could increase the pressure on companies slow to embrace clean energy.
The New York Times reports four industrial sectors in particular are being targeted for carbon dioxide air pollution rules:
- steel mills
- cement kilns
- manufacturing plants, and
- oil refineries.
State-of-the-art pollution controls, which can cost upwards of $100 million to implement, won’t do enough to meet Biden’s goal of dramatically slashing carbon emissions. Companies will be forced to embrace new methods of production, very expensive technologies and alternative fuels to comply with regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and other departments, and avoid civil and criminal penalties.
“[H]ydrogen, a fuel produced by using wind and solar power, is muscular enough to run a steel mill but emits only water vapor as a byproduct,” according to Times reporters and sources. “[C]ement production involves heating limestone and releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide, but several companies have been developing cement that doesn’t emit carbon and may even absorb it.”
The White House may also consider a carbon tariff on domestic and foreign companies doing business on American soil.
GOP winner is likely to wield a hatchet
The eventual Republican nominee – most likely Donald Trump – will want to slash EPA’s budget and roll back climate change funding and regs.
Conservative groups wrote an action plan called Project 25 that’s designed to “block the expansion of the electrical grid for wind and solar energy, slash funding for EPA’s environmental justice office, shutter the Energy Department’s renewable energy offices [and] prevent states from adopting California’s car pollution standards,” says Politico.
Voters don’t share pols’ disdain for oil & coal
Project 25 also calls for “nurturing” the fossil fuel industry rather than “over-regulating” it. A large percentage of the population may be on board with that sentiment.
Recent Pew Research Center surveys find 66% of the public think the government should “encourage” renewable energy production like solar and wind, but only 31% want to phase out fossil fuels.