Significant climate investments in Inflation Reduction Act
Biden focuses on solar energy to reach climate goals
Max Gomberg resigns from California's state water board
CHIPS and Science Act set to help tackle climate crisis
Environmentalists object to Manchin's proposed permitting reforms
CTFC analyses voluntary carbon markets


This article outlines pertinent legal and policy climate change developments in the United States during the past week.(1)

Significant climate investments in Inflation Reduction Act

Various bouts of negotiations have culminated in the Inflation Reduction Act 2022 (IRA), a significantly scaled-back iteration of the "Build Back Better" plan. The IRA features a $396 billion investment in energy security and climate change with provisions that establish clean energy tax credits. Additionally, the measure seeks to fund sustainable agriculture incentives and building efficiency programmes, implement a methane fee for the oil and gas industry, and achieve parity between offshore/onshore renewable and oil and gas leasing (for further details, see "Comprehensive Section-By-Section of the Inflation Reduction Act").

Biden focuses on solar energy to reach climate goals

On 27 July 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced an initiative to connect low-income families to solar energy. The commitments form part of the Justice40 initiative, which:

commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, or overburdened by pollution.(2)

Max Gomberg resigns from California's state water board

California State Water Resources Control Board member Max Gomberg has resigned due to concerns that Governor Gavin Newsom resisted a "long list" of climate-centred proposals. In his resignation letter, he wrote:

Witnessing the agency's ability to tackle big challenges nearly eviscerated by this Administration has been gut wrenching. The way some of you have simply rolled over and accepted this has also been difficult to watch.

In response, Governor Newsom's spokesperson touted that Newsom "is doing more than any other state to adapt to our changing climate".

CHIPS and Science Act set to help tackle climate crisis

On 28 July 2022, the House passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act. The Act contains "many pieces" that will help to create solutions for the climate crisis, including support for clean energy technologies and emissions measurements.

Environmentalists object to Manchin's proposed permitting reforms

In the wake of Senator Joe Manchin's support of Biden's Climate Inflation Reduction Act 2022, Manchin and Senator Chuck Schumer have indicated that they will pursue "comprehensive permitting reform legislation" prior to the end of the fiscal year. Environmental groups have objected to the proposals, which were published on 2 August 2022.

CTFC analyses voluntary carbon markets

The Commodity Futures Training Commission (CFTC) has taken steps towards adopting a "whole-of-government approach to the mitigation of climate-related financial risk". More specifically, the CFTC held a voluntary carbon markets convening and circulated a request for information to solicit comments regarding climate-related financial risk before 8 October 2022 (for further details, see "CFTC Turns Spotlight on the Voluntary Carbon Markets").

For further information on this topic please contact Kenneth Markowitz, Stacey H Mitchell or Christopher A Treanor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP by telephone (+1 202 887 4000) or email ([email protected], [email protected] or ctreanor[email protected]). The Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP website can be accessed at www.akingump.com.

Leila Fleming, public policy specialist, assisted with the preparation of this article.

Endnotes

(1) For further updates, including upcoming congressional hearings, federal agency climate news and events, see "Climate Policy Update". For the previous week's update, see "Climate change policy update".

(2) "FACT SHEET: Biden-‚Ā†Harris Administration Announces Six New Actions to Lower Electricity Bills for Working Families", press release, 27 July 2022.