Kenneth J. Markowitz Stacey H. Mitchell Christopher A. Treanor August 22 2022 Climate change policy update: 22 August 2022 Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP | Environment & Climate Change - USA Kenneth J. Markowitz, Stacey H. Mitchell, Christopher A. Treanor Environment & Climate Change DOE issues request for information on new supply chain programmeBoost to climate research as CHIPS and Science Act passesAmendments weaken California climate disclosure billNewsom issues last-minute proposals to boost California's climate goalsCEC's new offshore wind goals contribute to California's climate effortsEnvironmental groups oppose extension of California nuclear plant operationCuts to Colorado River water for Arizona and Nevada, but not CaliforniaThis article outlines pertinent legal and policy climate change developments in the United States during the past week.(1)DOE issues request for information on new supply chain programmeOn 9 August 2022, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a request for information regarding the Critical Materials Research, Development, Demonstration and Commercialization Program, which was provided $675 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In a tweet, the DOE said that the programme would "partner with manufacturers to produce or recycle clean energy products or deploy cutting edge greenhouse gas emissions reduction equipment at facilities in coal communities".Boost to climate research as CHIPS and Science Act passesOn 9 August 2022, President Biden signed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act into law. The measure could reportedly direct "an estimated $67 billion, or roughly a quarter of its total funding, towards accelerating the growth of zero-carbon industries and conducting climate-relevant research".(2)Amendments weaken California climate disclosure billCalifornia's Senate Bill 260 would require private companies that generate at least $1 billion in annual revenue to "provide annual information on their greenhouse gas emissions". The bill has been amended to "remove explicit penalties for companies failing to report their emissions in a timely fashion". Furthermore, the amended bill compels regulators to consider industry and stakeholder input in determining reporting timelines.Newsom issues last-minute proposals to boost California's climate goalsGovernor Gavin Newsom has called on lawmakers to "enact more aggressive targets on state laws that reduce greenhouse gases and increase the use of renewable energy". Newsom's five-point plan(3) includes:"[c]odifying statewide carbon neutrality goal to dramatically reduce climate pollution";"[r]amping up our 2030 climate ambition";"[p]rotecting communities from the harmful impacts of the oil industry";"[e]stablishing pathway toward state's clean energy future"; and"[a]dvancing natural and engineered technologies to remove carbon pollution".CEC's new offshore wind goals contribute to California's climate effortsThe California Energy Commission (CEC) recently adopted "a report establishing offshore wind goals" – namely, to produce 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030. The report notes:California is working to reduce the pace, magnitude, and costs of climate change impacts by strengthening climate change resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions . . . . the state set an economywide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below by 2050. The state is taking bold action to meet these greenhouse gas reduction targets.The report highlights that the wind goals may be further refined as more information becomes available regarding "suitable sea space and potential impacts on coastal resources", among other things.Environmental groups oppose extension of California nuclear plant operationNewsom has proposed legislation to keep California's "last nuclear power plant open five to ten years beyond its planned 2025 final closure date". The governor's spokespeople noted that the extension of the nuclear power plant is necessary as "climate impacts are hitting faster than expected". Various environmental groups have opposed the bill, stating that it includes "sweeping exemptions from the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Coastal Act and California's once-through cooling requirements".(4)Cuts to Colorado River water for Arizona and Nevada, but not CaliforniaOn 16 August 2022, the US Bureau of Reclamation announced the "first-ever Level 2a shortage condition for Lake Mead", which triggered limits to Arizona and Nevada's Colorado River water access. However, California remains entitled to a little over a third of the river's natural flow.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) Robinson Meyer, "Congress Just Passed a Big Climate Bill. No, Not That One.", 10 August 2022.(3) "Governor Newsom's Ambitious Climate Proposals Presented to Legislature", press release, 12 August 2022.(4) "Environment California, Friends of the Earth and NRDC react to Gov. Newsom's push to reopen Diablo Canyon", press release, 15 August 2022.