Kenneth J. Markowitz Stacey H. Mitchell Dario J. Frommer Christopher A. Treanor September 19 2022 Climate policy update: Fed climate change action, emissions reduction roadmap, California heatwave Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP | Environment & Climate Change - USA Kenneth J. Markowitz, Stacey H. Mitchell, Dario J. Frommer, Christopher A. Treanor Environment & Climate Change New Federal Reserve banking regulator calls for action on climate changeBiden-Harris administration launches climate-related hazards websitePassage of climate bill leads to new clean energy projectsManufacturers emphasise importance of natural gas in climate transitionNew roadmap to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in key sectorsReport on intersection between healthcare industry and climate crisis publishesDemocrats object to proposed removal of Virginia from RGGIAir pollution public engagement committee may be axedClimate change drives severe heatwave in CaliforniaThis article outlines pertinent legal and policy climate change developments in the United States during the past week.(1)New Federal Reserve banking regulator calls for action on climate changeDuring a speech on 7 September 2022, the Federal Reserve's Governor Michael Barr delivered a speech outlining his priorities, including a goal for the Federal Reserve "to better assess the long term, climate-related financial risks facing the largest institutions".Biden-Harris administration launches climate-related hazards websiteOn 8 September 2022, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Biden-Harris administration launched a new website, the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) portal, to:help communities across the nation understand the real-time, climate-related hazards in their area, analyze projected long-term exposure to those hazards, and identify federal funds to support climate resilience projects for their communities.(2)Passage of climate bill leads to new clean energy effortsAfter the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act 2022 (IRA), which contains $396 billion in climate and energy policies, multiple corporations have launched large-scale clean energy projects, including:Toyota;Honda and LG Energy Solution;Piedmont Lithium; andFirst Solar.It has also been reported that within the first six months of 2022, renewable sources accounted for 24% of US electricity generation. The White House states that the IRA's focus on reducing particle pollution from fossil fuels will "avoid up to 3,900 premature deaths and up to 100,000 asthma attacks annually by 2030".(3)Manufacturers emphasise importance of natural gas in climate transitionOn 9 September 2022, manufacturers released a letter calling for lawmakers to ensure sufficient interstate natural gas pipeline capacity. The letter points out that "[n]atural gas-fired generation is crucial to the transition to a low carbon electricity future" and calls for "national oversight to ensure a smooth transition to decarbonization".New roadmap to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in key sectorsOn 8 September 2022, Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap, identifying key pathways to effectively reduce emissions in the country's most energy-intensive sectors:chemical manufacturing;petroleum refining;iron and steel;food and beverage; andcement and lime.Report on intersection between healthcare industry and climate crisis publishesThe House Ways and Means Committee have released a report detailing the intersection of the healthcare industry and the climate crisis. The report outlines:the impacts of climate change on the industry;how extreme weather impacts healthcare delivery; andhow to reduce emissions within the industry.In March 2022, the Ways and Means Chair, Representative Richard Neal released a request for information to hospitals, health systems, and other facility-based health providers "to better understand how climate events have impacted the health sector".Democrats object to proposed removal of Virginia from RGGIOn 8 September 2022, in the wake of Governor Glenn Youngkin's plan to remove Virginia from the regional greenhouse gas Initiative (RGGI), 61 Virginia democrats drafted a letter to the Air Pollution Control Board opposing the regulatory proposal. The letter argues that the governor's plan is "improper and illegal", as Virginia's participation in the RGGI is a decision for the General Assembly to make.Air pollution public engagement committee may be axedThe Virginia Air Pollution Control Board's committee on public engagement may be in danger after Board Chair James Patrick Guy said he was "not disposed to . . . continue the committee at this time". The public engagement committee was created to improve transparency in environmental permitting following controversial decisions from the board.Climate change drives severe heatwave in CaliforniaAs California experienced "record-breaking" temperatures on 6 September 2022, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) reported that the state's electrical demand set an "all-time record". On 9 September 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed new legislation "to help protect Californians from more frequent and severe heat waves driven by climate change",(4) building on California's Extreme Heat Action Plan released earlier in 2022.For further information on this topic please contact Kenneth J Markowitz, Stacey H Mitchell, Dario J Frommer or Christopher A Treanor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP by telephone (+1 202 887 4000) or email ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [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, click here. For the previous week's update, click here.(2) "Biden Administration launches portal to help communities assess exposure to climate hazards", press release, 8 September 2022.(3) "BY THE NUMBERS: The Inflation Reduction Act", press release, 15 August 2022.(4) "As Record Heat Wave Continues, Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Protect Californians from Extreme Heat", press release, 9 September 2022.