policy


Hurricane Laura damages home in Lake Charles, LA/FEMA

Did EPA’s Non-Enforcement Policy Cause Lake Charles Chemical Plant Fire As COVID-Climate Disasters Pile Up?

, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist

In Westlake Louisiana, near Lake Charles, a chemical manufacturing plant fire last week increased the public health threat environmental justice communities are already facing. The fire released chlorine gas into the air, leading to a ‘stay at home’ order for residents who had not evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Laura. Because of that order, and directions to keep windows and doors closed and not use air conditioners, depending on their situations, people may have been at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and adverse health effects from the chlorine gas, on top of the danger from Hurricane Laura. Read more >

FEMA
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U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik

UCS Supports CEJA

, Energy policy analyst

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) is a comprehensive climate bill that puts Illinois on a path to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030 and 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.  The bill was developed by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition with input from residents from across the state through over 100 community-based conversations known as “Listen.Lead.Share” events. The Union of Concerned Scientists is proud to support CEJA because it centers equity and communities while addressing climate change. Read more >

U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik
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How States Can Make Energy Storage Work for Communities

, senior energy analyst

Know of a state where policy might be moving on energy storage? Or a lawmaker interested in the potential for storage to improve people’s lives? Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) new policy brief, “How to ensure energy storage policies are equitable,” offers a policy roadmap for clean energy champions to design ways to stimulate greater deployment of energy storage—in ways that put the needs and interests of communities first. Read more >

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Photo: Oregon Convention Center/Flickr

Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Hangs in the Balance

, Senior policy and legal analyst

Today, I’m reporting on the legislative tug-of-war over the $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. Fossil fuel interests on one end, literally everyone else on the other. This fight arose when the suits over at Exxon, Shell, and Koch Industries became worried about the potential of electric vehicles (EVs) to mess with their 90 percent share of transportation fuel in the U.S. And you know what? They should be worried. The EV market is small but growing fast, and there have been tons of production milestones and new model releases over the past quarter. Read more >

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Photo: Troye Owens/Flickr

For Washington Voters, I-1631 is a Chance to Tackle Climate Change Head On

, Senior Energy analyst

The magnitude of the climate challenge is daunting; a constellation of causes and impacts, promising no simple fix. But a new proposal in Washington state has identified a powerful place to start. I-1631, on the ballot this November, is grounded in the reality that to truly address climate change today, it’s simply no longer enough to drive down carbon emissions—communities must now also be readied for climate impacts, including those already at hand, and all those still to come. Read more >

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