Washington Post: Trump’s Regulatory Freeze Halts Four Obama Rules Aimed at Promoting Greater Energy Efficiency

Nearly simultaneously with President Trump’s oath of office Friday, the White House website shifted to remove climate-change related content from the Obama administration and supplant it with a new statement of Trump’s energy policy -- one focused, it said, on reducing “burdensome regulations on our energy industry.”

Those are just words -- but an action hours later by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus had more teeth. Priebus’ memorandum, issuing a government-wide freeze on new or pending regulations, would appear to have the effect of sweeping up four very nearly finished Energy Department energy-efficiency standards, affecting an array of products, including portable air conditioners and commercial boilers. The standards are designed to reduce energy use, and, in the process, consumer bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bloomberg: California Utilities Want $1 Billion to Promote Electric Cars

California’s utilities are asking for more than $1 billion to spend on electric car-charging stations that will help the state meet its goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025.

Edison International’s Southern California Edison utility asked state regulators on Friday for permission to collect $570 million from customers over five years to pay for, among other things, equipment installations that’ll support about 1,800 charging stations for electric trucks. PG&E Corp. requested $253 million for efforts including charging systems for electric buses and delivery trucks. Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric utility said it was applying for $246 million for similar programs.

Climate Central: Trump White House Distorts Wages Figure on First Day

Shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as president on Friday, the White House said that eliminating power plant climate rules, a clean water rule and other environmental regulations would “greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next seven years.”

The statement, included on the White House’s website to justify Trump’s drive to eliminate environmental rules affecting the energy sector, was a distortion. And if it was true, it would represent wage gains equivalent to less than $20 per American every year.

The figure was based on a paper produced by a Louisiana State University finance professor in 2015 on behalf of a fossil fuel industry nonprofit. The paper, which was not peer reviewed, investigated potential economic impacts if all protected federal lands were opened to unlimited oil, gas and coal mining.

New York Times: On Climate Change, Even States in Forefront Are Falling Short

California is far from providing the leadership needed in the battle against climate change. Distracted by the competing objective of shuttering nuclear plants that still produce over a fifth of its zero-carbon power, the state risks failing the main environmental challenge of our time.

Mark Muro, director of policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, has compiled a ranking of progress toward decarbonization within the United States. In 2014, he found, California had the third-lowest carbon dioxide emissions per person, behind only the District of Columbia and New York.

Its progress of late, however, has been less than stellar: Despite its aggressive deployment of wind turbines and solar panels, the carbon intensity of California’s economy -- measured by the CO2 emissions per unit of economic product -- declined by only 26.6 percent between 2000 and 2014. That put it in 28th place. In New York, which came in seventh, carbon intensity declined by 35.4 percent.

Belfast Telegraph: Post-Brexit Strategy Includes Energy Storage and Battery Research Centre

Battery storage has been described by the United States as a "holy grail" of renewable technology and the Prime Minister has ordered a review of options to create a new research institution in the field, Downing Street said.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport will analyze options for a new institute to build on existing strengths in universities and companies in battery technology, energy storage and grid technology. He will report back in early 2017.