In the news today…
- The Washington Examiner carries an op-ed by William F. Shughart, research director of the Independent Institute and J. Fish Smith professor in public choice at Utah State University’s Huntsman School of Business, in which he argues there is growing concern among commentators and experts that the United States has become “dangerously dependent” on imported minerals and metals and that such dependence is hampering the development of clean energy technologies.
- Inside EPA reports environmentalists are calling for a series of measures to strengthen environmental rules for the mining sector in response to the Biden administration efforts to bolster the domestic supply chain for rare earth minerals and other crucial materials needed for electric vehicle batteries and other low-carbon energy technologies.
- The National Law Review reports the public weighs in on how the SEC should regulate ESG disclosures.
- Energy News Network reports in a surprise announcement last Thursday, NRG said it would close its Waukegan and Romeoville coal plants, but the community impacts are unclear as “just transition” provisions remain held up in state energy bill negotiations.
- Utility Dive carries an op-ed which argues the federal government’s support for carbon capture projects at coal-fired power plants may be politically necessary (see Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.), but it is environmentally and fiscally misguided.
- Argus reports coal-fired power generation in most of the US has topped 2019 and 2020 levels so far this month on record heat in some parts of the country and reduced nuclear and hydro power output.
- Washington Examiner reports more than half (62%) of the renewable power added in 2020 was cheaper than the lowest-cost fossil fuel option, according to a report released this morning by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
- The Washington Post reports there has been an abrupt and cascading shortage of semiconductors.
- E&E Energywire reports Germany has an opportunity to phase out coal power plants almost a decade ahead of schedule — but it will require a fleet of natural gas plants to do it, a new study by Wärtsilä Oyj shows.