Dec 4, 2019

House Dems' proposed tax incentives could reduce carbon emissions

An oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana, on Jan. 8. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A new note from the Rhodium Group helps explain why environmental groups and renewables trade associations are throwing their weight behind House Democrats' legislation to extend a suite of tax incentives.

The big picture: Compared to current policy, U.S. emissions would be 37 million to 99 million tons lower in 2030 if the wide-ranging draft bill unveiled recently were enacted, the research firm projects.

  • "That’s 16 to 19% below 2005 levels compared with a 15-17% reduction under current policy," they note.
  • That's still off track for meeting the Obama-era Paris Agreement pledge to reduce national emissions by 26%-28% by 2025.

By the numbers: Here are a couple key findings from the note by Rhodium, which conducts foundation-funded work on energy tax policy:

  • Installations of non-hydro renewable generating capacity, largely wind and solar, would be higher in 2025, and then the difference compared to the no-extension scenario widens a lot.
  • "In the latter half of the 2020s, the [legislation] can catalyze a surge in cumulative capacity additions to 354-491 [gigawatts] in 2030, an increase of 15-59 GW compared to 339-432 GW under current policy," they note.
  • On electric vehicles, expanded credits mean that up to 5.7 million more EVs would be sold between now and 2030.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

How Democrats want to change the energy tax code

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.). Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Democrats on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee have unveiled draft legislation that would extend and/or expand a suite of tax credits for climate-friendly energy sources.

Why it matters: The tax code has historically been a driver of solar and wind power deployment, as well as electric vehicle sales, and much more.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019

A half-empty glass on emissions

Data: Global Carbon Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

A major new report on global carbon dioxide emissions growth is largely bad news, but if you squint you can find some (rather small) bright spots.

Driving the news: The rate of increase decelerated this year as coal consumption dipped and economic growth slowed, but emissions still hit a record high, per new data from a research consortium called the Global Carbon Project.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

The state of U.S. energy-related carbon emissions

Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. carbon emissions from energy rose by 2.7% last year, ending several years of declines, federal Energy Information Administration data confirms.

Why it matters: While emissions have been in a generally downward trend for well over a decade, the report late last week shows how the U.S. is off track to meet its pledges under the Paris climate deal.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019