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Rising costs signal success for Biden's climate initiatives

The Inflation Reduction Act's clean-energy incentives are proving more effective than anticipated, leading to increased costs but potentially greater environmental benefits.

Jim Tankersley reports for The New York Times.

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Tennessee is drafting its first-ever plan to cut climate pollution. The state wants your input

Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation is preparing its first-ever climate plan, which includes inventorying major climate pollution sources and drafting statewide pollution reduction strategies, funded by a $3 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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EPA overrules Texas plan to reduce haze from air pollution at national parks

Inside Climate News reporter Martha Pskowski writes that critics call the state’s plan, which rejected a request to cut sulfur emissions at coal plants, a “do nothing” strategy. The EPA now wants six power plants to slash emissions by 80,000 tons.

In a nutshell:

Environmental groups, led by the National Parks Conservation Association, are urging state and federal regulators to address air pollution at national parks through the EPA's Regional Haze Rule. While Texas submitted an initial plan, it was deemed inadequate by the EPA, leading to proposed strategies including emission reductions from major coal plants. The debate continues over reducing pollution and protecting iconic parks in Texas, such as Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend.

Key quote:

“Everyone tells you to go outside and get some fresh air,” says Cristina Ramirez, a participant in the Texas Young Leaders Advocacy Council. “But what happens when the places that you’re supposed to get outside are not really safe from the effects of air pollution?”

The big picture:

The burning of coal releases harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter into the air, which can lead to respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. These pollutants also contribute to the formation of smog and haze, reducing visibility and exacerbating respiratory issues. In addition, coal-fired power plants emit toxic heavy metals like mercury, which can contaminate water bodies and enter the food chain, posing risks to neurological development and overall health.

Read the article at Inside Climate News.

Brian Bienkowski notes that swapping out coal energy for solar would prevent 52,000 premature deaths in the United States every year.

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Portland begins to check things off its 47-item action plan to slow climate change, report says

Portland’s multibureau climate action work plan is off to a slow but steady start and could meet most of its goals by the end of 2025, a new report says.

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In reversal, Key Biscayne restarts plan to fight sea level rise

A $250 million plan to combat the effects of sea level rise is moving again in Key Biscayne after several Council members reversed course, abandoning opposition that had brought the project to a standstill since April.

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UK risks shattering global standing by dumping £11.6bn climate pledge, ministers told

Rishi Sunak risks damaging trust in the UK among developing countries and reducing the country’s standing in negotiations, because of a failure to meet climate spending pledges, civil servants have told ministers.

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How San Francisco translated its 300-page climate plan into tangible actions for residents

Most climate action plans are long, dry documents that few people understand. San Francisco decided to change that.