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Joe Biden plans ‘Day One’ flurry of climate and environment actions


first_imgRejoining Paris climate agreement a Day One priority for Joe BidenReversing Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, which took effect late last year, will be among the first priorities of the Biden administration – a development his team says will put the US “back in position to exercise global leadership in advancing the objectives of the Agreement”.Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, welcomed the move, writing on Twitter that the return of the US to the climate accord will be “the starting point for our renewed cooperation”, adding “way more is to come”.I am delighted that on day one of this new administration, the US will rejoin the #ParisAgreement.This is the starting point for our renewed cooperation.And way more is to come.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 20, 2021Reversing Trump’s emissions standards rollbacksAs well as kick-starting the 30-day process of rejoining the Paris Agreement, Joe Biden plans to issue several other presidential orders targeted at taking “critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice”.High on the agenda is directing federal departments and agencies to reconsider vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, methane emissions standards, and appliance and building efficiency standards.A relaxation of regulations for vehicle emissions and industrial methane were hallmarks of the Trump presidency, widely criticised by environmentalists and even some within the industry.Last week, French oil major Total pulled its membership of the American Petroleum Institute, an influential lobbyist group, citing among other reasons the API’s support for this deregulatory agenda. Other oil majors, including BP, Shell and Exxon, also opposed the rollback of methane emission rules at the time. The president-elect campaigned on an agenda of sweeping reforms to US energy policy focused on emissions reduction (Credit: Michael F Hiatt/Shutterstock) Hours after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States later today, Joe Biden will make a series of Day One executive orders addressing climate change and the clean energy transition.The president-elect was voted into office having campaigned on an agenda promising sweeping reforms designed to “revitalise the US energy sector” – and his transition team today previewed a list of immediate actions aimed at tackling climate issues and “reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies”.Outgoing President Donald Trump faced criticism during his four-year stint in office for failing to address the growing urgency of environmental concerns, scaling back regulations intended to reduce emissions from US industry and transport, and opening protected federal lands to new resource extraction. US president-elect Joe Biden will immediately seek to reverse Trump-era policies during his first hours in office as climate issue ride high on the agenda Blocking oil lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife RefugeBiden also plans to issue a temporary moratorium on all oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in north-east Alaska.Drilling in the ANWR has been targeted by industry for decades, but up until a 2017 tax law it remained protected by environmental regulations, due to its importance as a natural habitat for wildlife including polar bears, caribou and migrating birds.President Trump successfully fast-tracked an auction process during his final months in office in an effort to complete the first of two legislated lease sales ahead of inauguration day.However, only $14.4m was raised after interest turned out to be minimal at a time when oil companies are facing huge financial pressures as a result of lost demand and low commodity prices during the pandemic.Only three separate bidders took part in the auction, with 11 of the 13 bids made by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), a state government organisation which made the purchases with a view to potential industry partnerships at some point in the future.Yesterday, the US Bureau of Land Management issued 10-year leases for nine of the 11 successful bids, after AIDEA withdrew its interest in two of the tracts.While completion of the sales makes it difficult for a new administration to reverse the process, Biden is nevertheless expected to introduce strict permitting regulations that will make further development of the plots more difficult for the companies involved. Revoking Keystone XL permitIn a further rebuke to his predecessor, Biden will revoke the presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, cancelling development of the near-2,000km-long transport infrastructure linking Canadian oilfields to refineries in the US.In 2017, President Trump began a process of overturning an Obama-era block on development of the pipeline, heralding “a new era of American energy policy” and an “historic moment for North American and energy independence”.The $8bn pipeline project was tipped to move 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from production sites in Alberta, Canada to Nebraska, US, where it would connect to an existing pipeline network supplying US refineries around the Gulf Coast.But it has been opposed by environmental groups who want to see a shift away from petroleum fuels, as well as by land owners concerned about environmental damage caused by the pipeline’s construction.Responding to the news that Biden plans to revoke the project permit, TC Energy, which owns the venture with backing from the Government of Alberta, said it was “disappointed” with the decision, adding it will now suspend the project and “consider its options”.Senior Canadian officials, including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have expressed concern about the project’s expected cancellation. In a statement, Trudeau’s office confirmed he had spoken to president-elect Biden on the issue, and “made the case for the project” to the incoming administration.last_img read more


No. 21 Syracuse fails to upset No. 7 Notre Dame in one of program’s biggest-ever games


first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 19, 2017 at 7:13 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer The game was going to be different for Syracuse. It was clear at the start of the year, when SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said he wanted to prove his team belonged in the same conversation with other upper-echelon squads, like preseason No. 1 Notre Dame.The expectation only ramped up in the last month as Syracuse kept its program-record 18-game home winning streak alive. Then, 11 days ago, Syracuse announced a partnership with 13 local companies that all offered group ticket discounts in attempt to set an attendance record for a women’s game in the Carrier Dome.The Orange never pretended this game was like any other. It wasn’t. Not after the North Carolina game last week. Not during the media availability session this week. Not during the first play of the game, when Brittney Sykes rose up for a deep 3-pointer from the left wing, drained it and held up three fingers on each hand with thunderous Carrier Dome crowd as the backdrop.“It’s a big game,” Hillsman had said. “We can’t deflect that.”No. 21 Syracuse (18-9, 9-5 Atlantic Coast) started hot in one of its biggest regular season games in program history, hitting three quick 3s to pump itself and the crowd. In front of a record-setting 11,021 fans, Syracuse seemed ready to avenge two losses to UND last year. Ready to make sure the outcome of the game would be as different as the atmosphere.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 7 Notre Dame (25-3, 13-1) fought back every step of the way, and took its first lead early in the fourth quarter. Syracuse brought it back to a 3-point game but an Alexis Peterson heave with seconds left on the clock came up just short, as the Orange couldn’t finish off a monumental upset in an 85-80 loss on Sunday in the Carrier Dome.“We played a great three quarters,” Hillsman said.Notre Dame tilted the game back in its favor by using star big Briana Turner. In the first half, Turner mainly prowled the high post area. Syracuse was content to let her stay out there as it stopped UND’s forwards curling inside for looks.But in the second half, the cuts were inverted. Notre Dame’s forwards flashed to the high post, drawing out center Briana Day while Turner curled onto the inside, oftentimes finding herself matched up with an SU forward. Three straight buckets for Turner to start the fourth quarter turned a four-quarter deficit into the Fighting Irish’s first lead. She finished with a career-high 31 points.“She was getting on our forwards sometimes and it was just a mismatch from there,” Day said. “… it just threw us out of our defense.”Hillsman made adjustments too by subbing out forward Isabella Slim for center Bria Day with seven minutes left to play with extra size on the interior. Turner only made one more field goal the rest of the way.The Orange had found the way to slow down UND’s looks on the inside, but it failed to complete the defensive stand. SU surrendered eight offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter alone, including five in the last 3:57 of the game.On one play, Turner got fouled on a layup and missed the and-1 opportunity. Teammate Arike Ogunbowale corralled the layup and got an extra two points for UND instead. On another, SU forced UND into a 3-pointer with one second left on the shot clock. But the visitors grabbed a long rebound.One of the Orange’s goals, Hillsman said, was to have 20 more possessions than Notre Dame. SU won the turnover margin, but 18 offensive rebounds for UND, compared to Syracuse’s five, made achieving that goal impossible.“When they get those offensive rebounds … off of playing 25, 30 seconds of defense,” Sykes said, “it puts pressure on us to play another 30 and now we’re playing a whole minute.”Despite fourth-quarter errors, Syracuse fought back. Gabby Cooper hit a big 3-pointer to make it a four-point game with 36 seconds to go. Missed free throws by UND down the stretch gave the Orange one last chance to tie the game, before Peterson missed the 3-pointer.There’s no denying that the game was different for Syracuse. Eleven thousand people waited with baited breath as Peterson’s final shot soared through the air. The Orange’s total season attendance before today’s game was a little more than 17,000.Those fans arrived with higher expectations. Last year, SU played UND twice and did not lead once. On Sunday, the Orange led for three quarters and hung blow for blow with one of the premier programs in college basketball.Syracuse hoped that by changing everything else — the crowd, the expectation, the lineup — it would lead to a change in final result.But, just like Peterson’s 3-point attempt, the heave came up just short. Commentslast_img read more