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Legal Petition Seeks Federal Trade Commission Investigation of Energy Utility Abuses
WASHINGTON— More than 230 consumer, environmental and public interest groups urged the Federal Trade Commission today to investigate the electric utility industry for widespread abuses. These include bribery, fake dark-money campaigns and denying customers access to renewable energy.Read more.
Report: Electric Utilities Shut Off Power 3.6 Million Times While Increasing Payouts to Shareholders, Executives
WASHINGTON— Electric utilities have disconnected U.S. households more than 3.5 million times since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, while shareholder returns and executive compensation have skyrocketed, according to Powerless in the Pandemic 2.0, a new report from the Center for Biological Diversity and BailoutWatch.Read more.
500 Global Groups Urge Biden to End Fossil Fuel Era in Response to Russia-Ukraine War
WASHINGTON— More than 500 organizations from six continents sent a letter to President Biden and other world leaders today, urging them to speed the end of the fossil fuel era and spur a just and equitable transition to 100% renewable energy.Read more.
Bill Calls for Turbocharging Renewable Energy Manufacturing Under Defense Production Act to Ensure True Energy Security, End Fossil Fuels
WASHINGTON— U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) introduced legislation today that would require President Biden to use the Defense Production Act to build a renewable energy industrial base to protect communities and achieve energy independence from fossil fuels.Read more.
New Coalition Pressures Tennessee Valley Authority to Cut Fossil-Fuel Emissions, Ramp Up Renewable Energy
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Dozens of organizations in the Tennessee Valley came together today to launch the Clean Up TVA Coalition, demanding immediate action from the Tennessee Valley Authority to cut carbon emissions and transition to a fossil-fuel-free and just energy future by 2030.Read more.
Progressive Caucus Urges Biden to Declare Climate Emergency, Stop New Fossil Fuel Extraction, Turbocharge Renewables
WASHINGTON— The Congressional Progressive Caucus called on President Biden today to declare a climate emergency, ban federal fossil fuel leasing and extraction, and build distributed renewable energy systems under the Defense Production Act.Read more.
Biden Urged to Invoke Defense Protection Act, Resist Shortsighted Domestic Fossil Fuel Policies
WASHINGTON— Following President Biden’s announcement Tuesday that the United States will ban all Russian oil imports, more than 200 climate, Indigenous, social justice, religious, and progressive groups sent a letter to the White House today urging the president to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to ramp up the deployment of renewable energy to transition the world off the fossil fuels that are leading to global instability.Read more.
Report Details Key Powers Biden Can Unlock With National Climate Emergency, Echoes Congressional Calls for Declaration
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity released a groundbreaking report today outlining the suite of specific powers that President Biden could unlock to fight the climate crisis by declaring a national climate emergency.Read more.
Federal Regulators Urged to End Utility Practice of Funneling Ratepayer Money to Anti-Environment Trade Groups
WASHINGTON— More than 300 energy justice, environmental and community groups urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today to address utility company behavior that forces millions of customers to finance anti-environment trade groups.Read more.
Congressional Oversight Urged for Tennessee Valley Authority
WASHINGTON— Clean energy groups urged a congressional committee today to call Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Jeffrey Lyash before an oversight hearing to answer questions about the massive public utility’s business practices, including its financing of anti-environment trade groups.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Records on Federal Loans Fueling Coal, Gas Plants in Arizona, North Carolina
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service today for failing to release public records regarding federal loans to electric generation and transmission cooperatives in Arizona and North Carolina.Read more.
New FERC Commissioner Urged to Prioritize Environmental, Energy Justice
WASHINGTON— The Senate voted Tuesday evening to confirm Willie Phillips to fill an open seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Phillips, former chairman of the DC Public Service Commission, will serve a five-year term on the commission, which regulates energy infrastructure including pipelines, liquid natural gas terminals and interstate transmission of electricity, fracked gas and oil.Read more.
COP26 Summit Ends Without Biden Taking Crucial Action on Fossil Fuels
GLASGOW, Scotland— The United Nations climate summit ended in Glasgow today with the United States still failing to make crucial domestic and global commitments to address the climate emergency.Read more.
Biden Urged to Prioritize Environmental Justice in Build Back Better Act
WASHINGTON— Environmental groups called on Congress and the White House today to prioritize environmental justice in the Build Back Better Act. The Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change and WE ACT for Environmental Justice say this legislation will be a litmus test of President Biden’s commitment to make environmental justice a crucial pillar of his climate policy.Read more.
Five Executive Actions Biden Must Take As Climate Program Falters in Congress
WASHINGTON— As Congress struggles to pass major climate legislation, President Joe Biden can use existing executive powers to take at least five major actions to establish global leadership at the international climate talks in November, according to legal experts at the Center for Biological Diversity.Read more.
Report: Electric Utilities Took $1.25 Billion in Pandemic Bailouts, Shut Off Power to Households Nearly 1 Million Times
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and BailoutWatch today released Powerless in the Pandemic, a report showing that some of the nation’s top utilities received a collective $1.25 billion from last year’s government bailouts while shutting off families’ electric service nearly 1 million times.Read more.
Lawsuit Filed Over TVA’s Millions in Payments to Dirty Energy Lobbyists
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— The Center for Biological Diversity and allies sued the Tennessee Valley Authority today over millions of dollars in ratepayer money the public utility diverts to anti-environmental advocacy groups like the Edison Electric Institute and the Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition. The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee, seeks an order compelling the utility to address a 2020 petition and supporting evidence seeking to regulate this kind of spending.Read more.
466 Groups Urge Biden to Fill FERC Seat With Environmental, Energy Justice Champion
WASHINGTON— More than 460 environmental and energy justice, racial justice, faith and youth organizations from across the United States sent a letter today urging President Joe Biden to appoint a nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who will champion environmental and energy justice.Read more.
Rep. Tlaib Introduces Utility Debt Cancellation Bill
WASHINGTON— Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) today introduced the Maintaining Access to Essential Services Act, which would provide nearly $40 billion to help wipe away household water, power and broadband debt across the country.Read more.
Energy Department Pushed for Roadmap on TVA’s Transition to 100% Just, Renewable Energy
WASHINGTON— More than 80 energy justice, racial justice, faith and youth organizations urged the U.S. Department of Energy today to release a roadmap detailing how the Tennessee Valley Authority will transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030.Read more.
Senators Support FERC Petition to Curb Misuse Of Ratepayer Funds on Anti-Environment Trade Groups
WASHINGTON— Five Democratic U.S. senators urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today to grant a Center for Biological Diversity petition that would change the way ratepayers are charged for payments utilities make to trade groups obstructing the renewable energy transition.Read more.
Data From 17 States Shows Over 1 Million Power Shutoffs During Pandemic
WASHINGTON— More than 1 million household electricity shutoffs have occurred in 17 states since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an updated analysis of state utility commission data released today by the Center for Biological Diversity. Georgia Power, for example, reported shutoffs equivalent to nearly 8% of its customers.Read more.
TVA’s Plans to Replace Largest Coal Plant With Dirty Gas Meet Opposition
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— The Center for Biological Diversity urged the Tennessee Valley Authority today to replace its largest coal plant with renewable energy sources that will protect the climate and public health. Today’s public scoping comments from the Center oppose the federal agency’s current plans to replace the Cumberland Fossil Plant near Clarksville, Tennessee, with polluting fossil gas.Read more.
Records: More Than 1,000 Loggerhead Sea Turtles Died in Mexico in 2020
LA PAZ, Mexico— According to newly obtained official data from the Mexican government, at least 1,088 North Pacific loggerhead turtles died in 2020 in Baja California Sur, Mexico, likely because of entanglement in fishing gear.Read more.
Congressional Resolution Calls for Public Power System to Combat Climate Emergency
WASHINGTON— Democratic House Representatives Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman have introduced a congressional resolution that calls for transforming the country’s largely private energy system into a publicly owned and governed network. The resolution also urges a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and a ban on utility shutoffs, which disproportionately affect low-wealth people and communities of color.Read more.
Documents: TVA Used $3M in Ratepayer Money to Fund Anti-Clean Energy Efforts
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Four nonprofit organizations called today for a federal investigation of newly uncovered records showing that the Tennessee Valley Authority used $3 million of ratepayer money to fund litigation and lobbying efforts by organizations that fight the EPA’s Clean Air Act rules. TVA is the largest public energy provider in the United States.Read more.
Senate Bill Aims to Protect Americans From Utility Shutoffs, Mounting Debt Crisis
WASHINGTON— Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced a bill today that would place a national moratorium on the disconnection of electric, water and broadband utility service due to uncollected payments. An increasing number of people in the country are at risk of losing access to vital utilities, including electricity, water and broadband, as utility debt increases nationwide.Read more.
President Biden’s TVA Nominees Urged to Lead Utility’s Transition to 100% Just, Renewable Energy
WASHINGTON— More than 200 energy justice, racial justice, faith and youth organizations are calling on President Joe Biden’s four nominees to the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors to commit to transitioning the utility to 100% renewable and just energy by 2030. TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider.Read more.
650 Groups Tell Congress: Leave Dirty Power Out of Clean Electricity Standard
WASHINGTON— More than 650 national advocacy and grassroots groups sent a letter today calling on Congress to develop a truly clean, renewable and just energy standard for electricity as part of an evolving infrastructure package.Read more.
U.S. Climate Target Falls Short of What Science, Justice Demand
WASHINGTON— The new U.S. target for reducing climate-heating emissions 50%-52% by 2030 fails to meet the demands of climate science and environmental and energy justice.Read more.
Legal Petition Aims to Stop Utilities From Forcing Customers to Bankroll Anti-Environment Trade Groups
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today to prevent electric utilities from forcing customers to finance anti-environment trade groups.Read more.
Data From 10 States Shows Alarming Number of Utility Shutoffs During Pandemic
WASHINGTON— Utilities in just 10 states have reported at least 765,262 household power shutoffs since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis released today by the Center for Biological Diversity. Georgia Power, for example, reported more than 131,000 shutoffs — equivalent to 6% of its customers.Read more.
On COVID Anniversary, Justice Groups Gather in D.C. to Demand Utility-shutoffs Moratorium
WASHINGTON— The national #NoShutOffs Coalition and We Power DC mobilized today outside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building to call on President Biden and local D.C. officials to impose a moratorium on power, water and broadband shutoffs.Read more.
Environmental Justice Activists to Rally in D.C. for Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs
WASHINGTON— One year after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, the national #NoShutOffs coalition and the D.C.-based We Power DC will mobilize Saturday outside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to call on President Joe Biden and HHS Acting Secretary Nathan Cochran to issue a nationwide utility-shutoff moratorium. The socially distanced action will also urge local officials to extend the soon-expiring D.C. moratorium on Pepco disconnections.Read more.
Legal Challenge: Duke Energy Plan Would Supersize Climate Pollution, Waste Billions on Unused Power Plants
DURHAM, N.C.— NC WARN and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a legal challenge to Duke Energy’s plan to build scores of gas-fired power plants in the Carolinas even though huge amounts of excess generation already sit unused during the worst winter weather.Read more.
FERC Urged to Open Tennessee Valley Authority to Clean Energy Sources
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a brief before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, in a proceeding that could help push the Tennessee Valley Authority region toward clean, climate-friendly sources of energy. The TVA is a federally owned corporation and the nation’s largest public power provider.Read more.
Dozens of Groups Urge Congress to Support Energy Justice Spending in Next Infrastructure Package
WASHINGTON— Twenty-six conservation and energy justice organizations today called for the next infrastructure bill to include support for creating energy microgrids, expanding solar projects in low-wealth communities and increasing funding for rural clean energy programs. This week’s widespread power outages in Texas and Oregon show the nation’s power system is ill-equipped to handle extreme weather due to climate change, which disproportionately harms low-wealth families.Read more.
Thousands Urge Biden to Commit U.S. to Doing Fair Share on Climate
WASHINGTON— Just days before the reentry of the United States into the Paris Agreement becomes official, environmental groups delivered a petition to the Biden administration signed by more than 50,000 Americans demanding that the U.S. commit to cutting its fair share of emissions.Read more.
Tennessee Valley Authority Must Commit to 100% Clean Energy, Align With Biden Climate Goal
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— The federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority must align its energy planning with President Biden’s recent executive order requiring that the federal electricity sector completely decarbonize by 2035, energy justice groups said today in a letter to the public utility’s board of directors.Read more.
600 Groups Urge Biden to Halt Water, Electricity, Broadband Shutoffs With Emergency Executive Order on First Day
WASHINGTON— More than 600 utility-justice, environmental, racial justice, labor and faith groups delivered a letter today to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris urging their administration to halt utility shutoffs nationwide to protect public health.Read more.
Thursday Webinar: Major U.S. Climate Coalition Calculates America’s ‘Fair Share’ of Climate Action
WASHINGTON— A new analysis finds that the United States would need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to 195% of its 2005 emissions levels by 2030 in order for the U.S. to contribute its “fair share” to global action on climate change.Read more.
Nevada Releases Flawed Climate Strategy
LAS VEGAS— Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Climate Initiative released the state’s climate strategy late Tuesday. This is an important milestone in the state’s march toward decarbonization, as mandated by 2019’s Senate Bill 254.Read more.
State Funding to Assist Families With Rent, Utilities During Covid Runs Out Today
RALEIGH. N.C.— As of 6 p.m. today, the roughly $175 million allocated for Gov. Roy Cooper’s HOPE program — which has provided financial relief for renters unable to pay their rent or utility bills — will have run out after less than a month since being announced. To date the program has received nearly 40,000 applications to help households maintain electric, gas and water service and make rent payments.Read more.
Lawsuit Challenges Energy Department’s Failure to Update 25 Overdue Efficiency Standards
WASHINGTON— Six environmental and consumer groups are suing the U.S. Department of Energy for failing to review and update energy efficiency standards for more than two dozen categories of consumer and commercial appliances and equipment, including large energy users like refrigerators and water heaters. The 25 overdue standards — the most under any administration — could cost U.S. consumers and businesses billions of dollars and significantly increase climate pollution.Read more.
Lawsuit Seeks Department of Energy Documents on Industry Influence Over Grid Resilience Model
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Department of Energy today for failing to release records about the agency’s collaboration with utility companies and the fossil fuel industry on an important, publicly funded study about the reliability and resiliency of North America’s power grid.Read more.
Lawsuit Targets Feds’ Failure to Protect Frontline Workers From COVID-19
WASHINGTON— Labor unions representing healthcare workers, teachers, transit operators and millions of other frontline workers joined with environmental groups today to sue the federal government over its failure to provide adequate reusable respirators, N95 masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment to these essential workers.Read more.
Millions Demand Congressional Action on COVID Relief Measure
WASHINGTON— Dozens of organizations, representing millions of people across the United States, called on Congress today to urgently pass a COVID relief package to prevent unnecessary suffering across the country and to ensure voting rights.Read more.
Legal Petition Demands Tennessee Valley Authority Halt Electricity Shutoffs, Fund Debt Relief
WASHINGTON— Dozens of climate-justice organizations petitioned the Tennessee Valley Authority today to immediately impose a moratorium on electricity shutoffs in the region and fund debt relief for its customers.Read more.
Labor, Environmental Groups Urge Emergency Action to Protect Frontline Workers From COVID-19
WASHINGTON— Labor unions representing health care workers, teachers, transit operators and millions of other frontline workers joined with environmental groups today to demand that the Trump administration take emergency action to provide adequate masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment to these essential workers.Read more.
Department of Energy Inaction Will Cost Consumers at Least $22 Billion, Spew at Least 80 Million Tons of Carbon Into Air
WASHINGTON— Six environmental and consumer groups warned the U.S. Department of Energy today that they will sue the agency if it does not meet its legal responsibility to review and update overdue energy-efficiency standards for an unprecedented 26 consumer and commercial products within 60 days. These products include some of the largest energy users, such as air conditioners, water heaters, refrigerators and clothes dryers.Read more.
Legal Action Challenges Duke Energy’s Buildout of Unapproved Gas-fired Power Units
DURHAM, N.C.— Climate-justice groups filed a legal petition with the North Carolina Utilities Commission today asserting that Duke Energy — one of the top polluting U.S. utilities — is violating state law by quietly building large amounts of inefficient gas-burning capacity without commission approval.Read more.
New Data Underscores Urgent Need for Federal Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs
WASHINGTON— Senator Tom Carper, Democratic ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report today that revealed only 10 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have statewide moratoriums on water, power and gas utility shut-offs that protect all or the vast majority of residential ratepayers in effect right now. The report provides a comprehensive state-by-state analysis of state protections against water, power and gas utility disconnections.Read more.
California Data Show Regular Truck Crashes, Deaths Along Proposed ExxonMobil Oil-trucking Route
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.— There’s been a large truck collision every week, and almost two fatalities per year, on average over the past five years along the California highways where ExxonMobil wants to send up to 70 oil tanker trucks a day, according to California Highway Patrol data analyzed by the Center for Biological Diversity.Read more.
9th Circuit Court Urged to Reject Arizona Utility’s Discrimination Against Rooftop Solar
PHOENIX— Five climate and energy-conservation groups took legal action this week in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge an Arizona public power utility’s discrimination against rooftop-solar customers.Read more.
Solar Co-op Launches for Tucson Residents to Go Solar Together
TUCSON, Ariz.— The nonprofit group Solar United Neighbors announced the launch of the Tucson Solar Co-op today, in partnership with the Center for Biological Diversity and Physicians for Social Responsibility Arizona.Read more.
450 Environmental, Energy Justice Groups Urge Federal Commission to Reject Threat to Solar Net Metering
WASHINGTON— More than 450 environmental and energy-justice, faith and labor groups urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today to reject the New England Ratepayers Association’s petition seeking federal jurisdiction over state solar policies.Read more.
Legal Intervention Fights Shadowy Organization’s Effort to Gut Solar Net Metering
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a brief today urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject a pending petition aimed at gutting net metering for distributed-solar power by putting it under federal control.Read more.
Tucson Solar Co-op to Help Area Residents Go Solar
TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Solar United Neighbors (SUN) are partnering to bring a solar cooperative to Tucson. The co-op opens today, and the groups will kick off the project with a June 8 webinar.Read more.
Virtual Town Hall to Explore Why Congress Must Fight for Power, Water, Broadband for All
WASHINGTON— A virtual town hall featuring teachers, advocates, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) will lay out why Congress should include a national moratorium on utility shutoffs in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.Read more.
Louisiana Groups Urge Delay in Power Project for Industrial Polluters, Citing COVID-19 Concerns
ST. JAMES PARISH, La.— The coalition opposing Formosa Plastics’ massive proposed petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana, has requested a delay in upgrading electric transmission lines to serve that project and future industrial polluters. The coalition’s letter cites current public health warnings about COVID-19 and damage to wetlands.Read more.
Seven State Bans on Electricity Shutoffs Expiring Soon
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity released an issue brief today analyzing state orders suspending electricity disconnections due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The brief found that 42% of states currently have no legally binding protections against electric utility shutoffs. Moreover, seven existing state bans on electricity shutoffs just expired or are set to expire in the coming weeks, raising the percentage of states with no legal shutoff moratoria to 56%.Read more.
Public Records Sought on Anti-Solar Group’s Efforts to Gut Net Metering
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a Freedom of Information Act request today seeking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s communications with a secretive front group that’s demanding a nationwide ban on state retail net-metering programs for distributed solar energy.Read more.
Briefing to Announce Launch of National Peoples’ Mobilization to Save Lives, Prevent Second Wave of COVID-19 Deaths
WASHINGTON— The COVID-19 Emergency Response Group is mobilizing as the fourth branch of government, the Peoples’ Branch, to save as many American lives as possible and keep families and communities safe from COVID-19. The group is driving for the passage of legislation: a COVID-19 Peoples’ New Deal.Read more.
In Next Coronavirus Rescue Bill, 830 Groups Urge Congress to Halt Electricity, Water, Broadband Shutoffs
WASHINGTON— More than 830 utility-justice, environmental, faith, civil-rights and labor groups sent a letter to Congress today calling for the next stimulus package responding to the coronavirus to include a moratorium on electricity, water and broadband utility shutoffs.Read more.
In Coronavirus Crisis, 575 Groups Urge Halt to Electricity, Water Shutoffs
WASHINGTON— More than 575 utility justice, labor, faith, consumer and environmental groups urged state governors, mayors and utility regulators today to put a moratorium on electricity and water-utility shutoffs in response to the coronavirus crisis and resulting job losses.Read more.
Legal Petition: TVA Violating Customers’ Rights by Giving Millions to Dirty Energy Lobbyists
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations petitioned the Tennessee Valley Authority today to stop giving millions of dollars in ratepayer money to anti-environmental advocacy groups like the Edison Electric Institute and Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition.Read more.
Environmental Group Launches Energy Justice Program
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity launched a new Energy Justice Program today focused on driving the urgent transition to a clean energy future to protect wildlife and people.Read more.