The Dallas Fed confirms climate-proofing the electrical grid is well worth the cost

Texans are still paying for the blackouts caused by a winter storm in February that knocked out power for millions. Last week, electricity prices in the state spiked again as a cold front passed through while half of the state’s power plants remain offline for maintenance. Throughout the crisis, energy economists have been clear: Upgrading […]

How much does the US owe the rest of the world for climate change?

John Kerry, America’s special envoy on climate change, is on a whirlwind global tour to drum up support for a climate “leaders summit” on Earth Day next week. He’s hoping to re-establish the US as a climate leader and extract more serious ambition from his peers, but has been dogged by a familiar complaint from […]

The US has a chance fix its broken climate risk disclosure system

Government and investors are quickly moving to quantify the risks posed by climate change and make that part of their financial decision-making. But many companies remain unsure how to measure the threat of climate change to their business, and whether or how to report those risks to investors and the public. Financial regulators in the […]

Biden’s big infrastructure bill could doom the US coal and gas energy sector

The White House released details of the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure spending package on Mar. 31. The package is focused on climate change, and could be the single most important piece of climate-related legislation considering during Biden’s term in office. The bill includes funding for everything from electric vehicle manufacturing and procurement, to expanding the […]

Biden’s infrastructure bill will make or break his climate legacy

President Joe Biden is turning to his next legislative priority, a $3 trillion pair of infrastructure bills that put climate change front and center. As first reported in the New York Times on Mar. 22, funding will be directed to the electric grid, energy-efficient affordable housing, electric vehicle charging stations, and other clean energy priorities. […]

Who should pay to fix the electric grid?

A record-setting winter storm left many Texas households without power for days last week—and left those who did manage to get power stuck dividing a $50 billion electric bill, the product of a wild upward swing in wholesale power prices. This is the gamble at the heart of a deregulated electricity market, in which companies […]

Home buyers in these US counties could see their flood insurance skyrocket

The US federal flood insurance program is underwater—and as president Joe Biden tries to bail it out, millions of homeowners could find themselves swimming through much higher premiums. That’s the central warning of a new report from the research group First Street, which produces some of the country’s best data on flood risk and the […]

Electric heating made Texas more vulnerable to winter blackouts

Why did the Texas electric grid crash from a winter storm that would have been unremarkable a few hundred miles north? The answer is largely about a lack of planning. Grid operators were caught off-guard by the unusual weather, and hadn’t invested in the kinds of protective technology (wind turbine blade warmers, for example) that keep […]

Were the Texas blackouts inevitable?

Rolling blackouts that left millions in Texas without power this week were the result of a perfect storm—and not just the one that sent temperatures into the single digits. It started on Feb. 15, when an icy winter storm drove up demand for electricity for heating, while simultaneously freezing the state’s power system. The most important […]