Climate Policy News You Can Use — February 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Good news! In a new analysis, Rhodium Group estimated U.S. economy-wide emissions fell by 1.9% in 2023 compared to 2022 while GDP expanded 2.4%—decoupling our climate pollution burden from economic growth. This means U.S. emissions were 17% below 2005 levels in 2023. But! Rhodium reported that “absent a new policy push” the U.S. is still unlikely to meet its Paris Agreement commitment of 50%-52% reductions below 2005 levels by 2030.

All the rulemaking we’ve been tracking regarding EPA’s emission standards for oil and gas methane, fossil fuel power plants, vehicles, and transmission are all important drivers for accelerating progress.

Comment opportunity on the Inflation Reduction Act’s Methane Emissions Reduction Program

On January 12, EPA proposed a structure on the methane waste emissions charge in the Methane Emissions Reduction Program (MERP). This proposal is another critical step to implement MERP, passed in the Inflation Reduction Act. Companies can avoid paying the methane emissions charge by complying with EPA’s recent methane standards and reducing their emissions in line with industry’s own targets. Business support for EPA’s final standards helped get them over the finish line, and ongoing support will be crucial to ensure that these standards are implemented swiftly by states to realize the full scale of pollution reductions.

Take Action:

    • Submit comments by March 26 in support of EPA’s proposal. We are happy to share sample comments if you are interested in learning more!

Go Deeper:

Catch up on the Farm Bill

In case you missed it, Congress passed a one-year extension of the 2018 Farm Bill last year. Key programs now expire on September 30, 2024. But negotiations are still taking place in earnest on what a strong Farm Bill would contain. What are some important things to know?

  • The next Farm Bill should maintain new investments in climate-smart agriculture practices funded through the Inflation Reduction Act. Diverting money away from Title II programs could cause long-term harm to U.S. farmers, rural communities and efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The funding will almost double the money available for these bipartisan voluntary cost share and technical assistance programs. These programs have a proven track record of addressing resource concerns on private lands, and have broad support from farm groups, environmentalists, food companies, and recreational groups.
  • The increase in funding for programs like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), offers companies flexible approaches to leverage public funding alongside private capital to support farm transitions.
  • Farm bill conservation programs are particularly relevant for companies in the food industry, as it provides critical funding to farmers to improve practices, enhance resiliency, and reduce climate impacts. These farmers sit in the supply chains of food/ag companies, and it is in corporate interest to support these investments in your supply chain.


Take Action

    • EDF has a long history of working at the nexus of agriculture and climate policy, including being founding members of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. If you want to learn more and go deeper on Farm Bill opportunities, reply to this email to let us know and we can arrange a conversation.
    • Begin conversations with Members of Congress on the importance of preserving climate-smart ag provisions.

Go Deeper

    • Check out this LinkedIn post and article on key Farm Bill programs.
    • Read EDF’s blog: How EDF catalyzes bold climate action from the food sector.

What’s new with the IRA?

  • The Treasury Department has created a helpful resource to track different credits and programs within the IRA.
  • Check out CICE’s state factsheets to see the clean energy investments happening in the states you have operations.
  • Read BCSE’s Sustainable Energy in America 2024 Factbook, which showcases how federal policies like the IRA have accelerated technology deployment.

The Latest from Capitol Hill

  • Congress is back and staring down another potential partial government shutdown. The last round of negotiations set two deadlines for when funding is set to expire: March 1st and March 8th. Reports indicate that those negotiations could lead to a lapse in funding, with the potential for agencies like the EPA to partially shut down.

Keeping up with the Administration

  • A reminder that there is still outstanding proposed rulemaking that must be finalized by the Biden administration. If you are interested in learning more about any of the issues below, please reach out!
  • SEC Climate-Related Financial Disclosure
  • FYI: Politico reports that the SEC is aiming to release the final rule in March. Further reporting hints at what may not make the final cut, please reach out to discuss preparations for the rule’s release.
  • FERC Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation
  • EPA New and Existing Power Plants

ICYMI – Things We’re Tracking

  1. Walmart met their Project Gigaton goal to reduce, avoid, or sequester 1 gigaton of emissions from its supply chain six years earlier than expected! Check out more in EDF’s blog: Walmart’s Project Gigaton win shows how to cut emissions with speed and scale.
  2. EDF and Google are partnering on mapping methane using satellite data. Learn how companies can utilize this data to take action in Google’s blog: How satellites, algorithms and AI can help map and trace methane success.
  3. EDF’s new report looks at Non-Pipeline Alternatives to meet energy needs.
  4. EDF’s comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) to inform the National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor designation process.
  5. Tax-credit rules leave key ‘blue hydrogen’ issues unanswered (Canary Media).
  6. Supreme Court Hears Shadow Docket Challenges to EPA’s Life-Saving Good Neighbor Rule (EDF).


That is all for February, thank you for reading. If you’re interested in developing your climate policy priorities for 2024, please reach out.

Daniel Neff on behalf of the Climate Policy Leadership Team