Court decision leaves Biden with several tools to fight climate change

Electric vehicle sales have doubled over the past year, accounting for about 5 percent of U.S. new car sales in the first quarter of 2022, up from about 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2021. General Motors has pledged to stop producing gasoline. engine-powered vehicles by 2035, and other automakers are setting similar goals. Ford Motor makes an electric version of the F-150 pickup truck, the best-selling vehicle in the country, and has already ordered more than 200,000 of these vehicles.

As the cost of solar and wind power falls below the price of coal and natural gas in many parts of the United States, renewable electricity now makes up 20 percent of the nation’s energy mix, up from 15 percent a decade ago.

But the effects of the Covid pandemic, combined with the war in Ukraine and the associated Russian oil ban, have disrupted global energy supplies and prompted President Biden to tap into strategic oil reserves and urge producers to produce more oil, at least in the short term. term. Clean energy producers in the United States are also facing major hurdles due to the outdated power transmission system.

And the private sector is not moving fast enough to cut emissions to the level scientists say is needed to avert climate catastrophe. mr. Biden wants half of new cars sold in the US to be electric by 2030, and by 2035 all electricity comes from wind, solar and other zero-carbon sources.

“We see a strong trend emerging in the private sector both with consumers demanding cleaner options, which is shifting our energy mix, and electric vehicles, but the pace of change is really not fast enough to meet long-term needs. urgent goals,” said Sasha Makler, an energy analyst at the Center for Bipartisan Policy, a Washington-based research organization. “For that, you still need politics. The administration does not have the necessary tools to get us all there. Success at the moment we need it, according to the scientific community, is what Congress demands.”

Congress in the coming weeks may still pass a stripped-down version of the spending bill that has been delayed for months on Capitol Hill. A version of the bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives last year, includes $300 billion in clean energy tax credits for producers and buyers of clean electricity and electric vehicles.