Skip to main content

5 climate policy updates you need to know this week

Chicago sues ExxonMobil, European executives call for new industrial deal, Senate to examine microplastics in water, and more.

A picture of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. Photo: Shutterstock/Tyger Ligon

Here’s the week in climate policy news:

  1. Chicago is suing six major oil companies — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhilips, ExxonMobil, Phillips 66 and Shell — along with the American Petroleum Institute, a fossil fuel lobbying group, for funding and executing a climate denial campaign that directly harmed Chicago citizens. The suit is alleging the seven defendants misled the public about the impact of their products, which resulted in severe flood damages from associated shoreline erosion and extreme weather.
  2. New York state’s largest public pension fund is restricting investments in ExxonMobil after the oil company failed to demonstrate preparations for a low-carbon world. But the move doesn’t extend to fully divesting from ExxonMobil — or other oil conglomerates — continuing to hold millions of shares in fossil fuel companies.
  3. Industry executives in the European Union are calling for the establishment of a European Industrial Deal — similar to that of the U.S.’s Inflation Reduction Act. The idea of the legislation is to lower energy costs, incentivize regional clean-tech development and reduce regulatory bottlenecks
  4. Executives from Edison Electric Institute's (EEI) met with Wall Street bankers and analysts Feb. 20, according to Utility Dive. The trade organization’s president and CEO acknowledged the vital role the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law play in the energy transition and concluded that moving forward, it is likely utilities will issue equity to further fund the energy transition process.
  5. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sweden’s minister for international development cooperation and foreign trade renewed a climate partnership originally established in 2017. The partnership establishes collaboration between the two economies to reduce transportation emissions and expand renewable energy infrastructure.

What’s coming next week:

Feb. 27: The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife will hold a joint hearing Tuesday exploring the presence of nanoplastics and microplastics in drinking water and wastewater.

Feb. 28: The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee will hold a hearing to discuss the 2024 Water Resources Development Act, which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works to improve ports, harbors, the inland waterway navigation network, flood and storm protection and other water resources infrastructure.

Feb. 29: The Environmental and Energy Study Institute is hosting a live briefing on Understanding the Budget and Appropriations Process, explaining the stages of the appropriations process and how it interacts with activity on Capitol Hill. Panelists will speak about the mechanics of investments in climate, energy and environmental research and innovation.

More on this topic