While there may be some uncertainty as to how renewable energy policy may play out in Washington over the next few years, ongoing developments at the state level demonstrate the persistent strength of policy leadership being demonstrated across the country. Just last week, Illinois legislators locked in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – by 2025, at least 25 percent of the state’s electricity needs will be met with renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
Commercial fishing companies, trade groups and seaport communities in four states have asked a court to stop the federal government from auctioning off the rights to develop a huge offshore wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean between New York and New Jersey. The petition, filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., said the plan to build as many as 194 turbines in a 127-square-mile section would hurt fishermen who now cruise the area looking for scallops and squid and others who harvest fish species including summer flounder, mackerel, black sea bass and monkfish.
One of the biggest wind energy projects under development in the U.S. got closer Thursday to securing a federal permit to kill a limited number of eagles without facing the prospect of a penalty. A final plan released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would help ensure the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in south-central Wyoming does not kill too many bald and golden eagles with its hundreds of spinning turbine blades.
“We have federal elected officials who have taken a role in supporting wind and energy,” Rosenberg said. That includes U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, who told reporters in a weekly conference call: “This is very important to Iowa with our wind energy ever expanding and creating lots of opportunity in our state. I want to ensure that (Pruitt) is going to follow ongoing congressional intentions with (the) Renewable Fuel Standard.”
Pruitt, Trump’s choice for EPA administrator, is expected to begin attacking Obama’s environmental legacy using courtroom drama, foot-dragging and an upending of how EPA treats the scientific consensus on climate change. But one key to his success will be the same heavy reliance on executive action that Obama employed so aggressively in his second term.a
Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda. The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programs, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday. The document lays out 65 questions from the Trump transition team, sources within the agency said.
Trump also brought onstage the man he has tapped to be the next ambassador to China: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “We’re going to have mutual respect. China’s going to benefit and Terry’s going to benefit,” Trump vowed. The president-elect also thanked Iowa’s two U.S. senators – Republicans Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst
A 119-turbine wind farm in Aroostook County that would have been the largest in Maine and one of the largest ever planned for New England has withdrawn its application, citing interconnection problems. EDP Renewables has told the Department of Environmental Protection that it’s not going forward for now with the Number Nine Wind Farm.
Efforts to enact a package of energy and natural resource provisions are out of time, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said this afternoon. “The conferees were not able to come to agreement on various outstanding issues in time for the House to consider a conference report,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in an email.
President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself. Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”