Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) lambasted wind turbines “taller than the Statue of Liberty” on the Senate floor yesterday when introducing legislation to boost energy research by phasing out renewable energy tax credits. The bill would end the production tax credit for wind by Jan. 1 and send the money to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Last year’s bipartisan tax deal would phase out the credits in 2019. Terminating the subsidy earlier, said Alexander, would boost the Office of Science budget by $8.1 billion over several years. In contrast, DOE basic science spending this year is under $2 billion.
The top two senators who will lead energy negotiations with the House signaled yesterday they plan to make up for lost time after overcoming weeks of hesitation that delayed the formal conference process. Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said they were ready to dig into the substance of the chambers’ competing bills, after lengthy talks over the conference process resulted in a 84-3 vote to formally launch talks
The Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants could result in markedly less coal production in top-producing regions compared to business as usual, a recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration has found. U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. If the rule takes effect in 2022, EIA projects coal’s continued decline will be felt most acutely in the U.S. West.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) intend to file concurrent resolutions today accusing fossil fuel companies of using “a sophisticated and deceitful campaign” to erode public understanding of climate change and protect the companies’ business models. Lieu and Whitehouse are among the most vocal critics of fossil fuel companies, and their sister resolutions would codify that frustration.
By just about any measure, the movement to battle climate change has grown so large that the truths of Al Gore’s decade-old movie now seem more mainstream than inconvenient. In Paris in December, 195 nations agreed to reduce greenhouse gases. In the United States, 70 percent of Americans say that climate change is real. Pope Francis has joined the call for action. Hundreds of thousands of people have come together for climate marches in Paris and New York, and demonstrators recently held fossil-fuel protests on six continents. “That’s what I call momentum,” Daniel R. Tishman, the chairman of the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in its recent annual report. “This isn’t just the wind at our backs; these are the winds of change.
Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk sent out a mysterious tweet Sunday, saying he is “working on Top Secret Tesla Masterplan, part 2” and is hoping to announce the details this week. The tweet echoes a blog post from August 2006, titled “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me),” in which Musk unveiled the cars that became the Tesla Model S four-door family car and the Tesla 3 sports sedan.
The GE Renewable Energy offshore wind turbine plant in Saint-Nazaire (France) is completing the manufacturing of its first commercial series of Haliade™ Offshore wind turbine nacelles. The five 370-ton nacelles are scheduled to begin their voyage to the United States in the coming days. They will equip the Block Island Wind Farm, the first of its kind in the U.S.
After weeks of back and forth between the two parties, the Senate this afternoon voted overwhelmingly to launch the first formal energy reform conference in more than a decade.
Senators first voted 84-3 on a procedural motion to end debate on a motion to launch negotiations with the House. The motion then passed by voice vote. Voting followed weeks of discussions between Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
A refining trade group yesterday put its weight behind legislation introduced last week that would block agencies from taking into account carbon dioxide emissions’ long-term economic damage. In a letter today, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers said it supported the bill by Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) to help ensure “transparency” and “sound science” in executive branch decisions.
Kate Brown to lawmakers: a repeal of Oregon’s low-carbon fuels law is off limits in transportation talks
As a committee of Oregon lawmakers tours the state this summer in an effort to build support for a possible 2017 transportation-funding package, there’s one topic Gov. Kate Brown asked them to avoid: a repeal of the state’s low-carbon fuel law. Brown made her expectation clear at a May 4 invitation-only meeting of lawmakers, lobbyists and business executives in Portland, where she said a repeal of the state’s low-carbon fuel law was off the table, according to drafts of her prepared remarks released by the governor’s office and people who attended the meeting.