News

Obama sets ambitious renewable-power goals for agencies

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 6th, 2013

President Obama more than doubled the government’s renewable energy goal today, following through on a pledge he made five months ago to combat climate change through executive actions. The presidential memo released today is no surprise; it was one of several goals laid out in his June speech on climate change

ALEC drafting model resolutions that target carbon rules, solar

Source: Hannah Northey and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

A right-leaning group of state legislators is targeting U.S. EPA’s forthcoming rules for power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions and backing utilities’ call for users of rooftop solar panels to pay for using the electric grid, during a three-day summit in Washington, D.C. The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) gathering started yesterday with a closed-door discussion of a draft resolution the group hopes to put before legislatures, aimed at decrying EPA emission curbs for new and existing power plants.

Sutley’s exit from CEQ leaves Obama with unfinished carbon plan

Source: Evan Lehmann and Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The last of President Obama’s top-level climate advisers is exiting the administration, leaving the gritty work of implementing — and defending — his plan to cut carbon emissions to elevated holdouts. In Nancy Sutley, the president had a low-key aide who worked at softer decibels than higher-profile agents like Heather Zichal, the former climate confidante who departed last month, and Lisa Jackson, who left as head of U.S. EPA in February.

FWS considering eagle take permit for massive proposed Wyo. wind farm

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The Obama administration announced today that it would consider allowing a company that wants to build one of the world’s largest wind farms in southeast Wyoming to harm or injure eagles during the 30-year life of the project.

Obama to order feds to nearly triple renewable power use by 2020

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020. Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs.

Court vacates FERC order in dispute over transmission line use

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

A federal court ruled today that the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission failed to adequately consider all evidence before granting a grid operator access to a competitor’s transmission lines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said FERC’s decision to allow Entergy Corp.’s Arkansas arm to use Southwest Power Pool Inc.’s transmission lines in order to join the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s network was arbitrary and capricious.

Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that’s not ready

Source: By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Green energy is the least predictable kind. Nobody can say for certain when the wind will blow or the sun will shine. A field of solar panels might be cranking out huge amounts of energy one minute and a tiny amount the next if a thick cloud arrives. In many cases, renewable resources exist where transmission lines don’t. “The grid was not built for renewables,” said Trieu Mai, senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Commissioners to testify before House panel — sans Wellinghoff

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

House members are on tap to quiz the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s new acting chairwoman about the agency’s role in a changing energy landscape, marked by a dive into cheap natural gas and renewables, new environmental regulations, and LNG exports.

Millions for nation’s first offshore wind farm at risk

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

As it seeks investors, a project off the Massachusetts coast that aims to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm must reach fast-approaching benchmarks or risk missing out on hundreds of millions in critical funding. To qualify for a tax credit that would cover a major portion of its capital costs, Cape Wind either must begin construction by Dec. 31 or prove it’s incurred tens of millions of dollars in costs by then. Also, a $200 million investment — the only one of a specific dollar amount Cape Wind has announced — is conditioned on whether developers can fully finance the rest of the project by year’s end.

PTC opponents unveil study, ad campaign

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Opponents of an expiring renewable energy tax credit are rolling out a new study and ad campaign today arguing that some states receive more benefits than others. It’s the latest move in a long-running effort by the American Energy Alliance, a conservative advocacy group, and the Institute for Energy Research, its affiliated think tank, to eliminate the production tax credit, which supports the generation of wind electricity and a handful of other renewable sources. The credit is set to expire at the end of this year, although a modification enacted in January means wind developers can continue to claim it through at least 2015 as long as certain conditions are met.