News

2 veteran Supreme Court lawyers will argue for industry, states in EPA emissions case

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, February 17th, 2014

Two lawyers who have already argued one major Supreme Court environmental case this term will return to the high court later this month in a landmark case challenging U.S. EPA’s program for cracking down on greenhouse gas emissions to address global warming. Peter Keisler of Sidley Austin LLP will argue on behalf of industry groups that contend EPA overreached when it required stationary sources to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or PSD, permits for greenhouse gases before beginning construction. And Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell will represent states that have also asked the court to overturn EPA’s regulations.

Kansas House takes up measure to oppose Obama’s climate change plan

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Monday, February 17th, 2014

A Kansas House committee is weighing a resolution that urges Congress to resist following President Barack Obama’s plan for addressing climate change The nonbinding resolution is before the House Energy and Environment Committee. It declares that the federal goals for addressing climate change are based on false assumptions about the role of carbon dioxide and human activity.

States with greater ‘wind penetration’ see lower electricity rates — analysis

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, February 17th, 2014

Electricity customers in states with significant wind energy penetration have seen their power bills drop by 0.37 percent over the last five years, while states where utilities provide less wind energy as a percentage of total generation have seen rates rise by more than 7 percent over the same period, a new analysis by the American Wind Energy Association shows.

Groups urge feds not to allow harm to eagles at huge proposed Wyo. wind farm

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 14th, 2014

Two conservation groups, including one of the nation’s largest bird advocacy groups, are urging the Obama administration not to grant a special permit to harm or kill eagles at a proposed wind farm in Wyoming that would be among the world’s biggest. The American Bird Conservancy, along with the Laramie, Wyo.-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, submitted a 15-page letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service expressing concerns about impacts to golden eagles if the massive Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind project is built as proposed in southeast Wyoming.

Congress should act to prevent attacks — FERC acting chairwoman

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 14th, 2014

Congress should consider shielding sensitive information and appointing a federal agency to take emergency action to thwart physical and computer attacks on the grid, the acting chairwoman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said yesterday.

Western voters support renewable energy and the work of federal agencies — survey

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 14th, 2014

Looking to win an election in the Mountain West? Then show voters you support renewable energy and don’t suggest selling off federal lands to reduce the budget deficit. Those recommendations are among the key findings in the annual Conservation in the West Poll by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project, which the Colorado Springs-based institution released today.

Nebraska’s wind energy future

Source: KNOP-TV, North Platte, Nebraska • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

“We all know that living in Nebraska that yes the wind blows, but it blows at varying speeds and there are times when it doesn’t blow and we all know that the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours,” said Pope. “So, when those resources aren’t available, or are available but varying a lot, we have to have other equipment that is still there functioning providing the backup.”

Five years later, Missouri still grappling with renewable law

Source: by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

More than five years after Missouri residents approved a renewable-energy standard, very little has changed about the state’s power supply. The 2008 law, known as Proposition C, requires the state’s three large investor-owned utilities to gradually phase in renewable power, starting with 2 percent of the electricity sold in 2011 to 2013, and gradually ramping up that proportion to 15 percent by 2021. The law also requires that 2 percent of that total be derived from solar.

Ex-Commissioner Spitzer discusses future of Obama pick to lead agency

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The Obama administration’s nomination of Norman Bay to become chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is ushering in a new round of analysis of the commission and its future. Is Bay the safe choice or the best choice to lead the agency? During today’s OnPoint, Marc Spitzer, a former FERC commissioner and now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, discusses the prospects for Bay’s confirmation and the future role of acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur on the commission.

Shake-ups add to climate, energy lineup

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 13th, 2014

There’s a new energy and climate team in the White House. Dan Utech, President Obama’s chief energy and climate adviser, announced this week that he’ll have two new deputies as his office plows ahead with the administration’s Climate Action Plan.