News

Energy execs, AGs huddled at resort ahead of litigation

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Attorneys general from Republican-led states met with energy executives at the West Virginia’s storied Greenbrier resort less than two weeks before they filed a lawsuit last year aimed at halting U.S. EPA’s rule for curbing greenhouse gases from power plants. The closed-door meetings took place last August at a four-day summit hosted by the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), according to an agendaobtained by a watchdog group using public records requests.

Prius sales plummet in U.S. when gas is cheap

Source: By Sean McLain, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

While Toyota Motor Corp.’s signature Prius is topping sales charts in its home country of Japan, sales in the United States have slumped significantly due to low gas prices. Sales of the electric-gasoline hybrid, marketed as environmentally friendly, were down 26 percent in 2016 through August. The newest version of the car gets 54 mpg, making it the most fuel-efficient Prius yet.

Iowa sees explosive growth in solar, wind energy

Source: By Mike Fisher, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

The explosive growth of wind and solar energy is occurring in a state that already ranks No. 1 nationally in the production of biorenewable fuels, holding the title of No. 1 producer of ethanol and No. 2 producer of biodiesel. Iowa also ranks in the top 10 states for hydropower potential from existing dam structures with projects underway at Red Rock Reservoir and under study for Saylorville Reservoir. When you add Iowa’s potential energy capacity from biomass fuels and biogas methane to energy, the state’s overall renewable energy capacity is staggering.

Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’

Source: By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, MARK LANDLER and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Climate change, Mr. Obama often says, is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. More than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency.

The birth and troubled childhood of an American supergrid

Source: John Fialka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

It may seem ironic that the pioneer of projects that could lead to the sharpest increase in emissions-free electricity in the United States started in Wyoming, the state that leads U.S. production of coal, ranks in the top 10 for natural gas production and pumps 2 percent of the nation’s oil. The project started with a 320,000-acre cattle ranch in Carbon County on Wyoming’s southern border. In 2006, Philip Anschutz, the ranch’s billionaire owner, put it up for sale. Then one of his top aides, Bill Miller, pointed out that the ranch is swept by some of the steadiest, most powerful land-based wind resources in the world.

McConnell plans funding bill through Dec. 9

Source: Arianna Skibell, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate will work toward a short-term spending bill to keep the government running when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. “The single biggest business we need to conduct here is to get the government funded through the end of the fiscal year,” he told reporters. “We’re going to work towards the Dec. 9 date at last year’s levels.”

‘Anybody’s guess’ what conferees can agree on — Murkowski

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Energy conferees will formally meet this morning for the first time, following weeks of wide-ranging staff discussions that have some members cautiously optimistic that a compromise between the House and Senate energy bills can be brokered before the end of the year. But it remains to be seen whether the push to enact the first major energy bill in nearly a decade can transcend the deep policy divides between the two chambers.

Gov. Brown, lawmakers strike deal on cap-and-trade spending

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

California will spend $900 million in revenues raised by its cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions and hold back $462 million for later under a deal reached yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Senate and Assembly leaders. Funds will go to local transit and rail; rebates for electric and other clean cars; efforts attacking short-lived climate pollutants; paying for solar, insulation and other energy upgrades on homes of low-income residents; and adding green spaces to low-income neighborhoods.

At nation’s first offshore wind farm in R.I., it’s almost harvest time

Source: By Alex Kuffner, Providence Journal • Posted: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

When a gigantic crane ship mounted the final blade on the final turbine of the Block Island Wind Farm, Deepwater Wind definitively answered one question that had dogged the Providence company and like-minded developers for years. Yes, an offshore wind farm can be built in the United States. But with that milestone a couple of weeks ago comes more questions whose answers will determine whether history looks back at the test project as a success or a failure:

Slate: Iowa is ‘most impressive state for clean energy’

Source: By Linh Ta, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The most impressive place for clean energy isn’t some coastal state, like California or New York. It’s right here in Iowa, home to some of the nation’s mightiest wind energy, writes Daniel Gross, a longtime Slate contributor and editor for The Daily Beast and Newsweek.