News

Federal shutdown holds up offshore wind energy lease

Source: BY PETER BACQUÉ Richmond Times-Dispatch • Posted: Friday, October 11th, 2013

Dominion Virginia Power has won approval of its $1.6 million bid to lease nearly 113,000 offshore acres for wind power development. But the federal government shutdown is holding up finalizing the lease, the company said Wednesday.

Study Finds Setbacks in Carbon Capture Projects

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The number of large-scale projects to capture and bury carbon dioxide has fallen to 65 from 75 over the past year, a worldwide survey has found, despite a consensus among scientists and engineers that the so-called carbon capture and sequestration, known as C.C.S., will be essential to meet international goals for slowing the buildup of climate-changing gases. The survey was released Thursday in Seoul, South Korea, by the Global CCS Institute, which is based in Canberra, Australia. Since the previous survey a year ago, five projects have been canceled, one reduced in size and seven postponed, while three have been added, the report said.

Opinion: Wind energy can transform Nebraska

Source: BY MIKE ZAKRZEWSKI, Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Thursday, October 10th, 2013

If you live in Nebraska, chances are you have cursed the wind at some point in your life. Whether it has ruined a good day of fishing, blown your neighbor’s leaves onto your front lawn or just messed up your hair on your way to work or church — we’ve all done it. And if you’re a farmer or rancher like me, it’s a safe bet you cuss the wind on a regular basis when you try to put up hay or irrigate your crops. The bad news is the wind isn’t going away anytime soon. The good news is it’s about to transform our great state.

Will Ore. test project bring offshore wind to the West Coast?

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The offshore wind industry is finally showing signs of progress in the United States. The Department of the Interior completed its second offshore wind lease auction for acreage off the coast of Virginia in early September, and the nation’s first grid-connected offshore wind turbine, a small prototype created by the University of Maine, started spinning off the Northeast coast this spring.

More than 400 Dems press White House against greenhouse gas rules

Source: Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 10th, 2013

More than 400 Democrats from around the country are urging the White House to reconsider U.S. EPA’s proposal for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. The current and former politicians wrote President Obama a letter today as part of the CoalBlue Project, a group meant to boost and highlight Democratic support for the coal industry.

White House aide Zichal’s departure leaves a ‘daunting’ role for a newcomer

Source: Evan Lehmann and Mike Soraghan, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Heather Zichal’s departure from the White House comes near the beginning of a years-long effort to shepherd complicated climate policies through a bevy of federal agencies overseen by administration newcomers, now central to the success of President Obama’s climate plan.

Battle over Binz: an anomaly, or the first shot in a drawn-out war?

Source: Hannah Northey and Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Ron Binz got a bull’s-eye on his back during the first week of August. Roughly 20 leaders from prominent free-market and conservative groups — some enjoying ties to the tea party and Koch brothers funding — huddled in a downtown Washington, D.C., conference room to weigh Binz’s nomination to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. After two hours, they resolved to oppose President Obama’s choice. “This confirmation deserves to have a wrench thrown in the gears,” Benjamin Cole, a spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research, later recalled the group’s thinking.

Wind turbine blade manufacturer hiring at whirlwind rate

Source: By John Upton, GRIST • Posted: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

LM Wind Power, a global manufacturer of blades for wind turbines, says it doubled its U.S. workforce to 700 in August — up from 350 in April. And it says the boom will continue: It expects to employ some 1,200 people in the U.S. next year — most of them based at its factories in North Dakota and Arkansas. In a press release, the company credited the extension late last year of the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit with the growth of its workforce:

Colorado set to add 600 megawatts of wind power projects

Source: By Mark Jaffe, The Denver Post • Posted: Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Colorado’s wind-power market and industry are posting strong performances in 2013, according to executives. There are plans for more than 600 megawatts of new wind farms by four Colorado utilities — a 26 percent increase in generation. “That is probably $1 billion in investment,” Sarah Cottrell Propst, executive director of the trade group Interwest Energy Alliance, said at the Colorado Energy Forum on Tuesday at the University of Denver

Former FERC Commissioner Spitzer discusses infrastructure, supply challenges facing energy reform

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

What are the infrastructure and supply challenges facing Mexico as lawmakers debate oil sector reforms and the introduction of more natural gas into the country’s energy mix? During today’s OnPoint, Marc Spitzer, a former commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, explains how Mexico’s proposed energy reforms could economically benefit both Mexico and the United States. He discusses the impact a major reform could have on global energy markets and reacts to the withdrawal of Ron Binz as the nominee for FERC chairman.