‘We are a separate nation’ — Brown touts state’s influence in global climate arena 

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 6th, 2015

“It is a little bold to talk about the China-California partnership as though we were a separate nation. But we are a separate nation,” he said, to applause and laughter. Since taking office in 2010, Brown has signed agreements with the national governments of China and Mexico, as well as a subnational agreement with Guangdong province and a regional pact with Oregon, Washington state and British Columbia to work on West Coast low-carbon fuel and energy policies.

Michigan Republicans target RPS, efficiency standards

Source: By Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News • Posted: Friday, March 6th, 2015

Michigan Republicans announced this week that they do not support higher renewable energy targets and that they will seek to eliminate energy efficiency standards from state law. Separate comprehensive energy packages emerging from the House and Senate — both of which have Republican majorities — differ on some topics, including electric choice, but committee chairs from both chambers are intent on removing efficiency standards that were adopted seven years ago. Neither packages call for a higher renewable portfolio standard, while one House Republican introduced a stand-alone bill Thursday to repeal the RPS.

ALEC scores win against Clean Power Plan in W.Va. 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 6th, 2015

The American Legislative Exchange Council won a significant victory this week when West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed a law requiring legislative approval of the eventual plan the state submits to comply with U.S. EPA’s ambitious Clean Power Plan. Under the new law, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection will have to produce a study examining the impact of the federal guidelines, which aim to drop the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels over the next 15 years.

Once extravagant, renewable power plans go cheap

Source: By JAMES OSBORNE, Staff Writer, Dallas Morning News • Posted: Friday, March 6th, 2015

Hybrid cars, fruit grown without pesticides, clean coal plants — going green usually comes at a premium. But not so with consumer electricity plans that promise energy exclusively from wind turbines and solar farms. As those renewables have proliferated in recent years, green plans have become readily affordable. So much so that in Texas, the country’s largest wind energy producer, renewable energy plans count among the cheapest options available. In a review of the state-run website, three of the 10 lowest-priced plans offered in Dallas this week were advertised as 100 percent renewable energy plans.

Europe Unlikely to Meet Climate Goal, Study Finds

Source: By MELISSA EDDY, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The European Union will fail to meet an ambitious goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 unless it takes more aggressive measures to limit the use of fossil fuels and adopts new environmental policies, according to a report scheduled for release on Tuesday. Although European countries are on track to meet, and even surpass, the goal of reducing 1990-level greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, existing policies are not robust enough to ensure that the 2050 targets are met, the report said. Those targets, scientists have said, are critical to forestalling the most catastrophic effects of climate change, which are linked to carbon emissions caused by human activity.

McConnell to states: Don’t comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The Senate’s top Republican waded into state regulatory policy today, urging state officials in an newspaper op-ed to not let themselves be “bullied” into complying with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wrote in the Lexington Herald-Leader op-ed that state lawmakers and officials have little to fear from EPA if they don’t comply with its draft rule for power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. Compliance, he said, could make states legally vulnerable.

McConnell Urges States to Defy U.S. Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gas

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, is urging governors to defy President Obama by refusing to implement the administration’s global warming regulations. In an op-ed article published Wednesday in The Lexington Herald-Leader with the headline, “States should reject Obama mandate for clean-power regulations,” Mr. McConnell wrote: “The Obama administration’s so-called ‘clean power’ regulation seeks to shut down more of America’s power generation under the guise of protecting the climate.” He added, “Don’t be complicit in the administration’s attack on the middle class.”

EPA administrator races to finish landmark climate rules

Source: By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill • Posted: Thursday, March 5th, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ran his reelection on a promise to dismantle as many pieces of those and other EPA regulations as he possibly could, looking to attach riders to energy packages or spending bills. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack put it bluntly last month, saying, “I wake up every morning, I say my prayers and I’m thankful I’m not the EPA administrator.”

Major financing deal puts R.I. project on track to be nation’s first offshore wind farm 

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 5th, 2015

It is now all but certain that a 30-megawatt pilot project in Rhode Island state waters will be America’s first offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind, the Providence, R.I.-based developer behind the Block Island project, announced this week that it had closed on more than $290 million in financing from American and French backers.

Inhofe shrugs as Jon Stewart pounces on snowball stunt 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Sen. James Inhofe laughed off comedian Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” segment last night that lampooned the Environment and Public Works Committee chairman for implying that snow in February means man-made climate change isn’t happening.