News

Global Climate Pact Gains Momentum as China, U.S. and Brazil Detail Plans

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Five months before a United Nations summit meeting aimed at forging a historic global accord to cut climate-warming emissions, significant signs of progress toward an agreement are emerging. China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas polluter, submitted a 16-page plan to the United Nations on Tuesday detailing how it plans to shift its economy to reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2030. On the same day, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, which is among the top 10 carbon emitters, and President Obama announced in Washington that their nations had agreed to sharply expand electricity generation from renewable sources.

US, Brazil pledge 20 percent renewable electricity by 2030

Source: By Timothy Cama, The Hill • Posted: Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The United States and Brazil announced an agreement on Tuesday to get a fifth of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030 in an ambitious attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement, which excludes hydropower from the goal, came from President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as the Brazilian leader visitsWashington, D.C., to discuss various policy issues. “This is a big deal,” Brian Deese, Obama’s top adviser for energy, told reporters Tuesday.

Chaska company designs wind turbine of the future

Source: By Chris Hrapsky, KARE • Posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Minnesota is known for farming, but a Chaska company is redefining how to harvest one of the most lucrative crops in the world – wind. The 2012 energy startup SheerWind has developed a new-aged wind turbine system that promises more energy efficiency at roughly 75 percent of the cost of traditional turbines. But it is the look and design of SheerWind’s INVELOX technology that’s grabbing attention.

Comment: Offshore wind still the best bet for clean energy

Source: By Ann Berwick, Boston Globe • Posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

The proposal for Cape Wind, which was to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm, is teetering on the edge of failure after a 14-year saga of lawsuits and regulatory hurdles. Yet a bill pending in the Massachusetts Legislature would require that large amounts of electricity come from wind turbines located offshore. How can that possibly make sense? But the bill has it right: For the Northeast to address climate change, developing offshore wind is a necessity. That’s because nothing beats offshore wind for generating power.

Iowa farmer takes Pope’s side on climate change

Source: By DEAN REYNOLDS, CBS NEWS • Posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Iowa farmer Tom Wind grows a lot more than soybeans and corn. He’s been planting 400-foot wind turbines at his farm in Greene County, Iowa. The turbines are able to fuel a 2,000 horsepower engine. “It turns out that wind power is fairly economical,” Wind said. “Wind power is one of the cheapest forms of new energy.”

Senate Democrats lay out priorities for legislative package 

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

As the debate over a broad energy package intensifies on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats today rolled out a sweeping list of energy policy priorities focused on curbing carbon emissions and investing in renewable technology. In a letter soliciting input on energy policy from governors, the Democrats called for a national energy policy that prioritizes investment in clean energy sources and efforts to upgrade the U.S. electrical grid and other energy infrastructure. “We believe the U.S. must establish a framework that helps unleash investment in our infrastructure sufficient to ensure all American citizens and businesses have access to affordable, efficient, reliable and cleaner energy,” they wrote in the letter.

After Mercury Ruling, Higher Scrutiny of Obama Climate Rules

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Sweeping pollution limits at the center of President Barack Obama’s climate change plan are facing increased scrutiny in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that showed that the justices aren’t afraid to thwart perceived overreach by Obama or his Environmental Protection Agency. The high court’s ruling undermined Obama administration regulations targeting mercury and other hazardous air pollutants — a different set of regulations from the greenhouse gas limits that Obama is counting on to slow the effects of global warming. Still, the court’s willingness to rein in the EPA emboldened opponents of Obama’s climate change agenda, who said the court had finally woken up to what they call the haphazard and costly nature of the environmental regulations that Obama has put forth.

Justices topple EPA mercury regs in ruling seen as limited 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Obama administration unlawfully failed to consider compliance costs before it issued its landmark power plant emission limits for mercury and other hazardous pollutants. More than 20 Republican-led states and various industry groups challenged U.S. EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS. The rules were finalized in December 2011 and are already in effect, requiring coal-burning power plants to reduce emissions of hazardous substances like mercury, lead and arsenic by installing control technologies or retiring plants.

With ’15 energy plan, N.Y. bids to become cleanest energy state in U.S. 

Source: Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 29th, 2015

New York made a bold declaration about clean energy yesterday with a state energy plan that promises a host of policy efforts aimed at scrubbing the state of fossil fuels and advancing a future heavy on distributed generation and renewable energy. The much-anticipated document from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) lays out targets under the state’s fast-moving “reforming the energy vision” (REV) for electricity and complementary programs for other areas. Taken together, the promised targets under those programs listed in the document would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Gates to invest $2B in clean energy, rejects fossil fuel divestment 

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 29th, 2015

As co-chairman of the American Energy Innovation Council, Gates and several other prominent CEOs called on the U.S. government to roughly triple the R&D budget to ensure future economic competitiveness, national security and environmental protection, compared with the current $5 billion annual investment that is about half of what the nation spends on potato chips and tortilla chips