News

The Energy Department helped start a revolution – and doesn’t know who to hand it off to

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

As the Obama administration prepares to leave office, it is seeking to underscore just how much has changed in the last eight years in the way we get energy — and to take some credit for it. Since 2008, costs for wind and solar have plunged by 40 and 60 percent, respectively, according to an analysis provided by the Energy Department. That’s even as the United States has installed 100 gigawatts, or billion watts, of generating capacity in the two technologies combined (75 gigawatts of wind, 25 of solar).

Instead Of Trump’s Wall, Let’s Build A Border Of Solar Panels

Source: By Homero Aridjis and James Ramey, Huffington Post • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Sunlight in the northern deserts of Mexico is more intense than in the U.S. Southwest because of the lower latitude and more favorable cloud patterns. And construction and maintenance costs for solar plants in Mexico are substantially lower. Thus, building a long series of such plants all along the Mexican side of the border could power cities on both sides faster and more cheaply than similar arrays built north of the border.

Democrats call for special counsel to probe Trump team’s focus on climate scientists

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Nine Senate Democrats, led by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, called Friday for an investigation into a questionnaire sent by the Trump transition team to the Energy Department, asking for names of “employees or contractors” who attended United Nations climate change meetings under President Obama. The questionnaire was disavowed Wednesday by the Trump transition, which released a statement that it was “not authorized or part of our standard protocol” and that the individual who sent it had been “properly counseled.”

Nebraska County Commission approves first steps toward wind farm

Source: By WIBW • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The Nemaha County Commission has given their approval for a wind farm project in the southern portion of that county. On Monday, the county commission adopted a resolution approving a conditional use permit and wind farm district. That decision came after a public hearing, where eleven county residents voiced both support and opposition to the project.

Saudi Aramco, GE to launch Saudi Arabia’s first wind turbine next month

Source: By Reem Shamseddine, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Saudi Armco plans to commission its wind turbine pilot project, the first in the kingdom, next month, the state oil company said on Sunday, part of nationwide plans to diversify energy supplies and to meet an increase in demand. The wind turbine, supplied by U.S. company General Electric (GE) will provide power to Saudi Aramco’s bulk plant in Turaif, in northwest Saudi Arabia.

Smog engulfs north China for fourth day; flights diverted

Source: By David Stanway, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

China declared a “war on pollution” in 2014 amid concern its heavy industrial past was tarnishing its global reputation and holding back its future development. But it has struggled to reverse the damage done by decades of breakneck economic growth, much of it based on the coal-burning power sector. Despite months of efforts to hone its rapid response systems, air quality deteriorated in parts of the region on Tuesday, with the environment ministry warning that firms were flouting emergency restrictions.

Rick Perry turned Texas into a wind powerhouse by getting out of the way

Source: BY ALEX DAUGHERTY, McClatchy DC • Posted: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Texas’ wind boom, which began under then-Gov. George W. Bush, was buoyed by a lack of regulations combined with generous tax subsidies. When Perry followed Bush, he kept things easy for business. Wind producers could get up to 30 percent of their project paid for by the federal government, and didn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to put up a windmill.

An infrastructure plan Democrats can love?

Source: By ERIC LIPTON,  New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2016

The president-elect’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, told New York business leaders on Friday that Mr. Trump’s vision for a large-scale federal infrastructure program was “closer” to Senator Chuck Schumer’s, the incoming minority leader, than to the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell’s. Mr. Kushner made the remarks at an event hosted by the Partnership for New York City, just after an appearance by Mr. Schumer, the New York senator.

Proposal for wind farm in Nebraska Sand Hills region is whipping up a ruckus

Source: By Paul Hammel, Omaha Wald Herald • Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2016

Carolyn Semin and her husband, LeRoy, moved out to their patch of the Sand Hills in the 1950s. Other than a random passing vehicle on nearby Highway 20 they have enjoyed an unspoiled view of miles and miles of grass-covered prairie ever since. There are more cows than people in Cherry County, and the closest village, Kilgore, has a population that barely exceeds the capacity of a single school bus. But that sense of isolation was shattered this spring when a neighbor called to inform the Semins that 30 wind turbines, each more than 400 feet tall, were being planned across the highwa

Trump’s Cabinet Selections Signal Pointed Shift After Obama

Source: By Ken Thomas, Associated Press • Posted: Monday, December 19th, 2016

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry once famously struggled to name three federal departments he would eliminate if elected president, muttering “oops” during a 2011 presidential debate. In one of the ironies of the Trump transition, Perry is now preparing to run one of those agencies, the Energy Department, after more than 14 years as governor. Perry presided over his state’s vast oil and gas industries and leading wind energy sector. He is currently on the boards of two petroleum companies seeking approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline project. He would be a break from predecessors such as Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, and Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.