Eastern States Press Midwest to Improve Air

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 9th, 2013

In a battle that pits the East Coast against the Midwest over the winds that carry dirty air from coal plants, the governors of eight Northeastern states plan to petition the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to force tighter air pollution regulations on nine Rust Belt and Appalachian states. The East Coast states, including New York and Connecticut, have for more than 15 years been subject to stricter air pollution requirements than many other parts of the country. Their governors have long criticized the Appalachian and Rust Belt states, including Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, for their more lenient rules on pollution from coal-fired power plants, factories and tailpipes — allowing those economies to profit from cheap energy while their belched soot and smog are carried on the prevailing winds that blow across the United States.

New pollution rules likely to hit hardest in Midwest, FERC tells lawmakers

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 6th, 2013

Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warned House members today that energy reserves in the Midwest could be pinched the hardest when new U.S. EPA clean air rules take effect in 2016. FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller (R) told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power that the Midwest’s grid operator anticipates a shortfall in its power reserves in 2016 when EPA’s landmark mercury and air toxics standards take effect.

House Dems introduce 25×25 RES bill

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 6th, 2013

A trio of House Democrats yesterday introduced legislation to require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Reps. Jared Polis (Colo.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.) say the bill would create jobs and promote the growth of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. It would apply the renewable energy standard concept — already in place in 29 states — to the entire country.

Obama sets ambitious renewable-power goals for agencies

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 6th, 2013

President Obama more than doubled the government’s renewable energy goal today, following through on a pledge he made five months ago to combat climate change through executive actions. The presidential memo released today is no surprise; it was one of several goals laid out in his June speech on climate change

ALEC drafting model resolutions that target carbon rules, solar

Source: Hannah Northey and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

A right-leaning group of state legislators is targeting U.S. EPA’s forthcoming rules for power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions and backing utilities’ call for users of rooftop solar panels to pay for using the electric grid, during a three-day summit in Washington, D.C. The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) gathering started yesterday with a closed-door discussion of a draft resolution the group hopes to put before legislatures, aimed at decrying EPA emission curbs for new and existing power plants.

Sutley’s exit from CEQ leaves Obama with unfinished carbon plan

Source: Evan Lehmann and Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The last of President Obama’s top-level climate advisers is exiting the administration, leaving the gritty work of implementing — and defending — his plan to cut carbon emissions to elevated holdouts. In Nancy Sutley, the president had a low-key aide who worked at softer decibels than higher-profile agents like Heather Zichal, the former climate confidante who departed last month, and Lisa Jackson, who left as head of U.S. EPA in February.

FWS considering eagle take permit for massive proposed Wyo. wind farm

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The Obama administration announced today that it would consider allowing a company that wants to build one of the world’s largest wind farms in southeast Wyoming to harm or injure eagles during the 30-year life of the project.

Obama to order feds to nearly triple renewable power use by 2020

Source: Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020. Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs.

Court vacates FERC order in dispute over transmission line use

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

A federal court ruled today that the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission failed to adequately consider all evidence before granting a grid operator access to a competitor’s transmission lines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said FERC’s decision to allow Entergy Corp.’s Arkansas arm to use Southwest Power Pool Inc.’s transmission lines in order to join the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s network was arbitrary and capricious.

Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that’s not ready

Source: By Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Green energy is the least predictable kind. Nobody can say for certain when the wind will blow or the sun will shine. A field of solar panels might be cranking out huge amounts of energy one minute and a tiny amount the next if a thick cloud arrives. In many cases, renewable resources exist where transmission lines don’t. “The grid was not built for renewables,” said Trieu Mai, senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.