Two resolutions that would scuttle the Obama administration’s carbon rules for power plants are on the Senate schedule and could see a vote as early as this week, the sponsors of the measures said yesterday evening. The resolutions would kill U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from existing power plants and the agency’s rule for reducing emissions from new or modified plants. Under the Congressional Review Act, they require a simple majority for passage in the Senate.
When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged governors nationwide to “just say no” to U.S. EPA’s new carbon emissions rules earlier this year, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) offered what he called a “thoughtful” response publicly declining the Republican’s suggestion. Now he admits that he that he just couldn’t help trolling the Kentucky senator.
The line, used to access wind power harnessed in Kansas, has generated strong opinions. Sentiment at public meetings in the region has often been hostile, especially from affected landowners. But business, labor unions and consumer advocacy groups have come out strongly in favor of the project, billed as funneling $700 million of investment into Illinois and creating 1,500 jobs.
The commissioners said Houston-based Clean Line, a merchant transmission developer, didn’t qualify as a public utility at the time it submitted its application in April and shouldn’t have been allowed to use the faster approval process. However, del Valle in particular noted support of Clean Line’s goal to move wind energy from remote southwest Kansas to population centers farther east in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Climate change will continue to be a significant issue that will affect all of us,” del Valle said. “I fully support the goal of building infrastructure of moving renewable generation from sparsely populated areas which are rich in wind resources to areas with larger loads and higher prices.”
Coal: Can’t live with it and can’t live without it — at least not yet. It is the biggest source of heat-trapping greenhouse gases that negotiators around the world hope to limit in an agreement to be thrashed out in Paris next month. Demand for coal is leveling off, but it will remain a key energy source for decades, no matter how many billions of dollars of investment go into cleaner energy like wind and solar. Too much of the world depends on it now for heating and power generation for us to suddenly live without it.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Friday that the Obama administration’s “all of the above” approach to energy sources means it seeks to reduce carbon dioxide from the energy sector.
Moniz sought to clarify the “all of the above” policy, saying that while certain energy sources such as wind and solar have no carbon emissions, the administration is truly committed to all forms of energy, including fossil fuels. “We say ‘all of the above,’ but let me be very clear: ‘all of the above’ starts out with a commitment to low carbon,” Moniz said Friday at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event.
The French government vowed to push on with the United Nations Climate summit in Paris this month and will boost security for the more than 120 world leaders traveling to a city reeling from a deadly terrorist attack. “It will go ahead with reinforced security measures,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in Vienna on Saturday, a day after gunmen killed at least 129 people in the French capital. “This is an absolutely necessary step in the battle against climate change and of course it will take place.”
Here’s how bad U.S. coal has it these days: The region that has for years burned the most coal also happens to be the windiest. The Great Plains states that run south from Canada to Texas, tucked between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River, are increasingly turning to cheap wind power to generate electricity. It’s a shift that’s eating into coal’s dwindling share of America’s power plant pie.
U.S. EPA is throwing cold water on hopes that renewables other than wind and solar might qualify for an incentive program designed to reward emissions reductions made before the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan takes effect. In an informational call Tuesday, Tina Ndoh of EPA’s office of Air Quality Planning and Standards shut down a suggestion that the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) could be used to give credits for hydropower, geothermal or other forms of clean power.
Congressional Republicans called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to explore whether changes are needed to improve a law crafted in the Carter administration to boost renewables and efficiency. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan, and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power Chairman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky asked FERC to review its use of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, or PURPA. The letter to FERC Chairman Norman Bay reflects concerns with the law that Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE) raised earlier this year as the Senate and House were crafting comprehensive energy legislation.