News

Law advancing offshore wind finalized in Mass.

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Gov. Charlie Baker (R) placed Massachusetts at the vanguard of U.S. offshore wind energy yesterday by signing bipartisan legislation requiring utilities to purchase 1,600 megawatts of power from planned Atlantic Ocean wind farms by 2027. The 2016 Energy Diversity Act, emerging from a legislative conference after 18 months of negotiation, effectively opens the door to a new multimillion-dollar energy industry off the New England coast, where developers are poised to build hundreds of wind turbines on the outer continental shelf.

What Trump gets wrong about energy in America

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

In his economic speech in Detroit Monday (transcript here), Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump laid out a series of energy proposals that, in stark contrast to those of Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration, would try to shore up traditional industries centered on coal, oil, natural gas. The most striking thing about the plan is that it seems premised on a world in which these energy sources don’t have this major environmental drawback called climate change. Trump himself has told The Washington Post he is “not a big believer in man-made climate change,” and the divide between himself and Clinton on this matter is one of the sharpest policy differences of the present campaign, clearly wider than the split in views between Obama-McCain (2008) or Obama-Romney (2012).

This SoCal beach town could be driving a renewables revolution

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

On summer weekends, traffic is jammed coming into and out of this tiny beach town. People flock to the ocean, to the downtown village with Tudor-themed architecture, to the fairgrounds that host San Diego County’s summer fair, and the horse races held at the same site. That vehicle-related greenhouse gas pollution is just one of the challenges Del Mar faces as it aims to go very green.

Do Oil Companies Really Need $4 Billion Per Year of Taxpayers’ Money?

Source: By Eduardo Porter, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

What would happen if the federal government ended its subsidies to companies that drill for oil and gas? The Amaerican oil and gas industry has argued that such a move would leave the United States more dependent on foreign energy. Many environmental activists counter that ending subsidies could move the United States toward a future free of fossil fuels — helping it curtail its emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

State legislators wrestle with changing industry

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

tate lawmakers at their annual summit here are tackling how to support evolving energy business models and prioritize different types of power based on affordability, reliability and environmental benefits. Legislators yesterday said they are particularly interested in how to strike a balance between power companies and consumers as rooftop solar grows.

Rio opening ceremony shines spotlight on climate change

Source: Camille von Kaenel, Benjamin Hulac and Brittany Patterson, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Along with the fireworks and samba party of the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics came stark warnings about rising sea levels and global temperatures. The roughly 3.3 billion people who watched the ceremony saw a video describing rising carbon dioxide levels and showing cities from Lagos, Nigeria, to Rio de Janeiro underwater. It was one of several performances highlighting the vital role that forests, such as the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, play in absorbing planet-warming gases.

Massachusetts just gave a huge boost to the offshore wind industry

Source: By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new energy law on Monday that could give a huge boost to the country’s offshore wind industry. The legislation, which was overwhelmingly passed last week by the state legislature, includes the nation’s biggest commitment to offshore wind energy, requiring utilities to procure a combined 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms in a little over 10 years.

Trump bets on dramatic fossil fuel production increase

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump today reiterated his vow to create “vast new wealth” in the United States by expanding oil and gas production and revitalizing the coal industry. Trump, looking to invigorate his campaign against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to succeed President Obama, outlined a series of proposed tax breaks and regulatory reforms in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club.

Sonoma Clean Power adds wind power to its portfolio

Source: By ANGELA HART, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Sonoma Clean Power is adding more wind power to its clean energy portfolio, a move that the power company expects to help stabilize long-term electricity rates and help the county combat climate change. Sonoma County’s dominant electricity provider this week inked a 20-year deal with the Florida-based wholesale energy provider NextEra Energy Resources to build a new wind farm in the East Bay just east of Livermore, furthering the agency’s goal of boosting its supply of renewable energy and advancing efforts to purchase that power as locally as possible. Once the 46-megawatt project is complete at the end of 2017, an estimated 24 new wind turbines will provide the public electricity provider enough energy to power up to 46,000 homes, according to Geof Syphers, the company’s chief executive officer.

Solar Impulse 2 pilot: ‘We are at the limit of the technology’

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

The sunlight-powered journey around the world ended in the dark as pilot Bertrand Piccard landed the Solar Impulse 2 aircraft at 4:05 a.m. local time on July 26 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Chased by ground crew members in cars and on bicycles, the aircraft seemed to hang in the air before it touched down at what looked like an impossibly slow speed on stilt-like landing gear, its four humming electric motors easily drowned out by drums and horns from the welcome band.