Deal sets stage for energy and water spending bill to move

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

he Senate is due to take up the fiscal 2017 energy and water development spending bill tomorrow, after it completes work on separate energy policy legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced yesterday evening that he had a deal with Democrats to call up the spending bill tomorrow without needing a cloture vote. His announcement suggests that a fragile truce among party leaders to move ahead with appropriations bills, provided they follow the overall spending cap set in last year’s budget deal, is holding.

Trade group chief stepping down

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Rhone Resch is leaving his post as president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association after 12 years. The association will name an interim leader and begin a search for its next president after Resch’s departure May 31, it said in a statement.

Nebraska lawmakers OK proposals to plan for climate change, boost wind energy

Source: By ZACH PLUHACEK, Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

The wind energy bill sponsored by Omaha Sen. John McCollister overcame a filibuster for the second time to pass on a 34-10 vote, and now awaits the governor’s OK. Many chose to support the change for economic reasons, not because of an environmental agenda. They said the measure eliminates an unnecessary impediment to wind energy developments, allowing Nebraska to become more competitive in the regional power market and potentially reducing energy costs and luring green-minded businesses to the state.

EPA ‘ties itself in knots,’ foes tell judges

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Friday marked the deadline for the roughly 150 parties suing over the regulation to reply to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Obama administration last month submitted its defense of what it called an “eminently reasonable” regulation to cut power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions (

SunEdison, Becoming So Big It Fails, Prepares for Bankruptcy

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

SunEdison, which grew from making chemicals and components for solar modules to become a giant of the renewable energy business, is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a filing with regulators on Friday. The filing signaled the potential end to SunEdison’s ambition to become the world’s leading renewable energy development company. And it comes after the fall of another clean energy company, Abengoa, which is going through proceedings in the United States and Spain as it seeks to avoid becoming that country’s largest corporate failure.

BLM conservation policy threatens key power line

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Idaho leaders and other critics say BLM’s proposal sacrifices greater sage grouse habitat and private property to avoid crossing the sanctuary — and ignores the recommendation of the agency’s own advisory council. BLM’s plan could delay the line for years or even doom the final two segments of the nearly-1,000-mile-long Gateway West Transmission Line Project, they warn.

Senate truce on riders won’t last as bills hit floor

Source: Geof Koss and George Cahlink, E&E reporters • Posted: Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Senate appropriators jump-started work on the annual spending bills Thursday by agreeing to hold off on adding controversial amendments in committee. But that bipartisan truce may only last until the first measure hits the floor this week.

Air Force affirming role of renewables in energy security

Source: Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 15th, 2016

The Air Force is affirming its commitment to renewables, beefing up its energy policy in response to a new slew of 21st-century threats. Armed with the new slogan “mission assurance is energy assurance,” the service is working to increase the energy security of its bases with large-scale renewable projects that could keep the lights on in the event that a natural disaster or cyberattack knocks out local power.

Senate sets $37.5B spending cap for energy, water programs

Source: Hannah Hess, Tiffany Stecker and George Cahlink, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, April 15th, 2016

The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday voted unanimously to allocate $37.5 billion to the subcommittee that funds the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies, an increase of approximately $355 million above current spending levels that may undercut President Obama’s priorities on climate change. The so-called 302(b) allocation is the amount of money the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee will have available when it writes its fiscal 2017 spending bill, which funds a host of nuclear security, science research, environmental cleanup and water infrastructure projects.

Moniz expects clean-tech funding boost from Congress

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, April 15th, 2016

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today said he expects Congress will provide a significant increase in clean technology funding as part of a broad plan to address climate change, despite a lukewarm response in Congress to the proposal. Appropriations bills that advanced this week in both chambers of Congress fell short of the administration’s request on Mission Innovation, a global plan to address climate change by doubling spending on clean energy research and development over five years.