How should utility regulators in coal-heavy states be preparing for U.S. EPA’s proposed regulations for existing power plants? During today’s OnPoint, Sue Tierney, senior adviser at the Analysis Group, discusses a new report focusing on current state policies that could comply with EPA’s existing source regulations. Tierney, a former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Energy, also gives a behind-the-scenes look at last week’s National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners summer meetings.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) called on his state to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio last week, challenging his constituents to advance already ambitious goals on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Speaking during the state’s Clean Energy Economy Summit, Dayton challenged policymakers and the energy industry to “tell us what a timeline [to end coal use] would look like, what has to happen for that timeline to be met and what kind of incentives or inducements do we need to provide to make that happen.”
Gov. Mark Dayton today challenged a group of energy policy and business leaders to figure out a way for Minnesota to eliminate coal from the state’s energy production. Dayton, who has spoken of his aim to eliminate coal before, said it’s time to start talking details so that Minnesota could lead the nation.
Over the years, Colorado has been a clean energy leader thanks to creative, ambitious citizens and well-designed policies. Given that legacy of innovation, the state is now a hub for clean, affordable wind power, and stands to gain immensely from wind’s continued growth. Of course, the people of Pueblo are no stranger to wind power’s benefits. The Vestas facility here is one of four in Colorado, providing hundreds of skilled, well-paying jobs. Those facilities are part of a vast supply chain that employs more than 3,000 people in the state, in disciplines from operations and maintenance to manufacturing and other support sectors.
The reason that Pilger, Nebraska was so badly hit by tornados last month is the same reason that wind is a great energy source inTornado Alley. The wind blows hard and often. So wind energy should be the major part of a sustainable energy mix in this region of the United States. We don’t yet know how to protect our towns from tornados, although we’ve gotten very good at protecting our people with new shelters. But we do know how to harness that power using wind turbines.
U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will face a Senate committee Wednesday whose members have largely already made up their minds about whether or not to support her agency’s proposal to curb existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions.
Interior officials yesterday proposed developing wind energy on nearly 344,000 acres off the New Jersey coast, enough to power about 1.2 million homes. The New Jersey Wind Energy Area — divided into the north area of 183,353 acres and the south area of 160,480 acres — is located about 7 nautical miles from Atlantic City. If fully developed, the area would generate up to 3,400 megawatts.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday took the first steps to increase the physical protection of critical facilities in the nation’s interconnected electric grid. The FERC commissioners approved a proposed rulemaking that would require owners and operators of the bulk power system to identify critical facilities, as well as threats to and vulnerabilities of those facilities, and to create a security plan to protect against and mitigate physical attacks on that infrastructure.
With the Senate taking controversial votes this week to confirm Norman Bay to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and to confirm Cheryl LaFleur to another five-year term, what will the politics of the Senate’s deal mean for the commission’s near-term effectiveness? During today’s OnPoint, Marc Spitzer, a former FERC commissioner and now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, discusses LaFleur’s success rate as acting chairwoman, a role that has been extended for nine months as part of the deal, and weighs in on who could be named the next chairman of FERC
Obama suggests states may have to make plans to adapt to climate change risks to receive federal disaster aid
Tucked into President Obama’s announcement on climate change yesterday was a detail that disaster experts say could spark widespread changes in coastal development. The understated measure had no dollar figure attached to it, and it seems to sidestep an explicit reference to climate change. Obama never bothered to mention it. But it could prompt states to think hard about things like sea-level rise and then come up with plans to avert damages, observers say.