Obama Orders Cuts in Federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Source: By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, New York Times • Posted: Friday, March 20th, 2015

President Obama signed an executive order on Thursday to set new goals for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of federal agencies, his latest use of his executive authority to address the root causes of climate change and press private companies and foreign governments to follow suit. Mr. Obama’s directive orders federal agencies over the next decade to cut their emissions by an average of 40 percent compared with their levels when he won office in 2008, and to increase their use of electricity from renewable sources by 30 percent.

China sets a record high target for solar energy installation 

Source: Coco Liu, E&E Asia correspondent • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

According to a government document ClimateWire obtained from industry players, China’s National Energy Administration plans to install 17.8 gigawatts of solar panels this year. This is a record high target for the Chinese solar market, which barely existed before 2008. It also surpasses previous expectations — in a drafted plan issued earlier this year, China was considering an annual installation of 15 GW.

Outlook for Solar Gets a Bit Brighter

Source: By  STANLEY REED, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Britain, like other countries in the European Union, has pledged to sharply cut carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming. In practice, that largely means encouraging electric power generation from green sources like wind, which Britain has in abundance, and solar, a resource in which it is less well endowed. “Britain is the hottest market right now,” said Josefin Berg, a Barcelona-based analyst for I.H.S.

Legal icon calls EPA’s power plant rule an ‘unconstitutional trifecta’ 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear arguments about the Clean Power Plan’s legality on April 16. Yesterday afternoon, the court announced that Judges Karen Henderson, Thomas Griffith and Cornelia Pillard will hear the case

The Renewable Energy Fight

Source: BY RONALD BROWNSTEIN, National Journal • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

With a strong environmental community, a vibrant fossil-fuel industry, and a thriving clean energy sector, Colorado encapsulates all the contending interests driving the complex politics of energy and climate. That’s why there are important clues for the national energy debate in the recent partisan collision here over requirements for utilities to generate more electricity from renewable-energy sources.

In Test For EPA Rule, Minnesota Seeks To Reinstate Clean Energy Law

Source: By Dawn Reeves, Inside EPA • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Minnesota officials are strongly urging a federal appeals court to overturn a lower court ruling that rejected a state renewable energy law on constitutional grounds — a case that could determine whether other states will be able to use similar programs to comply with EPA’s proposed rule to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power sector.

EPA’s carbon rule could spur $2.5B in power line investment — ICF 

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

As coal-fired power plants go offline under U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, building new power lines to bring renewable energy to customers could spur $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion in investment over the next five years, according to an analysis by the consulting group ICF International.

Obama to sign executive order on federal contribution to warming 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

President Obama is set to sign an executive order today directing federal agencies to cut the carbon intensity of their operations, a White House official said last night. The federal carbon commitment will be released together with new emissions reduction pledges from “several major federal suppliers,” the official added. Details of the action will be released this morning, and White House adviser Brian Deese is scheduled to brief reporters.

Obama’s plan is ‘burning the Constitution’ — Laurence Tribe 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

President Obama’s Harvard Law School mentor delivered a stinging indictment of the president’s flagship climate change rule this morning, telling a packed House hearing that the Clean Power Plan violates both the Clean Air Act and the Constitution. Laurence Tribe, a noted constitutional scholar, told an Energy and Commerce subcommittee that EPA’s proposal for carbon dioxide from existing power plants seeks to remake both the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and the constitutional division of powers between state and federal governments.

3-judge panel picked to hear arguments on Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Two Republican-appointed judges and one chosen by President Obama will hear the first challenges to his administration’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants next month. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this morning posted the three-judge panel for the lawsuits from Murray Energy Co. and more than a dozen states seeking to block U.S. EPA from finalizing the high-profile regulations this summer.