OPEC agrees to production cuts

Source: Nathanial Gronewold, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will cut production in an effort to boost prices and shore up members’ economies. The news sent crude oil prices sharply upward. The agreed-to cuts, reported by The Wall Street Journal and other outlets, don’t amount to much of total OPEC output. They total roughly 740,000 barrels a day from current estimated output volumes of over 33 million barrels per day. Rising global offshore production will likely match that volume in a little over a year.

Congress heads for exits after passing CR

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Congress passed a stopgap spending bill late last night that averts a government shutdown and sets the stage for lawmakers to hash out a final fiscal 2017 spending package in a post-election, lame-duck session. The House cleared the continuing resolution 342-85 several hours after it easily passed the Senate 72-16. The White House said the president will sign the legislation.

Mobile solar device hailed as ‘potentially game-changing’

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

“We’ve transformed solar — much like the smartphone revolutionized the personal computer sector, combining numerous components into a single device that’s significantly less expensive, more powerful and easier to use than conventional systems,” said CEO Christopher Estes.

Clean Line Meets Resistance from Arkansas Lawmakers

Source: By Kyle Massey, Arkansas Business • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Who wouldn’t support a project that promises to bring cheap, clean power to 160,000 Arkansas homes along with hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars for state landowners and schools? Well, every member of the Arkansas congressional delegation, for starters.

Mass. poised to join Calif. among clean energy elite

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Make room, California. Massachusetts is making a run for the top echelon of U.S. clean-energy states. In an unprecedented string of policy developments this summer, Massachusetts has embraced core elements of what experts describe as a transformational blueprint for how carbon-free electricity flows from power producers and utilities to consumers. At the same time, the state has backed technology that could sock away vast amounts of electricity to hedge against high prices and weather-related emergencies.

Cedar Rapids Fends Off Flood Damage With Temporary Barriers

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

An elaborate system of temporary floodwalls is so far protecting thousands of homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids from major flooding. Iowa’s second-largest city says its hastily erected 9.8-mile system of Hesco barriers and earthen berms is largely holding back the rain-swollen Cedar River, which crested Tuesday at its second-highest level on record.

Invoking Scalia, judges question whether EPA bent the law

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The late Justice Antonin Scalia loomed large today as the courtroom battle over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan kicked off.Several conservative judges suggested that Congress — not U.S. EPA — should be tasked with making major environmental policy decisions. They cited one of Scalia’s last major environmental opinions as a possible frame for viewing this case, which may not bode well for the administration.

Appeals Court Hears Challenge to Obama’s Climate Change Rules

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The nation’s second-most powerful court grappled Tuesday with the intractable and potentially catastrophic problem of climate change, weighing whether constitutional questions surrounding President Obama’s climate change regulations should trump the moral obligations of upholding a plan to curb global warming.

Tom Vilsack’s lonely fight for a ‘forgotten’ rural America

Source: By Greg Jaffe and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Late last year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack strode into the Oval Office to tell President Obama that he wanted to resign. “Mr. President,” he said, “I think it’s time to go.”

Trump skeptical of his own climate skepticism

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

“We will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean energy superpower of the 21st century,” Clinton said. “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.