For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.
A group that represents property owners and a utility have appealed Illinois Commerce Commission approval of plans to build an electricity line designed to bring wind energy from Iowa to Illinois.
Two Harvard Law School professors jumped to U.S. EPA’s defense last week in a lawsuit challenging the agency’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for power plants. Richard Lazarus, a leading environmental law scholar, and Jody Freeman, a former climate change adviser to President Obama, said in court documents that the case from Murray Energy Corp. of Ohio, other coal companies and several states should be dismissed.
The government is spending far too little money on energy research, putting at risk the long-term goals of reducing carbon emissions and alleviating energy poverty, some of the country’s top business leaders found in a new report. The American Energy Innovation Council, a group of six executives that includes the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the General Electric chief Jeffrey R. Immelt, urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a strategic national priority.
The centers — which will use wind power and other green fuel sources — will be located in Athenry, Ireland, and Viborg, Denmark. Apple said that they will power services such as apps in the App Store, Siri and iMessage. Both locations will run on 100 percent renewable energy and Apple said they will have the “lowest environmental impact” of its data centers thus far. It will also be following in the footsteps of companies like Facebook, which has also built sustainable data center operations out in Europe.
The lucrative relationship was not without costs. Over the past year, Edelman came under growing public pressure for its ties to fossil fuel companies and industry groups which have promoted misinformation about climate change. Last year, Edelman was caught out when other major public relations firms announced they would no longer work for climate deniers, in response to a Guardian report.
The United Kingdom has approved what will become the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, and one of the U.K.’s biggest power stations of any sort. When completed, the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project will have a total generating capacity of 2.4 gigawatts, enough to power about 2.5 percent of the country’s electricity needs. Made of up two separate 1.2-gigawatt farms of up to 200 turbines each, the project will be located about 80 miles off the coast and occupy up to 430 square miles.
A subsidiary of NextEra Energy, the Florida-based company that is buying Hawaiian Electric Co. for $4.3 billion, has plans to build the largest wind energy farm in Hawaii on the southern coast of Maui, a company spokesman confirmed to PBN.
A Wyoming utility regulator is suggesting EPA should at least temporarily allow both power importing and exporting states to take credit for new renewable generation in the agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing power plants, possibly blunting impacts on the coal sector while boosting low-carbon energy. The extent to which EPA is receptive — or even legally able to embrace such a proposal — is not clear, given that such crediting could raise the issue of double counting emission cuts under the existing source performance standards (ESPS).
“It’s a travesty,” said Vernice Miller-Travis, a longtime environmental justice advocate who serves on EPA’s environmental justice advisory council. “It’s a clear violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.