California Senate passes package to offset Trump on environment

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

California’s Senate yesterday stepped up promised efforts to push back against the Trump administration, passing a package of bills to protect federal standards in the Golden State, even if rules are repealed or softened nationally “We won’t allow Californians to suffer the consequences of Donald Trump’s reckless slash-and-burn approach to the environment,” state Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D) said in a statement. “These measures safeguard public health and ensure we continue to make policy based on the best available science, not ‘alternative facts’ or polluter propaganda.”

Merricourt Wind Farm will yield value for customers

Source: By Jeremy Rham, AGweek • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Together with new, state-of-the-art natural gas-fired generation (with natural gas sourced partly from North Dakota’s Williston Basin and Dakota Gasification Company’s plant near Beulah), Merricourt is part of our company’s two-part plan to reliably and economically meet our customers’ energy needs, replace expiring capacity purchase agreements, and prepare for the 2021 retirement of the 1950s-era 140-megawatt Powder River Basin coal-fired Hoot Lake Plant in Fergus Falls, Minn.

Exxon and Conoco Reiterate Support for Paris Climate Deal

Source: By Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Utility owners including Consolidated Edison Inc. and the energy unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Wednesday that they would continue investing in gas, wind and solar power as they seek to cut emissions. “Energy industry economics and investments have been moving for many years toward more renewables, smart technology, energy efficiency, and we expect that direction to continue,” said Michael Clendenin, a spokesman for New York-based ConEd.

States, Cities Pledge Action on Climate Even Without Trump

Source: By John Flesher, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Dozens of states and many cities have policies intended to reduce emissions of greenhouses gases and deal with the effects of rising temperatures. And plans for more are in the works. In left-leaning locales, it’s good politics. Even in red states where resistance is strong to the idea that humans are causing the planet to heat up, flood prevention and renewable energy are considered smart business.

Renewable Energy Expected to Continue Growth, Despite Trump

Source: By Michael Biesecker, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

President Donald Trump may abandon U.S. pledges to reduce carbon emissions, but global economic realities ensure he is unlikely to reverse the accelerating push to adopt cleaner forms of energy. Around the world, coal-fired power plants are being shuttered as governments and private companies invest billions in wind turbines and solar farms. Even in regions of the U.S. where coal is plentiful, electric utilities are increasingly shifting to cheaper, cleaner-burning natural gas. In the absence of federal action to address climate change, some left-leaning states such as California and New York are moving ahead with ambitious clean-energy policies of their own.

World Awaits Trump Decision on U.S. Future in Paris Accord

Source: By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Momentous arguments inside the West Wing over the future of the Paris climate accord became a messy public spectacle on Wednesday, with some aides saying that President Trump had decided to abandon the landmark global warming agreement while others insisted that no decision had been made. Three administration officials with direct knowledge of the intense White House debate said early Wednesday morning that Mr. Trump was expected to withdraw the United States from the 2015 climate change accord that committed nearly every nation to take action to curb the warming of the planet. In addition, three other officials said later Wednesday that they expected him to withdraw from the agreement, though they said that decision could still change. Hours later, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he had made his decision and would announce it in the Rose Garden at 3 p.m. Thursday.

‘Green’ Mutual Funds Bounce Back After Trump-Induced Retreat

Source: By Ross Kerber, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

After U.S. President Donald Trump’s election last November, investors pulled nearly $68 million from so-called “green” mutual funds, reflecting fear that his pro-coal agenda would hurt renewable energy firms. But now investors are pouring money back in, boosting net deposits in 22 green funds to nearly $83 million in the first four months of 2017, according to data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper unit.

Clean energy bills light up Nevada

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

“Right now, the people of Nevada overwhelmingly support clean energy,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “What this means for Nevada is legislators are hearing that.” The deluge of energy legislation follows the Democratic takeover of the General Assembly and Senate in November and the overwhelming passage of a ballot initiative designed to deregulate the state’s power market. The measure was widely viewed as a rebuke of NV Energy Inc., the state’s sole investor-owned utility, which lobbied hard to do away with net metering.

Only Place in America Where Coal Demand’s Risen Is Nebraska

Source: By Tim Loh, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Looking for a rare bright spot in U.S. coal? Consider Nebraska, the only state producing more electricity from the fossil fuel than it did a decade ago, according to a Bloomberg analysis of U.S. government data. While America’s slashed its coal-fired electricity generation by more than a third between 2006 and 2016 — creating havoc for the coal sector, which once dominated the country’s utility space — Nebraska raised its coal-fired power output by 6 percent, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Trump vs renewable energy: not as bad as it looks

Source: By Amy Harder, Axios • Posted: Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Wind and solar power use skyrocketed across the U.S. over the past decade thanks in part to tax incentives and friendly policies by former President Obama. Growth in the industries led to job creation and political clout, and now renewable power is cost-competitive with other sources of electricity in some parts of the U.S., though fossil fuels remain America’s dominant source of electricity. To what extent the Trump administration seeks to undermine these trends could slow, but not reverse, renewable growth.