The federal government holds hearings this week to get public comment on plans to lease hundreds of thousands of acres off the coast of the Carolinas for wind energy development. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas in federal waters that could be leased for putting up wind turbines.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has done more to fight climate change than perhaps any other elected official in the United States. So what accounts for the environmentalists heckling him during speeches and planning to confront him Saturday at an Oakland March for Real Climate Leadership? One word: fracking. “I challenge anybody to find any other state” that’s doing as much about climate change, Brown shot back to anti-fracking protesters during his speech at the California Democratic Party’s convention last March.
The switch to electric vehicles could get a boost in California if the state’s utility regulator accepts a new proposal from Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. PG&E said today it’s asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permission to build about 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations across northern and central California. If approved, the program would be the country’s largest deployment of EV charging stations, the utility said.
One GOP source with knowledge of the party’s strategy said there is “an obvious lack of enthusiasm among Republican staff, and maybe members, too, to do something on” the power-plant emissions rules that EPA is set to finalize this summer. “There’s not a lot of ‘yay, I’m superexcited’ on this.” In public, however, Republicans vow that they’re committed to fighting what they have long savaged as Obama’s “war on coal.”
President Obama today released his 2015 national security strategy, laying out his administration’s plans to tackle the “top strategic risks” to national interests. Among the most pressing threats listed are climate change and major energy market disruptions.
Supporters of Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Standard — which sets annual targets for the amount of power the state gets from wind farms, solar arrays and the like — say it’s the backbone of local efforts to spur the development of new sources of energy. By putting in place a mandate, the law creates a demand for renewable energy that wouldn’t otherwise exist to the same extent. The law, its backers say, is crucial if Rhode Island is to do its part to reduce the carbon emissions that are driving climate change.
A month into the legislative session, Republican lawmakers are sending a message with a concerted push to repeal contentious measures approved by Democrats in prior years. The effort is led by the new GOP majority in the state Senate, where lawmakers last week voted to cut renewable-energy mandates on utility companies and approved two measures to loosen restrictions on firearms. A bill scheduled Monday for a Senate committee would repeal provisions in state law written by Democrats two years ago related to remedies for employment discrimination.
Eight years after a historic act of bipartisanship to address climate change, whirling wind turbines dot Minnesota’s landscape, and solar panels glisten on urban rooftops. The state’s utilities are ahead of schedule in meeting a mandate to provide 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The mandate was part of a 2007 energy initiative under former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But the state is falling short of the promise made in a second law the same year, the Next Generation Energy Act, which Pawlenty signed after nearly unanimous legislative approval. It created a goal to reduce Minnesota’s share of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that scientists overwhelmingly agree are driving climate change.
Commissioners in El Paso County, Colo., unanimously approved a wind farm yesterday just minutes before midnight, nearly 15 hours after beginning a meeting on the controversial project. A stream of local residents voiced their support and opposition to the project. Many in the Greater Colorado Springs area raised concerns about property values, views and health effects that could arise from NextEra Energy Resources’ plan to alter the route of a 29-mile aboveground power line across the plains.
Plans to build Arkansas’ first wind farm have sparked interest and excitement in town and across the state, though some wind power experts cautioned against overselling the project. Representatives of Dragonfly Industries International, a Texas wind energy company, told city officials last month they hope to build dozens of turbines on more than 300 acres of rural land about a mile west of Elm Springs at a cost of at least $100 million, according to City Council and Planning Commission minutes. Power could flow to tens of thousands of homes with the farm’s expected capacity of 80 megawatts.