Agency asks for comments, gets an earful on climate

Source: Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Green groups yesterday swamped U.S. EPA phone lines urging the agency to keep climate and pollution protections on the books. The comments were solicited as part of a three-hour call-in session hosted by EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation aimed at airing public views about whether the agency should reform or review regulations.

As Iowa GOP honors Branstad, U.S. Senate plans China confirmation hearing

Source: By Jason Noble, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

The hearing on Branstad’s nomination as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China — the post’s actual, official title — is set for 9 a.m. next Tuesday. “I hope we can use that great first impression that we made to continue to build a relationship between our two countries for the benefit not only of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, but for all the people of the world,” Branstad said. “It’s the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on, but I appreciate very much the opportunity.” The hearing will be broadcast online on the committee’s website.

Perry says U.S. should stay in Paris deal but change goals

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the United States should stay in the Paris climate change agreement but alter its commitment under the deal. “I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from the Paris accord,” Perry said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit in New York City earlier today. “I think we probably need to renegotiate it.”

With Government in Retreat, Companies Step Up on Emissions

Source: By HIROKO TABUCHI, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

The Trump administration may be pondering a retreat from the United States’ climate commitments, but corporate America is moving ahead with its own emissions goals. Nearly half of the Fortune 500 biggest companies in the United States have now set targets to shrink their carbon footprints, according to a report published Tuesday by environmental organizations that monitor corporate emissions pledges. Twenty-five more companies adopted climate targets over the last two years, the groups said.

Maryland opens offshore wallet

Source: By Renewable Energy News • Posted: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The Maryland Energy Administration has launched two grant programs to offer a combined $1m to emerging offshore wind businesses next year. The Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program and the Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program are open to parties such as minority emerging businesses, non-profits, local governments and agencies.

Effort to bring Facebook data center to Nebraska took 6 years of swinging and missing

Source: By Hailey Konnath, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

“Every time we didn’t make it to the final round with the company, to that final site selection, we learned from that,” Norman said. “We adjusted what we needed to do.” The following year the Omaha Public Power District developed new energy rates to serve big electricity users seeking to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy.

Bloomberg to world leaders: Ignore Trump on climate

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media outside the West Wing of the White House after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, February 27, 2013. He said there was no political motive tied to last week’s release of his new book, “Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet,” co-authored by former Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope. “I’m not running for office,” the 75-year-old Bloomberg said.

Wind blown: MidAmerican zeroes in on 100% renewable energy

Source: By Kevin Hardy, and Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

When it is done, the Des Moines utility’s share of its energy that comes from renewable sources will catapult from 55 percent to nearly 90 percent. But already, the utility craves more — looking to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources such as wind. It would take about $2 billion and 550 turbines more to bring MidAmerican close to 100 percent, said CEO Bill Fehrman, who has led the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary’s march into renewable energy.

Developer kills Obama-era project hobbled by greens’ lawsuit

Source: Scott Streater, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

A renewable energy developer is pulling the plug on a Nevada wind project championed by former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada that would have been the Silver State’s largest wind farm. Charlottesville, Va.-based Apex Clean Energy is walking away from the 200-megawatt Searchlight Wind Energy Project after environmental groups and some neighbors of the wind farm site filed a lawsuit challenging the venture that was approved in March 2013 by then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

China to Boost Non-Fossil Fuel Use to 20 Percent by 2030: State Planner

Source: By Josephine Mason, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

China aims for non-fossil fuels to account for about 20 percent of total energy consumption by 2030, increasing to more than half of demand by 2050, its state planner said on Tuesday, as Beijing continues its years-long shift away from coal power. In a policy document, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will peak by 2030 and total energy demand will be capped at 6 billion tons of standard coal equivalent by 2030, up from 4.4 billion tons targeted for this ye