News

Interior to lease 344K acres off N.J.

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Interior Department today announced it will hold a Nov. 9 auction for the rights to build wind farms in 344,000 acres of federal waters off New Jersey. If fully developed, the wind area that has been divided into two leasing areas could generate more than 3,400 megawatts of carbon-emission-free energy, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The announcement comes months after Deepwater Wind began construction on the nation’s first offshore wind project in Rhode Island state waters. The $225 million, 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm will have five turbines and is scheduled to begin producing energy next year.

Wash. moves to regulate facilities producing majority of state’s GHGs

Source: By Becky Kramer, Spokane Spokesman-Review • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Washington state officials are developing new rules to limit the greenhouse gas emissions of the state’s largest polluters. The proposed regulation, announced Monday, would target about 35 industrial facilities responsible for 60 percent of the state’s emissions.

“This year’s record-setting drought and forest fires are sobering examples of what our future could look like if we fail to act now,” said Maia Bellon, the director of the Department of Ecology. “We can’t afford the cost of inaction.”

Major companies join alliance seeking 100 pct green electricity

Source: By Alister Doyle, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Companies including Goldman Sachs , Walmart and Starbucks joined an alliance on Wednesday that aims to get 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources to combat climate change. The green electricity campaign, RE100, said its membership had expanded to 36 companies from 12 at a launch a year ago in New York that included IKEA Group, Swiss RE and BT Group.

Obama talks ‘balance’ on warming in Rolling Stone interview

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 24th, 2015

“And regardless of how urgent I think the science is, if I howl at the moon without being able to build a political consensus behind me, it’s not going to get done,” he said. “And in fact, we end up potentially marginalizing supporters or people who recognize there’s a need to act but also have some real interests at stake.”

Sage grouse decision draws cheers, legal threats

Source: Phil Taylor and Scott Streater, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

The Interior Department’s long-awaited decision today not to list the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act was hailed as a conservation triumph by many officials and environmentalists but drew immediate threats of lawsuits and a congressional probe. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell made the announcement here at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver, hailing an “epic conservation effort” that rescued the mottled-brown bird from the brink of extinction.

Dancing Grouse Removed as Threat to Biggest Wind Farm in U.S.

Source: By Chris Martin, Bloomberg News • Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Billionaire Phil Anschutz’s plans to build a $5 billion wind farm in southeast Wyoming will no longer be stymied by the mating dance of the greater sage grouse. The U.S. Interior Department’s decision Tuesday not to designate the bird as an endangered species means Anschutz’s Power Company of Wyoming LLC may now proceed with the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm. It also opens the door to oil and natural gas development in the region.

How strict California rules on emissions led to lower cancer risk

Source: By TONY BARBOZA, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

California has made tremendous progress cleaning its once-notorious air pollution over the last generation, with Los Angeles smog easing in response to the state’s ever-stricter emissions standards. The Air Resources Board reported that Californians’ cancer risk from toxic air pollution has declined 76% over more than two decades, a trend the agency attributes to the state’s array of regulations targeting everything from diesel trucks to dry cleaners.

GOP cool toward Democrats’ energy tax overtures

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Under the plan, electricity producers could choose between a production tax credit and an investment tax credit whose value is linked to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kilowatt-hour. A similar credit would provide up to $1 per gallon for transportation fuels made from renewables or fossil fuels, while a separate “performance-based” incentive would reward homes and buildings that install efficiency equipment, again based on the amount of energy saved.

Senate Dems outline sweeping package promoting clean energy

Source: Geof Koss and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

It would create a “performance-based incentive that would be neutral and flexible between clean electricity technologies,” according to a summary. Finance ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a former Energy Committee chairman, has long called for such an incentive, which would allow developers to choose between a production tax credit and an investment tax credit scaled to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kilowatt-hour.

Senate Democrats Unveil Climate-Focused Energy Bill

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled energy legislation designed to hasten America’s adoption of cleaner energy, slash greenhouse gas emissions below the Obama administration’s goal, and help their party attract young voters in the 2016 elections. The bill, announced by Senate Democratic party leaders and the energy committee’s top Democrat, Senator Maria Cantwell, laid out the party’s vision for cutting emissions at least 34 percent by 2025.