Short-term CR introduced to avert shutdown

Source: George Cahlink, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Congress will pass a short-term stopgap spending bill this week to avert a government shutdown tomorrow, as lawmakers have yet to wrap up negotiations over a broad spending package for fiscal 2017. House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) announced late last night the introduction of a $1.07 trillion continuing resolution that will “keep the government open and operating as normal” through May 5 until permanent funding is passed. It will also continue health benefits for coal miners until a deal is finalized.

New wind puts Wyoming top of the list for renewables, but the reality is more complicated

Source: By Heather Richard, Casper Star Tribune • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Wyoming, the fourth-largest producer of natural gas and home to the biggest open pit coal mine in the country, recently became the top state for renewable energy per capita. A recent state ranking by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group advocating for a move to renewable resources for electricity generation, also listed Wyoming as the top state for new renewable energy development. Coming first in any renewable category may be surprising to many in the Cowboy State, and for good reason. The state’s coffers have historically been filled with money from coal, oil and natural gas.

Rising wind power growth to be led by China over next five years

Source: By Nina Chestney, Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

China will lead growth in global wind power capacity of almost 65 percent over the next five years, with other Asian countries also developing more renewable energy, the Global Wind Energy Council said on Tuesday. Cumulative wind energy capacity was 487 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2016, a 12.6 percent rise from the year before and should grow by almost 65 percent to 800 GW by the end of 2021, the GWEC said in its annual report on the industry.

The Cheap Energy Revolution is Here, and Coal Won’t Cut It

Source: By Tom Randal, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Wind and solar are about to become unstoppable, natural gas and oil production are approaching their peak, and electric cars and batteries for the grid are waiting to take over. This is the world Donald Trump inherited as U.S. president. And yet his energy plan is to cut regulations to resuscitate the one sector that’s never coming back: coal. Clean energy installations broke new records worldwide in 2016, and wind and solar are seeing twice as much funding as fossil fuels, according to new data released Tuesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). That’s largely because prices continue to fall. Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity in the world.

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.