News

Quick wit, hometown values buoy outgoing FERC chief 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Cheryl LaFleur will give up her gavel next month after a short, tumultuous run at the helm of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In her 17 months as chairwoman, grass-roots grumbling over natural gas infrastructure erupted into protests with demonstrators disrupting commission meetings and blocking doors to the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. U.S. EPA’s draft Clean Power Plan sparked a politically charged debate over whether FERC will safeguard the grid. A fight brewed over a capacity auction in LaFleur’s native New England with a loud call for her resignation.

Utility-scale offshore wind proposal floated for Hawaii 

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Offshore wind energy may be coming to the Aloha State in a big way. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Friday announced that a Texas-based company submitted an unsolicited request to lease ocean property near Hawaii’s Oahu Island in January, with an aim to develop a 408-megawatt offshore wind energy project at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.

US Energy Dept. On The Prowl For Bigger, Longer Wind Turbine Blades

Source: By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica • Posted: Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

As if the fossil fuel industry needed more bad news, the US Energy Department has just put out the call for new, longer wind turbine blade technology that will unlock an additional one million square miles of land for wind energy development. The new funding opportunity is relatively small at $1.8 million dollars but this is truly a case of a little going a long way.

High Court Seeks Solicitor’s View On Energy Suit Seen As Crucial To ESPS

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The Supreme Court is asking the solicitor general (SG) to provide the administration’s views on whether the justices should review a set of appellate rulings that states say thwart procurement of new cleaner generating capacity, including renewable or gas generation that the petitioners say will be needed to comply with EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) rule for existing power plants.

Matt Wald Former New York Times reporter heads to nuclear group 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former New York Times reporter Matthew Wald is joining the Nuclear Energy Institute next month to serve as senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning.

Laurence Tribe, Obama’s legal mentor, attacks EPA power plant rule

Source: By ERICA MARTINSON, Politico • Posted: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Liberal legal lion Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor who taught constitutional law to President Barack Obama, is the new GOP darling in the fight against the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming climate regulations for power plants. Tribe handed Republicans a ready-made talking point during a House hearing this week, when he accused his former student of “burning the Constitution” in the effort to combat global warming. And two days later, McConnell pointed to Tribe in a letter Thursday to the governors of all 50 states, urging them to refuse to comply with EPA’s climate rules

German Taxpayers at Risk of Big Nuclear Exit Bill-Report

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

German taxpayers could end up spending billions of euros to help close the country’s nuclear plants as current funding plans involving utilities risk falling short, a report commissioned by the government and seen by Reuters showed on Friday. At least part of the 36 billion euros ($42 billion) in provisions set aside by Germany’s four nuclear operators should be taken under government control, the report by law firm Becker Buettner Held recommended.

McConnell climate campaign ‘way outside the bounds’ — top Obama aide 

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

McConnell “is going way outside the bounds of the position that he was elected to,” White House senior adviser Brian Deese said Friday at an event in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. “I think that we all would be better served if he and others spent less time trying to lecture states about what they should be doing.”

Cheaper energy, or cleaner? Minnesota Legislators torn

Source: By Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio • Posted: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Minnesota Legislature is pushing energy policy in two different directions this year. Some legislators are trying to make energy cheaper, while others want to make it cleaner. There’s no consensus about what Minnesota’s energy problems are, let alone how to solve them.

Texas Town Says No to Fossil Fuels, Yes to 100% Renewables

Source: By Anastasia Pantsios, Ecowatch • Posted: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

One city in Texas aims to be the first to power itself entirely on renewables. Georgetown, Texas, 30 miles north of Austin in central Texas, has announced its intention to be all-renewable by 2017. The city of 50,000 has signed a deal with SunEdison to supply it with solar power for the next 25 years. It comes on the heels of a a deal the city made last year to source electricity from a wind farm currently under construction 50 miles west of Amarillo that will start to provide power next year. The two deals—for 150 megawatts of solar and 144 megawatts of wind—will make Georgetown Utility Services one of the largest municipally owned utilities in the U.S. to get all its electricity from renewables.