In his final State of the Union address before the 2012 election, President Obama did not shy away from some of the same energy and environmental issues that Republicans have said would be among his greatest weaknesses this fall. Obama referenced both his stalled climate change initiative and the bankrupt Solyndra solar energy company last night while chiding Congress for inaction on a host of energy issues. And while he did not directly engage on the controversial Canadian Keystone XL oil pipeline that his administration has held up, the president sought to focus the energy debate on how he plans to make better use of American energy resources.
President Obama confronted a deeply divided and sluggish Congress last night and pledged to increase clean energy development on public lands. “The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change,” Obama said during his State of the Union address. “But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation.”
As part of his plan for a sustainable economy based on fair play, President Obama is repeating his call for Congress to scrap subsidies on the oil industry. During his State of the Union address last night, Obama likened tax incentives for big energy companies to millionaires who don’t pay their fair share.
Coal will remain the dominant fuel for U.S. electricity production through 2035, but its share of power generation will continue to drop significantly, the Energy Information Administration said today.
President Obama is expected to nominate North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said in a statement. Hoeven recommended Clark to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who then asked the administration to consider him.
In its most important respects, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s new proposal to build a wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean isn’t different from the old one. Developers must still pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build wind turbines off Maryland’s coast. And Maryland electricity customers still have to pay for them. Everything else is detail. That’s why the project, proposed Monday by the governor for the second year in a row, still faces very long odds. Fiddling with the financing mechanics, as O’Malley has suggested, may win the legislature’s approval this time. But that’s not the same as signing a deal with a private company to start construction.
As President Obama prepares for his third State of the Union address tonight, there’s no longer any question that clean energy will once again play a role in the speech. In recent days, the White House has been openly telegraphing its intent to make clean energy a focus of this year’s address. But what remained unclear yesterday was how high of a billing the issue will get.
Since voters in 2004 passed Amendment 37 — which set a state renewable-energy standard — Colorado has built or committed to about 2.5 gigawatts of renewable generation. That’s enough energy to power between 500,000 and 650,000 homes, based on estimates from the wind and solar industries. The standard, however, is close to being met, and the future for renewable-energy incentives is uncertain. So, the question is: What is renewable energy’s future in Colorado?
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company of Des Moines said it will buy the 81-megawatt Bishop Hill II wind project near Peoria, Ill., from Invenergy Wind LLC. This project, which currently is under construction., will use 50 General Electric 1.62-megawatt wind turbines.
Governor Brian Schweitzer says the state is now producing 395 megawatts of installed wind generation capacity. Just last week, the new 9.6 megawatt Gordon Butte wind farm went on-line near Martinsdale, and near Shelby, work is underway on Nature-Ener’s new 189 megawatt wind farm.