EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is publicly confirming that the agency’s first-time climate rule for existing power plants will offer a way to “incent” energy efficiency and renewable energy, remarks observers say are the clearest signals to date that EPA plans to accommodate a widespread request from states and others to offer beyond-the-fenceline credit for programs that cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Miller, a wiry man who spent much of his career in the oil and gas business, is in charge of building a massive wind farm on a cattle ranch owned by Anschutz Corp., better known in Los Angeles as co-owner of Staples Center. It would produce as much power as three nuclear reactors, making it the largest wind-generation facility in the nation, if not the world. But not a single kilowatt would be consumed in Wyoming. Instead, it would feed a new 750-mile transmission line to the California grid, where the electricity would help California’s crusade against global warming, while much of Wyoming continues to rely on the fuel that is one of the big contributors to climate change: coal.
DAUGAARD HEADS GOVERNORS WIND GROUP: The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has selected South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard as its new chairman and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee as vice chairman. “We will continue working with Congress to extend the federal wind production tax credit so the industry can continue to produce rewarding careers throughout the nation,” Daugaard said in a statement.
Wind energy industry leaders, elected officials and policy specialists will gather in Ankeny on March 11-12 for the 7th Annual Iowa Wind Power Conference. The Iowa Wind Energy Association’s conference will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Des Moines Area Community College campus.
Nancy Sutley’s chief of staff, Mike Boots, will take the helm of the Council on Environmental Quality later this month. Boots will fill in as acting chief of the White House environmental office Feb. 18 after the CEQ chairwoman leaves the administration, CEQ spokeswoman Taryn Tuss said today.
A demonstration floating offshore wind project in Oregon breezed over another hurdle yesterday, raising hopes that West Coast’s first offshore turbines will begin spinning before the end of the decade. However, the project’s developers indicated that this new and potentially transformative technology will likely find a more welcoming market in Europe before it is realized at utility scale in the United States.
Industry and federal government officials say advances in turbine technology could transform wind development in the Southeast, adding another renewable fuel option to an area once dominated by coal. But as outside developers are eyeing places to build taller towers and longer blades, emerging lawsuits and legislation could drive them away.
“I look forward to working with Governor Inslee and our coalition colleagues to help the wind energyindustry diversify our nation’s energy portfolio,” says Daugaard. “We will continue working with Congress to extend the federal wind production tax credit so the industry can continue to produce rewarding careers throughout the nation.
Baucus’ exit means Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will take his place atop the Senate Finance Committee and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will take over for Wyden as chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Both moves are likely to lead to a shift in emphasis at both committees, although the senators are still crafting the agendas they will pursue in their new roles. Landrieu said she is planning to sit down soon with top energy Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to discuss the committee’s agenda. The two are largely aligned in their support for policies favored by the oil and gas industry, which is prevalent in both of their states. But Landrieu said she has not yet fully crafted her priority list.
Fifty years from now, the U.S. electrical grid will look less like a one-way exchange of supply and demand than a network of interchangeable power sources, batteries, appliances and devices. It will be smart enough to balance the intermittency of solar and wind power, while simultaneously optimizing the power demands of hundreds of millions of customers — customers who know more and have more control over their consumption of electricity.