Neb. utility votes to close power plant by year’s end

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

Fort Calhoun is among several reactor closures announced in recent weeks due to an abundance of cheap natural gas and waning demand for electricity. Exelon Corp., the country’s largest reactor operator, has threatened to shutter plants in Illinois and now New York. But Omaha Public Power also blamed EPA’s new rule for curbing carbon from existing power plants, saying the agency failed to provide any “carbon-free generation credits” from existing nuclear plants.

Transportation CO2 now outpaces electricity

Source: Brad Plumer, Vox • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

Transportation has surpassed electricity production as the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Emissions from both sectors started dropping during the recession. Electricity has continued on a steady decline as power plants switch out coal for cheaper and cleaner natural gas, as well as renewable sources of energy.

Breakthroughs elusive to the ‘challenging problem’ of storage

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

At one point during a congressional hearing yesterday on potential breakthrough energy technologies like bionic leaves, Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) asked how his state will meet aggressive renewable deployment.

White House drives effort to boost storage, renewables

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

The White House yesterday issued a flurry of executive actions and private-sector commitments to boost renewable energy and more than double energy storage by decade’s end. In total, the actions stretching from the Department of Energy to Microsoft Corp.’s data centers are expected to result in at least 1.3 gigawatts of additional storage in the next five years and potentially lead to $1 billion in investments, the White House said. By comparison, approximately 226 megawatts of energy storage capacity came online last year, bringing cumulative installed capacity to 500 MW, according to GTM Research.

California tries to capture offshore wind energy

Source: By Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union Tribune • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

Offshore wind farms are finally coming to the United States but don’t expect to see spinning blades off the shores of California any time soon. While the industry predicts a clean-energy bonanza from the West Coast’s steady and powerful breezes that may go a long way to help the state meet its ambitious clean energy mandates, reaping the wind must first overcome a whirlwind of technological, economic and political challenges

Leaked Dem document on Trump features energy, climate comments

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 17th, 2016

Documents published Wednesday in connection with the reported hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers show that Democrats planned to target presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over his comments on energy and environmental policies, including his skepticism of climate science. The Smoking Gun website published a 237-page opposition research document on Trump from an anonymous source identifying himself as “Guccifer 2.0,” who said the documents came from a yearlong incursion into the DNC’s servers.

Senate conference vote in limbo

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

A Senate vote to go to conference with the House on energy reform legislation is on hold as Republicans try to build up support among wary Democrats uneasy with the lower chamber’s own energy package. Republicans had tentatively hoped to schedule a conference vote this week, but Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) acknowledged yesterday that there was more work to be done to reach the 60-vote threshold.

CJS filibuster ends with deal to vote on 2 gun amendments

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Murphy and fellow Senate Democrats had held the floor since 11:20 a.m., demanding a vote on two amendments: one to block suspected terrorists from buying guns and another implementing expanded background checks. The filibuster stalled and complicated the passage of the $56.3 billion spending package. “I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks,” Murphy tweeted.

Siemens, Gamesa Near Wind-Power Deal

Source: By Eyk Henning and Christopher Alessi, Wall Street Journal • Posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Siemens AG and Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA are close to announcing an anticipated deal to combine their wind-power activities and create the world’s largest wind-turbine maker, according to people familiar with the matter.

Potential Trump nominee helps sink Minn. emissions law

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2016

One of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court short-listers joined in a court ruling today knocking down a Minnesota climate change law. Judge Steven Colloton, one of the 11 judges the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has said he would consider for the high court, joined two of his colleagues on a federal appeals court in the decision rejecting a 2007 state law that aims to limit carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector.