News

Senate legislative package remains work in progress 

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Committee aides say discussions on the bill are ongoing, but legislative language has yet to materialize, in large part because of the more than 100 bills that have been referred to the panel since Murkowski announced plans to move comprehensive legislation earlier this year. The bills span a range of policy arenas, including production, infrastructure, efficiency and accountability.

This Huge Wind Turbine Floating on Water Is Fukushima’s Energy Solution

Source: By Bryan Lufkin, Gizmodo • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A mere 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 620-foot, 1,500-ton windmill atop a 5,000-ton podium. It’ll be the biggest floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy. The turbine, completed Monday, will generate up to 7 megawatts of electricity, making it Japan’s most powerful wind turbine, and the most powerful floating turbine in the world. That’s good news for Japan, a country that’s shut down nuclear power plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

In grid debate, ‘tension is not always a bad thing,’ says FERC’s Honorable 

Source: Rod Kuckro and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Colette Honorable, the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is taking to heart some recent advice offered by a state utility commissioner — always remember where you come from. “The point of that is to remember that state regulation is important, the ways in which state regulators carry out their work is important,” Honorable said in a recent interview.

Debate over California’s renewable energy expansion goes through the roof

Source: BY JEREMY B. WHITE, Sacramento Breee • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A political fight over California’s renewable energy industry is playing out in the corridors of power, but it deals with something closer to home: your rooftop. Capitol policymakers are advancing an ambitious proposal to have renewable sources generate half of the state’s electricity by 2030, up from the 33 percent benchmark already in law. The full force of California’s political establishment backs the goal: Gov. Jerry Brown pitched the idea, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has promoted it aggressively, and bills enshrining the new standard passed both the Senate and the Assembly with strong Democratic support.

Renewable energy may double, mostly without subsidies, but fail to restrict emissions growth — study 

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

In 25 years, more than half of the world’s energy-generating capacity will come from zero-emission sources and renewables will generate twice as much power, but atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will likely still push the world past the ubiquitous 2-degree-Celsius goal, according to analysis released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The BNEF report, whose authors assumed “renewables globally will see no further policy support” after 2018, beyond subsides for offshore wind installations, does not consider long-term implications from U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

White House summit highlights link between warming, health

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Lyndsay Moseley of the American Lung Association, who will attend today’s event, applauded the administration’s focus on this issue. ALA has become a frequent proponent of climate mitigation policies, citing the fact that higher temperatures work with particulate pollution to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Medical officials are becoming increasingly aware of these environmental triggers, Moseley said. “But they’re limited in what they can do, which is why there is a growing call for action in the policy arena,” she said.

Climate Change Calls for Science, Not Hope

Source: By Eduardo Porter, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Last year, President Obama set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, only 10 years from now. Now, environmental experts are suggesting that some parts of the strategy are, at best, a waste of money and time. At worst, they are setting the United States in the wrong direction entirely. That is the view of some of the world’s top environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club. On Tuesday, they argued in a letter to the White House that allowing the burning of biomass to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels in the nation’s power plants, as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, would violate the Clean Air Ac

Entrepreneur hopes solar can help combat poverty on S.D. reservation 

Source: Krysti Shallenberger, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

If you want to find a story of poverty on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the Oglala Lakota nation, you don’t have to look far, says Nick Tilsen, the visionary and CEO behind the nonprofit Thunder Valley Community Development Corp. But if you want to uncover hope and resilience, look no further than the nonprofit’s breaking ground ceremony for its “regenerative” community today.

Broad voter support for federal ‘nudge’ on renewables — poll 

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

More than two-thirds of U.S. voters across the political spectrum approve of federal policies that promote “automatic” use of renewables, according to new polling conducted by President Obama’s first regulatory czar. The recent survey of 563 Americans devised by renowned Harvard University legal scholar and former White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs head Cass Sunstein explores voter attitudes toward “soft” government interventions intended to “nudge” behaviors while avoiding strict mandates. Administered by Survey Sampling International, the poll has a 4.1-point margin of error.

Obama admin report touts economic benefits of U.S. action

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The United States’ future with global climate change action looks a lot brighter than its future without it, U.S. EPA argues in a peer-reviewed scientific report unveiled today at the White House. The report examines two scenarios — one that keeps warming to 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels and another that doesn’t — in an effort to refute critics of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan who say it will hurt the economy. The analysis looks ahead to 2050 and 2100 to show dueling snapshots of a United States where warming is contained and others in which it is not.