Bill Richardson often denigrated America’s power transmission network as a “third-world grid” when he was President Bill Clinton’s energy secretary, but the more current description of it is “balkanized,” with 500 separate owners. Marc L. Spitzer, a former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said even that analogy was not harsh enough. “To call the U.S. grid balkanized would insult the Macedonians,” he said.
The good news is policy makers in states across the country, including recently in Kansas and North Carolina, are choosing clean energy facts over fossil fuel fiction, and doing so in bipartisan fashion. In fact, no state has repealed a renewable electricity standard, ever. Ohio should not be the first to reverse progress on clean energy.
There’s a growing belief that U.S. EPA’s second proposal for curbing carbon dioxide from future power plants has changed emission limits. Those who are closely tracking the rule now say coal and natural gas might be treated separately under the proposal EPA sent to the White House for review last week.
Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems is holding a job fair for new projects that could provide more than 100 new jobs.
President Obama’s call to action on climate change has electric utilities scrambling to craft a response to a key part of the president’s plan, a rule for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
In a June 25 speech at Georgetown University, Obama asked U.S. EPA to include utilities and other stakeholders in rulemaking for power plants, which is widely expected to begin formally after Labor Day. The plan calls for EPA to complete a proposal by June 2014 and finalize a rule by 2015.
EPA, the president said, should craft the rules in an “open and transparent way, to provide flexibility to different states with different needs, and build on the leadership that many states, and cities, and companies have already shown.” The agency is being asked to consult with stakeholders ahead of the proposal’s completion.
The White House’s top adviser on climate change met today with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill to answer their questions on President Obama’s recently unveiled plan. Heather Zichal spoke with 12 or more members of an informal climate caucus headed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
A major beneficiary of green energy tax breaks says the wind power industry needs to move toward a subsidy-free future if it has any hope of survival. Monika Wood, spokesperson for Siemens Wind Energy, told Kansas Watchdog that Congress’ on-again-off-again relationship with the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit has created instability in the wind industry and played a significant role in workforce fluctuations at a number of the company’s manufacturing facilities.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the six-month anniversary Monday of the First Wind project on the Palouse. Wind turbines began operating outside of Rosalia in December 2012. The ceremony marked the geneoration go 150,000 megawatts by the turbines at the Palouse Wind Project.
After dominating the online arena, Google is starting to make a name for itself in the energy world. With investments and large contracts in renewable energy projects topping $1 billion, Google is a central player in energy without being an actual energy company or financial institution.
U.S. EPA plans to make good on the president’s pledge to expedite regulations for new and existing power plant greenhouse gas emissions, according to a regulatory rundown released by the White House late last week. The “Spring 2013 Unified Agenda” posted on the White House’s website shows that the agency plans to release a new proposal for greenhouse gas emissions for future power plants by September and a first-time proposal for existing power plants by next June. That timeline tracks with the memorandum signed by President Obama on July 25, which formed the centerpiece of his Climate Action Plan. The agenda also lays the path for a number of expected clean air and chemical regulations, including limits on ozone pollution, limits on sulfur in gasoline and regulation of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.