U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, if upheld by the courts, could force more coal plant retirements than initially expected in the nation’s midsection, according to the most recent modeling by the region’s grid operator. In its most recent report discussed at a committee meeting yesterday, the Carmel, Ind.-based Midcontinent Independent System Operator looked at various greenhouse gas reduction scenarios and how they would affect the coal fleet across the 15 states where it operates.
“The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol in a press release. “Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.”
Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and Chief Justice John Roberts haven’t always agreed. Take the case of the “hapless toad.”
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) has called for more funding for clean coal research and a new emphasis on renewables, a shift from a previous strategy focused on fossil fuels. He unveiled his updated energy strategy in Cheyenne amid a downturn in coal. Mead made his trademark call for more research into other economic uses for coal. He also called for more wind turbine manufacturing in the state. An initiative to expand foreign markets for natural gas and coal was dropped from the original 2013 version.
Missouri lawmakers are pushing legislation to prohibit the state from planning for the Obama administration’s climate change regulation until a Supreme Court stay on implementing the rule is lifted. Two separate bills are working their way through the state Legislature: One, which advanced this week, would suspend U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan activities imposing greenhouse gas standards for power plants until litigation is resolved. The other would halt activity only while the Supreme Court stay is in place.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, says his industry’s growth could slow as a result of the stay and the eventual phaseout of the production tax credit. Despite these challenges, Kiernan says the industry could double its current market penetration by 2020.
The Interior Department has designated a new “wind energy area” in the Atlantic Ocean, laying the foundation for future wind farms about 11 nautical miles off the coast of New York. The decision is part of the department’s broader effort to attract offshore renewable energy development along the East Coast. Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued 11 commercial wind energy leases in the Atlantic so far, from Virginia to Massachusetts. Most recently, Interior awarded two leases off the New Jersey coast for $1.9 million
An area in the windy waters off Long Island has been designated as a possible site for a wind farm, the federal government announced on Wednesday. New Yorkers will not be seeing offshore turbines anytime soon, however. The Interior Department and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said they were moving toward auctioning a lease for the site, about 11 nautical miles off the coast of Long Beach and stretching about 26 nautical miles to the southeast.
Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland isn’t a guaranteed vote for the Obama administration’s signature climate rule, but he’d be a lot more likely to uphold the rule than the late Justice Antonin Scalia. That’s the consensus from legal experts today as they probe Garland’s record for clues about how he might deal with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other big environmental issues if he’s confirmed to the high court.
Rooftop solar is casting a $2 billion shadow over power generators across the eastern U.S. With more than a million U.S. houses set to have solar panels by the end of next month, grid managers serving the eastern U.S. plan to cut the amount of electricity they buy from conventional plants by about 1,400 megawatts, starting in 2019, according to industry consultant ICF International Inc. That’s enough juice to power about 780,000 households.