Senate Votes to Block Obama’s Climate Change Rules

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Proponents believe their defiance will have diplomatic repercussions. At the summit meeting in Paris beginning Nov. 30 and sponsored by the United Nations, Mr. Obama will try to broker a historic accord that would commit every nation to policies to halt climate change. The strength of the American position at the talks lies in the enactment of the emission-curbing E.P.A. rule — the first major climate change policy put forth by the United States. By voting to block the rule, lawmakers want to telegraph to the world that Congress does not back the president’s climate pledges. The House is expected to pass a companion resolution by early December, forcing a veto just as the negotiations in Paris are beginning.

The Harder Texas Wind Blows the Further Power Prices Plunge

Source: By Harry Weber, Bloomberg News • Posted: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Texas can thank record wind output for a slump in power prices to the lowest in five years. On-peak power at the North hub, which includes Dallas, slid $4.08, or 23 percent, to $13.51 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 4 p.m. local time from Nov. 13, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s headed toward the lowest full-day average since at least Nov. 9, 2010.

South Dakota PUC approves construction permit for wind farm near Newell

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved a construction permit for a 103-megawatt wind farm about 10 miles northeast of Newell. The Willow Creek Wind Energy Facility to be built by Wind Quarry LLC will include 45 wind turbines and will interconnect to a 115-kilovolt transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. Construction of the wind farm and substation could begin next month, and the farm could be operational as early as December 2017.

MidAmerican building tallest land-based wind turbine in Iowa

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

MidAmerican Energy says it’s building the tallest land-based wind turbine in the nation in southern Iowa.

The Des Moines-based power company will get the added height by building the wind turbine tower from concrete instead of steel, a first for the company. The extra 100-plus feet enables the turbine to capture more wind energy, the utility said. “Generally speaking, the higher the altitude, the greater the wind resource available,” said Mike Gehringer, MidAmerican’s vice president of renewable energy.

Green groups step up messaging against CRA votes

Source: Daniel Bush, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Environmental groups are waging an all-out campaign against the latest congressional attempts to kill the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, launching ads and polls this week in support of the carbon rule. As part of that effort, the Sierra Club will unveil print and digital ads Sunday urging Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) to reject Congressional Review Act resolutions that would block U.S. EPA’s finalized rule to reduce emissions at new and existing power plants.

Governor Brown Takes Climate Message to World Stage

Source: By Lauren Sommer, KQED • Posted: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

World leaders have vowed to go forward with a summit in Paris in two weeks, where they’ll be hashing out a much-anticipated agreement to combat climate change. And among the heads of state and dignitaries, you’ll also see California’s Governor Jerry Brown. Brown will be making the case that what California does matters to the rest of world. He’s been spearheading a separate international agreement to cut emissions – not with other countries, but among regional governments like states and provinces.

Greens wage letter-writing campaign with Senate vote imminent

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Two resolutions that would scuttle the Obama administration’s carbon rules for power plants are on the Senate schedule and could see a vote as early as this week, the sponsors of the measures said yesterday evening. The resolutions would kill U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from existing power plants and the agency’s rule for reducing emissions from new or modified plants. Under the Congressional Review Act, they require a simple majority for passage in the Senate.

Colorado Governor tweaks climate doubters, seeks ‘miracle’ solution

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 16th, 2015

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged governors nationwide to “just say no” to U.S. EPA’s new carbon emissions rules earlier this year, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) offered what he called a “thoughtful” response publicly declining the Republican’s suggestion. Now he admits that he that he just couldn’t help trolling the Kentucky senator.

Massive wind power transmission line gains Illinois approval

Source: By Tony Reid, The Daily Pantagraph • Posted: Monday, November 16th, 2015

The line, used to access wind power harnessed in Kansas, has generated strong opinions. Sentiment at public meetings in the region has often been hostile, especially from affected landowners. But business, labor unions and consumer advocacy groups have come out strongly in favor of the project, billed as funneling $700 million of investment into Illinois and creating 1,500 jobs.

Ill. regulators approve Grain Belt Express project

Source: Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 16th, 2015

The commissioners said Houston-based Clean Line, a merchant transmission developer, didn’t qualify as a public utility at the time it submitted its application in April and shouldn’t have been allowed to use the faster approval process. However, del Valle in particular noted support of Clean Line’s goal to move wind energy from remote southwest Kansas to population centers farther east in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Climate change will continue to be a significant issue that will affect all of us,” del Valle said. “I fully support the goal of building infrastructure of moving renewable generation from sparsely populated areas which are rich in wind resources to areas with larger loads and higher prices.”