News

Bill Gates, CEOs call for R&D funding surge 

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

U.S. federal investment in energy research, development and deployment “condemns future generations to fewer options” and is one-third of what is necessary for the nation to stay economically competitive, according to a new report from the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC). The federal government’s energy RD&D investments have been stagnant for the past five years at around $5 billion — less than one-half of 1 percent of the annual nationwide energy bill, the report says. The figure is nowhere near the doubling of investment AEIC said was necessary for U.S. leadership in its original 2010 report on the state of U.S. energy RD&D.

Records show climate skeptic was funding magnet for Harvard-Smithsonian 

Source: Gayathri Vaidyanathan, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Over the years, Soon has received at least $273,611 from the American Petroleum Institute; $230,000 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation; $234,799 from Donors Trust, a think tank that advocates for limited government; $335,106 from Exxon Mobil; and $349,945 from Southern Co., according to information provided to ClimateWire by Davies in January.

West Coast pact on climate action pulled into former Ore. governor’s scandal 

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Backers of the Pacific Coast Collaborative said that the group and its goals will withstand the controversy and gubernatorial turnover. “I don’t think that what’s happened in Oregon changes anything around the Pacific Coast Collaborative,” said Susan Frank, director of the California Business Alliance for a Clean Economy. “I don’t see that the PCC in any way hinged on Governor Kitzhaber or any governor.”

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher

Source: By JUSTIN GILLIS and JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.

Appeals filed against western Illinois wind-energy line

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

A group that represents property owners and a utility have appealed Illinois Commerce Commission approval of plans to build an electricity line designed to bring wind energy from Iowa to Illinois.

2 Harvard Law profs back EPA in Clean Power Plan lawsuit 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Two Harvard Law School professors jumped to U.S. EPA’s defense last week in a lawsuit challenging the agency’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for power plants. Richard Lazarus, a leading environmental law scholar, and Jody Freeman, a former climate change adviser to President Obama, said in court documents that the case from Murray Energy Corp. of Ohio, other coal companies and several states should be dismissed.

Bill Gates and Other Business Leaders Urge U.S. to Increase Energy Research

Source: By JUSTIN GILLIS, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The government is spending far too little money on energy research, putting at risk the long-term goals of reducing carbon emissions and alleviating energy poverty, some of the country’s top business leaders found in a new report. The American Energy Innovation Council, a group of six executives that includes the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the General Electric chief Jeffrey R. Immelt, urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a strategic national priority.

Apple To Invest $2B Building Green Data Centers In Ireland And Denmark

Source: By Jon Russell, Ingrid Lunden, • Posted: Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The centers — which will use wind power and other green fuel sources — will be located in Athenry, Ireland, and Viborg, Denmark. Apple said that they will power services such as apps in the App Store, Siri and iMessage. Both locations will run on 100 percent renewable energy and Apple said they will have the “lowest environmental impact” of its data centers thus far. It will also be following in the footsteps of companies like Facebook, which has also built sustainable data center operations out in Europe.

World’s biggest PR firm calls it quits with American oil lobby – reports

Source: By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, The Guardian • Posted: Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The lucrative relationship was not without costs. Over the past year, Edelman came under growing public pressure for its ties to fossil fuel companies and industry groups which have promoted misinformation about climate change. Last year, Edelman was caught out when other major public relations firms announced they would no longer work for climate deniers, in response to a Guardian report.

U.K. Approves World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm, Farthest Ever From The Coast

Source: BY ARI PHILLIPS, Climate Progress • Posted: Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The United Kingdom has approved what will become the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, and one of the U.K.’s biggest power stations of any sort. When completed, the Dogger Bank Creyke Beck project will have a total generating capacity of 2.4 gigawatts, enough to power about 2.5 percent of the country’s electricity needs. Made of up two separate 1.2-gigawatt farms of up to 200 turbines each, the project will be located about 80 miles off the coast and occupy up to 430 square miles.