News

Dems decry appropriations bill provisions but may be unable to change them

Source: George Cahlink, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The CR does not include tax credit extensions for combined heat and power, small wind, geothermal heat pumps and other technologies left out of last year’s spending deal. For months, various industries have lobbied Capitol Hill, saying the failure to extend credits by the end of the year could lead to widespread layoffs and a collapse in sales for many technologies

California Democrats capture supermajority. Will climate get a boost?

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

California Democrats have clinched a two-thirds supermajority in the state Legislature, a win that’s expected to breathe new life into the drive to bolster a landmark climate program. Democrats secured a two-thirds margin in the Senate last week when final vote counts showed Democrat Josh Newman defeated Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) in a district located mostly in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. The party had nabbed the supermajority in the Assembly a week earlier.

Letter to the Editor: Iowa generates 35 percent of electricity using wind

Source: By John Hensley, Iowa Farmer Today • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Iowa did generate over 35 percent of its electricity using wind power over the last year, despite the confusion in Jerry Crew’s Nov. 19 letter. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects data showing all power plants in Iowa generated a total of 54,176 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from September 2015 through August 2016, and wind plants provided more than 35 percent of that total: 19,148 GWh.

GE Power Sees Little Sales Impact if U.S. Quits Climate Deals

Source: By Alwyn Scott, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Demand for renewable energy such as wind and solar is increasing and now accounts for half of all new electric capacity, said Deb Frodl, executive director of GE’s Ecomagination business, which focuses on environmental strategy. GE’s potential market for power plant equipment sales more than doubled to $53 billion a year with the 2015 acquisition of power assets from Alstom SA, McElhinney said.

Reform bill ‘getting smaller and smaller’ — Reid

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The scope of the House and Senate energy reform bill conference talks continues to shrink, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said today. Energy discussions between the two chambers are coming down to the wire. Efforts to extend a key renewable energy tax break are also stalled, the Nevada Democrat said.

Congress to vote on stopgap bill running through April 28

Source: George Cahlink, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Congress is on track to pass stopgap spending legislation this week that will avoid a government shutdown Friday by extending federal funding through April 28, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said last night. The text of the stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), is expected to be released today. The House would pass the bill by Thursday with the Senate expected to act on it by no later than Friday. Both chambers are then due to adjourn the 114th Congress.

Terry Branstad to China? Ambassador chatter heats back up

Source: By Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Speculation over whether Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will be named ambassador to China ramped up Saturday as the governor prepares for an economic development trip to New York later this week. The Independent Journal Review reported Branstad is scheduled to meet with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the position during the trip, which was previously planned. However, the governor’s spokesman, Ben Hammes, said in an email that no meeting with the Trump transition team has been scheduled.

Conservatives See Bipartisan Support for Renewables, but Gaping Divide on Climate

Source: By Jack Fitzpatrick, Morning Consult • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Republicans who support clean energy touted bipartisan support for renewables in a post-election poll released Wednesday, but said they did not ask voters about climate change because the topic turns off so many Republican voters. A survey by Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, conducted for the Conservative Energy Network, found that strong majorities supported increasing their states’ use of wind, solar, and hydropower, while a plurality supported the increased use of natural gas, and a majority opposed the increased use of coal. Even loyal Republicans who were supportive of coal were also supportive of increased natural gas and renewables.

Merkel Plans to Challenge Trump on Renewables in G-20 Forum

Source: By Brian Parkin, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fresh from taking over the presidency of the Group of 20 nations, plans to use her leverage to challenge Donald Trump’s skepticism about the value of renewable energy by pointing out where it’s a viable business. The strategy is aimed at reducing the risk that Trump will upend work by Europe and the rest of the G-20 to rein in greenhouse gases and advance the cause of low-pollution fuels, according to a senior German official.

Nation’s largest solar installer to open Florida facility

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

The largest U.S. solar panel installer is moving into Florida’s residential market after the state’s voters last month rejected a utility-backed ballot measure that critics said would make going solar more expensive. SolarCity, a San Mateo, Calif.-based subsidiary of electric car maker Tesla Motors, on Thursday said it is opening an operations center in the Orlando area and plans to expand into other areas of Florida.