Iowa’s ‘pragmatic politician’ Branstad is about to break 211-year-old record

Source: By Robynn Tysver, Omaha World-Herald staff writer • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

Terry Branstad, the humble Iowa governor whose sole piece of political flash is his Tom Selleck-size mustache, is about to whip the historical footnotes off a Revolutionary War hero. Branstad will become the longest-serving governor in U.S. history on Monday, besting a record that has stood since 1804. It is a record Branstad and others expect will last for some time to come.

U.S. Oil Export Ban ‘Very Likely’ to Be Lifted in Spending Bill: Source

Source: By Timothy Gardner and Susan Cornwell, Reuters • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

The 40-year-old ban on most U.S. crude oil exports will “very likely” be lifted in the government spending bill, and talks on the final budget deal are likely to continue through the weekend, a Senate aide said on Friday. The White House has said repeatedly that President Barack Obama opposes legislation in the bill to lift the ban and that Congress should instead work to help green sources of energy. It has stopped short of saying Obama would veto a spending bill that includes lifting the ban.

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

But the Paris deal could represent the moment at which, because of a shift in global economic policy, the inexorable rise in planet-warming carbon emissions that started during the Industrial Revolution began to level out and eventually decline. At the same time, the deal could be viewed as a signal to global financial and energy markets, triggering a fundamental shift away from investment in coal, oil and gas as primary energy sources toward zero-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear power.

A Signal to Industry to Go Green in an Era of Carbon Reduction

Source: By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and KEITH BRADSHER, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2015

With the ink barely dry on a landmark climate accord, nations now face an even more daunting challenge: how to get their industries to go along. If nothing else, analysts and experts say, the accord is a signal to businesses and investors that the era of carbon reduction has arrived. It will spur banks and investment funds to shift their loan and stock portfolios from coal and oil to the growing industries of renewable energy like wind and solar.

Solar boom expected to set 4th-quarter record — report

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

he U.S. solar industry notched its eighth consecutive quarter of more than 1 gigawatt of newly installed capacity during the August-October period, industry figures released today show. The third-quarter figure of 1,361 megawatts of new installations sets the U.S. solar photovoltaic industry on a trajectory to break its previous annual growth record, set in 2014, and is the sixth largest quarterly growth in history.

Donald Trump Has America’s CEOs Nervous and Very Quiet, for Now

Source: By Jennifer Kaplan, Bloomberg News • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

Michael Garland, CEO of wind-power developer Pattern Energy Group Inc., said Trump’s skepticism toward climate change has given more conservative electric utilities pause over signing renewable-energy contracts to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

GM buys wind power from EDP to build its biggest SUVs

Source: By Joe White, Reuters • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

General Motors Co (GM.N) said Thursday it is buying wind energy to power production of some its biggest sport utility vehicles at a factory in Texas. GM said in a statement it has agreed to buy 30 megawatts of energy from a Texas wind farm operated by a unit of Spanish renewable energy company EDP Renovaveis SA (EDPR.LS). EDP is developing a 250 megawatt wind farm in Edinburg, Texas. GM will use the wind-generated electricity to power production of Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs at its factory in Arlington, Texas

California and Germany, Opposites With a Common Energy Goal

Source: By MELISSA EDDY, New York Times • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

One is a European country known as “the powerhouse of Europe” that struggles against soggy winters and seemingly endless gray skies. The other is a digitally driven American state, known as “the Golden State,” for its abundant sunshine and year-round growing season. One is determined to lead an energy transformation through carefully drafted laws and regulations; the other is driven by an inventive spirit of boundary-pushing and experimentation.

Key to Success of Climate Pact Will Be Its Signals to Global Markets

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

As diplomats here work through the final points of a sweeping new climate change accord, experts said the ultimate measure of success of the agreement will be whether it sends a clear signal to global financial investors that they should move money away from fossil fuels and toward clean-energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Without that signal, there is little chance that emissions will be reduced enough to stave off the most catastrophic impacts of global warming.

Congress in Final-Stage Talks on Massive Budget, Tax Bills

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2015

Lawmakers and the White House are rushing to finalize a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill and a sprawling tax package touching all sectors of the economy. Policy disputes remain as both parties try to attach their priorities to the must-pass spending legislation. Republicans are seeking to lift the oil export ban and roll back various Obama administration regulations, while Democrats are maneuvering to protect President Barack Obama’s environmental rules and enact permanent tax credits for wind, solar and other renewable energy.