Utility proposes 25,000 EV charging stations on ratepayers’ dime 

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The switch to electric vehicles could get a boost in California if the state’s utility regulator accepts a new proposal from Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. PG&E said today it’s asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permission to build about 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations across northern and central California. If approved, the program would be the country’s largest deployment of EV charging stations, the utility said.

GOP avoids showdown over EPA climate change rules

Source: By ELANA SCHOR, Politico • Posted: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

One GOP source with knowledge of the party’s strategy said there is “an obvious lack of enthusiasm among Republican staff, and maybe members, too, to do something on” the power-plant emissions rules that EPA is set to finalize this summer. “There’s not a lot of ‘yay, I’m superexcited’ on this.” In public, however, Republicans vow that they’re committed to fighting what they have long savaged as Obama’s “war on coal.”

Obama ranks climate among top national security threats 

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

President Obama today released his 2015 national security strategy, laying out his administration’s plans to tackle the “top strategic risks” to national interests. Among the most pressing threats listed are climate change and major energy market disruptions.

Environmental Journal: Bill charts R.I.’s renewable energy future 

Source: By Bob Thayer, The Providence Journal  • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

Supporters of Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Standard — which sets annual targets for the amount of power the state gets from wind farms, solar arrays and the like — say it’s the backbone of local efforts to spur the development of new sources of energy. By putting in place a mandate, the law creates a demand for renewable energy that wouldn’t otherwise exist to the same extent. The law, its backers say, is crucial if Rhode Island is to do its part to reduce the carbon emissions that are driving climate change.

One month in, Colorado GOP making good on rollback promises

Source: By Lynn Bartels and John Frank, The Denver Post • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

A month into the legislative session, Republican lawmakers are sending a message with a concerted push to repeal contentious measures approved by Democrats in prior years. The effort is led by the new GOP majority in the state Senate, where lawmakers last week voted to cut renewable-energy mandates on utility companies and approved two measures to loosen restrictions on firearms. A bill scheduled Monday for a Senate committee would repeal provisions in state law written by Democrats two years ago related to remedies for employment discrimination.

Minnesota’s efforts to fight climate change lose steam

Source: By Elizabeth Dunbar and Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

Eight years after a historic act of bipartisanship to address climate change, whirling wind turbines dot Minnesota’s landscape, and solar panels glisten on urban rooftops. The state’s utilities are ahead of schedule in meeting a mandate to provide 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The mandate was part of a 2007 energy initiative under former Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But the state is falling short of the promise made in a second law the same year, the Next Generation Energy Act, which Pawlenty signed after nearly unanimous legislative approval. It created a goal to reduce Minnesota’s share of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that scientists overwhelmingly agree are driving climate change.

Colorado Springs farm gets go-ahead from county 

Source: By Ryan Maye Handy, Colorado Springs Gazette • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

Commissioners in El Paso County, Colo., unanimously approved a wind farm yesterday just minutes before midnight, nearly 15 hours after beginning a meeting on the controversial project. A stream of local residents voiced their support and opposition to the project. Many in the Greater Colorado Springs area raised concerns about property values, views and health effects that could arise from NextEra Energy Resources’ plan to alter the route of a 29-mile aboveground power line across the plains.

Arkansas’ first wind farm planned near Springdale

Source: By DAN HOLTMEYER, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

Plans to build Arkansas’ first wind farm have sparked interest and excitement in town and across the state, though some wind power experts cautioned against overselling the project. Representatives of Dragonfly Industries International, a Texas wind energy company, told city officials last month they hope to build dozens of turbines on more than 300 acres of rural land about a mile west of Elm Springs at a cost of at least $100 million, according to City Council and Planning Commission minutes. Power could flow to tens of thousands of homes with the farm’s expected capacity of 80 megawatts.

House Republicans set to flesh out sweeping energy plan 

Source: Nick Juliano and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015

Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton this week will take the first significant step on the long road toward a new comprehensive energy bill, which would be the most ambitious overhaul to policies affecting pipelines, transmission and energy efficiency in more than eight years.

Problems that killed FutureGen now threaten other projects 

Source: Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 6th, 2015

Following its decision to scrap nearly $1 billion in funding for the FutureGen 2.0 carbon capture project in Illinois, the Department of Energy today warned other projects could face similar troubles. Chris Smith, DOE’s fossil energy chief, today said he decided to pull the plug on FutureGen, which involved retrofitting a coal plant with capture technology, because of a fall legal deadline to spend the money.