Obama to Propose a $10-a-Barrel Fee on Oil

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Friday, February 5th, 2016

President Obama’s budget request to Congress will include a new fee on oil companies, requiring them to pay $10 to the federal government for every barrel of oil they produce, the White House said on Thursday. The money, which could bring in up to $32 billion in new federal revenue annually, would be spent on a variety of transportation and infrastructure projects, including bridges and highways, high-speed rail and research on advanced vehicles such as electric and self-driving cars.

Senate bill limps on after Democrats’ filibuster

Source: Geof Koss and Hannah Hess, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, February 5th, 2016

Democrats today blocked a pair of procedural votes to end debate on the Senate’s bipartisan energy bill, buying time to continue negotiations over federal aid to help the town of Flint, Mich., recover from its lead-contaminated drinking water crisis. The Senate rejected cloture on the substitute amendment to the bill, as well as the underlying bill (S. 2012), on 46-50 and 43-54 roll call votes, respectively.

Senate Democrats Block Energy Bill in Impasse Over Flint

Source: By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Friday, February 5th, 2016

Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked the first bipartisan energy bill in almost a decade after majority Republicans balked over sending hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid to Flint, Michigan, to fix and replace the city’s lead-contaminated pipes. The impasse hardened an increasingly partisan response to the water crisis in Flint as Democrats press for swift help for a majority African-American city of 100,000 and point to the past, rapid response of Republicans to natural disasters in Texas and Florida. Republicans maintained that it was premature to send money until Michigan figures out what it needs and wrong to stall the energy bill.

RGGI gets mixed signals on mingling with other states

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2016

The nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is continuing to weigh linking its cap-and-trade system with other states that will use carbon markets to comply with federal climate change regulations. RGGI officials yesterday heard a range of views from companies and advocates invested in the program. They ranged from enthusiastic proponents of carbon trading who say the system should set an example for other states to more wary environmental groups worried that expanding trading could water down the program’s climate benefits.

Renewable energy is the lowest-cost Clean Power Plan compliance solution, finds new analysis

Source: By MICHAEL GOGGIN, AWEA • Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Study finds renewable energy is the most affordable way to comply with the Clean Power Plan. Renewable energy accounts for virtually all of the new generation additions in the lowest-cost solution for complying with Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP), according to new economic modeling using a Department of Energy tool.

Clinton rolls out energy efficiency plan

Source: By Devin Henry, The Hill • Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign Tuesday rolled out a plan to increase building energy efficiency standards as a way to cut emissions and save on energy costs. The plan, her campaign said Tuesday, looks to improve building codes, provide more information about buildings’ energy usage and expand appliance energy labeling as ways to reduce energy consumption.

Lankford pushes for end to federal wind production subsidy

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2016

U.S. Sen. James Lankford is pushing for an end to a federal tax subsidy for the production of electricity through wind power. The first-term Republican from Oklahoma introduced an amendment Tuesday that would not allow any more companies to qualify for the tax credit after 2019. The amendment was proposed to the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which is being debated in the Senate this week.

MidAmerican Energy completes wind farms

Source: By George C. Ford, The Gazette • Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2016

MidAmerican Energy on Wednesday said it has completed two major wind energy installations in Iowa, adding more than 1,200 megawatts of electric generation. The Highland wind farm in O’Brien County, which began providing electricity on Dec. 3, 2015, is the fifth and final piece of MidAmerican Energy’s Wind VIII project — the Des Moines utility’s largest wind energy project to date.

Bill would support wind research at DOE

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation yesterday to support wind research at the Department of Energy. The “Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2016” directs DOE to conduct a research-and-development program to improve the efficiency of wind generation capacity, optimize its design and reduce costs associated with permitting and other issues. It also outlines a variety of wind technologies for department attention, such as offshore floating systems and “projects to assess and mitigate the impacts of hurricane wind flow.”

How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9 Billion Hole in Puerto Rico

Source: By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

To understand how Puerto Rico’s power authority has piled up $9 billion in debt, one need only visit this bustling city on the northwest coast. Twenty years ago, it was just another town with dwindling finances. Then, it went on a development spree, thanks to a generous —some might say ill-considered — gift from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Today, Aguadilla has 19 city-owned restaurants and a city-owned hotel, a water park billed as biggest in the Caribbean, a minor-league baseball stadium bathed in floodlights and a waterfront studded with dancing fountains and glimmering streetlights.