N.J. Supreme Court to decide fate of controversial offshore pilot project 

Source: Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

An offshore wind developer looking to build a 25-megawatt pilot wind farm off the coast of New Jersey has appealed its case to the state’s highest court. In legal briefs filed late last week with the state Supreme Court, Cape May, N.J.-based Fishermen’s Energy once again challenged a New Jersey Board of Public Utilities decision from last year that denies the company the right to start construction. BPU has maintained that the power from the project would be too expensive, despite the pledge of a $47 million federal Energy Department grant and statements in the past by Gov. Chris Christie (R) that he wanted the Garden State to be a leader on offshore wind.

Indiana will defy Obama on climate change plan

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Indiana will not comply with President Barack Obama’s plan to battle climate change by requiring reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants, Republican Gov. Mike Pence said today. The proposal as currently written, known as the Clean Power Plan, will make Indiana electricity more expensive and less reliable and hurt economic growth in Indiana and across the nation, Pence wrote in a letter to Obama. The plan targets pollution from the coal-fired power plants that Indiana relies on. Pence said the Indiana coal industry employs more than 26,000 people.

Whitfield sees easy passage for EPA bill, but next step’s uncertain 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Legislation that would let states opt out of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan is expected to pass the House this evening “by a nice, healthy margin,” the bill’s sponsor said today. Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield’s measure, H.R. 2042, would let states decline to implement the existing power plant rule, which he deemed a moderate check to EPA’s “radical regulation.”

Senate legislative package remains work in progress 

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Committee aides say discussions on the bill are ongoing, but legislative language has yet to materialize, in large part because of the more than 100 bills that have been referred to the panel since Murkowski announced plans to move comprehensive legislation earlier this year. The bills span a range of policy arenas, including production, infrastructure, efficiency and accountability.

This Huge Wind Turbine Floating on Water Is Fukushima’s Energy Solution

Source: By Bryan Lufkin, Gizmodo • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A mere 12 miles from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will soon sit a 620-foot, 1,500-ton windmill atop a 5,000-ton podium. It’ll be the biggest floating wind turbine on Earth, and it could usher in a new age of green energy for a region largely fed up with nuclear energy. The turbine, completed Monday, will generate up to 7 megawatts of electricity, making it Japan’s most powerful wind turbine, and the most powerful floating turbine in the world. That’s good news for Japan, a country that’s shut down nuclear power plants in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdown.

In grid debate, ‘tension is not always a bad thing,’ says FERC’s Honorable 

Source: Rod Kuckro and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Colette Honorable, the newest member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is taking to heart some recent advice offered by a state utility commissioner — always remember where you come from. “The point of that is to remember that state regulation is important, the ways in which state regulators carry out their work is important,” Honorable said in a recent interview.

Debate over California’s renewable energy expansion goes through the roof

Source: BY JEREMY B. WHITE, Sacramento Breee • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A political fight over California’s renewable energy industry is playing out in the corridors of power, but it deals with something closer to home: your rooftop. Capitol policymakers are advancing an ambitious proposal to have renewable sources generate half of the state’s electricity by 2030, up from the 33 percent benchmark already in law. The full force of California’s political establishment backs the goal: Gov. Jerry Brown pitched the idea, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, has promoted it aggressively, and bills enshrining the new standard passed both the Senate and the Assembly with strong Democratic support.

Renewable energy may double, mostly without subsidies, but fail to restrict emissions growth — study 

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

In 25 years, more than half of the world’s energy-generating capacity will come from zero-emission sources and renewables will generate twice as much power, but atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will likely still push the world past the ubiquitous 2-degree-Celsius goal, according to analysis released today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The BNEF report, whose authors assumed “renewables globally will see no further policy support” after 2018, beyond subsides for offshore wind installations, does not consider long-term implications from U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

White House summit highlights link between warming, health

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Lyndsay Moseley of the American Lung Association, who will attend today’s event, applauded the administration’s focus on this issue. ALA has become a frequent proponent of climate mitigation policies, citing the fact that higher temperatures work with particulate pollution to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Medical officials are becoming increasingly aware of these environmental triggers, Moseley said. “But they’re limited in what they can do, which is why there is a growing call for action in the policy arena,” she said.

Climate Change Calls for Science, Not Hope

Source: By Eduardo Porter, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Last year, President Obama set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, only 10 years from now. Now, environmental experts are suggesting that some parts of the strategy are, at best, a waste of money and time. At worst, they are setting the United States in the wrong direction entirely. That is the view of some of the world’s top environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club. On Tuesday, they argued in a letter to the White House that allowing the burning of biomass to help reduce consumption of fossil fuels in the nation’s power plants, as proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, would violate the Clean Air Ac