Federal judges won’t decide whether to freeze an Obama administration climate change rule prior to international climate talks this year, to the chagrin of at least one Senate Republican. A panel of judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order laying out a schedule for a handful of requests from states and industries to halt implementation of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Foes of the administration have asked the court to stay the rule while EPA’s critics challenge the regulation that aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Following House passage of the two-year budget deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last night set the procedural wheels in motion for bringing the bill up in the upper chamber. McConnell filed cloture on the bill (H.R. 1314), while also “filling the amendment tree” to prevent extraneous proposals from clogging up the bill.
Many environmentalists believe that the oil and gas major Exxon, now known as Exxon Mobil Corp., is on the wrong side of history when it comes to climate change. Two new investigations into the company’s early history of climate research have deepened the antagonism toward the company. In recent weeks, these probes into the corporation’s early climate research have painted a picture of a behemoth that not only led path-breaking research on climate, but in the process became aware of the financial risks to its own business from climate change decades ago. Then, it decided to take measures to protect its business interests while publicly claiming that uncertainty about climate change was too great to warrant immediate action.
Google — or rather, its newly created parent company known as Alphabet — is making energy a priority among its smorgasbord of ventures. On a quarterly earnings call held Thursday, Alphabet’s chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, said that the division known as “Access and Energy” is a foremost priority for growth among the company’s risky endeavors that are apart from Google’s core business of online search and advertising.
Nearly three-quarters of the states reduced their carbon emissions between 2000-13, according to a federal report. Thirty-seven states cut their emissions between 2000-13, according to an analysis of state-level carbon emissions by the Energy Information Administration, the independent analysis arm of the Department of Energy. The largest decrease came in Maine, which cut 27 percent.
Twenty-four states have filed suit, up from the 16 that launched a pre-emptive challenge of the draft. Meanwhile the list of states “just saying no” is shrinking, not growing. The trend in many states is two-pronged — attorneys general file suit while environmental regulators and cabinet members grapple behind the scenes with compliance strategies.
A pair of House lawmakers from opposite sides of the country and different parties this week will launch a new caucus focused on energy storage. Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) will officially kick off the Congressional Battery Energy Storage Caucus tomorrow afternoon, during an event featuring the Energy Storage Association and representatives of storage companies.
When David Vieau left the battery maker A123 in 2013 after it went bankrupt despite having received about $147 million in government money, he didn’t go looking to start another energy storage business. But three years later, he is at it again, as chief executive of Vionx Energy. This time, though, he is pursuing a different strategy.
Renewables are powering a rare bright spot in the energy industry, with record job hiring in solar, wind and hydro partly offsetting the biggest round of job losses in the oil and gas sector in almost two decades. The boom in new green jobs is being led by Asia where governments in countries such as China and India are embarking on massive programmes to use more renewable energy.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to allow a California wind farm to incidentally kill up to three federally protected golden eagles over the next five years. The permit would require NRG Yield Inc., which owns the 153-megawatt Alta East Wind Project in Kern County, to retrofit at least 74 area power poles within a year to prevent electrocutions of birds and take other steps to reduce mortality.