News

State lawmakers push back against EPA’s Clean Power Plan in Fla., Minn. 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

A growing number of state legislatures are trying to insert themselves into the debate over crafting plans to comply with U.S. EPA’s unprecedented effort to lower the carbon footprints of state power sectors. Pennsylvania and West Virginia have already enacted laws giving their legislative chambers veto power over the proposals their states’ environmental protection agencies ultimately will draft to comply with the Clean Power Plan. The influential conservative American Legislative Exchange Council is pushing for other Republican-controlled chambers to pass similar bills. Earlier this week, a Minnesota House committee approved language mirroring ALEC’s model legislation.

Report: Wind power could be 35% of supply by 2050

Source: By David Jackson, USA TODAY • Posted: Thursday, March 12th, 2015

The Obama administration is setting higher goals for wind power, saying it could supply 35% of the nation’s electricity by the year 2050.
Wind power currently generates 4.5% of electricity, but that number is expected to more than double to 10% by 2020, says a report obtained by USA TODAY that will be released today by the U.S. Department of Energy. “Wind energy continues to be one of America’s best choices for low-cost, zero-pollution renewable energy, and in an increasing number of markets, may be the cheapest source of new energy available,” says a summary of the report by the Obama administration.

Siemens tops global wind turbine market, Vestas slips, GE rises

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Siemens gained over Vestas to top the global wind turbine market as measured by market share of newly installed machines connected to the grid in 2014, according to an industry report, but the gap between the top three companies is small.

Fossil fuel prices don’t reflect true cost of carbon, report says 

Source: Manon Verchot, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Prices at the pump don’t reflect the true cost of fossil fuels, according to a new study. When you add together the environmental, health and social costs of continuing business as usual with fossil fuel extraction and use, all of society gets billed, not just the consumer, it finds.

Iowa court ruling lets public sector tap into solar

Source: By Rick Smith, The Gazette • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Tax credits to cover 30 percent of the upfront cost haven’t done much for local elected officials in Iowa eager to try solar energy for public buildings as a way to save on electric bills and to green up their environmental credentials. Until now.

Wind, gas, solar dominate new power plant installations

Source: By Timothy Cama, The Hill.com • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Power companies’ new generating capacity this year will be dominated by wind, natural gas and solar power, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Wind will see a net increase of 9.8 gigawatts of capacity throughout the country, the most of any power source, the EIA said Tuesday, based on generating companies’ stated expectations.

Bill would give Minnesota state lawmakers final approval on Clean Power Plan

Source: By Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

A bill that would give the Minnesota Legislature the final say on a state plan to reduce carbon emissions passed a state House committee yesterday. In the coming months, U.S. EPA plans to set carbon reduction goals for each state to address climate change. Following the goals by the federal agency, state officials will devise a plan to meet the targets. The bill would require state lawmakers to approve the plan before it’s implemented.

Debate grows louder over states saying ‘no’ to Clean Power Plan 

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Foes of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan are weighing the legal and political pros and cons of a “just say no” approach to the draft rule aimed at curbing heat-trapping greenhouse gases from power plants.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week urged states to not prepare plans for implementing the rule. Cooperating with the Obama administration, he said, would undercut legal and legislative efforts to kill the rule and allow EPA to impose a rule that exceeds its legal authority

Here’s how much faster wind and solar are growing than fossil fuels

Source: By Chris Mooney, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Now, a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration makes a similar point. It finds that the electricity generated from wind and solar grew a lot faster than electricity generated by fossil fuels last year. In fact, solar more than doubled, and wind outgrew all other sources. “I think the story that renewable generation is up from wind and solar and other sources is certainly the story to tell,” said Emily Williams, deputy director of industry data and analysis at the American Wind Energy Association, which heralded the report.

As Hearings Near, California Legislators Introduce New Climate Bills

Source: By Inside EPA • Posted: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

California lawmakers have introduced a suite of new climate change and energy bills for consideration in the 2015-16 legislative session, with the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) and clean power mandates taking center stage as key policy committees gear up to hold their first hearings of the year. Many of the new bills — which aim to dramatically impact state GHG, energy, air, waste and water policies and programs — were submitted just prior to the Feb. 27 deadline for introducing legislation.