The offshore wind industry is finally showing signs of progress in the United States. The Department of the Interior completed its second offshore wind lease auction for acreage off the coast of Virginia in early September, and the nation’s first grid-connected offshore wind turbine, a small prototype created by the University of Maine, started spinning off the Northeast coast this spring.
More than 400 Democrats from around the country are urging the White House to reconsider U.S. EPA’s proposal for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. The current and former politicians wrote President Obama a letter today as part of the CoalBlue Project, a group meant to boost and highlight Democratic support for the coal industry.
Heather Zichal’s departure from the White House comes near the beginning of a years-long effort to shepherd complicated climate policies through a bevy of federal agencies overseen by administration newcomers, now central to the success of President Obama’s climate plan.
Ron Binz got a bull’s-eye on his back during the first week of August. Roughly 20 leaders from prominent free-market and conservative groups — some enjoying ties to the tea party and Koch brothers funding — huddled in a downtown Washington, D.C., conference room to weigh Binz’s nomination to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. After two hours, they resolved to oppose President Obama’s choice. “This confirmation deserves to have a wrench thrown in the gears,” Benjamin Cole, a spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research, later recalled the group’s thinking.
LM Wind Power, a global manufacturer of blades for wind turbines, says it doubled its U.S. workforce to 700 in August — up from 350 in April. And it says the boom will continue: It expects to employ some 1,200 people in the U.S. next year — most of them based at its factories in North Dakota and Arkansas. In a press release, the company credited the extension late last year of the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit with the growth of its workforce:
Colorado’s wind-power market and industry are posting strong performances in 2013, according to executives. There are plans for more than 600 megawatts of new wind farms by four Colorado utilities — a 26 percent increase in generation. “That is probably $1 billion in investment,” Sarah Cottrell Propst, executive director of the trade group Interwest Energy Alliance, said at the Colorado Energy Forum on Tuesday at the University of Denver
What are the infrastructure and supply challenges facing Mexico as lawmakers debate oil sector reforms and the introduction of more natural gas into the country’s energy mix? During today’s OnPoint, Marc Spitzer, a former commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and now a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, explains how Mexico’s proposed energy reforms could economically benefit both Mexico and the United States. He discusses the impact a major reform could have on global energy markets and reacts to the withdrawal of Ron Binz as the nominee for FERC chairman.
On Oct. 2, MidAmerican Energy Co. supplied renewable energy credits (RECs) from one of its wind farms to a football game between Iowa State University and the University of Texas. Cyclone Sports Properties, Iowa State’s athletic multimedia rights holder, used RECs from MidAmerican’s Pomeroy wind farm, located in Pocahontas County, Iowa, to offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with the energy consumption of a typical game at the Jack Trice Stadium, located in Ames, Iowa
Ron Binz blasted the coal industry and “right-wing advocacy organizations” this weekend for killing his nomination to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying the fight was actually about climate change and the role of the federal government. Speaking yesterday on “Platts Energy Week,” Binz blamed the coal industry, utilities that use coal and 12 groups with ties to the Koch brothers for persuading a majority of members on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to kill his nomination.
A key architect of President Obama’s sweeping plan to combat climate change is leaving her post at the White House, the administration confirmed today. Heather Zichal, the deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, will be leaving in the next few weeks. The White House has not announced a replacement, and Zichal has not said what her next move will be.