Top lawmakers launch a clean energy ‘gold rush’ with sweeping new climate change proposals 

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 12th, 2015

State legislative leaders for California yesterday pitched an ambitious climate change agenda as a job-creating vehicle. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D) unveiled an ambitious package of bills that would extend the state’s greenhouse gas targets to midcentury, expand the state’s renewable electricity target to 50 percent, cut petroleum use by 50 percent, require all new and existing commercial buildings to be twice as energy efficient and require state employee pension funds to divest from coal.

Democratic strategist John Podesta leaving White House to help guide Clinton 2016 campaign

Source: By JULIE PACE , Associated Press  • Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

While Obama is known to be aggressive in seeking to retain staffers contemplating departures, sometimes even making in-person appeals to their spouses, White House officials say Podesta has been spared that hard-sell. The only message for Podesta, McDonough said, was that he wanted to “get him as long as I could.”

Lawmakers move quickly on Brown’s bold environmental agenda 

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The new bill, S.B. 32, would set a target of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Another bill, by De Leon and Sen. Mark Leno (D), would address electricity, buildings and petroleum use. Another De Leon bill would require the state’s massive public pension funds to divest from coal, while one by Sen. Ben Hueso (D) would form a commission to invest money in creating jobs tied to clean energy.

California Senators Unveil Bills To Create Post-2020 Climate Program

Source: By Curt Barry, Inside EPA • Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Top California state senators Feb. 10 unveiled a package of bills intended to extend the state’s current climate and clean energy program beyond their current 2020 expiration, including measures that seek to set greenhouse gas (GHG) targets through 2050 and others that would codify Gov. Jerry Brown’s plans for increases in renewable energy and reductions in oil use.

Apple Building Solar Farm to Power California Operations

Source: By BRIAN X. CHEN, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief executive, said at an investors’ conference on Tuesday that Apple planned to build an $850 million solar farm that would power its California operations, including its new Cupertino campus, stores and a data center in Fremont. Apple said it teamed up with First Solar, a solar-energy equipment supplier, to construct the solar farm in Monterey County. The farm is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, First Solar said.

White House seeks $2B from investors for navigating ‘valley of death’ 

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The White House is seeking $2 billion in “mission-driven” investment to spur early-stage clean energy technology through the so-called valley of death. The Clean Energy Investment Initiative will leverage expertise at the Energy Department to facilitate “more and better” private-sector investment without spending additional federal dollars, Brian Deese, senior adviser to the president on climate and energy issues, told attendees at a summit today hosted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, just outside Washington, D.C.

Obama Seeks $2 Billion in Private Dollars for Clean Energy

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

President Barack Obama is setting a goal of raising $2 billion from the private sector for investments in clean energy. The White House says it’s launching a Clean Energy Investment Initiative as part of the Obama administration’s effort to address climate change. The Energy Department will solicit investments from philanthropists and investors concerned about climate change. The aim is to spur development of technologies and energy sources that are low in carbon dioxide pollution, such as solar panels, wind power, fuel cells and advanced batteries.

Government taking comments on Carolinas wind energy proposal

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The federal government holds hearings this week to get public comment on plans to lease hundreds of thousands of acres off the coast of the Carolinas for wind energy development. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas in federal waters that could be leased for putting up wind turbines.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s fracking problem

Source: By MARK HERTSGAARD, Los Angeles Times • Posted: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

California Gov. Jerry Brown has done more to fight climate change than perhaps any other elected official in the United States. So what accounts for the environmentalists heckling him during speeches and planning to confront him Saturday at an Oakland March for Real Climate Leadership? One word: fracking. “I challenge anybody to find any other state” that’s doing as much about climate change, Brown shot back to anti-fracking protesters during his speech at the California Democratic Party’s convention last March.

Utility proposes 25,000 EV charging stations on ratepayers’ dime 

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

The switch to electric vehicles could get a boost in California if the state’s utility regulator accepts a new proposal from Pacific Gas and Electric Corp. PG&E said today it’s asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permission to build about 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations across northern and central California. If approved, the program would be the country’s largest deployment of EV charging stations, the utility said.