News

Obama, antagonizing lawmakers, makes an economic case for climate action 

Source: Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

“To hell with the politics,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week. “At this point, we must concern ourselves with the cumulative chilling effects of these short-term measures and this policy uncertainty.” On clean energy, Obama proposed spending $7.4 billion between the Energy and Defense departments, a $900 million increase, and he seeks to permanently extend tax credits for wind and solar energy producers. “[The low-carbon economy] is obviously key in the President’s Climate Action Plan, essentially addressing the mitigation focus,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said yesterday in a briefing. Altogether, the budget asks for $29.9 billion for DOE next year, a $2.5 billion increase over current levels. Not all of its action on climate is dependent on Congress.

New Transmission Lines To Carry Oklahoma Wind Energy To Tennessee

Source: By TONY RUSSELL, NEWS ON 6, Oklahoma City • Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Mario Hurtado, with Clean Line Energy said, “Oklahoma has more than ten-times the amount of wind energy we’d need to supply all of its electricity needs, so it makes sense to be able to export some of that energy because it’s really very cost competitive, and, as you do that, you’re basically providing more jobs and more income for the folks that own the land where those wind farms are gonna be built, and the folks that work building those wind farms and the construction area and then the guys that are gonna be doing the operations and maintenance of all those wind farms.”

Moniz promises infrastructure review by end of month 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The Department of Energy has recently completed interagency work on its Quadrennial Energy Review, which will focus on infrastructure needs, and plans to release the document by the end of this month, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said today. Among other areas, the review will focus on the needs of the electric grid to improve security and reliability as well as problems associated with methane emissions from natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, Moniz said.

Obama budget digs in on climate, energy priorities 

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

President Obama’s new spending wish list underscores his plans to plow ahead with ambitious and costly climate, energy and infrastructure policies — and sets the stage for another year of fierce budget battles with congressional Republicans.

Spending request hike to heat up debate on energy production

Source: Katherine Ling, Daniel Bush, Nick Juliano and Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The budget proposes a nearly $800 million increase over current funding for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which funds research and development into wind and solar power, biofuels, and energy-saving technologies, among other areas.

Obama 2016 Budget Urges States to Cut Emissions Faster

Source: By REUTERS • Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget proposes boosting funding for clean energy by 7 percent and a new $4 billion fund to encourage U.S. states to make faster and deeper cuts to emissions from power plants, officials said Monday. Obama’s budget also calls for the permanent extension of the Production Tax Credit, used by the wind industry, and the Investment Tax Credit, used by the solar industry, the officials said.

GOP dismissive as Obama revives efforts to shift incentives from fossil fuels to renewables 

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The budget request released yesterday — which again seeks to make renewable energy credits permanent and refundable while eliminating a variety of tax breaks for the oil, gas and coal industries — faces even longer odds of becoming reality with Republicans now in unified control of Congress. But it highlights a continued commitment on the part of the administration to an aggressive shift in the tax code that will color negotiations between the Capitol and White House for the remainder of the year.

Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT and MARJORIE CONNELLY, New York Times • Posted: Monday, February 2nd, 2015

An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford Universityand the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.

New Mexico Land Commissioner Halts Huge Renewable Energy Project

Source: BY SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Monday, February 2nd, 2015

New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has put the brakes on a $2 billion transmission project that would carry electricity generated by renewable resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West. Dunn announced late Wednesday that he was issuing a 60-day suspension after meeting with the developers. That delay will give his office more time to review the project before any further development affects state trust lands, he said.

Interior advances what would be North America’s largest wind project 

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, February 2nd, 2015

A proposed wind farm that would string together 1,000 turbines across nearly 220,000 acres of public and private lands in southeast Wyoming has reached another regulatory milestone, with the Interior Department greenlighting a series of infrastructure projects that move the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project closer to construction.