Calif. project seeks 5-year eagle ‘take’ permit

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

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.

Green groups jump into legal donnybrook

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

U.S. EPA’s allies are jumping into the mammoth lawsuit over the Obama administration’s plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Environmentalists, public health groups and business groups who back the administration’s Clean Power Plan are asking a federal court to allow them to defend EPA as the agency’s critics look to topple the rule. Since the regulation opened up to lawsuits last week, opponents including 26 states and a broad array of industry and labor groups have challenged the rule in court.

The Falling Cost of Wind Power

Source: By MICHAEL GOGGIN, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Ryan Yonk’s Oct. 21 online letter does not mention his Utah State University institute’s funding from special interest groups, including the Koch brothers, and includes misleading information about the costs of wind power. Mr. Yonk describes his report as peer-reviewed and relying on “academically accepted practices,” but the report has not been published in an academic journal. His “sound data” come from groups financed by the same special interests that fund him.

Texas hits new wind power milestone on Thursday

Source: By Jordan Blum, Fuel Fix • Posted: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The new record came the same day as the American Wind Energy Association reported Texas accounted for nearly half of the nation’s wind power growth in the third quarter of the year. Texas added 771 megawatts of wind generation in the third quarter and, nationwide, about 1,600 megawatts were put online. Texas now has about 16,400 megawatts of wind power, according to the AWEA, which is about 10,000 megawatts more than the second and third windiest states, California and Iowa.

Kansas Now Ranked Sixth In Nation For Total Wind Energy Capacity

Source: By SEAN SANDEFUR , KMUW • Posted: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The wind energy sector in Kansas has been busy over the last three months. According to the American Wind Energy Association, more than 200 megawatts worth of wind turbines came on-line in the third quarter of this year.

Western state regulators see region ‘ripe’ for collaboration

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

California has also been pushing a more recent initiative to link its entire transmission system to other states. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill earlier this month, S.B. 350, that directs CAISO to study how a regional transmission market would affect the state and then potentially change its governance structure by 2019 to allow in more members with legislative approval. It also raises the state’s renewables portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030, up from 33 percent by 2020

Court battles could drag into 2018

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The court fights over U.S. EPA’s plans to curb power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions officially kicked off Friday as opponents rushed to challenge the rule in a federal appeals court. The high-stakes legal brawl promises to include dozens of interested groups including states, industries, labor groups and environmentalists. And it’s almost certain to drag on for months or even years as the appeals court — and possibly the Supreme Court — decide the rule’s fate.

White House, congressional leaders near 2-year deal

Source: Daniel Bush, Hannah Northey and Manuel Quiñones, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The White House and congressional leaders last night closed in on a broad, two-year budget deal that would increase domestic spending and raise the debt limit through March 2017.
The deal would lift budget caps and boost defense and non-defense spending for fiscal 2016 and 2017, ending years of budget wars between the Obama administration and GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate, and would hand outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a victory as he prepares to leave Congress later this week.

Kochs among top donors to industry ally Ryan

Source: Manuel Quiñones, Geof Koss, Daniel Bush and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, October 26th, 2015

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), now officially running for speaker of the House, is awash in energy industry donations, an indication of his policy views and allegiances. But observers on both sides of the aisle and in the lobbying world are watching whether the policy wonk on issues like entitlements and taxes will have a major impact on energy and environmental policy if, as expected, he succeeds Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as speaker.

Paul Ryan taps GOP power broker David Hoppe for top job

Source: By Robert Costa, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, October 26th, 2015

Hoppe, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, currently works as a senior policy adviser at Squire Patton Boggs and as a senior adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit think tank that counts former Democratic and Republican leaders as its founders. A K Street veteran, he previously worked at Quinn Gillespie & Associates and at Hoppe Strategies, his own firm.