News

E.P.A. Chief Doubts Consensus View of Climate Change

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Friday, March 10th, 2017

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Thursday that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with the established scientific consensus on climate change. Asked his views on the role of carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping gas produced by burning fossil fuels, in increasing global warming, Mr. Pruitt said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Oil exec: Trump should keep US in Paris climate pact

Source: By The Hill • Posted: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Ryan Lance, whose company is one of the largest oil and natural gas producers, gave the comment at an industry conference in Houston. “It would be good for the U.S. to stay in the climate agreement,” Lance said after giving a speech, according to Axios. Lance puts ConocoPhillips in the same league as Exxon Mobil Corp. and numerous oil companies outside the United States in supporting the Paris pact, like BP and Royal Dutch Shell.Trump promised on the campaign trail to pull the United States out of the agreement, a four-year process.

Wind energy gaining traction, U.S. trade group says

Source: By UPI • Posted: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Wind energy in the United States is making a case for itself as a cheap source of energy that steers revenue to rural America, an industry trade group said. Federal data show five state — Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota — each sourced more than 20 percent of their electricity from wind power last year to lead the nation. “Wind is now cheaply and reliably supplying more than 20 percent of the electricity in five states and is a testament to American leadership and innovation,” Tom Kiernan, the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a statement.

As energy mix becomes cleaner, Minnesotans paying less for it

Source: By Midwest Energy News • Posted: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Consumers have seen flat or declining energy costs as renewable energy becomes a greater part of the energy mix of Minnesota and the nation. That’s one of the findings in the annual 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in partnership with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. The report points out that in the United States, renewable energy, greater energy efficiency and low natural gas and gasoline prices have combined to drive down energy costs – as a percent of total household spending – to its lowest level in decades, according to business council president Lisa Jacobson.

Bill Targets Clean Line, Contrasting With Trump’s Zeal for Infrastructure

Source: By Kyle Massey, Arkansas Business Journal • Posted: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Opponents and supporters of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line, a $2 billion power line project that would transmit wind-generated electricity across the width of Arkansas, have opened an ideological battle that puts the all-Republican Arkansas congressional delegation in Washington at odds with the new infrastructure-friendly mindset of President Donald J. Trump. Citing the need for local control and landowner rights, Arkansas’ national lawmakers specifically targeted the Clean Line in reintroducing legislation Monday that would require permission from state officials before federal power line projects proceed.

Wind Energy Takes Flight In The Heart Of Texas Oil Country

Source: By ARI SHAPIRO, NPR • Posted: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Part of one of the world’s biggest renewable energy systems, wind turbines dot the landscape on the edge of Sweetwater, Texas, along with a pump jack pulling up oil. Georgetown, Texas, is a conservative town in a conservative state. So it may come as something of a surprise that it’s one of the first cities in America to be entirely powered by renewable energy. Mayor Dale Ross, a staunch Republican who attended President Trump’s inauguration, says that decision came down to a love of green energy and “green rectangles” — cash.

Wind Power Blows Through Nuclear, Coal as Costs Plunge at Sea

Source: By Jess Shankleman, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Water tends to corrode and short out circuits. So what’s happening in the the renewable energy industry, where developers are putting jumbo-jet sized wind turbines into stormy seas, is at the very least an engineering miracle. What might be even more miraculous to skeptics like those populating Donald Trump’s administration is that these multi-billion-dollar mega projects make increasing economic sense, even compared to new coal and nuclear power. “If you have a sufficiently large site with the right wind speeds, then I do believe you can build offshore wind at least at the same price as new build coal in many places around the world including the U.S.,” said Henrik Poulsen, chief executive officer of Dong Energy A/S, the Danish utility that has pioneered the technology and has become the world’s biggest installer of windmills at sea.

Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo Sets Ambitious Clean Energy Goal

Source: By Joseph Bebon, Solar Energy • Posted: Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the state had approximately 100 MW of clean energy in 2016, the baseline year for this goal; therefore, the governor is now aiming to reach a total of 1,000 MW by 2020. The release says the goal will include energy from a broad portfolio of clean energy resources, including solar and onshore and offshore wind, and homeowners, municipalities, institutions, and private commercial and industrial enterprises can contribute to the goal with smart investments in clean energy. (Notably, Rhode Island became home to the U.S.’ first operating offshore wind farm last year.)

Nebraska lawmakers kill bill allowing private energy developers to compete in Nebraska’s public power-only market

Source: By Emily Nohr, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

A legislative committee voted Tuesday to kill a proposal that would allow private energy developers to enter Nebraska’s unique public power-only market. The Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously to indefinitely postpone Legislative Bill 660, which would offer Nebraskans a choice of power providers with the goal of increasing competition and lowering prices. “We can’t hang a ‘not open for business’ sign on Nebraska.”

In search of cleaner energy, some Nebraska cities turn away from utility

Source: By Midwestern Energy News • Posted: Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

As Nebraska’s largest utility remains slow to adopt clean energy, some long-time customers are losing patience. At least 10 municipal utilities in Nebraska have chosen to stop or cut back on buying their power from the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), in search of lower prices and greater access to renewable energy. South Sioux City, about 100 miles up the Missouri River from Omaha, is one.