News

McCarthy blasts Times for crediting NRDC with power plant rule

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 11th, 2014

U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in an email circulated yesterday derided a New York Times story published earlier in the week that seemed to give an environmental group credit for the groundwork that led to her agency’s proposal limiting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. McCarthy called the article published Monday “preposterous” in a memo to EPA staff, dismissing the Times’ characterization that the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 2012 proposal “heavily influenced” her agency’s draft rule.

Atlantic Coast states key to unleashing ‘energy gold mine’ — report

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 11th, 2014

Atlantic Coast states should be proactive in boosting offshore wind energy as a solution to spiking electricity prices and impending carbon regulations, environmental groups say in a report released today. The report emphasizes the benefits of offshore wind — which it dubs an “energy gold mine” and “unmatched solution” for energy and environmental issues — and outlines the “critical role” of state governments in advancing the offshore market.

Apple targets rising water use, production partners’ emissions

Source: Reuters • Posted: Friday, July 11th, 2014

Apple Inc acknowledged on Wednesday it needs to address manufacturing partners’ carbon emissions and its own rising water consumption, though the iPhone maker said it had cut back sharply on greenhouse gas output. Apple last year hired former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to push cleaner initiatives, amid past criticism over its emissions and use of toxic materials. Observers say it has improved its practices and earned better scores from groups such as Greenpeace.

Offshore Wind Energy Traversing Regulatory And Financial Currents

Source: By Ken Silverstein, Contributor, Forbes • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

“It’s more challenging in the United States because natural gas prices are lower and because terrestrial wind energy prices are also declining, making it hard for offshore wind to compete,” says Peter Asmus, principal with Navigant Consulting in San Francisco, in an interview. “The Obama administration’s recent executive order to cut carbon emissions helps but it is not enough to push it over the hump.” The US Department of Energy would like to have 54,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030. Those scenarios include development along Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts as well as in Great Lakes and Hawaiian waters, the agency says.

FERC, utilities, greens urge court to revisit demand response decision

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, environmentalists and some grid operators are pressing a federal appeals court to revisit its decision tossing out a policy that provided incentives to electricity users to consume less power. In a series of filings to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit this week, FERC and various parties are seeking a rehearing en banc, meaning before all of the court’s judges, on the case focusing on the power-saving practice known as demand response.

Blueprints for Taming the Climate Crisis

Source: By Eduardo Porter, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Here’s what your future will look like if we are to have a shot at preventing devastating climate change. Within about 15 years every new car sold in the United States will be electric. In fact, by midcentury more than half of the American economy will run on electricity. Up to 60 percent of power might come from nuclear sources. And coal’s footprint will shrink drastically, perhaps even disappear from the power suppl

2 nominees set for Senate vote early next week

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Senate is set to vote next week on President Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after a delicate agreement was reached stating that the nominee would not actually take the helm of the agency for almost a year. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture yesterday to vote Tuesday on the nominations of Norman Bay to be a member of FERC until 2018 and the White House choice to head the commission, and for Cheryl LaFleur to another five-year term as commissioner.

BBC journalists to receive training for overly balanced science reporting

Source: Sarah Knapton, London Telegraph • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Following the publication of a progress report about the BBC’s science coverage, journalists within the company are being required to attend seminars designed to prevent “undue attention to marginal opinion” and “over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality” within scientific topics.

E.U. offshore wind targets look iffy as France and Germany fall behind

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Offshore wind is the key to the European Union’s commitment to a legally binding target to meet 20 percent of its energy consumption through renewable energy by 2020. Under plans submitted by E.U. member states, as much as 43.3 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity is supposed to be deployed by 2020. But the pace of installation is falling well behind this ambitious target — roughly the equivalent of 40 large electric generating plants. The gap is 14 percent at the moment, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), with France and Germany, in particular, significantly behind.

Christie administration is pulling N.J. away — again — from regional cap and trade

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie (R) may have fallen out of love with cap and trade years ago, but his state is still struggling to complete the divorce papers. New Jersey has been trying to extricate itself from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a cap-and-trade system spanning nine states in the Northeast — since 2011, when Christie first suspended participation in the program. But his administration had to restart the separation process this year after the state Superior Court ruled that it had provided insufficient opportunity for public participation.