Bill Fehrman, CEO of MidAmerican Energy, said Monday the company could get up to 57 percent of its energy from wind with its latest renewable energy project. And while wind’s growing presence in MidAmerican’s portfolio is encouraging, so is news that the Des Moines-based utility is looking to invest in solar projects in Iowa, with community solar gardens and utility-sized solar leading the possible options. “We’re not ready to announce a direction yet, but we’re in discussions with a variety of interested stakeholders around doing some sort of solar pilot project in the state,” Fehrman said.
Warren Buffett is lending his name and deep pockets to the battle against climate change. Berkshire Hathaway Energy on Monday joined a dozen major U.S. businesses at the White House in calling for robust action on global warming.
Berkshire joined Apple, Walmart, General Motors, Cargill, Bank of America and others to announce more than $140 billion in investments in low-carbon projects and other actions as they shift toward greater reliance on renewable energy.
More than a dozen states today asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision allowing U.S. EPA to move ahead with its landmark greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants. The 14 states requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rehear its June decision in favor of the agency en banc, meaning before all of the circuit’s judges. They claim that the proposed Clean Power Plan, which would cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, has forced states to take action — and spend money — to prepare for the final rule, which is due to be released sometime this summer.
“We’re not talking about an election next year, we’re talking about getting more people on the side of de-carbonizing the economy,” Brown said. “It’s like turning a ship in the ocean. It turns slowly, and the pope is another gust of influence here turning us in the right direction”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) directed state regulators to tighten carbon emissions restrictions yesterday, avoiding a provision in the state budget that could have cut funding to other priorities. Inslee had pushed for broader changes, but state lawmakers declined to enact them.
Kudos to Gov. Sam Brownback for brokering a deal ending the attack on the wind energy industry by Americans For Prosperity, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries, and their lobbyists. Brownback, a Governor’s Wind Coalition founding member, touts Kansas as the “Saudi Arabia of Wind” and supports policies like a national Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Production Tax Credit, while noting other energy sources receive similar incentives.
Rhode Island’s Deepwater Wind will start installing the foundations for North America’s first offshore wind farm on Monday, a milestone the company says could pave the way for an industry long established in Europe but that is still struggling with opposition in the United States.
Aboard a ferry off the coast of Rhode Island, state and federal officials take a close look at a steel structure poking out of the ocean. It’s the first foundation affixed to the seafloor for a five-turbine wind farm off the state’s coast. It’s a contrast to what’s happening off the coast of Massachusetts. Developer Cape Wind has spent more than 10 years and millions of dollars there on a massive wind farm that it may never build. Rhode Island’s project, Deepwater Wind, has sailed through by comparison, in part because of its great location, explains Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski. The wind farm will sit three miles off the coast of Block Island, about 12 miles away from the mainland.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping – and controversial – regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. In its initial version, the Clean Power Plan called for cutting the country’s power plant emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, setting different targets for each state. The proposal is the signature piece of President Barack Obama’s climate changepolicy. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said this week that the final rule will be “stronger in many ways than the proposed rule.”
President Barack Obama will impose even steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants than previously expected, senior administration officials said Sunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming. A year after proposing unprecedented carbon dioxide limits, Obama was poised to finalize the rule at a White House event on Monday. In a video posted to Facebook, Obama said the limits were backed up by decades of data showing that without tough action, the world will face more extreme weather and escalating health problems like asthma.