The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post. The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas
The North Dakota Legislature’s attempts to increase regulations of the wind energy industry seem heavy handed and contrary to what has been a successful energy policy for the state. Wind energy has been a component of North Dakota’s electric generation scene for a couple of decades. It contributes a renewable component to North Dakota’s energy market basket that helps position us as an exporter of electricity. Currently, North Dakota residents use about half the electricity generated in the state with the rest sent through the grid to other areas.
Environmentally conscious investors are using their pocketbooks to protest President Donald Trump’s plans to slash environmental regulations, fueling a rally in funds that only invest in companies that meet progressive criteria for sustainability. From the start of November to the end of January, investors poured $1.8 billion into actively managed equities funds in the “socially responsible” category, according to Lipper data. In the same period, there was a net outflow of $133 billion from funds that do not have environmental or social mandates.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged Sunday to make the country’s smoggy skies blue again and “work faster” to address pollution caused by the burning of coal for heat and electricity. His words to delegates at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress highlight how public discontent has made reducing smog, the most visible of China’s environment problems, a priority for the leadership. The 10-day event got underway under a sunny blue sky, thanks to heavy gusts from the north that cleared away the unhealthy gray from the day before.
As the Trump administration sets to work gutting environmental regulations, the best weapon for battling climate change in the U.S. may be jobs. Many Republicans, including the president, have been unmoved by environmental or scientific arguments that federal policies should support clean energy as a way to combat global warming. They may be swayed by the 360,000 jobs provided by wind and solar in the U.S. last year, business executives and environmentalists said Friday at a climate-change conference in Chicago.
The announcement — which is expected as soon as Tuesday and will be made jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, and the transportation secretary, Elaine L. Chao — will immediately start to undo one of former President Barack Obama’s most significant environmental legacies. The E.P.A. will also begin legal proceedings to revoke a waiver for California that was allowing the state to enforce the tougher tailpipe standards for its drivers. During the same week, and possibly on the same day, Mr. Trump is expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin the more lengthy and legally complex process of dismantling the Clean Power Plan, Mr. Obama’s rules to cut planet-warming pollution from coal-fired power plants.
“Auto manufacturers are attempting to backpedal on vital climate and consumer protections,” said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. “A new administration is no reason to go in reverse.” Automakers are also hopeful that the new E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, will begin legal action to revoke California’s ability to enforce its tailpipe standards.
So, it only makes sense that to achieve the economic and environmental goals espoused by the president in his speech, the policies and federal investment that support the clean energy sector must be maintained or strengthened. It’s also important for the White House to remember that principal beneficiaries of these programs are rural Americans, a constituency that played a key role in Trump’s election last November after promises he made to improve their way of life.
Northland Power has decided not to submit a bid in this month’s auction for the 1.5GW Kitty Hawk offshore wind zone off North Carolina. The Canadian investor confirmed in an analysts call that it had made the decision because it believes there are better locations for projects off the north east US coast. Northland told analysts it remains keen on bidding for future US offshore wind zones.
Westar Energy’s new Western Plains Wind Farm near Spearville began full operation on Wednesday, enabling the state’s largest electric utility to boast it can now provide more than half the annual electricity needs of its customers without carbon emissions. Infinity Wind developed the 280-megawatt Western Plains wind farm in Ford County, built by Mortenson Construction, using Siemens Wind turbines manufactured in Hutchinson. Westar will own and operate the facility.