News

Power Savings of Smart Meters Prove Slow to Materialize

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014

But this is not happening. Although the goal is to shift consumption to off-peak hours when cheaper, cleaner electricity is available, experts say it is still many years away, despite billions in federal subsidies that have helped finance the switch to the so-called smart grid. Analysts say that most customers, and public service commissions, are simply not ready for the change to what is known as dynamic pricing, which is intended to benefit the whole system by reducing demand during peak hours. The idea is that as prices rise on summer afternoons or fall in the middle of the night, customers will learn to tailor their consumption — like running a dishwasher or washing machine, or charging an electric car — during times of better pricing.

Some Nebraska Politicians Were Trying To Block This Climate Data From Entering The State Senate

Source: By CHELSEA HARVEY, Business Insider • Posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014

Nebraska state Sen. Ken Haar (D) introduced a bill last year calling for a study of projected climate change impacts in the state that would be presented to the legislature. But the bill took an unexpected detour when state Sen. Beau McCoy (R) introduced an amendment limiting the study to “cyclical” climate causes, like volcanic eruptions or solar variations. In short, climate scientists funded to do the research by the state and for the state legislature to use in making climate-related decisions would not be permitted to consider human activity (the biggest driving factor of climate change) in their reports.

Political denial derailed Neb. climate study bill in 2013 

E&E • Posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014

In Nebraska last year, partisan politics got in the way of a state-run study that would have assessed potential climate change impacts. In January 2013, state Sen. Ken Haar (D) introduced a bill for climate researchers to analyze the effects climate change will have on Nebraska. But the measure was quickly dragged down after Sen. Beau McCoy (R) tacked on an amendment that would require any research under the bill to be focused on “cyclical” climate changes, like volcanic eruptions, rather than man-made emissions.

Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General

Source: By ERIC LIPTON, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014

The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state. But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma’s biggest oiland gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon’s chief of lobbying.

For regulators, focus on Clean Power Plan quietly shifts from venting to compliance 

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014

As the dust settles in the wake of U.S. EPA’s comment deadline for its Clean Power Plan, state authorities who spent the last six months detailing technical questions and contentions with the draft rule are increasingly turning their attention toward the specifics of potential compliance pathways. A group of state energy officials and electric and air regulators are meeting behind closed doors in the Washington, D.C., area yesterday and today to discuss how energy efficiency programs could help states achieve required carbon emissions reductions, according to a meeting agenda.

Reid to senators: Brace for long week

Source: By Ramsey Cox, The Hill • Posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned senators that this week could be a long one. “Next week could be a long, long week spilling into the next week,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday night. “We have imperative things we have to do.” The Nevada lawmaker said the Senate has to pass a government funding bill and a defense spending measure before adjourning for the year. He also said he hopes to pass a tax extenders package, but he wasn’t sure if that would be possible.The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act and a one-year retroactive tax extension bill this week, but still has to pass the “cromnibus” — legislation that will prevent a government shutdown after Dec. 11.

Will politics scuttle regional efforts to meet EPA CO2 targets? 

Source: Scott Detrow, E&E reporter • Posted: Saturday, December 6th, 2014

But at this week’s public comments show, there is a deep partisan divide over the wisdom — indeed, the legality — of requiring states to reduce their power sectors’ greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent. And if Republican governors refuse to cooperate with the rule, the end result may look a lot like the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In that scenario, the vast majority of Democratic-controlled states expanded Medicaid and created state-level health care exchanges, while most Republican states did nothing.

Pew’s Cuttino discusses outlook for clean energy incentives, state action on renewables policy 

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Friday, December 5th, 2014

As Washington lawmakers consider extending clean energy tax incentives, how are states faring on their renewables policies? During today’s OnPoint, Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program, discusses a new series of policy briefs analyzing state clean energy economies. Cuttino also weighs in on the heated congressional debate over the production tax credit.

Protesters the only hiccup for Obama’s FERC pick at Senate hearing 

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 5th, 2014

Despite the protest, Honorable appeared to face no political pushback at the hearing and is seen as a strong bipartisan pick, receiving approving nods today from both Republicans and Democrats on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including a letter of support from Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Landrieu — campaigning in Louisiana for the run-off election against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) — didn’t attend the hearing.

U.S. oil reserves hit 1975 levels, gas reserves set record — EIA 

Source: Jenny Mandel, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, December 5th, 2014

New U.S. oil and gas resources and a rebound in natural gas prices last year combined to push the nation’s proved oil and gas reserves to new highs in 2013, the Energy Information Administration announced today. Proved gas reserves went up 9.7 percent to reach a record 354 trillion cubic feet (tcf) at the end of 2013, EIA said in a new report, while proved crude oil and lease condensate reserves rose 9.3 percent to 36.5 billion barrels.