The solar energy industry added tens of thousands of domestic jobs last year and will soon support almost twice as many jobs as the coal industry, according to a new report by nonprofit advocacy group the Solar Foundation. Solar companies added more than 31,000 jobs in 2014 and now employ about 173,000 workers nationwide, said the annual survey, released today.
California’s cap-and-trade program to cut carbon emissions should bring in more than $2.3 billion in the next fiscal year, not just the $1 billion that Gov. Jerry Brown budgeted, the state’s spending watchdog said yesterday. California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office reviewed the Democratic governor’s proposed spending plan for fiscal 2015-16. The LAO stipulated that revenue from cap and trade is “subject to substantial uncertainty.” It depends on how many allowances the state sells and their price at auction. Businesses buy those permits to cover their greenhouse gas pollution.
John Podesta is preparing to join Hillary Clinton’s political team as she considers jumping into the 2016 race for the White House. Podesta — President Obama’s counselor and top energy and environmental aide — anticipates playing a lead role in a possible Clinton campaign after he leaves the White House next month, a source familiar with Podesta’s plans told Greenwire today.
Rapid innovation and deployment of advanced batteries and other technologies that store wind, solar and other forms of distributed energy are expected to drive a 33-fold increase in the energy storage market over the next 10 years. It will expand from roughly $452 million last year to more than $16.5 billion in 2024, according to new findings from Navigant Research.
A new report from Oceana makes the case for offshore wind development along the East Coast, asserting it would create more jobs and energy than offshore drilling. The nonprofit hopes to influence the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as it decides whether to open the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas leasing in its 2017-22 leasing plan. The agency already allows companies to conduct oil and gas surveys, which use air gun blasts to narrow down the location and quantity of mineral deposits
On Monday, Baker announced three appointments in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs: Robert Hayden as commissioner of the Department of Public Utilities, Angela O’Connor as chairwoman of the DPU and Ron Gerwatowski as assistant secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Gerwatowski will serve under Secretary Matthew Beaton, a former Republican state representative.
Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington state has a moral obligation to address carbon pollution and used his State of the State address Tuesday to tout his recent proposal for a cap-and-trade program that requires the largest industrial polluters to pay for every ton of carbon they release. “We face many challenges, but it is the growing threat of carbon pollution that can permanently change the nature of Washington as we know it,” Inslee said in prepared remarks. Inslee said the state must meet a 2008 legislative mandate to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. The requirement sets an overall limit on heat-trapping gases similar to a program that California launched nearly three years ago.
Vice President Joe Biden is preparing to host a Caribbean energy security summit in Washington, D.C., later this month, the White House announced yesterday. Biden will welcome Caribbean heads of government, members of the private sector and other officials Jan. 26 at the event, aimed at promoting “a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, greater access to finance, and donor coordination,” according to the White House.
The White House is on the verge of another exodus of top environment and energy staffers. Mike Boots, the acting chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, plans to leave the administration in March, a CEQ spokeswoman said. His departure will come a month after President Obama’s top environmental aide, John Podesta, is slated to step down.
A coalition of utilities behind a $2 billion power line project are buying a family-owned Minnesota dairy farm, potentially setting a precedent for other farms along the line’s route. Cedar Summit Farm, which the Minar family has farmed since 1926, announced “with a heavy heart” last week that it will close this Friday or earlier if it runs out of its signature cream-topped, organic milk.