Senate energy conferees continue to try to get the House to reach a deal on the reform package, which appeared to be hanging by a thread this afternoon. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) this morning cast doubt about the prospects for an agreement, signaling negotiations weren’t going smoothly and promising a decision “very soon”
President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, met on Monday with the climate-activist extraordinaire Al Gore, offering environmental activists a glimmer of hope that the Trump administration’s policies will moderate from his campaign pledges to scrap all efforts to stem the warming of the planet.
The CR does not include tax credit extensions for combined heat and power, small wind, geothermal heat pumps and other technologies left out of last year’s spending deal. For months, various industries have lobbied Capitol Hill, saying the failure to extend credits by the end of the year could lead to widespread layoffs and a collapse in sales for many technologies
California Democrats have clinched a two-thirds supermajority in the state Legislature, a win that’s expected to breathe new life into the drive to bolster a landmark climate program. Democrats secured a two-thirds margin in the Senate last week when final vote counts showed Democrat Josh Newman defeated Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) in a district located mostly in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. The party had nabbed the supermajority in the Assembly a week earlier.
Iowa did generate over 35 percent of its electricity using wind power over the last year, despite the confusion in Jerry Crew’s Nov. 19 letter. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects data showing all power plants in Iowa generated a total of 54,176 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from September 2015 through August 2016, and wind plants provided more than 35 percent of that total: 19,148 GWh.
Demand for renewable energy such as wind and solar is increasing and now accounts for half of all new electric capacity, said Deb Frodl, executive director of GE’s Ecomagination business, which focuses on environmental strategy. GE’s potential market for power plant equipment sales more than doubled to $53 billion a year with the 2015 acquisition of power assets from Alstom SA, McElhinney said.
The scope of the House and Senate energy reform bill conference talks continues to shrink, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said today. Energy discussions between the two chambers are coming down to the wire. Efforts to extend a key renewable energy tax break are also stalled, the Nevada Democrat said.
Congress is on track to pass stopgap spending legislation this week that will avoid a government shutdown Friday by extending federal funding through April 28, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said last night. The text of the stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), is expected to be released today. The House would pass the bill by Thursday with the Senate expected to act on it by no later than Friday. Both chambers are then due to adjourn the 114th Congress.
Speculation over whether Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will be named ambassador to China ramped up Saturday as the governor prepares for an economic development trip to New York later this week. The Independent Journal Review reported Branstad is scheduled to meet with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the position during the trip, which was previously planned. However, the governor’s spokesman, Ben Hammes, said in an email that no meeting with the Trump transition team has been scheduled.
Republicans who support clean energy touted bipartisan support for renewables in a post-election poll released Wednesday, but said they did not ask voters about climate change because the topic turns off so many Republican voters. A survey by Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, conducted for the Conservative Energy Network, found that strong majorities supported increasing their states’ use of wind, solar, and hydropower, while a plurality supported the increased use of natural gas, and a majority opposed the increased use of coal. Even loyal Republicans who were supportive of coal were also supportive of increased natural gas and renewables.