News

Another Avenue to Reach Policy Makers: Taxicabs

Source: By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Sierra Club also has a history of zeroing in on the Metro station that makes the most sense for its current mission. When the State Department was considering the Keystone XL pipeline, the group placed ads in the Foggy Bottom station, near the department’s headquarters. When the House was holding up a bill on a tax credit for wind energy, the group ran ads in the Capitol South station, on the House side of the hill. “We’re bringing our message directly to where the decision makers, to where the influential, are,” said Melinda Pierce, the legislative director of the Sierra Club.

Germany gets more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources

Source: Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Germany is now getting 28.5 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass, said the utility lobby BDEW. According to the lobby’s preliminary estimates, the amount of power from wind increased by 21.4 percent, while solar rose by 27.3 percent.

Stanford researchers claim major breakthrough in lithium battery design

Source: Henry Gass, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 31st, 2014

A team of Stanford University researchers, including former Energy Secretary Steven Chu, believes it has achieved the “holy grail” of lithium battery design: an anode of pure lithium that could boost the range of an electric car to 300 miles. Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most common types of rechargeable batteries on the market today. But most of the batteries — found in technologies like smartphones and electric cars — use an anode made of graphite or silicon.

Witnesses rumble over EPA power rule’s consequences

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 31st, 2014

A House panel today tussled over whether U.S. EPA’s premier greenhouse gas rule is an illegal effort by the Obama administration to reshape the electric power system or a stimulus for new industries.Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who heads a House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee, blasted the existing power plant proposal as a bid by EPA to “take control of our nation’s electric system without any legal or scientific justification.” “The rule has the potential to shut down power plants across the nation, raise energy prices and threaten energy security,” she said.

Grid reliability is among many FERC concerns about EPA carbon proposal — testimony

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The proposed U.S. EPA rules to limit carbon emissions at existing power plants could require an overhaul of how grid operators line up electricity supply, causing significant confusion in power markets, according to federal energy regulators. Philip Moeller, a Republican commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, confirmed that switching electric markets to power dispatch based on lowest carbon emissions instead of the current system that is based on lowest-priced supply would require approval from FERC and “a complete redesign of markets to include essentially a carbon fee on any resources that emit carbon dioxide,” according to his answers to preliminary questions to the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power. Tony Clark, another Republican commissioner, made similar points in his preliminary answers.

Lawmakers spar on warming as EPA hearings heat up

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The most important climate change hearing in town today will be held miles down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol Building, but the listening session on U.S. EPA’s marquee carbon rule is still drawing plenty of congressional interest. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a sponsor of the carbon dioxide cap-and-trade bill that cleared the House in 2009, will be among the first to testify on the existing power plant proposal this morning as the two-day listening session begins. Markey commended EPA in prepared remarks for a draft rule that he said would make sure “millions of Americans are healthier” and create jobs. But he blasted Republicans for attacking the rule on economic grounds.

Green hoopla dominates start of EPA hearings on carbon rule

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Hundreds of supporters of the Obama administration’s flagship climate change rule turned the grounds around the U.S. EPA headquarters into a green carnival this morning as the agency opened the first public hearings on the proposal in Washington, D.C. Stoking enthusiasm outside the William Jefferson Clinton Building was Ben & Jerry’s, which handed out free cookie dough and fudge ice cream to rule backers — notably children organized by the Moms Clean Air Task Force. The group is also staging “play-ins” at the other three EPA listening sessions this week in Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh.

Grassley files amendments to restore wind, biodiesel tax credits

Source: By Timothy Cama, The Hill.com • Posted: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

en. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Monday that he had proposed amendments that would restore the tax credits for wind energy and biodiesel production. Both measures would amend the Bring Jobs Home Act, which seeks to discourage outsourcing jobs by ending certain tax credits. The wind and biodiesel incentives, popular in Iowa because they benefits industries common to the state, expired last year.

Capitol Hill takes on warming as EPA preps for listening sessions

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 28th, 2014

U.S. EPA won’t be alone in holding climate change hearings this week. Three congressional committees will also mull the issue, which has been characterized as both the gravest challenge facing future generations and — in the words of Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) — “the greatest hoax ever to be perpetrated on the American people.”

House seeks FERC fact check on grid reliability under EPA proposed carbon rule

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, July 28th, 2014

“Safe, reliable and affordable” is the mantra of the regulators and utilities of the nation’s electricity grid that is at the heart of the U.S. economy. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power is turning to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for answers in a hearing tomorrow as to whether U.S. electricity will still be safe, reliable and affordable if the recently proposed U.S. EPA regulations on carbon emissions at existing power plants are enacted.