When lawmakers filed into the Capitol here in August, they were repeating a familiar scene. North Dakota was in the throes of an oil bust after a six-year drilling boom that transformed parts of the state. The price of oil had been in free fall, state revenue was down almost one-fourth and the state’s primary savings account was almost empty. Now they had assembled for a three-day special session to decide the winners and losers. Would they cut the road budget? Schools? Nursing homes?
After President Barack Obama’s two terms, business and environmental groups see a game-changing election on energy. Donald Trump has vowed to ramp up oil and gas production even further, while rolling back Obama policies aimed at slowing climate change and boosting renewable energy. Hillary Clinton says she will expand Obama’s climate policies and push even harder for renewable energy such as wind and solar power that have gained under Obama. Meanwhile, Clinton’s comment that she is going to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” has become a rallying cry for the GOP.
The head of the World Resources Institute last night applauded Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her cautious, careful rollout of a climate agenda. “If we’re going to make the progress that we need, the ridiculous politicization of the issue in this country needs to change,” CEO Andrew Steer said during a panel discussion at the group’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Elon Musk showcased his ambitions to make Tesla Motors Inc. a clean-energy behemoth Friday, unveiling a new “solar-roof” product at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California. As the sun set, Musk told hundreds of guests gathered in an outside courtyard on the “Desperate Housewives” set that Tesla and SolarCity Corp., the company that he chairs and which he aims to acquire, will make solar roofs that look better than normal roofs. He then showcased several houses with solar tiles gracefully embedded. Because the tiles are fully integrated into the roofs, many guests in attendance could not tell that they were solar.
A watchdog group is calling on the attorney general of Texas to investigate alleged “false and misleading acts” by the solar industry in marketing and selling panels to consumers. In a letter this week to Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), the Campaign for Accountability said it identified 12 companies in the state that it says either misled consumers about the savings from solar power or provided inadequate service.
Senate energy conferees have sent a proposed conference report to their House counterparts, as the two chambers ready a lame-duck push to complete the first comprehensive energy bill in nearly a decade.
Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla, a maker of luxury plug-in electric vehicles, earns state-issued credits for making electric cars. California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) requires automakers selling in the Golden State to make a growing number of zero-emission vehicles. Automakers that fail to manufacture enough so-called ZEVs can buy environmental credits from other automakers
Wind energy developers added 895 megawatts of new production capacity in the third quarter of 2016. The latest industry data released yesterday reflect a 44 percent drop from the same period in 2015, but more than the total capacity added in the first half of this year. It reveals an industry entering a phase of slower but steadier growth after two-plus years of recovery from a near collapse in 2013, when the industry’s primary federal tax credit lapsed.
Tom Wakely thinks it’s time for Mr. Smith to leave Washington. Wakely (D) is running against Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the influential chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Smith disputes the existence of climate change and — in response to investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp. by the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general — came to Exxon’s defense this year by issuing his own subpoenas to the attorneys general.
The Interior Department will hold an auction in December that could bring offshore wind farms within a few dozen miles of New York City. Just under 80,000 acres of federal waters, located south of Long Island, will be made available in the auction, which is co-coordinated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The area has the potential for 800 megawatts or more, according to state officials. It’s the first in New York to be officially designated for offshore wind.