News

Renewable energy draws increasing Republican support. That could shift climate politics.

Source: By David Roberts, VOX • Posted: Sunday, February 19th, 2017

The letters themselves are not that big a deal — the coalition has been around for several years and sent many similar letters to Obama — but they are evidence of a robust, enduring strain of bipartisanship on this issue (one that, unlike the carbon tax, commands support from more-than-zero Republican officeholders). The difference is simple. Climate change is, to most people, entirely an abstraction, a matter of tribal positioning. Some states and cities are beginning to face practical effects of warming, and of course all of them ought to be planning for it in coming decades, but in practice, very few individuals or elected officials feel it as an immediate concern. There’s little cost to ideological posturing. Renewable energy is different. It is a burgeoning business, attracting both white collar and manufacturing jobs, channeling investment to parts of these states that haven’t seen much economic development recently, and reducing electricity rates.

Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as E.P.A. Head

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, February 19th, 2017

The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt on Friday to run the Environmental Protection Agency, putting a seasoned legal opponent of the agencyat the helm of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle major regulations on climate change and clean water — and to cut the size and authority of the government’s environmental enforcer.

Proposed Legislation To Limit Wind Farms Around Military Bases Will Cost Jobs, Hurt Rural Economies

Source: By Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Forbes • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Despite these undeniable advantages, the future of U.S. wind energy in the United States has recently been threatened by proposed legislation – at both the state and national level – to limit the amount of wind turbines that could be installed near U.S. military bases.

Paradigm Shift: Wind Energy Can Be the New Baseload

Source: By Kelley Welf, Morning Consult   • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Exciting news came at a recent energy policy forum in Minnesota when David Saggau, CEO of Great River Energy, which provides energy to 28 electric co-ops in Minnesota, stated that he sees wind quickly becoming the new baseload. “In the past, we tended to think of our coal resources as baseload and every other resource being supplemental to that,” said Saggau. “I would suggest to you that wind is quickly becoming the new baseload; and to be viable going forward, all other sources must be flexible enough to be supplemental to the wind.”

States jockey for jobs in nascent U.S. industry

Source: Saqib Rahim, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

To encourage the United States to get into the game, the Obama administration auctioned off 1 million acres of federal waters. Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina and even California are exploring the resource. But the offshore wind industry, and the environmentalists and labor unions that support it, has pressed for more. It has urged states to take after Europe: to commit to a large-scale, long-term pipeline of projects. The “magic number” for that pipeline remains debated. But advocates say it was that scale that helped drive down costs in Europe and birth the industry there.

Trump urged to back offshore

Source: By Renewable Energy News • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

A bipartisan coalition of 20 governors has called on President Donald Trump to help grow offshore wind energy in the US. In a letter sent by the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition (GWSC), they asked the Trump administration to adopt comprehensive long-term offshore wind development legislation. Specifically, the governors said a long-term extension of a 30% investment tax credit is “critical” to incentivise development.

EPA staff told to prepare for Trump executive orders: sources

Source: By David Shepardson, Timothy Gardner and Richard Valdmanis, Reuters • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been told that President Donald Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders to reshape the agency, to be signed once a new administrator is confirmed, two sources who attended the meeting told Reuters on Wednesday. A senior EPA official who had been briefed by members of the Trump administration mentioned the executive orders at a meeting of staffers in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel on Tuesday, but did not provide details about what the orders would say, said the sources, who asked not to be named.

E.P.A. Workers Try to Block Pruitt in Show of Defiance

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been calling their senators to urge them to vote on Friday against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s contentious nominee to run the agency, a remarkable display of activism and defiance that presages turbulent times ahead for the E.P.A. Many of the scientists, environmental lawyers and policy experts who work in E.P.A. offices around the country say the calls are a last resort for workers who fear a nominee selected to run an agency he has made a career out of fighting — by a president who has vowed to “get rid of” it.

Senate on Track to Confirm Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Friday, February 17th, 2017

Senate Republicans are poised to use their majority to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. A vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination is set for Friday, despite a call from Democrats for a delay. A judge in Oklahoma on Thursday ordered Pruitt, the state’s attorney general, to release thousands of his emails with oil and gas executives by next week. Pruitt has refused to release the emails for more than two years.

California demand for wind power energizes transmission firms

Source: By Nichola Groom, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2017

A firm controlled by Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and pro sports magnate, will soon build the largest wind farm in the United States to serve utilities in California, where officials have set ambitious green power goals. The $5 billion project, however, will be constructed 700 miles away in Wyoming, a state better known for coal mines and oil fields. The vast distance between the two states provides a different Anschutz-owned firm with another big opportunity: a $3 billion project building transmission lines to deliver the power – one of a dozen similar power-line projects by other companies across the West. In all, about 5,700 miles of transmission lines are in development with the goal of delivering renewable energy to California from other states, according to the Western Interstate Energy Board.