News

Democrats offer green bank bills

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

House Democrats are attempting to revive an approach to mobilizing private financing for clean energy projects by establishing a national green bank. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, led seven colleagues in introducing the bill, H.R. 4522. A similar idea was included in the greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill that passed the House in 2009, but efforts to revive it have been largely dormant since then.

Mars Partners With Sumitomo on 200-Megawatt Wind Farm in Texas

Source: By Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Mars Inc., the closely held maker of M&M’s candies and Uncle Ben’s rice, will partner withSumitomo Corporation of Americas on a 200-megawatt wind farm in Texas. Mars will receive all the renewable energy certificates from the 118-turbine wind farm to offset energy use at its entire U.S. operations, the McLean, Virginia-based company said in a statement. The “Mesquite Creek Wind” farm was developed by Sumitomo and BNB Renewable Energy Holdings and is scheduled to start running in the second quarter of 2015, the companies said in the statement yesterday.

White House set to approve multistate line over DOD objections — N.M. officials

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

New Mexico leaders say they’ve been told that the Obama administration is set to approve routing a contested power line project near an Army missile testing range, a move that they say will put the range’s mission at risk and weaken national security. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) issued a statement late yesterday saying his office has learned that the White House is set to announce that it will allow developers of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Line Project to route a roughly 35-mile section of the New Mexico-to-Arizona line through restricted airspace just north of the White Sands Missile Range.

Berkshire’s energy unit to buy Canada’s AltaLink for $2.9 bln

Source: Reuters • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s energy unit said on Thursday it will buy AltaLink, Canada’s regulated electricity transmission company, from SNC-Lavalin Group Inc for about $2.9 billion in cash. AltaLink will operate as a separate company under Berkshire Hathaway Energy with its current name and will continue to be headquartered in Calgary, the two companies said in separate statements.

Shift away from fossil fuels will be wrenching, risky, ‘ugly’ and ultimately necessary — author

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Shifting the global economy from its long dependence on fossil fuels will not follow a smooth trajectory where corporations, financial markets and other stakeholders systematically and logically adjust to new realities, regulations and economic pressures. Rather, it will be the kind of “chaotic, messy, ugly and effective” transformation that characterized almost all past market upheavals, author and climate activist Paul Gilding told several hundred climate-conscious investors gathered here this week.

Former EPA senior policy counsel Sussman discusses agency’s challenges to meeting existing source rule deadline

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

With recent budget and personnel changes at U.S. EPA, does the agency have adequate resources in place to meet President Obama’s aggressive Climate Action Plan deadlines? During today’s OnPoint, Robert Sussman, former senior policy counsel at EPA, discusses the future of the existing source standard and subsequent state planning. Sussman also explains how this week’s Supreme Court ruling on EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule could foreshadow the court’s future consideration of Clean Air Act cases.

Obama to renominate LaFleur to second term

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 2nd, 2014

President Obama announced his intention last night to renominate Democrat Cheryl LaFleur to another five years on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, pleasing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. LaFleur, once rumored to be a potential presidential pick to lead the agency, has been serving as acting chairwoman since former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff officially stepped down last year. Her term was slated to expire next month.

Steyer and Bloomberg diverge on fracking

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 1st, 2014

In a New York Times op-ed published today, Bloomberg and Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp staked out a middle ground on fracking that emphasizes “strong rules and enforcement” in order to mitigate legitimate local resistance to a fossil fuel extraction method that “is indeed lowering energy costs, creating new jobs, boosting domestic manufacturing and delivering some measurable environmental benefits.” In his own October column on the topic, Steyer called for tabling any discussion about fracking’s emissions upside until oil and gas producers begin “paying their fair share” in taxes and royalties.

Group plans lawsuit against Interior rule that ‘gambles recklessly’ with eagles

Source: Scott Streater, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A leading bird conservation group has notified the Obama administration that it intends to sue over a rule for renewable energy projects that would permit injuring, killing or disturbing bald eagles for up to 30 years. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) today sent a notice of intent to sue to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe saying the group plans to take legal action against the Interior Department and FWS over the revised eagle “take” rule announced in December 2013 and implemented earlier this year.

Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy adopts Berkshire name

Source: BY JONATHAN STEMPEL, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s energy unit has changed its name to Berkshire Hathaway Energy from MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co, the largest of a growing list of businesses to adopt the name of the company run by billionaire Warren Buffett. The change “reflects the benefits we gain from Berkshire Hathaway’s ownership, particularly our ability to reinvest in our businesses and take a long-term view of our customers’ needs,” Greg Abel, the unit’s chief executive, said in a statement on Wednesday. MidAmerican’s new name also reflects a recent trend in which the company Buffett took over in 1965, when it was a failing textile maker, sees its name planted on an array of units.