News

Study links power plant emissions to children’s health problems

Source: Daniel Lippman, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

China has been using coal-fired power to fuel its economic development for decades. But there have been both environmental and human costs to the air pollution it generated. A new study from Columbia University and the Chongqing Medical University finds that children born near a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang County in central China were slower to develop and had less of a key protein that is crucial for brain development. Researchers looked at two sets of children, one born while the coal plant was operating and one born after. The differences were dramatic. Babies born after the coal plant closed in May 2004 had lower exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are chemicals that are often produced from coal plants.

In Calif. and Nev., energy storage hits the rails

Source: Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

“They go up, they go down, Slinky fashion,” said Francesca Cava, chief operating officer at Advanced Rail Energy Storage North America, the company behind the Nevada project. “For the most part, the technology we’re using is over a hundred years old — we’re not waiting for any scientific breakthroughs to be profitable.”

Kansas Senate votes to repeal renewable energy standards

Source: By Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World • Posted: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

If approved by the House, the measure would go to Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican who is allied with legislative leaders and groups opposing the RPS. But in the past, Brownback has praised Kansas wind development. The RPS was the result of a controversial deal brokered in 2009 by then-Gov. Mark Parkinson. In return for passage of the RPS, Parkinson vowed to help clear the way for Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to get a permit for an 895-megawatt, coal-fired plant in western Kansas.

Full Kansas Senate votes to repeal renewable standards

Source: By Andy Marso, Topeka-Capital Journal • Posted: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, urged the Senate to not even take up the bill, Tuesday, noting that a survey showed widespread support for the standards and Gov. Sam Brownback has voiced support for the wind energy. But Americans For Prosperity has called repealing the standards one of its top priorities this session and bankrolled a controversial statewide radio and TV ad blitz attempting to tie the standards to former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the federal health care reform. Several senators who voted to repeal the standards said they did so because it was time for the alternative energy companies to “stand on their own two feet.”

NRDC’s Lashof discusses new data on economic, climate impacts of existing source proposal

Source: Monica Trauzzi, E&E • Posted: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

As U.S. EPA nears its June 1 deadline for releasing regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, stakeholders are aggressively pitching the agency on how best to craft its rule. During today’s OnPoint, Dan Lashof, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, discusses an updated analysis of the climate and economic impacts of NRDC’s widely publicized existing source recommendations.

Fight over state renewable energy standards renewed in Kansas Senate committee

Source: By Trevor Graff, KHI News Service • Posted: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

fight over state standards for renewable energy generation has returned to the Kansas Senate. The so-called Renewable Portfolio Standards were set in place in 2009 as part of a deal for Kansas to issue a construction permit for a Sunflower Electric Cooperative coal-fired power plant near Holcomb. But they have pitted free-market conservatives against the industry.

Md. Democrats at war over Chesapeake Bay project

Source: Josh Kurtz, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Already buffeted by competing political interests over a proposal to open a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Chesapeake Bay, leading Maryland Democrats now find themselves divided over a plan to install at least 25 wind energy turbines in the bay.

Meet Audra Parker, Cape Wind’s (second) worst enemy

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 24th, 2014

If you ask Cape Wind proponents about the president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, they’ll say you’re inquiring about the wrong person. “When you mention Audra Parker, you really want to be talking about Bill Koch,” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon, when questioned about her multiple attempts to block his proposed $2.5 billion, 130-turbine offshore wind project in Nantucket Sound. “She basically carries Bill Koch’s water.”

Sen. Whitehouse: Iowans must help set agenda on climate change in 2016

Source: Alison Sullivan, The Gazette • Posted: Monday, March 24th, 2014

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Iowa becomes the “political epicenter” with its first-in-the-nation caucuses leading up to the 2016 presidential election and called on Iowans to make candidates talk about the issue.

“I want to work with you to make sure Iowa is sending a strong message to every single presidential candidate that shows their face here: if you’re going to be credible in Iowa, you’ve got to be credible on climate change,” said Whitehouse, which received a round of applause from the more than 100 lawmakers and citizens in attendance at the Iowa Statehouse discussion.

Environmental groups see politics in rejection of N.J. offshore wind project

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 24th, 2014

The rejection of a New Jersey offshore wind pilot was met with boos, if not surprise, from state environmental groups and industry insiders, some of whom said Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) political ambitions may have been behind the decision. Fishermen’s Energy LLC planned to install a 25-megawatt, five-turbine project in waters about 3 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, which the developers aimed to complete by 2016. The demonstration project was one of seven under consideration by the Department of Energy to receive an additional $47 million grant later this spring.