Obama admin OKs linking Canadian hydro to New England

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The high-voltage direct current transmission line is slated to run from the Canadian border at Alburgh, Vt., to Ludlow, Vt., along underwater and underground routes. The underwater portion will be buried in the bed of Lake Champlain. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said the project, when constructed, will help the region reduce carbon emissions and benefit ratepayers.

Senate trying to revive reform bill

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Senate energy conferees continue to try to get the House to reach a deal on the reform package, which appeared to be hanging by a thread this afternoon. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) this morning cast doubt about the prospects for an agreement, signaling negotiations weren’t going smoothly and promising a decision “very soon”

Trump’s Meeting With Al Gore Gives Environmental Activists Hope

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, met on Monday with the climate-activist extraordinaire Al Gore, offering environmental activists a glimmer of hope that the Trump administration’s policies will moderate from his campaign pledges to scrap all efforts to stem the warming of the planet.

Dems decry appropriations bill provisions but may be unable to change them

Source: George Cahlink, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The CR does not include tax credit extensions for combined heat and power, small wind, geothermal heat pumps and other technologies left out of last year’s spending deal. For months, various industries have lobbied Capitol Hill, saying the failure to extend credits by the end of the year could lead to widespread layoffs and a collapse in sales for many technologies

California Democrats capture supermajority. Will climate get a boost?

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

California Democrats have clinched a two-thirds supermajority in the state Legislature, a win that’s expected to breathe new life into the drive to bolster a landmark climate program. Democrats secured a two-thirds margin in the Senate last week when final vote counts showed Democrat Josh Newman defeated Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) in a district located mostly in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. The party had nabbed the supermajority in the Assembly a week earlier.

Letter to the Editor: Iowa generates 35 percent of electricity using wind

Source: By John Hensley, Iowa Farmer Today • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Iowa did generate over 35 percent of its electricity using wind power over the last year, despite the confusion in Jerry Crew’s Nov. 19 letter. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects data showing all power plants in Iowa generated a total of 54,176 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from September 2015 through August 2016, and wind plants provided more than 35 percent of that total: 19,148 GWh.

GE Power Sees Little Sales Impact if U.S. Quits Climate Deals

Source: By Alwyn Scott, Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Demand for renewable energy such as wind and solar is increasing and now accounts for half of all new electric capacity, said Deb Frodl, executive director of GE’s Ecomagination business, which focuses on environmental strategy. GE’s potential market for power plant equipment sales more than doubled to $53 billion a year with the 2015 acquisition of power assets from Alstom SA, McElhinney said.

Reform bill ‘getting smaller and smaller’ — Reid

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The scope of the House and Senate energy reform bill conference talks continues to shrink, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said today. Energy discussions between the two chambers are coming down to the wire. Efforts to extend a key renewable energy tax break are also stalled, the Nevada Democrat said.

Congress to vote on stopgap bill running through April 28

Source: George Cahlink, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Congress is on track to pass stopgap spending legislation this week that will avoid a government shutdown Friday by extending federal funding through April 28, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said last night. The text of the stopgap measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR), is expected to be released today. The House would pass the bill by Thursday with the Senate expected to act on it by no later than Friday. Both chambers are then due to adjourn the 114th Congress.

Terry Branstad to China? Ambassador chatter heats back up

Source: By Brianne Pfannenstiel, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, December 5th, 2016

Speculation over whether Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will be named ambassador to China ramped up Saturday as the governor prepares for an economic development trip to New York later this week. The Independent Journal Review reported Branstad is scheduled to meet with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the position during the trip, which was previously planned. However, the governor’s spokesman, Ben Hammes, said in an email that no meeting with the Trump transition team has been scheduled.