U.S. EPA’s air chief appeared to hint today that her agency might include language in its final version of the Clean Power Plan that would soften state carbon reduction responsibilities in the short term. In a post on EPA’s blog this afternoon, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe hit back at criticisms that the June 2 draft rule would be costly and affect grid reliability by citing her agency’s release in October of a document asking for comment on whether to loosen the proposal’s interim state targets.
Clean-energy programs initiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and governors before him have California already well on its way to meeting his new goals for reducing the use of climate-changing fossil fuels, industry experts and state officials said Tuesday. Pushing programs such as high-speed rail, for which Brown broke ground on Tuesday in Fresno; increasing the standard for gas-powered cars to 35 miles per gallon; and ramping up use of electric cars and other vehicles powered by alternative fuels would all help get California to Brown’s goals on time, state clean-air officials and industry representatives said.Brown set promotion of conservation programs and alternatives to oil, gas and coal as a priority for his fourth and final term in his inaugural speech on Monday.
After the drama of electing a new speaker of the House and the changing of control in the Senate, the House on Tuesday approved an obscure but significant rule change requiring the economic effects of legislation to be included in a bill’s official cost to the Treasury. The change on “dynamic scoring” — ardently sought since the 1990s by Republicans — could ease passage of major tax cuts by showing that their impact on economic growth would substantially reduce their cost to the Treasury.
U.S. EPA today struck back at Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe’s criticism of the agency’s landmark proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Tribe, a mentor to President Obama, called the proposal a “breathtaking example” of regulatory “overreach” in comments submitted to EPA on behalf of himself and Peabody Energy Corp., one of the world’s largest coal producers
The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition is urging President Obama to take the next steps to help states realize their wind energy potential. In a letter sent to Obama, Govs. Dennis Daugaard, R-S.D., and Jay Inslee, D-Wash., urged Obama to take immediate action to help the states harness the full potential of their wind energy resources. “We write to you again today to suggest actions that your administration can take to expand the nation’s wind energy production and improve the resilience of our energy system.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) proposed Monday to cut in half the gasoline and diesel fuel used by vehicles and get half the state’s electricity from renewable sources. Brown set out both proposals in his the inaugural address for his fourth term, as efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from California.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) today proposed requiring that his state’s energy mix include at least 50 percent renewables by 2030, among a host of environmental initiatives he floated in his inaugural address to state lawmakers. As Brown was sworn in for a historic fourth term, he vowed to continue a panoply of the state’s progressive energy policies: expanding distributed generation, rooftop solar, microgrids, energy storage and electric vehicles. In addition to the renewables goal, he proposed by 2030 doubling the efficiency of existing buildings and reducing use of petroleum in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent below today’s levels.
In a letter to President Obama today, North Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, the chairman and vice chairman of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition, urged the President to take steps to expand the nation’s wind energy development.
The Rock Island Clean Line would deliver 3,500-megawatts of wind-generated electricity from northwest Iowa to Illinois and other states to the east using overhead transmission lines. It would begin in O’Brien County in northwest Iowa and cut across 16 counties, crossing into Illinois just north of the Quad Cities. Construction of the 500-mile line across Iowa and Illinois is expected to cost $2 billion, and is projected to enable $7 billion in future wind energy development.
Wind power was the leading source of new electric generating capacity brought online in November, with 333 megawatts out of 873 megawatts of new capacity coming from wind power, according to a monthly FERC update.