News

Climate Won’t Be the Only Priority for Democrats in Pruitt Hearing

Source: By Jack Fitzpatrick, Morning Consult • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt will face more scrutiny over air toxicity and possible conflicts of interest than over the polarizing topic of climate change during his confirmation hearing next week, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told reporters Thursday. Questions about Pruitt’s opposition to the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards could come from embers of both parties more than the topic of climate change, Whitehouse said after a press conference on Pruitt’s nomination.

Not even Trump can easily reverse our progress on climate change

Source: By David Ignatius, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

“There’s no question that we are moving to a lower-carbon economy,” Moniz said in an interview in his Washington office. “What’s happening is largely a market-driven phenomenon. . . . There is no status quo ante.” Moniz is an example of the brainpower and expertise that will walk out the door when the Obama administration leaves office Friday. He’s a nuclear physicist for MIT who has been involved in government energy projects for two decades.

Trump’s Tax Reform Will Threaten Wind-Financing Deals, Spur M&A

Source: By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Lower taxes would drive down businesses liabilities. The aggregate U.S. corporate tax liability would plunge as much as 57 percent, if the rate falls to 15 percent, or by 28 percent if the rate is reduced to 25 percent rate, according to the Marathon report. That could significantly curb businesses’ need for tax credits. It would also drag down wind developers’ after-tax internal rates of returns, by 80 basis point to 240 basis points, Marathon determined.

Scientists have a new way to calculate what global warming costs. Trump’s team isn’t going to like it.

Source: By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

How we view the costs of future climate change, and more importantly how we quantify them, may soon be changing. A much-anticipated new report, just released by the National Academy of Sciences, recommends major updates to a federal metric known as the “social cost of carbon” — and its suggestions could help address a growing scientific concern that we’re underestimating the damages global warming will cause.

Wyoming Bill Would All But Outlaw Clean Energy by Preventing Utilities From Using It

Source: BY ZAHRA HIRJI, Inside Climate News • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

While many U.S. states have mandates and incentives to get more of their electricity from renewable energy, Republican legislators in Wyoming are proposing to cut the state off from its most abundant, clean resource—wind—and ensuring its continued dependence on coal. A new measure submitted to the Wyoming legislature last week would forbid utilities from providing any electricity to the state that comes from large-scale wind or solar energy projects by 2019. It’s an unprecedented attack on clean energy in Wyoming, and possibly the nation. And it comes at a time when such resources are becoming cheaper and increasingly in demand as the world seeks to transition to clean energy to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

American wind jobs crack 100,000 according to DOE

Source: By AWEA • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Wind power employs just over 100,000 Americans according to new data released today by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), more than work at nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants. These wind jobs can be found across the nation. According to DOE, Texas is home to nearly 25 percent of American wind workers. Substantially more growth is possible. According to DOE’s earlier Wind Vision report, 380,000 American wind jobs could be created by 2030.

It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle.

Source: By JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

More than 92,000 wind turbines have been built across the country, capable of generating 145 gigawatts of electricity, nearly double the capacity of wind farms in the United States. One out of every three turbines in the world is now in China, and the government is adding them at a rate of more than one per hour. But some of its most ambitious wind projects are underused. Many are grappling with a nationwide economic slowdown that has dampened demand for electricity. Others are stymied by persistent favoritism toward the coal industry by local officials and a dearth of transmission lines to carry electricity from rural areas in the north and west to China’s fastest-growing cities.

Bill would penalize utilities for wind-generated electricity for Wyoming customers

Source: By Heather Richards, Wyoming Star Trubune • Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

A bill proposed by six state lawmakers would charge utilities a penalty if they use wind or solar energy to provide Wyoming consumers with electricity. If Senate File 71 were law, there would be six permissible resources for generating electricity for Wyomingites, including natural gas and coal. Wind and solar are not on the list, except for individual use. Utilities would have a year to reach the first compliance milestone of the bill, in which each company would have to get 95 percent of its Wyoming-sold energy from the approved resources.

Opinion: Republicans want to fight climate change, but fossil-fuel bullies won’t let them

Source: By Sheldon Whitehouse, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Talking to my Senate Republican colleagues about climate change is like talking to prisoners about escaping. The conversations are often private, even furtive. One told me, “Let’s keep talking, but you can’t let my staff know.” The dirty secret is that climate change is not really a partisan issue in Congress.

Where are Colorado’s 62,000 clean energy jobs?

Source: By Cathy Proctor, The Business Journal • Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Colorado has 62,000 people working in the clean energy sector, according to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national nonpartisan business group. The “Clean Jobs Colorado” report said the jobs in 2015 were clustered in the counties along Colorado’s Front Range, including Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams, Douglas, Boulder, Larimer, Weld, El Paso and Mesa counties.