News

Net-metering amendment rankles power sector

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Top utility groups have come out against an amendment to the Senate’s energy bill that aims to limit state regulators from imposing new rates for net-metering policies. In a letter sent to senators, the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association warn the amendment by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “would impose prescriptive electricity policies on the states and on certain localities and would intrude on critical retail electric service decisions that are — and have always been — subject to the authority of states, localities and rural electric cooperatives.”

Senate rebuffs monument limits, efficiency standard

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

The Senate is working its way through a mini vote-a-rama this afternoon, as the chamber looks to complete work on its bipartisan energy package later this week. Senators yesterday afternoon voted on eight of 257 amendments filed to the energy bill, S. 2012. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said this afternoon that negotiations were underway for roll call votes on another tranche of amendments tomorrow.

Supreme Court’s FERC opinion offers clues about next big case

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Energy experts are mining a major Supreme Court decision issued yesterday for clues about what it could mean for another high-stakes energy market case pending before the justices. Both cases hinge on federal versus state management of power markets.

BP Cites Lower Oil Prices in $3.3 Billion Loss

Source: By STANLEY REED, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Showing the effects of lower oil prices, BP on Tuesday reported a loss of $3.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2015. The London-based oil producer lost $4.4 billion in the comparable period in 2014, when falling oil prices led to large inventory write-offs. For all of 2015, BP said it lost $6.48 billion, compared with a profit of $3.78 billion in 2014. BP blamed the loss primarily on sharply lower oil and gas prices. The company also said it wrote down the value of its oil and gas assets by $1.6 billion in the quarter.

Germany leads Europe in offshore wind energy growth

Source: By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian • Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Germany has overtaken the UK in the rate at which it is installing wind turbines at sea, industry figures show. Globally, wind installations grew by 25% in 2014, reaching a landmark 62,000 MW of capacity, according to a separate report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

N.D. joins appeal to Supreme Court

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

North Dakota has joined more than two dozen other states in pressing the Supreme Court to put the brakes on the Obama administration’s signature climate change rule. On Friday, the state filed a motion with Chief Justice John Roberts, asking his court to freeze U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan as litigation challenging the rule plays out in a lower court. The application comes on the heels of several similar petitions filed last week by dozens of states and industry groups. Roberts has asked the Obama administration to respond to those requests by Thursday afternoon.

GOP looks for path forward on energy bill amendments

Source: By Devin Henry, The Hill • Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Senators have filed nearly 200 amendments to the energy policy rewrite bill currently being considered on the Senate floor, and GOP leaders say they are “redoubling” their efforts to work through the list this week. Lawmakers approved 11 amendments to the bill last week, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a bill cosponsor and the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said Monday that members should expect many other amendments to hit the floor this week.

Senate to vote on monuments, efficiency standard

Source: Geof Koss and Hannah Hess, E&E reporters • Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The conservative American Energy Alliance yesterday announced it would count three pending amendments when calculating lawmaker voting record tallies. AEA is opposed to an amendment by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), which has the backing of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), to limit the ability of state regulators to alter net-metering policies.

Gigantic Wind Turbine With 650 Foot Blades Will Channel the Power of Hurricanes

Source: By Maddie Stone, Gizmodo • Posted: Monday, February 1st, 2016

The DOE wants to step up its wind energy game in a big way. And I mean big. Sandia National Laboratories has been tasked with the challenge of designing an offshore wind turbine that can spin out 50 megawatts of carbon-free juice—using 650 foot blades that harness the fiercest winds on Earth.

Comment: Branstad’s support of wind energy drives economy

Source: By John Boorman, Des Moines Register • Posted: Monday, February 1st, 2016

Iowans are plenty familiar with the drill going on right now: Candidates from both sides of the aisle traverse our state, promising different ways they’ll help enrich our families and businesses. But let’s take a moment to thank one man with a 30-year history of delivering on those promises: Gov. Terry Branstad. In particular, Branstad’s strong, consistent support of wind energy has driven economic growth, created thousands of jobs and delivered billions of dollars to our state.