Voters in 11 swing states said they would prefer that U.S. EPA set new standards for carbon emissions rather than leaving the task to Congress, according to a survey out today. While the Hart Research Associates poll of 1,013 likely voters, commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters, found strong public support for new regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions, it also showed that those polled would prefer the rules be set by bureaucrats, and not politicians.
Green California led the country in greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2012, according to an analysis of U.S. EPA’s recently released data. A wet year in 2011 ramped up hydropower generation in the state, which led to a relative drop in that renewable energy in 2012. The decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station also raised emissions, said Trevor Houser, a partner with the Rhodium Group and a former climate change adviser in the State Department.
House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) today took Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to task for failing to respond to his concerns about an agency memo that called on the nation’s four power marketing administrations to invest in transmission upgrades and clean energy and to address cybersecurity. At issue is a controversial memo that then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu released last year that called on the Bonneville Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, Southeastern Power Administration and Southwestern Power Administration to leverage partnerships, rate-making power and financing to upgrade power lines and boost reliability and access for renewables.
Lawmakers are once again looking for ways to attract wind-energy producers to Nebraska. At least seven state lawmakers and Gov. Dave Heineman will speak next month at the annual Nebraska Wind Conference in Lincoln. The conference helps generate new ideas based on what has worked in other states, said John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union and an event organizer. Nebraska is the nation’s third-windiest state, but ranks 26th in the energy it could now produce, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Nebraska lags behind its neighboring states: Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas.
Vermont’s governor said Wednesday that he wants to better coordinate a regional effort to exploit renewable energy resources. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said after touring the headquarters of ISO New England, the company that manages the regional power grid, that the region’s power operators need to work together to incorporate the growing renewable energy market into the power grid.
As she was pondering in recent weeks whether to support Ron Binz, President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) got advice from a variety of top aides, including one who had dealt with Binz years earlier.
Carbon dioxide emissions declined both nationwide and in Texas last year, but the Lone Star State still leads the country in greenhouse gas pollution, according to a federal report released Wednesday. The decrease is largely due to a shift from burning coal to natural gas and a slight drop in electricity production. Using data from more than 8,000 facilities required to report their carbon emissions to the agency, the results showed a 4.5 percent drop in emissions nationwide
Environmental, consumer and automaker groups yesterday praised eight states for teaming up to push sales of electric cars, even as some warned there are roadblocks in the market. The agreement announced yesterday among California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont sets a goal of putting 3.3 million zero emission vehicles, or ZEVs, on the road within a dozen years. That’s more than 50 times the current 65,000 now in those states (Greenwire, Oct. 24)
Pro-coal groups and lawmakers are planning a blitz tomorrow against U.S. EPA rules affecting the industry, particularly a proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants and another expected to extend such scrutiny to existing generators. The effort will include hearings, the release of draft legislation and a Capitol Hill rally to highlight the harm they say the rules would do to coal country.
West Coast state and provincial governments plan to make an announcement about their climate policies early next week. Representatives of California, Oregon, Washington state and the Canadian province of British Columbia will make an announcement Monday afternoon at a meeting of the Pacific Coast Collaborative in San Francisco, officials from California and Washington said.