News

DOE: Uncertainty looms as Trump team moves in

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, November 18th, 2016

A week after President-elect Donald Trump clinched a White House victory, his looming presidency is still causing shudders among Energy Department staffers unsure of what the future holds. “It’s chaos, no one knows what … is going on,” said one career staffer who has worked on clean technology at DOE since the beginning of the Obama administration and asked not to be named. “Many of my peers do not agree with basically anything the Trump campaign stands for, and [wonder] what kind of people they will appoint. And so many of us are inclined to leave.”

States ask Trump to restrain but not eliminate EPA

Source: Dylan Brown, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, November 18th, 2016

The heads of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, North Dakota Department of Health and Environment, and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection penned a letter to Trump yesterday. “Our country still needs the EPA, but not the EPA of recent years,” they wrote.

Election puts change in the wind on Minn. energy policy

Source: By Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio • Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

President-elect Trump has rejected climate change science and has promised to roll back policies and agreements aimed at reducing carbon emissions. But a major energy transition is already well under way in Minnesota. We’re a top-10 state for wind energy production, and solar panels are going up everywhere. The state’s biggest utility, Xcel Energy, plans to shutter two giant coal-fired power generators at its Sherco plant within ten years and recently showed off a 1,000-acre solar project just north of the Twin Cities.

Developers say transmission can be part of Trump’s infrastructure plan

Source: By  Stephanie Tsao, SNL • Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

U.S. transmission developers need to show that electric transmission can be part of Donald Trump’s growth and infrastructure plan in order to engage the new administration, developers said Nov. 15. One important thing to show is that transmission is infrastructure, Robert McKee, American Transmission Co. LLC director of regulatory relations and policy, said during the keynote address of the TransForum East conference held in Washington, D.C.

Subsidy-Reliant Offshore Wind Steals Skills, Ideas From Big Oil

Source: By Nikolaj Skydsgaard, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

From a helicopter, it looks like just another North Sea oil rig, a grey cube supported by massive yellow pillars, 90 kilometers (56 miles) off western Denmark. But the DanTysk facility is the world’s first accommodation platform for offshore wind, which is borrowing techniques and labour from the crisis-hit oil sector as it tries to cut costs and end an addiction to state subsidies.

U.S. Companies to Trump: Don’t Abandon Global Climate Deal

Source: By HIROKO TABUCHI, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Hundreds of American companies, including Mars, Nike, Levi Strauss and Starbucks, have urged President-elect Donald J. Trump not to abandon the Paris climate deal, saying a failure by the United States to build a clean economy endangers American prosperity. In a plea addressed to Mr. Trump — as well as President Obama and members of Congress — 365 companies and major investors emphasized their “deep commitment to addressing climate change,” and demanded that he leave in place low-emissions policies in the United States.

Global green energy growth seen weathering Trump storm, for now

Source: By Nina Chestney and Christoph Steitz, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Renewable energy will keep growing in the next few years as costs drop and coal use continues to fall, despite U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to revive the fossil fuel, investors and analysts said. Trump has said he wants to boost the U.S. coal, oil and shale industries and has threatened to leave a global climate deal called the Paris Agreement, which aims to phase out net greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century

Clean Power Is Too Hot for Even Trump to Cool

Source: By Matthew Philips, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, November 17th, 2016

One reason is timing. The biggest economic incentives for clean energy are federal tax credits for solar and wind projects. Both were set to expire at the end of last year, prompting a surge in investments as companies raced to get in under the deadline. In December, Congress unexpectedly extended both credits (for solar until 2021 and for wind until 2019) as part of a deal to lift the 40-year-old ban on U.S. oil exports. It’s not clear that Trump will try to persuade Congress to repeal the extensions. Wind power is especially popular across the Midwest, a Republican stronghold; in many cases it’s become cheaper than other sources of grid power.

Ark. wades into net-metering debate

Source: Edward Klump, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

The state-by-state tussle over rooftop solar has arrived in Arkansas, where the future of net metering will play out over the next 12 to 18 months. State lawmakers got the ball rolling last year when they passed legislation to adjust aspects of Arkansas’ net-metering regime, which uses a retail rate to credit customers for excess power sent to the grid. The Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) is now working through a two-part proceeding on the matter.

Green groups petition to bar Ebell from EPA

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

More than 57,000 people have signed a petition asking the White House to prevent Myron Ebell from leading the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump’s U.S. EPA. The White House has agreed to provide an official written response to the We the People petition within 60 days if it gets 100,000 signatures by Dec. 9.