A new report from the Georgetown Climate Center shows that a dramatic shift to clean energy is taking place across the U.S. Between 2011 and 2014, installed wind energy capacity grew by more than 40 percent nationally, for example, while solar capacity grew by 577 percent nationally. “We are seeing significant progress in the growth of clean energy,” said Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center. “States are taking action to increase renewable energy, slash energy use, and reduce reliance on older, inefficient fossil-fuel power plants.”
Rep. Kevin Cramer, an ally of President-elect Donald Trump, believes Continental Resources Inc. CEO Harold Hamm should have the “right of first refusal” to become Energy secretary in the new administration. “If I can serve North Dakota in the House of Representatives with a friend in the White House and another good friend would become Energy secretary, I’d feel like I won the lottery,” the North Dakota Republican told reporters last evening.
Lawmakers had been expected to tackle the 11 remaining ones — including those funding the Interior and Energy departments and U.S. EPA — between now and Dec. 9, when a temporary continuing resolution expires. Another CR would leave most agencies operating for at least half of fiscal 2017, which began on Oct. 1, at fiscal 2016 levels with little room for fiscal maneuvering. They would also remain severely restricted from launching new programs or ending existing ones.
“There’s no reason to fight for a bill that the House leaders didn’t like that much in the first place,” he said. Book put the odds of a lame-duck energy deal at 30 percent. Before the election, ClearView gave a deal a 60 percent chance. Nonetheless, lobbyists last week said the uphill fight to see a host of credits extended in the next Congress may prompt lawmakers to clear the decks of outstanding extenders in the coming weeks.
The mystery hangs over turbine manufacturers like Vestas Wind Systems, which fell 12 percent since the election, and coal companies such as Peabody Energy Corp., which soared 73 percent. In his only major energy speech, Trump, 70, said he would rescind “job-destroying” environmental regulations within 100 days of taking office and revive U.S. coal. It’s terrible news for efforts to slow the pace of climate change, but the impact on the renewable energy revolution may be limited. Here’s what it could mean for America’s clean-energy darling, Tesla Motors Inc.:
What Trump does support is an overhaul of the tax code, sparking fears among wind and solar supporters that the industry’s tax credits could make way for other kinds of giveaways, such as Trump’s calls for reducing the corporate tax rate and the top income tax bracket. Congress agreed last year to extend the wind and solar credits for five years — while phasing them down — but Trump may upend that arrangement. One Trump supporter who opposes the tax breaks thinks they may be safe for now, however, at least because of support from Republicans in windy and sunny states.
“Lots of threats of this kind have come in the past,” said Jody Freeman, a Harvard Law School professor and former climate adviser to President Obama. “Virtually every Republican administration comes in and says they want to deregulate. But when the rubber hits the road, there is little of it.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is considering industry consultant Ed Davis to lead the government’s top nuclear office and Fluor Corp. executive Paul Longworth to oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, a source advising the transition effort said. Davis and Longworth are part of hundreds of names Trump’s team is circulating and vetting as it assigns potential new managers for the government’s sprawling agencies, national labs and weapons complex. The team is working within six branches — choosing leaders for defense, national security, the economy, domestic issues, the budget, and agency “transform and innovation,” according to an internal document obtained by E&E News.
“Very early on in the Trump administration, you will see Obama executive orders undone,” said Stephen Brown, vice president for federal government affairs at oil refiner Tesoro Corp. He predicted the social cost of carbon and NEPA guidance, both of which have “far-reaching implications” for fossil fuel infrastructure, would be among the first to go.
President-elect Donald Trump’s team has launched www.greatagain.gov, a new clearinghouse for information about his policies and transition to power. The website broadly sketches out Trump’s plans for the stretch between Election Day and Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.