News

Climate Change Conversations Are Targeted in Questionnaire to Energy Department

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, December 12th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition team has circulated an unusual 74-point questionnaire at the Department of Energy that requests the names of all employees and contractors who have attended climate change policy conferences, as well as emails and documents associated with the conferences. In question after question, the document peppers Energy Department managers with pointed queries about climate science research, clean energy programs and the employees who work for those programs. More broadly, the questionnaire hints at a significant shift of emphasis at the agency toward nuclear power, and a push to commercialize the research of the Energy Department’s laboratories, long considered the crown jewels of federal science.

Trump Said to Offer Cathy McMorris Rodgers Post to Head Interior

Source: By Billy House, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, December 12th, 2016

The League of Conservation Voters gave McMorris Rodgers a zero score in the group’s 100-point National Environmental Scorecard reflecting votes in 2015. Her lifetime pro-environment score is 4 percent with the group, which bases its findings on lawmakers’ votes on the group’s top issues including energy, global warming, public health, public lands and wildlife conservation, and spending for environmental programs. The average U.S. House score in the group’s ratings for all House members was 41 percent.

States Taking the Lead in Renewable Energy Growth

Source: BY Ernie Shea, 25x25 • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

While there may be some uncertainty as to how renewable energy policy may play out in Washington over the next few years, ongoing developments at the state level demonstrate the persistent strength of policy leadership being demonstrated across the country. Just last week, Illinois legislators locked in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – by 2025, at least 25 percent of the state’s electricity needs will be met with renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Fishing groups in 4 states seek Atlantic wind farm delay

Source: By Frank Eltman, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Commercial fishing companies, trade groups and seaport communities in four states have asked a court to stop the federal government from auctioning off the rights to develop a huge offshore wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean between New York and New Jersey. The petition, filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., said the plan to build as many as 194 turbines in a 127-square-mile section would hurt fishermen who now cruise the area looking for scallops and squid and others who harvest fish species including summer flounder, mackerel, black sea bass and monkfish.

Big Wyoming wind project closing in on federal eagle permit

Source: By MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

One of the biggest wind energy projects under development in the U.S. got closer Thursday to securing a federal permit to kill a limited number of eagles without facing the prospect of a penalty. A final plan released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would help ensure the Chokecherry-Sierra Madre wind farm in south-central Wyoming does not kill too many bald and golden eagles with its hundreds of spinning turbine blades.

Pruitt could threaten Iowa’s status as wind, energy leader

Source: By Rhea Spigner, KCCI Des Moines • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

“We have federal elected officials who have taken a role in supporting wind and energy,” Rosenberg said. That includes U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, who told reporters in a weekly conference call: “This is very important to Iowa with our wind energy ever expanding and creating lots of opportunity in our state. I want to ensure that (Pruitt) is going to follow ongoing congressional intentions with (the) Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Obama’s mighty EPA falls into Pruitt’s hands

Source: By Andrew Restuccia and Alex Guillén, Politico • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Pruitt, Trump’s choice for EPA administrator, is expected to begin attacking Obama’s environmental legacy using courtroom drama, foot-dragging and an upending of how EPA treats the scientific consensus on climate change. But one key to his success will be the same heavy reliance on executive action that Obama employed so aggressively in his second term.a

Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy

Source: By Catherine Traywick and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda. The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programs, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday. The document lays out 65 questions from the Trump transition team, sources within the agency said.

Trump returns to Iowa for a rally with a different tone – but familiar themes

Source: By Sean Sullivan, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Trump also brought onstage the man he has tapped to be the next ambassador to China: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “We’re going to have mutual respect. China’s going to benefit and Terry’s going to benefit,” Trump vowed. The president-elect also thanked Iowa’s two U.S. senators – Republicans Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst

Maine Wind developer drops plan for 119-turbine wind farm

Source: BY TUX TURKEL, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2016

A 119-turbine wind farm in Aroostook County that would have been the largest in Maine and one of the largest ever planned for New England has withdrawn its application, citing interconnection problems. EDP Renewables has told the Department of Environmental Protection that it’s not going forward for now with the Number Nine Wind Farm.