With investor scrutiny mounting on climate risks, a White House official suggested yesterday that companies that plan for reduced carbon emissions are “going to come out ahead.” Ali Zaidi, the Office of Management and Budget’s associate director for natural resources, energy and science, was asked during an Atlantic Council event about companies that use a shadow price of carbon in corporate decision making.
The brutal campaign for the White House has dominated the election cycle — and worried House and Senate lawmakers dependent on the top of the ticket to sway their own races — but there’s a whole other set of pitched battles going on down-ballot, covering everything from energy regulation to legalized drugs. n Florida, the clash is over the future of solar-generated electricity, while in Nevada, it’s about deregulation of the electric grid. Among the many decisions before California voters is whether to legalize recreational marijuana, while in Colorado, voters could make future fights over oil and gas development less likely to go before voters.
Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk unveiled a much-anticipated “solar roof” Friday as part of his company’s quest to be at the forefront in fighting climate change. At an event at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, Musk said the new product fits into a three-part approach to cutting emissions through electric cars, home batteries and clean power. He also unveiled a more powerful version of Tesla’s existing Powerwall home battery with about twice the energy storage capacity of the current model.
The next leader of the Department of Energy might be its current one. Hillary Clinton is considering keeping Ernest Moniz on as secretary of energy, should she win the presidential election next month, a source familiar with the Clinton campaign’s planning told BuzzFeed News
A new report by researchers from Berkeley Lab has raised the possibility that we are underestimating the potential for and uncertainty of wind energy cost reductions. There has been a lot of coverage lately of the dramatic cost reductions for wind energy over the last few years, and the potential this has for challenging fossil fuel-based electricity generation.
The states that have been the earliest to embrace a shift to smaller-scale energy generation are now slowly refining their approaches to reforming the grid. New York and California are the first states to attempt to corral and direct the changes to utilities’ traditional business models wrought by distributed generation. Officials from both states have been trying to take a loose, incremental approach and have so far avoided “any big failures,” a California regulator said last week.
When lawmakers filed into the Capitol here in August, they were repeating a familiar scene. North Dakota was in the throes of an oil bust after a six-year drilling boom that transformed parts of the state. The price of oil had been in free fall, state revenue was down almost one-fourth and the state’s primary savings account was almost empty. Now they had assembled for a three-day special session to decide the winners and losers. Would they cut the road budget? Schools? Nursing homes?
After President Barack Obama’s two terms, business and environmental groups see a game-changing election on energy. Donald Trump has vowed to ramp up oil and gas production even further, while rolling back Obama policies aimed at slowing climate change and boosting renewable energy. Hillary Clinton says she will expand Obama’s climate policies and push even harder for renewable energy such as wind and solar power that have gained under Obama. Meanwhile, Clinton’s comment that she is going to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” has become a rallying cry for the GOP.
The head of the World Resources Institute last night applauded Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her cautious, careful rollout of a climate agenda. “If we’re going to make the progress that we need, the ridiculous politicization of the issue in this country needs to change,” CEO Andrew Steer said during a panel discussion at the group’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Elon Musk showcased his ambitions to make Tesla Motors Inc. a clean-energy behemoth Friday, unveiling a new “solar-roof” product at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California. As the sun set, Musk told hundreds of guests gathered in an outside courtyard on the “Desperate Housewives” set that Tesla and SolarCity Corp., the company that he chairs and which he aims to acquire, will make solar roofs that look better than normal roofs. He then showcased several houses with solar tiles gracefully embedded. Because the tiles are fully integrated into the roofs, many guests in attendance could not tell that they were solar.