President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget request would boost funding for innovation in renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing across various programs, reflecting White House priorities — but those policies are likely to spur critics to again question the administration’s commitment to an “all of the above” energy strategy.
The budget renews Obama’s call for the repeal of $4 billion in annual subsidies to the oil industry, an oft-repeated request from the president that stands little chance of clearing Congress. The budget also calls for advancing the “all of the above” energy strategy through investment in natural gas production and the promotion of “cleaner-burning fossil fuel technology such as natural gas with carbon capture,” the advancement of energy efficiency and making a renewable energy tax credit permanent.
urns out the worst state for carbon dioxide emissions per person isn’t smoggy California or bustling New York, but a place famous for its big, clear skies: Wyoming. But regulating greenhouse gases is a touchy subject in the least-populated state, which just recently received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval to do so.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has introduced legislation that would eliminate the state’s wind power target, despite criticism from environmental groups that say the move represents an attack on renewable energy. The bill would roll back a 2008 law signed by then-Gov. John Baldacci (D) that set a wind energy production target of 3,000 megawatts by 2020.
Lately, the vast wind resource has turned the rural Northwest Iowa county into a hotbed of economic activity. A bevy of companies are moving ahead with large-scale projects that would harness and export the renewable energy to more populated regions. The undertakings are projected to spur hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and create thousands of temporary construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs, as well as fill local tax coffers and grow communities that have seen an exodus in population in recent decades.
General Electric Co. (GE) considers Japan ripe for new investment in wind power as the resource-poor country diversifies energy supply in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost three years ago. To that end, GE has developed a 2.85-megawatt turbine for Japan that can withstand conditions unique to the Asian country. It can survive typhoon-strength winds, turbulent conditions and lighting strikes common in the nation.
“No matter what part of the state you look at, or whether it’s men or women or even whether it’s Democrats or Republicans or independents,” he said, “the public does overwhelmingly support investment in clean energy, developing more clean energy and becoming less reliant on fossil fuels.” Reopelle admitted it will be a tough fight to get the proposal through the current state Legislature, but pointed out that Wisconsin still sends more than $12 billion out of state every year to import fossil fuels. He said arguments that mandating more renewable-energy resources will drive electricity prices up don’t hold water.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced yesterday he would run for re-election, citing his work on climate change, renewable energy and high-speed rail. Environmental groups responded with concerns about his lack of action on fracking. The 75-year-old governor — whose candidacy had been widely anticipated for months — made his announcement via Twitter, with a link to a statement highlighting climate change and the state’s crippling drought as key issues.
U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres called yesterday for urgent action and an end to partisanship on global warming, warning that the planet is on “borrowed time.” Speaking in the U.S. Senate, where climate change has been the focus of bitter ideological battles, Figueres’ lament over how polarizing the issue has become was echoed by the World Bank as well as U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern.
In a meeting on Friday, February 21, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber — the chairman, vice chairman and past chairman of the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition — and Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners, discussed a wide range of topics, including transmission development, grid modernization, regional cooperation, coordinated regional operations, and ways in which the Commissioners and the governors can work together to promote the more rapid deployment of wind energy in the United States.