News

Coming Soon, Economists Hope: Big Spending on Roads, Bridges and Ports

Source: By CONOR DOUGHTY, New York Times • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

Mrs. Clinton has said that if she is elected president, her administration will seek to spend $250 billion over five years on repairing and improving the nation’s infrastructure — not just ports but roads, bridges, energy systems and high-speed broadband — and would put an additional $25 billion toward a national infrastructure bank to spur related business investments. Mr. Trump said he wanted to go even bigger, saying his administration would spend at least twice as much as Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump, taking a page from liberal economists, said he would fund his plan by borrowing several hundred billion dollars, but has offered no specifics. Mrs. Clinton’s more detailed proposal, by contrast, would be paid for by a business tax overhaul aimed at collecting additional revenue from companies that have parked assets abroad.

Congress aims to move spending plan this week, then campaign

Source: George Cahlink, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

Congress will try this week to hammer out an agreement on short-term spending that would allow lawmakers to head home to campaign for re-election by week’s end. The Senate is set to vote at 5:30 this evening on a procedural motion to call up the stopgap legislation, also known as a continuing resolution. A vote had been set for last week but was scrapped to give lawmakers more time to reach a deal.

Washington adopts ‘unique’ carbon-capping rule

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

Washington state regulators last week adopted a climate change measure unlike any other in the country. The Clean Air Rule is intended to reduce the state’s emissions to 1990 levels by the end of the decade and 25 percent below that by 2035. Rather than one economywide carbon cap, the rule subjects the state’s 24 largest emitters to individual caps that decline by 5 percent every three years.

BLM’s Calif. plan hurts climate goals — wind, solar groups

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

The Obama administration’s plan for managing renewable energy development in California’s desert clashes with the state’s aggressive goals for limiting climate change, wind and solar groups warned yesterday. The organizations jointly criticized the plan, saying it would “significantly and permanently limit solar and wind energy development” on federal property.

Wind energy a winning issue for candidates this fall

Source: By Tom Kiernan, Roberta Combs and Michele Combs, The Hill • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

Many Americans don’t realize how much wind power reliably contributes to U.S. energy independence today. And any Republican or Democrat running for election this fall should pay attention to wind’s rapid growth. Especially since recent polling data show that as wind power grows, so does U.S. voter support for it.Strong voter support for wind wouldn’t be surprising when you consider that by tripling in size over the last several years, American wind power now supports a record-high 88,000 jobs across all 50 states. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics also recently reported that wind turbine technician is the fastest growing profession in the U.S.

N.Y. issues plan to speed offshore wind development

Source: Peter Behr, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

New York state officials yesterday announced an Offshore Wind Blueprint laying out plans to accelerate commercial wind power off the south shore of Long Island and New York City. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will lead the state’s effort to create offshore wind energy resources in a 16,740-square-mile area 12 miles offshore. NYSERDA will compete in an auction for development rights that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to hold by the end of this year. Several private wind farm developers have also declared preliminary interest in bidding.

Most States on Track to Meet Emissions Targets They Call Burden

Source: By Nichola Groom and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

The 27 states challenging Obama’s Clean Power Plan in court say the lower emissions levels it would impose are an undue burden. But most are likely to hit them anyway. Already, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota appear to be meeting the CPP’s early targets. And changes in the power market, along with policies favoring clean generation, are propelling most of the rest toward timely compliance, according to researchers, power producers and officials, as well as government filings reviewed by Reuters.

Clean Energy Won Big. So Where’s the Party?

Source: By Eric Roston & Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

In 2015, the wind industry signed more than 2.3 gigawatts of contracts with corporate buyers, in 20 deals. This year through August, it had signed 631 megawatts, in nine deals. Solar, meanwhile, has slowed from 726 megawatts contracted across 11 deals last year to 163 megawatts across three deals, according to 2016 data through August from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Many companies that signed those deals in 2015 were afraid that there wouldn’t be a tax credit again,” said Jacob Susman, vice president and head of origination at EDF Renewable Energy. “That’s a big reason why 2015 was so big.” Hannah Hunt, a research analyst at AWEA, called it “a remarkable period of stability.”

William Holmberg, decorated Marine who became renewable energy advocate, dies at 88

Source: By Bart Barnes, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, September 19th, 2016

After his military retirement in 1970, Col. Holmberg joined the Environmental Protection Agency. He had grown up in Washington state amid the vegetable fields and fruit orchards and felt a renewed sensitivity to protect the planet about seeing the waste and devastation of war, his family said. He spent many years directing the Energy Department’s Office of Alcohol Fuel, where he began championing ethanol as a sustainable, alternative energy source. He also worked on the staff of Sen. Ben Nelson (R-Neb.) and managed associations promoting solar and wind energy initiatives as well as legislative support for environmental measures.

Washington adopts first-of-its-kind rule to combat climate change

Source: By Washington Department of Ecology • Posted: Friday, September 16th, 2016

In an effort to protect all that Washington has to offer future generations, the Washington Department of Ecology is launching a new plan to combat climate change. After months of stakeholder meetings, and public review and input, Ecology today adopted a first-of-its-kind clean air rule that caps and reduces carbon pollution. “Today marks a watershed moment in our country’s history,” said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. “We are taking leadership under our clean air act, adopting a strong and practical plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and doing our fair share to tackle climate change.”