Congressional Democrats should have pushed renewable energy legislation instead of a cap-and-trade bill when they controlled Capitol Hill in President Obama’s first term, a Democratic senator told a Washington, D.C., ballroom packed with labor and environmental advocates today. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota lamented that the Democratic-controlled 111th Congress failed to advance a standard requiring utilities to draw a share of their output from renewable sources like wind and solar energy.
She said reducing greenhouse gas emissions needs to be done “without sacrificing our reliable, affordable energy system. And we need to do it with every sensitivity to workers that have brought energy to American families. It’s not just about jobs, it is about communities where those workers live and we need to be sensitive to those issues as we struggle to find the right solutions moving forward,” McCarthy said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other top Democratic senators today asked federal grid overseers to determine whether “minimum standards” are needed to better protect the U.S. grid following a high-profile and mysterious attack on the grid in California that’s grabbing national headlines.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is publicly confirming that the agency’s first-time climate rule for existing power plants will offer a way to “incent” energy efficiency and renewable energy, remarks observers say are the clearest signals to date that EPA plans to accommodate a widespread request from states and others to offer beyond-the-fenceline credit for programs that cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Miller, a wiry man who spent much of his career in the oil and gas business, is in charge of building a massive wind farm on a cattle ranch owned by Anschutz Corp., better known in Los Angeles as co-owner of Staples Center. It would produce as much power as three nuclear reactors, making it the largest wind-generation facility in the nation, if not the world. But not a single kilowatt would be consumed in Wyoming. Instead, it would feed a new 750-mile transmission line to the California grid, where the electricity would help California’s crusade against global warming, while much of Wyoming continues to rely on the fuel that is one of the big contributors to climate change: coal.
DAUGAARD HEADS GOVERNORS WIND GROUP: The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition has selected South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard as its new chairman and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee as vice chairman. “We will continue working with Congress to extend the federal wind production tax credit so the industry can continue to produce rewarding careers throughout the nation,” Daugaard said in a statement.
Wind energy industry leaders, elected officials and policy specialists will gather in Ankeny on March 11-12 for the 7th Annual Iowa Wind Power Conference. The Iowa Wind Energy Association’s conference will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Des Moines Area Community College campus.
Nancy Sutley’s chief of staff, Mike Boots, will take the helm of the Council on Environmental Quality later this month. Boots will fill in as acting chief of the White House environmental office Feb. 18 after the CEQ chairwoman leaves the administration, CEQ spokeswoman Taryn Tuss said today.
A demonstration floating offshore wind project in Oregon breezed over another hurdle yesterday, raising hopes that West Coast’s first offshore turbines will begin spinning before the end of the decade. However, the project’s developers indicated that this new and potentially transformative technology will likely find a more welcoming market in Europe before it is realized at utility scale in the United States.
Industry and federal government officials say advances in turbine technology could transform wind development in the Southeast, adding another renewable fuel option to an area once dominated by coal. But as outside developers are eyeing places to build taller towers and longer blades, emerging lawsuits and legislation could drive them away.