U.S. Wind, Solar Power Tout Rural Jobs as Trump Pushes Coal

Source: By Chris Martin, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

The renewable-energy industry has a message for the Trump administration about bringing energy jobs to rural communities: get out of the coal mines and look to the sky. U.S. wind-farm developers and suppliers had more than 100,000 workers at the end of the year and the solar industry had more than double that, and they’re a significant source of employment in many of the rural red states that supported Donald Trump’s campaign. That compares to 65,971 coal mining jobs at the start of last year, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

Faced With U.S. Retreat on Climate Change, EU Looks to China

Source: By Alissa de Carbonnel, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Faced with a U.S. retreat from international efforts to tackle climate change, European Union officials are looking to China, fearing a leadership vacuum will embolden those within the bloc seeking to slow the fight against global warming. While U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to act on campaign pledges to pull out of the 2015 Paris accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions, his swift action in other areas has sparked sharp words from usually measured EU bureaucrats.

U.S. Senate Panel Suspends Rules, Backs Price, Mnuchin for Cabinet

Source: By Susan Cornwell, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Senate Democrats on Wednesday boycotted another committee vote on Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who has expressed doubts about the science of climate change. That session ended without any committee action. Republicans accused the Democrats of deliberately stalling the functions of Trump’s new administration. “They (the Democrats) had tons of information (about Price and Mnuchin),” Hatch said. “It’s another way of roughing up the president and his choice of nominees.”

Maryland House votes to override renewable energy bill veto

Source: By BRIAN WITTE, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

he Maryland House of Delegates voted Tuesday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill to boost the state’s renewable energy standards, cheered by environmentalists for casting one of the first state legislative votes against the “anti-environmental” agenda of President Donald Trump. The Democrat-controlled House voted 88-51 for the override, three votes more than the three-fifths majority needed. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Republican governor’s veto Thursday. Last year, the Senate passed the bill 32-14, a margin above the 29 votes needed.

Energy industry says ‘no thanks’ to Trump aid

Source: Peter Behr, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

“I hope that this is the beginning of a constructive conversation about improvement in, and expansion of, the transmission system,” said Kathleen Shea, president of the power industry group WIRES, which advocates for transmission projects. “Let’s be clear, however,” she added. “The transmission sector does not seek taxpayer funding for the challenges that ail us. We look for the kind of leadership and vision that fosters practical policy and regulatory solutions at all levels.”

Overnight Energy: Zinke, Perry nominations advance | Expect drama over EPA pick Wednesday

Source: BY TIMOTHY CAMA AND DEVIN HENRY, The Hill • Posted: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Wednesday’s Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to go less smoothly. Democrats have lambasted Pruitt’s nomination, questioning his acceptance of climate science and noting his work suing the EPA during his tenure as Oklahoma’s Attorney General.

Yuan’s Gain Has Surprised Trump, Incoming China Envoy Says

Source: By Mario Parker, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Trump’s “a strong leader and China’s got a strong leader, and I know them both very well,’ Branstad said. “Hopefully we can find a way to do what’s good for America, but can also be a win-win situation that’s beneficial for China.” Last week, Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the U.S. as a signatory to the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord with 11 other nations. Those types of pacts are likely to be replaced with bilateral trade agreements between America and other countries, according to Branstad.

Carbon tax chances slim under Trump, though even Tillerson supports the idea

Source: By Bill Loveless USAToday • Posted: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

With the Trump Administration poised to reverse U.S. policies on climate change, the head of a major oil and natural gas company is calling again for governments around the world to put a price on carbon emissions once and for all. BP CEO Bob Dudley reiterated his company’s longstanding position in releasing its annual report on global energy trends.

Hawaii’s largest solar park now online

Source: By PV Tech • Posted: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

The Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) has commissioned the Island’s largest solar park, the 27.6MW Waianae Solar project. The project broke ground in March 2016 with the array coming online mid-this month. It constitutes the largest in operation in Hawaii to date; generating enough clean electricity to power around 11,000 homes annually. Located on just over 80 hectares of land in West Oahu, the park will sell its energy to HECO at the rate of 14.5 cents/kWh. It is therefore not only the biggest, but on the lowest-cost renewable projects on the Island

Why a red state is the No. 1 wind energy producer in America

Source: By Charlie Wood, Christian Science Monitor • Posted: Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Wind capacity in America has swung sharply upward since 2000, and the latest boost came this Wednesday: New York continued the wind bonanza with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that Long Island will soon host America’s biggest offshore wind farm. But despite the governor’s ambitious plans for the blue state to get half of its energy from renewables by 2030, it still lags, at least in wind, far behind America’s unexpected leader. Everything’s bigger in Texas. And that includes energy of all varieties.