The wind energy bill sponsored by Omaha Sen. John McCollister overcame a filibuster for the second time to pass on a 34-10 vote, and now awaits the governor’s OK. Many chose to support the change for economic reasons, not because of an environmental agenda. They said the measure eliminates an unnecessary impediment to wind energy developments, allowing Nebraska to become more competitive in the regional power market and potentially reducing energy costs and luring green-minded businesses to the state.
Friday marked the deadline for the roughly 150 parties suing over the regulation to reply to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Obama administration last month submitted its defense of what it called an “eminently reasonable” regulation to cut power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions (
SunEdison, which grew from making chemicals and components for solar modules to become a giant of the renewable energy business, is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a filing with regulators on Friday. The filing signaled the potential end to SunEdison’s ambition to become the world’s leading renewable energy development company. And it comes after the fall of another clean energy company, Abengoa, which is going through proceedings in the United States and Spain as it seeks to avoid becoming that country’s largest corporate failure.
Idaho leaders and other critics say BLM’s proposal sacrifices greater sage grouse habitat and private property to avoid crossing the sanctuary — and ignores the recommendation of the agency’s own advisory council. BLM’s plan could delay the line for years or even doom the final two segments of the nearly-1,000-mile-long Gateway West Transmission Line Project, they warn.
Senate appropriators jump-started work on the annual spending bills Thursday by agreeing to hold off on adding controversial amendments in committee. But that bipartisan truce may only last until the first measure hits the floor this week.
The Air Force is affirming its commitment to renewables, beefing up its energy policy in response to a new slew of 21st-century threats. Armed with the new slogan “mission assurance is energy assurance,” the service is working to increase the energy security of its bases with large-scale renewable projects that could keep the lights on in the event that a natural disaster or cyberattack knocks out local power.
The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday voted unanimously to allocate $37.5 billion to the subcommittee that funds the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies, an increase of approximately $355 million above current spending levels that may undercut President Obama’s priorities on climate change. The so-called 302(b) allocation is the amount of money the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee will have available when it writes its fiscal 2017 spending bill, which funds a host of nuclear security, science research, environmental cleanup and water infrastructure projects.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today said he expects Congress will provide a significant increase in clean technology funding as part of a broad plan to address climate change, despite a lukewarm response in Congress to the proposal. Appropriations bills that advanced this week in both chambers of Congress fell short of the administration’s request on Mission Innovation, a global plan to address climate change by doubling spending on clean energy research and development over five years.
Gov. Branstad joins MidAmerican Energy in Announcing $3.6 Billion Investment in Additional Wind Generation Capacity
Branstad said he is proud of MidAmerican Energy’s long-standing and ongoing commitment to clean energy, which has helped make Iowa a national leader in renewable energy. “This project puts Iowa on track to be the first state in the nation to generate more than 40 percent of its energy needs from wind power – far ahead of any other state. Today, Iowa is the only state to have crossed the 30 percent mark,” he said. “We welcome this opportunity to expand Iowa’s renewable energy and thank MidAmerican Energy for making this investment in our great state. Every wind turbine you see in Iowa means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families.”
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Co. is planning a $3.6 billion wind farm in Iowa with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts, the biggest economic development project in state history. The Wind XI project won’t increase customer rates and will help the state get more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind resources, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said in a statement from the company Thursday. MidAmerican is seeking approval for the wind farm with the state’s Utilities Board.