Former EPA head is worried about Trump, climate change

Source: By David Abel, Boston Globe • Posted: Friday, February 3rd, 2017

“The signs I’m seeing now are extremely disappointing,” McCarthy said Monday in her first interview since leaving Washington, D.C. Chief among her concerns are statements from President Trump’s EPA transition team suggesting that the agency’s staff may be cut by two-thirds, that political appointees will have to sign off on research, and that industry will have undue influence over scientific inquiries.

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s E.P.A. Pick, Is Approved by Senate Committee

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Senate Republicans pressed forward on Thursday with the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, suspending the Environment and Public Works Committee’s rules to approve the cabinet pick despite a Democratic boycott. The 11-0 vote sends the nomination to the full Senate, where Mr. Pruitt will most likely be approved next week.

Questions about California’s clout stall plan for Western power grid

Source: By EMMA PENROD, The Salt Lake Tribune • Posted: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Negotiations to create an 11-state regional electric grid that would include Utah have stagnated, with key players deadlocked over individual states’ authority. Utah’s largest utility company, Rocky Mountain Power, has put the proposal on hold while it waits to see how much authority California will retain over the grid’s operations, said Gary Hoogeveen, senior vice president.

New Mexico considers more aggressive renewable energy goals

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

The New Mexico Legislature will consider increasing by more than four-fold the amount of renewable energy from sources such as wind and solar that utilities would have to provide their customers by the year 2040. Two Democratic lawmakers introduced bills Wednesday that would gradually increase the share of renewable energy to 80 percent of power supplies by 2040, under the state’s investor-owned utilities.

States Open Their Doors to Clean Energy

Source: By Alli Gold Roberts, Triple Pundit • Posted: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

As state legislatures kick off new legislative sessions around the country, clean-energy policies will likely remain on the agenda in a number of states. Unprecedented business support for climate action and clean energy investments will be a key factor for legislatures hoping to attract the attention of businesses interested in seizing fast-emerging clean energy opportunities. More than 720 companies and investors (and counting) are calling on President Trump to support the Paris Climate Agreement and state and federal low-carbon policies.

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.”