Comment: Trump transition leader’s goal is two-thirds cut in EPA employees

Source: By Joe Davidson, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

“My own personal view is that the EPA would be better served if it were a much leaner organization that had substantial cuts,” he said in an interview. Ebell is director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a small-government think tank where he pushes the notion of “global warming alarmism” and against the science that says it’s a crisis. He acknowledges cutting 10,000 staffers might not be realistic, yet he sees that as an “aspirational goal. … You’re not going to get Congress to make significant cuts unless you ask for significant cuts.”

Saudi Aramco Said to Weigh Up to $5 Billion of Renewable Deals

Source: by Matthew Martin, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

Saudi Arabia is planning to produce 10 gigawatts of power from renewable energy sources including solar, wind and nuclear by 2023 and transform Aramco into a diversified energy company. The kingdom also plans to develop a renewable energy research and manufacturing industry as part of an economic transformation planannounced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April.

Will Trump Make This $7 Billion Clean-Coal Plant Irrelevant?

Source: By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

Southern Co.’s “clean-coal” plant has been hailed as a first-of-its-kind project. President Donald Trump’s climate-change skepticism could make it the last. The facility in Kemper County, Mississippi, is slated to finally start generating electricity and capturing carbon dioxide from coal by Jan. 31.

What Trump Can and Can’t Do to Dismantle Obama’s Climate Rules

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

President Trump campaigned on sweeping promises to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s major environmental regulations and “get rid of” the Environmental Protection Agency. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump offered a down payment on those promises, with memorandums clearing the path to construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. He is expected to roll back a few more rules, including some on coal production, in the next few weeks. Although dismantling Mr. Obama’s most far-reaching climate regulations can be done, it will take legal acumen and a lot of time – perhaps longer than a single presidential term. Here’s a look at what Mr. Trump can and can’t do, and how quickly, to roll back environmental regulations.

Environmentalists Preparing to Battle Trump, GOP in Court

Source: By TAMMY WEBBER AND JOHN FLESHER, The Associated Press • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

The night before Donald Trump’s inauguration, five environmental lawyers filed a federal court brief defending an Obama administration clean-water rule that the new president and his Republican allies have targeted for elimination, considering it burdensome to landowners. The move served as a warning that environmentalists, facing a hostile administration and a Republican-dominated Congress, are prepared to battle in court against what they fear will be a wave of unfavorable policies concerning climate change, wildlife protection, federal lands and pollution.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Propose 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard

Source: By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

Massachusetts legislators have proposed a bill that calls for the state to adopt a 100% renewable portfolio standard, according to Environment Massachusetts, a statewide, citizen-funded clean energy advocacy group. Under the legislation, H.D.3357 – filed by State Reps. Sean Garballey, D-Arlington, and Marjorie Decker, D-Cambridge, and State Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton – Massachusetts would be required to achieve 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035, as well as phase out the use of fossil fuels across all sectors, including heating and transportation, by 2050.

In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’

Source: By HIROKO TABUCHI, New York Times • Posted: Monday, January 30th, 2017

Doug Palen, a fourth-generation grain farmer on Kansas’ wind-swept plains, is in the business of understanding the climate. Since 2012, he has choked through the harshest drought to hit the Great Plains in a century, punctuated by freakish snowstorms and suffocating gales of dust. His planting season starts earlier in the spring and pushes deeper into winter. To adapt, he has embraced an environmentally conscious way of farming that guards against soil erosion and conserves precious water. He can talk for hours about carbon sequestration — the trapping of global-warming-causing gases in plant life and in the soil — or the science of the beneficial microbes that enrich his land. In short, he is a climate change realist. Just don’t expect him to utter the words “climate change.”

Republican Governor: God has blessed our state with wind energy resource

Source: By David Ward, AWEA Blog • Posted: Saturday, January 28th, 2017

“Kansas is blessed with tremendous natural resources, from our fertile soil to the oil that lies beneath it. The Kansas economy has long thrived thanks to the natural gifts given to our land. As the global economy changes our energy markets change with it. Kansas has adapted and is on the cutting edge of the American renewable energy revolution.”

Too Early to Ascribe Long-Term Energy Plans from Trump Administration

Source: By Ernie Shea, 25x25 • Posted: Friday, January 27th, 2017

There was obvious disappointment among clean energy advocates last Friday when the White House published on its website “An America First Energy Plan” that makes no mention of renewable energy or energy efficiency. President Donald Trump has made it clear since his announcement to seek the presidency in June 2015 that his top energy priority is to boost oil and gas development in this country, and that is what his energy statement emphasizes. It vows to “embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans.” It also calls for “reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.”

Gramlich Departs AWEA, Launches New Power Grid Firm

Source: By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power • Posted: Friday, January 27th, 2017

Rob Gramlich, senior vice president of government and public affairs at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), is leaving the association to start a firm that will focus on power grid issues. According to AWEA, Grid Strategies LLC will launch on Feb. 15 to provide strategic advice and advocacy services for clients, including AWEA, in the areas of integrating clean energy into the grid; transmission infrastructure policy; and helping renewable energy, storage and transmission interests with grid challenges with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and grid operators.