News

Baldwin joins Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Source: John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 24th, 2013

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) became the newest member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today. Baldwin was appointed today to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). Coons left the committee to take the spot on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee left open by the death earlier this month of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

Houston to buy half its electricity from clean sources

Source: E&E • Posted: Monday, June 24th, 2013

Houston will buy half its energy from renewable sources, making it the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in the United States, according to U.S. EPA. The city agreed to purchase 140 megawatts of renewable power from Reliant Energy between July 1 and June 30, 2015. The city will pay $2 million for what is estimated to be half its annual electricity demand.

Key judge’s take on clean-power mandates sparks legal debate

Source: Hannah Northey and Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporters • Posted: Monday, June 24th, 2013

An influential federal judge splashed fuel last week on an already-raging argument over states’ clean energy mandates in a ruling that questioned the constitutionality of Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard. Writing for a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Richard Posner — seen by many as the most important conservative jurist outside the Supreme Court — said that by banning out-of-state renewables from counting toward its renewable portfolio standard, Michigan’s law “trips over an insurmountable constitutional objection.” “Michigan cannot, without violating the commerce clause,” he went on, “discriminate against out-of-state renewable energy.”

Wind energy project blows away record

Source: Tim Gallagher, Business Journal, Sioux City Journal • Posted: Monday, June 24th, 2013

A gust of economic development dollars may be blowing into Northwest Iowa, thanks to MidAmerican Energy Co.’s plan to add 656 new wind turbines in the state. Iowa’s largest utility on May 8 announced the $1.9 billion initiative, which represents the largest economic development investment in state history

Obama to lay out ambitious global warming plan

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, June 24th, 2013

President Obama is set to provide details tomorrow of how he plans to deliver on his second-term promise of tackling man-made climate change. Obama announced in a video this weekend that he will lay out his climate agenda in a speech at Georgetown University and that it will seek to “reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it.”

FERC cost allocation order is ‘major step backward’ — Wyden

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 21st, 2013

The chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee sharply criticized members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today for rejecting a proposal that would have made it voluntary for utilities in the Pacific Northwest to pay for regional transmission projects under Order 1000, and vowed to take legislative action if the decision isn’t reversed. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) took issue with the commission’s 3-to-1 vote to approve a filing that ColumbiaGrid, a regional transmission planner, proposed to comply with Order 1000, a far-reaching rule the commission recently approved to revamp the way the grid is planned and paid for.

Utilities Switch Off Investment in Fossil Fuel Plants

Source: By MARK SCOTT, New York Times • Posted: Friday, June 21st, 2013

On the outskirts of Scunthorpe in northern England, workers at the large power station known as Keadby 1 are preparing to shut it down at the end of the summer, with the loss of about 40 jobs. Its owner, the British utility Scottish & Southern Energy, says fluctuations in global energy markets have made the natural gas power plant unprofitable despite a multi-million pound renovation, as demand for electricity has plummeted since the financial crisis.

Coons leaves Energy Committee for Appropriations slot

Source: John McArdle, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, June 21st, 2013

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is leaving the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after securing a spot on the powerful Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations panel slot opened up due to the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) earlier this month.

Danish firm pledges $200M to Cape Wind

Source: Phil Taylor, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 20th, 2013

A Danish pension fund has pledged to invest $200 million in the Cape Wind project, a long-delayed, 468-megawatt wind farm off Cape Cod, Mass., that hopes to begin construction by the end of the year. While the investment by PensionDanmark represents less than 10 percent of the project’s estimated $2.6 billion price tag, project owner Jim Gordon called it a “milestone” in the Massachusetts wind project’s decadelong development.

Moniz taps Union of Concerned Scientists’ leader for chief of staff

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has recruited the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists to be his chief of staff. Kevin Knobloch has headed UCS for a decade, and in a statement today, he said it was a post he would leave only “for a call to public service of this order.”