News

Obama’s mighty EPA falls into Pruitt’s hands

Source: By Andrew Restuccia and Alex Guillén, Politico • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Pruitt, Trump’s choice for EPA administrator, is expected to begin attacking Obama’s environmental legacy using courtroom drama, foot-dragging and an upending of how EPA treats the scientific consensus on climate change. But one key to his success will be the same heavy reliance on executive action that Obama employed so aggressively in his second term.a

Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy

Source: By Catherine Traywick and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg News • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda. The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programs, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday. The document lays out 65 questions from the Trump transition team, sources within the agency said.

Trump returns to Iowa for a rally with a different tone – but familiar themes

Source: By Sean Sullivan, Washington Post • Posted: Friday, December 9th, 2016

Trump also brought onstage the man he has tapped to be the next ambassador to China: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “We’re going to have mutual respect. China’s going to benefit and Terry’s going to benefit,” Trump vowed. The president-elect also thanked Iowa’s two U.S. senators – Republicans Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst

Maine Wind developer drops plan for 119-turbine wind farm

Source: BY TUX TURKEL, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2016

A 119-turbine wind farm in Aroostook County that would have been the largest in Maine and one of the largest ever planned for New England has withdrawn its application, citing interconnection problems. EDP Renewables has told the Department of Environmental Protection that it’s not going forward for now with the Number Nine Wind Farm.

Energy reform push runs out of time — House GOP

Source: Geof Koss, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Efforts to enact a package of energy and natural resource provisions are out of time, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said this afternoon. “The conferees were not able to come to agreement on various outstanding issues in time for the House to consider a conference report,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in an email.

Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A.

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself. Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

Terry Branstad, Iowa Governor, Is Trump’s Pick as China Ambassador

Source: By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Terry Branstad, the Iowa governor who has long embraced Chinaas a market for his state’s pork and soybeans, was tapped Wednesday by President-elect Donald J. Trump to represent the United States in one of its most complex and increasingly contentious foreign relationships, as his ambassador to China. In choosing Mr. Branstad, 70, an amiable politician who likes to describe President Xi Jinping of China as an “old friend,” Mr. Trump sounded a softer note alongside his unrelenting criticism of China’s economic relationship with the United States.

Renewable energy advocate Branstad tapped for China post

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Branstad is serving as chairman of a bipartisan coalition of governors that supports federal policies to promote wind and solar energy. The 22-member coalition pushed last year for the extension of renewable energy production and investment tax credits, which were signed into law by President Obama as part of the omnibus appropriations deal.

What will happen to RFS under President Trump?

Source: By Rod Swoboda, Fram Progress • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump bashed wind energy when he was on the campaign trail, raising questions about its cost. And he called global warming, which is a driving force to switch to energy generation that creates fewer greenhouse gases, a hoax. Those comments could spell trouble for Iowa, a state that is a wind energy leader. Iowa now gets more than one-third of its electrical power from the spinning blades of wind turbines scattered across the state.

Google Says It Will Run Entirely on Renewable Energy in 2017

Source: By QUENTIN HARDY, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Last year, Google consumed as much energy as the city of San Francisco. Next year, it said, all of that energy will come from wind farms and solar panels. The online giant said on Tuesday that all of its data centers around the world will be entirely powered with renewable energy sources sometime next year. This is not to say that Google computers will consume nothing but wind and solar power. Like almost any company, Google gets power from a power company, which operates an energy grid typically supplied by a number of sources, including hydroelectric dams, natural gas, coal and wind power.