News

Gov. Brown seeks global stage on climate

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) continues to take a leadership role on climate change in the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement by planning to attend global talks on warming in the fall. Brown returned Thursday from a trip to China, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and signed multiple agreements with national and provincial governments to cooperate on clean energy and greenhouse gas trading programs. He announced Friday at a meeting with German officials that he would attend the upcoming U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Germany, in November.

Big majority of Americans want states to act on climate — poll

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

Two-thirds of Americans believe that states should take responsibility for addressing climate change in the absence of federal leadership on the world’s most pressing environmental challenge, according to a new poll by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey, conducted before President Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but after the dismantling of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, buttresses arguments that the Trump administration’s environmental directives diverge from the views of many Americans.

Panel aims to ‘refocus’ State Energy Program that Trump wants to kill

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy is holding a hearing Wednesday to look at the State Energy Program, which was authorized in 1975 and provides federal and technical assistance to states. In recent years, it has been funded for about $50 million in the federal budget. According to a press release, the committee’s Republican leadership thinks the program’s current purpose and scope — focusing on energy conservation, energy assurance planning and technology development — are insufficient to “fully address today’s evolving energy landscape.” Lawmakers will look at ways to refocus the program toward the mission of energy security. The State Energy Program, along with other programs in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, such as the Weatherization Assistance Program, has been defended by activists, states and members of Congress, including some Republicans

Grid watchdogs raise concerns about panel design

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

Grid overseers are raising concerns about and citing problems in solar panels across the United States following a yearlong investigation of a major wildfire and blackout in Southern California last year. The North American Electric Reliability Corp. yesterday released its investigation of the Blue Cut wildfire last August, which forced hundreds of people to flee their homes in California near the Oregon border, burning 37,000 acres and destroying more than 100 homes.

Can California really hit a 100% renewable energy target?

Source: ByRob Nikolewski, San Diego Union Tribune • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

“I don’t think it’s a big stretch, politically,” said Senate President pro tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), who introduced a bill in Sacramento that would lay down the zero-carbon sources threshold. The legislation, Senate Bill 100, passed the California state Senate on May 31 on a party-line 25-13 vote and now moves to the Assembly. With the state Legislature in Sacramento dominated by Democrats and two and a half months still remaining in this year’s session, the chances of Senate Bill 100 moving onto Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk look promising.

AWEA, GEA and SEIA call on Nevada governor to back 40% renewables target for 2030

Source: By Renewable Energy News • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

US business groups from the geothermal, solar and wind power industries have written to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval asking him to sign a bill expanding the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 40% by 2030 from the existing 25% target by 2025. The American Wind Energy Association, Geothermal Energy Association, and Solar Energy Industries Association said: “Our organizations represent thousands of leading renewable energy companies in the United States who have invested billions of dollars in the country’s growing clean energy economy.

EPA sends draft rollback to White House

Source: Emily Holden, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

The Trump administration made its first formal move to roll back Obama-era climate standards for the power sector. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget yesterday received from U.S. EPA a proposed rulemaking for rescinding the Clean Power Plan.

The U.S. solar industry is doing just fine under Trump — for now

Source: By Chris Mooney. Washington Post • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

Coming off a record year for U.S. solar installations in 2016, the first quarter of 2017 wasn’t so bad either, according to data released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the industry’s lead trade group. The U.S. saw the installation of more than 2 gigawatts, or billion watts, of new solar capacity, a quarter of it on individual rooftops, according to a Thursday report by SEIA and GTM Research. That ranks solar second to natural gas overall for new U.S. electricity installations in the quarter, and was only a slight — 2 percent — year-on-year decline.

Competition for Offshore Wind Ramps Up in Massachusetts

Source: By Philip Marcelo, Associated Press • Posted: Monday, June 12th, 2017

Massachusetts’ bid to become the nation’s leader in offshore wind power is ramping up. The state’s electric utilities — National Grid, Eversource and Unitil — are slated to release by June 30 their requirements for projects seeking to develop the state’s first ocean-based wind farm. That sets in motion an ambitious effort to put Massachusetts ahead of states like New York, New Jersey and Maryland also seeking to establish their presence in the nascent U.S. industry.

Op-Ed: Why red states should oppose Trump on climate

Source: By Roopali Phadke, CNN • Posted: Friday, June 9th, 2017

For these reasons, many Republican political leaders had urged Trump to stay in the Paris treaty and pursue the expansion of wind energy. The bi-partisan Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition, which includes governors from 20 states, wrote to Trump back in March arguing, “The nation’s wind and solar energy resources are transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the passage of the Homestead Act over 150 years ago.”