News

EPA’s new carbon rule sparks battle over CCS, with legal challenges likely

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Saturday, September 21st, 2013

U.S. EPA’s just-released proposal that for the first time would require all future coal-fired power plants to capture and store a share of their carbon dioxide emissions has set off an immediate war of words between industry groups, which oppose it, and environmentalists and their political allies, who embrace it.

Administration to Press Ahead With Carbon Limits

Source: By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, NewYork Times • Posted: Saturday, September 21st, 2013

The Obama administration on Friday announced that it was not backing down from a confrontation with the coal industry and that it would press ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies. The proposed regulations, announced at the National Press Club by Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, are an aggressive move by Mr. Obama to bypass Congress on climate change with executive actions he promised in his inaugural address this year. The regulations are certain to be denounced by House Republicans and the industry as part of what they call the president’s “war on coal.”

White House ‘absolutely’ backs Binz despite confirmation hurdles

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Saturday, September 21st, 2013

The Obama administration is “absolutely” standing by its nomination of Ron Binz to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, despite bipartisan opposition on a key Senate committee currently vetting the nominee, a White House spokesman said today.

Administration Presses Ahead With Limits on Emissions From Power Plants

Source: By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, New York Times • Posted: Friday, September 20th, 2013

A year after a plan by President Obama to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants set off angry opposition, the administration will announce on Friday that it is not backing down from a confrontation with the coal industry and will press ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies. The proposed regulations, to be announced at the National Press Club by Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, are an aggressive move by Mr. Obama to bypass Congress on climate change with executive actions he promised in his inaugural address this year. The regulations are certain to be denounced by House Republicans and the industry as part of what they call the president’s “war on coal.”

Landrieu uncertain whether she’ll support FERC nominee

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, September 20th, 2013

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said today she’s “encouraged” by Ron Binz’s views on natural gas but hasn’t decided whether to support his nomination to lead the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “I’m still collecting information and data from him, but I was encouraged by his testimony about his support for natural gas, his support for exports of natural gas and his understanding that natural gas is a cleaner fuel,” Landrieu said in an interview on Capitol Hill.

Google buys Texas wind farm

Source: Collin Eaton, Fuel Fix, Sept. 17 • Posted: Thursday, September 19th, 2013

In its latest and largest energy-industry venture so far, Google is purchasing the output of a future North Texas wind farm. The new facility will produce roughly half the amount of Google’s current renewable power generation.

Social costs of electricity from coal make it uneconomical, researchers assert

Source: Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 19th, 2013

New research from a national environmental group finds that the cost of producing electricity from renewable resources like wind and solar is lower than that of conventional coal-fired generation when factoring for the adverse costs of climate change and human health impacts. That conclusion, derived from analysis on the “social cost of carbon,” is at the heart of a study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences by Laurie Johnson, chief economist of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate and Clean Air Program, Starla Yeh of NRDC’s Center for Market Innovation, and Chris Hope of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Germany’s Effort at Clean Energy Proves Complex

Source: By MELISSA EDDY and STANLEY REED, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 19th, 2013

It is an audacious undertaking with wide and deep support in Germany: shut down the nation’s nuclear power plants, wean the country from coal and promote a wholesale shift to renewable energy sources. But the plan, backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and opposition parties alike, is running into problems in execution that are forcing Germans to come face to face with the costs and complexities of sticking to their principles.

As Markey promotes clean energy in first Senate speech, Ky. Dem replaces him on House panel

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Sen. Ed Markey laid out an ambitious energy agenda in his first speech on the Senate floor this morning, pledging to introduce legislation setting a 25 percent target for “clean energy and energy efficiency improvements” in the country by 2025.

Obama admin, House Republicans clash over cost of carbon rules

Source: Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Two members of President Obama’s energy team today defended the administration’s climate change policies before a House Energy and Commerce subpanel that has repeatedly tried to roll back their authorities. U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz used their opening remarks to affirm the science of man-made climate change and to cast their efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions as a boon to the U.S. economy.
“The evidence is overwhelming, the science is clear, and the threat from climate change is real and urgent,” Moniz told the Subcommittee on Energy and Power.