News

Obama Points to Florida Factory as Evidence That Stimulus Worked

Source: By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, The New York Times • Posted: Monday, February 29th, 2016

President Obama on Friday used a visit to a high-technology battery plant in Florida to argue that the hundreds of billions of dollars in federal subsidies he signed into law during his first days in office had bolstered the economy, transformed the nation’s energy sector, and positioned the United States for a strong rebound. But Mr. Obama’s trip to the Saft America factory here, opened in 2011 with a $95.5 million investment from the Department of Energy, also highlighted the challenges that have tempered the economic recovery and the difficulty that the president has had in claiming credit for it.

Achieving Clean Power Plan targets well ahead of schedule

Source: By Daniel S. Cohan, contributor, and Leah Y. Parks, The Hill • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

The United States is racing toward achieving the goals of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), even as the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raises the prospect of a deadlocked Supreme Court ruling. Achieving CPP carbon-dioxide emissions targets 14 years ahead of schedule is now likely thanks to a remarkable confluence of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies each achieving affordability after decades of developments.

U.S. wins WTO dispute against India’s solar rules

Source: By Tom Miles and David Lawder, Reuters • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

The United States won a ruling against India at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday after challenging the rules on the origin of solar cells and solar modules used in India’s national solar power program. In a statement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office called the ruling a significant victory that would hasten the spread of solar energy across the world and support clean-energy jobs in the United States.

EPA urges judges to reject charges of lobbyists’ influence

Source: Robin Bravender, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

U.S. EPA doesn’t think a conservative legal group should be allowed to file documents in federal court alleging that lobbyists improperly helped write the agency’s Clean Power Plan. The Energy & Environment Legal Institute told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday that EPA’s controversial greenhouse gas rule for power plants should be sent back to the drawing board because the agency crafted provisions of the plan through “backdoor dealings” with environmental lobbyists

Renewable energy growth could slow over 30% without climate plan

Source: Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

A new report predicts that the elimination of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan could mean that by 2025 a whopping 50 gigawatts of potential renewable energy generation could go unrealized, despite Congress’ recent extension of wind and solar tax credits. “The tax extenders alone provide a bigger medium term boost to renewables than just the [Clean Power Plan], but not as big as with both policies in place,” states the report, released today by the Rhodium Group.

States may plan discreetly to avoid ‘backlash’ — White House official

Source: Emily Holden, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

A special assistant to President Obama said that despite the Supreme Court’s decision to halt the Clean Power Plan, states are voluntarily working behind the scenes to piece together backup plans to comply with the electricity-sector greenhouse gas standards. “What some states have told us — and some that have not been public about it because they don’t want to see backlash from the right — is it’s conservative to work on this policy,” Rohan Patel, deputy director of intergovernmental affairs for the White House, told several dozen attendees at a Washington, D.C., symposium on the impacts of climate change on black communities.

Senate moves on as Flint deal stays stuck

Source: Geof Koss, Hannah Hess and George Cahlink, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture Thursday on legislation to address the opioid epidemic, after a handful of GOP senators held up a consent agreement that would have set up votes on the chamber’s bipartisan energy bill and a package for Flint, Mich. The Kentucky Republican lauded Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) for their efforts to break the logjam that has held up their energy bill (S. 2012). “Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Cantwell and many others continue to work diligently on a way to wrap up the energy bill and to deal with the Flint issue,” McConnell said before filing cloture on the opioid measure.

Flint aid package, energy bill may re-emerge next week

Source: George Cahlink and Hannah Hess, E&E reporters • Posted: Friday, February 26th, 2016

Senate leaders are hoping to reach an agreement to move the Flint measure in concert with a broader energy bill (S. 2012). Under the proposed deal, the energy legislation, along with a slew of agreed-upon amendments, would move first and then the chamber would consider the Flint relief. Senate leaders are hoping to reach an agreement to move the Flint measure in concert with a broader energy bill (S. 2012).

Texas wind power set a new record late Thursday

Source: By Fuel/Fix • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Wind power in the Texas grid set a new record at 9:20 p.m. Thursday evening when it generated 14,023 megawatts of power.Wind turbines accounted for more than 45 percent of the grid’s overall load at certain points late Thursday as Texas increasingly relies more on renewable power. February has proven a particularly windy month thus far.

Transportation challenge grows as turbine blades get bigger

Source: By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle • Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Wind turbine blades continue to grow — turbines are now more than 200 feet tall — and officials are having trouble transporting equipment to remote locations in Texas and other windy Western states. Moving the blades, which reach higher into the sky and wrest more energy from the wind than ever before, can take days and cost tens of thousands of dollars.