Whether or not the Senate launches the first conference committee on energy legislation in a decade is in the hands of Senate Democrats, who continue to express concerns with the House’s revised version. Energy and Natural Resources Committee Democrats say legislation the House passed before recess is laden with veto-bait and doesn’t bode well for efforts to reconcile the competing measures.
Key House and Senate lawmakers are planning to meet next week to discuss how an energy conference committee would operate, as Democrats in the upper chamber continue to express doubts about the prospects of reconciling competing bills. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and co-sponsor of the Senate package, S. 2012, told E&E Daily about the likely meeting.
A new poll shows a wide gap between Democrats and Republicans on how important climate change is to their vote for president. The Gallup poll found that 72 percent of Democrats say that the issue of climate change is “extremely” or “very” important in how they vote for a presidential candidate. Just 25 percent of Republicans say that the issue is important.
While oil markets will start re-balancing after a slump next year, an oversupply in natural gas won’t disappear until the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency said, slashing its gas demand outlook for a fourth straight year. Global consumption will expand by 1.5 percent annually from 2015 through 2021, down from last year’s forecast of 2 percent growth from 2014 through 2020 and a 2.5 gain over the prior six years, the Paris-based agency said Wednesday in its Medium-Term Gas Market Report. The slowdown will be driven by weaker use in the U.S. and Japan as the fuel struggles to compete against booming renewables and “very cheap” coal in power generation.
EDF Energy Renewables, a joint venture between EDF Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles, has started to build a new offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland in Britain, the firm said on Tuesday. The wind farm will have a maximum total generating capacity of almost 100 megawatts and provide enough low-carbon electricity to power 33,000 homes, the company said.
Nevada is mulling the future of its law requiring that some of its energy come from renewables as members of a state task force assert that the measure is no longer driving construction of new wind, solar and other clean energy projects. An advisory committee to Nevada’s New Energy Industry Task Force, reconvened this year by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), met yesterday to discuss strengthening the state’s renewable portfolio standard or phasing it out. It could potentially be replaced by a policy that constrains how much fossil-fuel-fired generation is allowed in the state.
Large technology companies that use massive amounts of energy are now sourcing more power directly from renewables as opposed to purchasing renewable energy credits to offset their carbon footprints. “Direct sourcing is important to us because our goal is really the transformation of the electric grid,” said Brian Janous, the director of energy strategy for Microsoft Cor
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is looking to convince wary Democrats against blocking the first energy bill conference committee in a decade. The Senate could vote as early as next week on whether to launch a conference with the House to seek compromise on energy reform legislation. The House voted before the Memorial Day recess to begin talks.
A few weeks ago, the United States Senate passed their first appropriations bill of the year by a vote of 90-8, which explicitly endorses doubling clean energy research and development, but includes only modest increases in actual funding. When the House and Senate ultimately send an appropriations bill to the President, it should include significantly more funding for innovation if America hopes to not diminish its lead in this emerging economic revolution.
In the past decade South Dakota has seen tremendous job creation and capital investment in renewable energy. Wind power has led the way by contributing over $2 billion in direct capital investment and directly creating well over 500 new jobs. Those wind power jobs are in operations and maintenance, construction, manufacturing and many support sectors. In addition, wind projects produce lease payments for landowners and increase the tax base for local governments and school districts.