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FERC Nominee & Clean Energy Bills Advance

19 Nov

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee sent its recommended approval of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee James Danly to the full Senate. Danly, a Republican nominee, gained the panel’s backing Nov. 19 on a 12-8 vote. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who supported Danly, objected again to the White House’s refusal to move on […]

Climate Roundup: Comprehensive DOE Revamp Sought

13 Nov

An environmental organization this week called on Congress to update statutory requirements for the Department of Energy, noting that the last time lawmakers overhauled the federal agency’s goals and mission was in 2005. A suggested course for lawmakers was outlined in a report released Nov. 13 by the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The Energy Department’s […]

Shorts

13 Nov

Updated Nov. 14. Marin Clean Energy’s latest climate action update shows that 22 of the 34 cities in its territory have opted for 100 percent renewable energy for their public facilities. The report also shows that Marin County now has more electric vehicle charging stations than gas stations. Local Bay Area energy agencies are soliciting […]

Democrats Object to FERC Appointee Hearing

5 Nov

In spite of no action by the White House on the unfilled Democratic seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee Nov. 5 vetted Republican FERC nominee James Danly. Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said it was acceptable to hold the hearing because President Donald Trump had […]

Undercurrents: State’s Natural Gas Use to Wane

30 Oct

Within about a decade California can expect natural gas prices to be below those at Henry Hub, a California Energy Commission analysis shows. The hub is the national benchmark for gas prices. The gas price forecast presented Oct. 30 at a commission workshop, attributes the favorable price outlook to increasing supplies, particularly from the Permian […]

House Panel Weighs How to Cut Transportation Emissions

24 Oct

Slashing emissions from ports, trucks and jets requires federal policy changes and financial assistance, lawmakers were told during an Oct. 23 House Environment & Climate Change Subcommittee hearing. The Wednesday hearing examined how these sources of greenhouse gases can be cleaned up to help the U.S. achieve a carbon lite economy by 2050. “Fast, efficient […]

Shorts

22 Oct

Energy efficiency, its affordability and benefits, were the focus of an Oct. 22 U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing. “By reducing energy use, we reduce energy costs, which matters to every family and business,” said Committee Chair, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). “Efficiency can also play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions […]

The Buzz

19 Sep

Trump’s claim that California’s Clean Air Act waiver is preempted by federal law drives state air regulators to look at other ways to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector. Two Republican federal energy regulators approve a proposal to alter the 40-year old law protecting small renewable projects and co-generation. The dissenting Democratic commissioner says […]

ARB Seeks Emissions Cuts Elsewhere, w/ CA Waiver Revoked

19 Sep

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yanked California’s ability to set vehicle emission standards tighter than federal ones, as promised. The Sept. 18 revocation of the state’s waiver authority under the federal Clean Air Act also undermines California’s zero emissions vehicle program, further undermining its climate protection work. Mary […]

FERC Pitches Controversial PURPA Reforms

19 Sep

Two of the three federal energy regulators Sept. 19 voted out a proposed rulemaking to change the federal law protecting small renewable projects and cogeneration facilities. The dissenting commissioner warned the move would gut the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to reform the law is […]

Grappling with Industrial Decarbonization

19 Sep

How to drive down industrial greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 was the daunting task debated at a Sept. 18 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. “Transforming our economy to one that is 100 percent clean will be tough and will take significant resources and ingenuity, but it […]

The US is Behind Rare Mineral Curve Big Time

17 Sep

The surge in renewable energy and electric vehicles highlights the risks of importing limited essential minerals from opaque markets, many in unstable regions. The matter is further exacerbated by the United States’ failure to compete in this area. “Batteries don’t work without lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel; solar panels require silver, gallium, indium, tellurium; and […]

Scrap over Vehicle Emissions Intensifies

10 Sep

The Trump Administration is pulling out the stops to thwart California’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation Sept. 6 of the four automakers that reached a deal in late July with California to lower vehicle emissions on a voluntary basis, should existing standards be frozen […]

Shorts

9 Sep

Updated Sept. 12. A California Public Utilities Commission proposal seeks to improve reliability and drive down greenhouse gases from the energy sector. It was released just after the CPUC’s Sept. 12  business meeting. The proposed decision directs private utilities, community choice aggregators and direct access providers to buy 2,500 MW  to ensure power flow reliability […]

Climate Roundup: State Strikes Deal with Automakers on GHGs

6 Aug

State officials and top automakers late last month agreed on a voluntary framework for continuing to reduce vehicular greenhouse gas emissions. The pact came as the Trump Administration is preparing to freeze standards at existing emissions levels and revoke the right of California to set its own emissions standards that are tighter than federal requirements. […]

Inside the Beltway: Committees Advance Energy Bills

17 Jul

The full House Energy & Commerce Committee approved 10 energy-related bills July 17 aimed at advancing energy efficiency and energy sector employment and also making energy infrastructure more impervious to cyberattacks. “These bills tackle the climate crisis head-on by ensuring our homes, schools and buildings emit less carbon pollution, and by investing in our state […]

Lithium Battery Recycling Needed, Senators Told

17 Jul

As demand for lithium ion batteries grows with the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid cars, how to handle spent batteries is a growing concern, the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee heard on July 17. “The global market for electric vehicles is expected to rise in coming years,” said Sen. John Barasso (R-WY), […]

Shorts

9 Jul

Updated July 11. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources committee held a celebratory hearing July 11 on growing U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. “We are now leading the world in natural gas production, and hopefully soon, we will also lead in exports,” said panel chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (D-AK. “More U.S. LNG export facilities […]

The Buzz

27 Jun

The California Public Utilities Commission announces it’s considering slapping penalties on PG&E for sparking huge wildfires in the fall of 2017. Earlier, state regulators unanimously approve a utility financial stress test with much consternation. They warn that the legislative mandate unfairly requires ratepayers to bail out utilities even if unacceptable behavior led to their wildfire liability. […]

Resolution of Spent Fuel Storage Remains Illusive

27 Jun

The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee June 27 attempted again to break the stalemate on moving growing levels of spent nuclear waste stored onsite at power plants and elsewhere into one or more licensed long-term waste repositories. “Our nation’s nuclear industry is critically important, but also faces a number of challenges, and one […]