Protests mark FERC’s first open meeting in 8 months

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee presided over his first open commission meeting yesterday, and the agency’s first in eight months, now that the panel has regained a quorum. While the meeting featured a fairly low-profile agenda noticeably lacking any major policy issues or infrastructure project approvals, dozens of protesters greeted commissioners inside and out.

Push is on to move Massachusetts to 100% renewable energy use

Source: By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive • Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

A group of 30 academics and people working in the renewable energy industry signed a letter urging Massachusetts to set a goal of getting 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. “Our reliance on dirty sources of energy like oil and gas is harming our health and changing our climate in dangerous ways,” the academics wrote. “While solar and wind energy are growing rapidly, we are still not doing enough to protect our communities from harmful pollution and ensure a safe, livable climate for future generations.”

Report: States take the reins on clean energy, despite federal policy changes

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

“Our coverage has shown that states are taking a proactive approach in reaching Renewables Portfolio Standards, despite the shift in focus from policy makers at the federal level,” Nick Kapur, senior director of energy at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a statement. But while the trend towards clean, distributed, and mobile energy resources is “well underway and recognized,” said Kapur, “industry stakeholders are still grappling with how to restructure their business models, redesign their regulatory processes, and establish new infrastructure requirements needed to power the grid of the future.”

Another industry group asks agency to regulate carbon

Source: Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

More power companies are calling on U.S. EPA to regulate greenhouse gases rather than nix the Clean Power Plan. The Coalition for Innovative Climate Solutions, a group that represents electric generating companies and service providers in 19 states, is asking EPA to provide industry with “regulatory certainty” by developing a replacement for the Obama-era regulation on carbon emissions from power plants.

White House Staffers huddle to talk energy, environment

Source: Zack Colman, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Climate change surfaced as a discussion topic amid a subset of broader matters like technology and energy security, the official said. The deputy assistants from the departments of the Treasury, Energy and others wanted to find a framework and legacy that differed from the Obama administration’s climate-centric posture on energy and environment policy.

Puerto Rico’s grid ‘totally destroyed’ — Trump

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, September 22nd, 2017

President Trump said Puerto Rico’s already degraded and underfunded electrical grid was obliterated by Hurricane Maria and vowed to visit the U.S. territory in the coming days. “Puerto Rico is in very, very, very tough shape. Their electrical grid is destroyed,” Trump told reporters after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Calif. cities sue oil giants: ‘Now the bill has come due’

Source: Benjamin Hulac, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 21st, 2017

San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., unveiled lawsuits yesterday against five oil companies, arguing that a handful of deep-pocketed corporations have put the future and health of both cities in jeopardy, despite the industry’s long-standing knowledge of man-made climate change.

Storage gets boost as 100% renewables, grid expansion fail in California

Source: By Peter Maloney, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, September 21st, 2017

One of Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) key agenda items is expanding the California Independent System Operator’s electricity market to include neighboring states. A full western ISO would provide a ready market for the state’s production of solar power, which can push power prices into negative territory during peak generation. Being able to export solar power when production is high, or import renewable resources from surrounding states when in-state renewable production is low, would help the state better manage its grid and incorporate more renewable resources.

How Can U.S. States Fight Climate Change if Trump Quits the Paris Accord?

Source: By BRAD PLUMER, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, September 21st, 2017

In the months since President Trump declared that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate deal, 14 state governors have vowed to continue upholding the agreement and press ahead with policies to fight global warming. But a key question has always lingered: How much can these states really do on climate by themselves, without help from the federal government?

‘Tough issues’ abound as China Ambassador Branstad tackles North Korea and trade

Source: By Kyle Munson, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, September 21st, 2017

It was almost possible to listen Wednesday evening to Ambassador Terry Branstad speak to a roomful of Iowans on the opposite side of the globe and forget how drastically his life and global politics have changed in the last year. Branstad and a cast of familiar Iowa characters reminisced about the unlikely winding road that began with an Iowa Sister States relationship forged in 1983 between Iowa and China’s Hebei province.