Solar Developers and Panel Makers Clash Over Tariff Request

Source: By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times • Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Dozens of solar industry executives, government officials and foreign diplomats gathered here on Tuesday to urge federal trade commissioners to reject a petition from two troubled domestic solar equipment manufacturers to impose steep tariffs and minimum price guarantees on similar imports. At risk, they argued, is the future of the solar industry itself.

Solar trade case weighs whether protection will save or sink industry

Source: By Ana Swanson, Associated Press • Posted: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Two solar manufacturers are begging the federal government for help, arguing that without protection from a flood of cheap imports, the United States risks losing its own domestic solar industry. But as they made their arguments before a commission on Tuesday, they faced an opponent: much of the rest of their industry. In a hushed, wood-paneled hearing room in the heart of Washington, companies Suniva and SolarWorld urged the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose steep tariffs on imports of solar cells and modules, which are assembled into panels and used to harvest solar energy, under a rarely used section of U.S. trade law known as Section 201.

Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say

Source: By CORAL DAVENPORT and ERIC LIPTON, New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agencyare summoned to a meeting with the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency. Doors to the floor are now frequently locked, and employees have to have an escort to gain entrance.

How Elon Musk and Cheap Oil Doomed Push for Natural Gas Cars

Source: By Patrick Martin, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The number of plug-in autos in the U.S. almost tripled between 2008 and 2015, government data show. Tesla, the company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has introduced three models since 2012, and other manufacturers are jumping into the market. Volvo AB has said all its new cars from 2019 will be hybrid or all-electric, and BMW AG is developing a self-driving electric to replace the 7-Series as the company’s flagship in 2021. Natural gas vehicles have seen their share of the auto market shrink. Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of biggest U.S. gas producers, eliminated the team working on natural-gas vehicles in 2013. Honda Motor Co. discontinued a natural-gas-fueled model of its popular Civic sedan in 2015.

Fifty Entities Urge N.C. Governor To Take Action On Offshore Wind

Source: By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

On Wednesday, 50 elected officials, small businesses, community groups and environmental organizations sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper, D-N.C., to urge him to embrace offshore wind as a key part of North Carolina’s energy plan.

U.S. Cities Fall Short in New Sustainability Analysis

Source: By By Katelyn Newman, US News • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

America’s cities are far from reaching the U.N.’s top marks in providing a sustainable community system for all residents, according to a new index analysis. The Sustainable Development Solutions Network published its first Sustainable Development Goals report on 100 American metropolitan areas Thursday. With 62.7 percent of America’s domestic population living in its cities, the analysis looked into 49 indicators from 16 of 17 of the goals the U.N. determined would lead to a thriving society

China is about to have the world’s biggest carbon market

Source: Debra Kahn, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

As the United States reverses its climate policies, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter is in the midst of setting up a national carbon-trading system. Chinese officials are preparing to launch an emissions market later this year that will cover roughly a quarter of the country’s industrial CO2. Officials and nonprofit groups from the European Union, Australia and California have been advising the Chinese on their program design.

White House mum on rumor, ‘loose talk’ about Manchin

Source: Hannah Northey and Dylan Brown, E&E News reporters • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The White House isn’t commenting on rumors that West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is a potential pick to lead the Energy Department, but that hasn’t stopped the mill from churning.

Manchin Emerges as Possible Pick for Energy Department

Source: By Kevin Cirilli. Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Some White House and Republican officials are exploring the idea of putting West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in charge of the Energy Department, according to four people familiar with the discussions, a move that could boost President Donald Trump’s stalled legislative agenda. If Manchin were offered and accepted the position, that would allow West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice — a newly minted Republican — to appoint a GOP successor and bring the party a vote closer in the Senate to being able to repeal Obamacare. The idea is in the early stages of consideration, and it’s unclear whether it has support within the administration, according to the people, who described the conversations under condition of anonymity.

Sierra Club sues agency over grid study ‘secrecy’

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The Sierra Club today sued the Energy Department in hopes of discovering which outside groups and experts the agency met with as it drafted a highly anticipated study of grid reliability. The group filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Oakland Division today, arguing that DOE violated the Freedom of Information Act.