News

FERC resets its review of Perry grid plan

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

On Thursday, new Chairman Kevin McIntyre was sworn in and promptly asked for a 30-day extension, which was granted Friday by Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Now FERC will undertake a reset of sorts, as McIntyre and fellow Commissioner Richard Glick, who also joined the agency in the last two weeks, take a look at the 1,500 comments FERC has received on DOE’s directive. The new commissioners alter the political calculus for supporters and critics of the plan, who have been trying to predict how the final votes might fall.

Greens target climate caucus members as tax vote nears

Source: Josh Kurtz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

As a complicated and controversial tax reform package moves closer to final passage this week, environmental groups are increasing the pressure on Republican members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus to vote against the measure. The political action committee Climate Hawks Vote launched a petition drive late last week targeting the 31 GOP members of the bipartisan caucus, which has pledged to work to address climate change.

Crucial week for GOP tax push, spending

Source: Geof Koss and George Cahlink, E&E News reporters • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

The pressures to maintain the final bill’s total cost within the limits allowed under the process of budget reconciliation adds another layer of pressure on conferees as they sort out a number of lower-tier energy issues. The House’s decision to reopen the terms of a 2015 tax deal that extended key renewable breaks, as well as other energy provisions, ensures those will be sticking points in the talks. The House bill reduces the value of the renewable production tax credit by nearly a third, for $12 billion in savings.

Pruitt discredits non-agency science. That claim lost in court

Source: Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

Pruitt told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the agency’s endangerment finding — its 2009 determination that carbon dioxide emissions pose a threat to public health and welfare — relied on “borrowed” work from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He said the finding’s overall process had been “short-shrifted.” In fact, the endangerment finding was informed not only by reports from the IPCC, but also from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, U.S. Climate Change Science Program and National Research Council, as well as studies and reports from other independent research grou

U.S. EPA chief says may launch public climate debate in January

Source: By alerie Volcovici, Reuters • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could launch a public debate about climate change as soon as January, administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, as the agency continued to unwind Obama-era initiatives to fight global warming. The agency had been working over the last several months to set up a “red team, blue team” debate on the science relating to manmade climate change to give the public a “real-time review of questions and answers around this issue of CO2,” Pruitt said.

Massachusetts doubles investment in energy storage

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

Massachusetts will invest $20 million in 26 energy storage projects, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced yesterday, more than doubling the Bay State’s previous commitment to storage. The state grants are part of an initiative that aims to see 200 megawatts of storage capacity installed across the commonwealth by 2020. Massachusetts originally committed to providing $10 million to finance pilot projects

FERC needs better data on capacity market, GAO says

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should do a better job assessing the performance of capacity markets, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released yesterday. Four out of the seven grid operators that FERC oversees use capacity markets, which are designed to provide financial incentives to operate enough power plants to match consumer demand. The capacity markets are meant to address the fact that revenue from energy and ancillary service markets might not be sufficient to cover the costs of some plant owners.

An American energy plan straight from coal country

Source: By Steven Mufson, Washington Post • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

Robert E. Murray, founder of Murray Energy and a major Trump supporter, presented a four-page “action plan” to rescue the coal industry. The plan said that commissioners at three independent regulatory agencies “must be replaced,” Environmental Protection Agency staff slashed, and safety and pollution rules “overturn[ed],” according to photos and documents seen by The Washington Post.

FERC requests more time on Perry grid proposal

Source: Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre asked the Department of Energy yesterday for 30 more days to review DOE’s controversial grid-pricing proposal. Acting in the immediate wake of his swearing in as FERC chief, McIntyre requested that DOE give the commission a month beyond the original Dec. 11 deadline to work on the plan, citing a high volume of comments and his and Democrat Richard Glick’s recent arrivals on the five-member commission.

Trump’s Plan to Bail Out Coal May Be Unraveling Under New Regulator

Source: By Catherine Traywick, Bloomberg • Posted: Monday, December 11th, 2017

The Trump administration, which was looking to have a plan in place by next week to bail out America’s coal country, will instead have to wait until the new year. Kevin McIntyre, sworn in Thursday as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asked for a 30-day extension to act on a sweeping proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants. Perry, who had called on the commission to come up with a plan by Dec. 11, granted the delay late Friday, saying he “respects the reasons” but “looked forward to swift action.”