Zinke open to tweaks as plan draws strong reactions

Source: Rob Hotakainen, E&E New • Posted: Friday, January 5th, 2018

Talk about a reversal. While critics estimated the Obama administration put 94 percent of the outer continental shelf off-limits to oil and gas development, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today he wants to make more than 90 percent of the OCS open for leasing.

Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling

Source: By LISA FRIEDMAN, New York Times • Posted: Friday, January 5th, 2018

The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard. The proposal lifts a ban on such drilling imposed by President Barack Obama near the end of his term and would deal a serious blow to his environmental legacy. It would also signal that the Trump administration is not done unraveling environmental restrictions in an effort to promote energy production.

Arctic Blast Heating Up Battle Between Energy Lobbying Groups

Source: By Tim Loh, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, January 5th, 2018

The competing explanations for what’s holding the U.S. power grid together thus far signal more battles ahead. Later this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is set to act on sweeping proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would bail out some coal and nuclear plants because they can stockpile months’ worth of fuel on site — something backers of the plan say will come in handy in moments like this, and that opponents say is unnecessary at a time of record gas production and steadily growing renewable energy.

Brrrrring on the energy debate

Source: By Anthony Adragna, Politico • Posted: Friday, January 5th, 2018

Few expect FERC to go along completely with Perry’s suggestion to give blanket financial support to coal and nuclear plants year-round, butthe bone-chilling weather nevertheless presents an opportunity for people on both sides of Perry’s plan to defend their position: Any outages will be a rallying I-told-you-so moment for Perry’s backers that FERC should look at the issue more closely, while an uneventful week further blunts his ear-twisting over an inevitable grid “crisis.”

Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer

Source: By HENRY FOUNTAIN, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

As bitter cold continues to grip much of North America and helps spawn the fierce storm along the East Coast, the question arises: What’s the influence of climate change? Some scientists studying the connection between climate change and cold spells, which occur when cold Arctic air dips south, say that they may be related. But the importance of the relationship is not fully clear yet.

Is ‘polar vortex 2.0’ a Hail Mary for coal, nuclear?

Source: Hannah Northey and Sam Mintz, E&E News reporters • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

As temperatures plunge, the politically packed terms “polar vortex” and now “polar vortex 2.0” are making the rounds in blogs, social media and national headlines, as are “weather bomb” and “bombogenesis.” While that colorful weather jargon remains murky, energy lobbying groups are making it crystal clear that the ensuing cold spell will be a talking point — as it was when temperatures cratered four years ago — in pushing the Trump administration’s proposal for subsidizing struggling nuclear and coal plants.

Cold snap tests Perry’s subsidy plans

Source: Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Energy Secretary Rick Perry likes to warn of the dangers of a second polar vortex while promoting his plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. The frigid weather encompassing the Northeast is testing that argument. Perry has argued that subsidies are required to keep open plants that are needed during periods of extreme cold but struggle to make money at other times in today’s wholesale power markets. Coal and nuclear plants have closed in great numbers in recent years, as more natural gas and renewables come online.

Company sues Wash. over blocked export project

Source: Dylan Brown, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

A coal company yesterday sued the state of Washington for blocking a proposed export terminal on the West Coast. Lighthouse Resources Inc. — the Utah-based company behind the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview — sued Gov. Jay Inslee (D), state Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

New York clean energy proposal seeks 1.5 GW of storage, coal phaseout

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

New York made waves yesterday when it unveiled a slate of clean energy proposals that sets the highest energy storage mandate in the country. Cuomo wants to commit at least $200 million from the NY Green Bank for storage investments that will help integrate renewable energy. The plan is to roll out 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025. ​Cuomo’s proposal also calls for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to invest at least $60 million through storage pilots and activities to reduce barriers to deploying energy storage, including permitting, customer acquisition, interconnection and financing costs.

Cuomo calls for more wind power, new cap on plant emissions

Source: By The Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, January 4th, 2018

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for more offshore wind energy projects and new caps on carbon emissions from smaller power plants. The Democratic governor announced the measures on Tuesday, the day before he delivers his state of the state address to lawmakers. Specifically, Cuomo wants the state to seek 800 megawatts of new offshore wind projects in 2018 and 2019, enough to power 400,000 households.