News

Ginsburg death leaves ‘no environmental voice’ on bench

Source: By Pamela King and Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E News reporters • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could shake the foundation of America’s bedrock environmental laws, leaving a chasm on the bench where once sat an environmental champion. Ginsburg, who died Friday, was the Supreme Court’s longest-serving liberal justice and was best known for her advocacy on women’s rights. But she also played a critical role in opening courtroom doors to green groups and established broad interpretations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other laws.

Google made clean energy cool for corporations, and it’s about to do the same for batteries

Source: By Michael J. Coren, Quartz • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

By 2030, Google plans to precisely match every electron of electricity flowing into its offices and data centers with one produced from a renewable source. If someone clicks on a search at 3 AM, Google will find the electricity to power that query from a battery, wind turbine, solar panel, hydroelectric dam, or some other carbon-free technology at that precise moment. That goal would make Google the first major company to run its entire business on carbon-free energy around the clock. If the history of renewable energy is any guide, this could have an industry-shifting impact on the market for energy storage and batteries.

5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize

Source: By Julian Spector, Green Tech Media • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Electric utilities all over the place are promising to eliminate or net out their carbon emissions — here’s GTM’s look at the top five. Such promises were unthinkable for utilities just a few years ago. But the trend took off when Xcel Energy figured out it could retire coal plants, build clean power plants, and make more profits while keeping electricity costs down. The combination of positive public perception, a bigger rate-base and greater appeal to sustainability-minded investors turned the carbon-free commitments into the rule, not the exception, for the utility sector.

Many California Republicans side with Trump in dismissing climate change as wildfire cause

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Many California Republican lawmakers are siding with President Trump in dismissing climate change as a driving factor of the state’s historic wildfires. Trump, during a trip to Sacramento, stunned many by scoffing at the scientific consensus that temperatures are rising globally and predicted the Earth will “start getting cooler.” But Republicans from rural corners of the state are also loudly objecting to the idea that efforts to reduce emissions will help, even as others in the party warm to the idea of doing something about climate change.

Vermont House Votes to Override Scott’s Veto of Climate Bill

Source: By Kevin McCallum, Seven Days • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

After hearing impassioned testimony from its members, the Vermont House voted Thursday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act. The final tally was 103-47, surpassing the 100 votes needed for a veto override in the House. The Senate is virtually assured to do the same in the coming days, meaning the bill, H.688, will soon become the law of the land. “A vision without a plan is a hallucination,” Rep. Tim Briglin (D-Thetford), a bill sponsor and chair of the House Energy and Technology Committee, said after the vote. “H.688 moves us from aspiration to accountability.”

How sour relations with China could derail Biden on climate

Source: By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

But the relationship between the two global powers — and top carbon emitters — has soured so much in recent years that it’s doubtful a similar agreement could be reconstructed if Biden, a Democrat, is elected president. For one thing, the public might not stand for it after a campaign season in which Biden and President Trump are facing off over who can be the toughest on China.

Biden: Fracking ‘has to continue’ for now

Source: By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

There’s “no rationale” to end fracking while seeking rapid decarbonization, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said last night during a CNN town hall. Answering questions from voters in northeast Pennsylvania, the former vice president sought to balance his climate plan’s aggressive deadlines with commitments to protect fossil fuel jobs. Biden held up energy unions as indispensable partners and said the federal government’s purchasing power could reshape the manufacturing sector. But he gave more ambivalent answers on hydraulic fracturing and the Green New Deal.

FERC wades into battle over China-made grid equipment

Source: By Christian Vasquez, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Top U.S. energy regulators want to know just how dangerous Chinese-manufactured equipment is to the power grid. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a notice of inquiry yesterday aimed at gathering information on use of equipment and services by foreign companies deemed a national security risk.

Trump, Biden clash on fracking as DOE touts natural gas

Source: By Lesley Clark and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Trump White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow used a Department of Energy summit yesterday to lambaste what he called the “other team” for “bizarre plans” he said would do “great harm” to the U.S. energy industry. Kudlow never used Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden’s name, but his comments seven weeks from the Nov. 3 election came as he noted Trump has put a “premium” on achieving energy independence.

Ohio axes ‘poison pill’ for Lake Erie project

Source: By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, September 20th, 2020

The prospects for the nation’s first freshwater offshore wind farm got a lift yesterday after Ohio regulators struck down a permitting requirement that might have slammed the brakes on development. The Ohio Power Siting Board approved the 20.7-megawatt Icebreaker wind farm in Lake Erie on May 21. But the board required turbines be “feathered,” or idled, at nighttime for eight months of the year to protect birds and bats — terms that made the project economically unviable, according to the developer, Lake Erie Energy Development Corp.