News

Biden is pledging steep carbon cuts – but isn’t explaining how he got there

Source: By ZACK COLMAN, Politico • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

White House officials have said the ambitious target to reduce U.S. emissions of planet-heating gases by 50-52 percent by 2030 was built on a rigorous analysis that laid out the pathways to success. But nearly a week later, no one outside the administration seems to have seen it. Several Republican, Democratic and committee offices on Capitol Hill told POLITICO they had not been briefed by the Biden administration nor have they received any detailed explanation of how the White House plans to achieve the goal President Joe Biden unveiled ahead of the summit he convened with dozens of world leaders.

Carper urges tough US rules barring gas-powered cars by 2035

Source: By HOPE YEN and TOM KRISHER, Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

A top Senate Democrat is urging U.S. anti-pollution standards that would follow a deal brokered by California with five automakers and then set targets to end sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, a goal that reaches farther than President Joe Biden’s climate plan. In a letter sent late Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency, Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says the administration must move forcefully in the auto sector to achieve Biden’s plan of slashing America’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

A Bet 20 Years Ago Made It the Exxon of Green Power

Source: By Stanley Reed and Raphael Minder, New York Times • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

In the winter of 2015, three directors of a Connecticut electric company met with a potential acquirer: a determined Spanish utility executive named José Ignacio Sánchez Galán, who surprised them with a bold vision for America’s utility industry. “He was very clear then that he saw the U.S. as having enormous potential in renewable energy,” said John L. Lahey, who was chairman of the company, United Illuminating. “This guy six years ago was already way ahead of where the U.S. was.”

BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS: New FERC chair making changes ‘at warp speed’

Source: By S&P Global • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick has sought to smooth tensions with states whose varied clean energy policies have come into conflict with the nation’s mandatory power capacity markets. In its natural gas project work, FERC has begun to elevate considerations of climate change, environmental justice and community impacts, at times rattling pipeline companies worried about the permanence of its decisions supporting projects. “Glick is attacking everything. He is at warp speed right now,” said Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, rattling off multiple policy initiatives, rulemakings and workshops on the gas and power agenda.

As Indian Point Goes Dark, New York Races to Swap Nuclear With Wind

Source: By Eric Roston and Will Wade, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

One of the pair of active nuclear reactors within blast radius of Manhattan made a federal safety watch-list back in 1993. That’s when regulators cited Unit 3 at the Indian Point Energy Center for leaky coolant pipes and faltering engineering support. Shortly thereafter a control-room operator tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. But none of that helped activists’ long quest to turn off the nuclear plant. Up until Friday, when Indian Point’s final reactor will be shut down, dogged opposition from environmentalists and safety advocates failed for decades to shut it down permanently. The two reactors produced about 2.1 gigawatts of power for nearly 45 years—enough to meet a quarter of demand from New York City, without emitting greenhouse gas. 

Wind Power Giant’s Profit Hit by Rocks on the Seabed

Source: By Will Mathis, Bloomberg • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Building power plants in the middle of the sea was never going to be easy. The world’s largest developer of offshore wind farms Orsted A/S has found that some of its cables connecting to wind farms have been damaged by scraping against rocks on the seabed and will need to spend as much as 3 billion Danish kroner ($489 million) to fix them. It’s part of the growing pains for the offshore wind industry that’s become one of the fastest-growing sources of electrici

Chinese Solar Firm Plans Tours to Rebut Forced Labor Claims

Source: By Bloomberg News • Posted: Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

U.S.-listed Daqo New Energy Corp. has fired back at allegations that forced labor is used at factories in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, saying it will soon let investors see for themselves. The company will invite as many as 50 analysts and investors to visit the plant in mid-May, said He Ning, director of investor relations at the polysilicon manufacturer, which has a facility outside Urumqi that Bloomberg reporters visited in March without being allowed inside.

The U.S. Will Need a Lot of Land for a Zero-Carbon Economy

Source: By Dave Merrill, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, April 29th, 2021

At his international climate summit last week, President Joe Biden vowed to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The goal will require sweeping changes in the power generation, transportation and manufacturing sectors. It will also require a tremendous amount of land. Wind farms, solar installations and other forms of clean power take up far more space on a per-watt basis than their fossil-fuel-burning brethren. A 200-megawatt wind farm, for instance, might require spreading turbines over 19 square miles (49 square kilometres). A natural-gas power plant with that same generating capacity could fit onto a single city block.

Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane

Source: By Coral Davenport, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, April 29th, 2021

The Senate voted on Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation designed to clamp down on emissions of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate change promises. Taking a page from congressional Republicans who in 2017 made liberal use of a once-obscure law to roll back Obama-era regulations, Democrats invoked the law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer. That rule had eliminated Obama-era controls on leaks of methane, which seeps from oil and gas wells.

Mills pushes for 10-year ban on offshore wind development in state waters

Source: BY TUX TURKEL, Portland Press Herald • Posted: Thursday, April 29th, 2021

As fishing interests geared up early Wednesday for a rally against offshore wind power development, the administration of Gov. Janet Mills introduced legislation to create a 10-year ban on new projects in state waters. The proposed moratorium would set aside state waters, which extend up to three miles from shore, for fishing and recreation. It would focus commercial-scale wind project development in federal waters of the Gulf of Maine, where the Mills administration has proposed a first-in-the-nation research array to study floating offshore wind technology.