News

Storm could bring much-needed moisture to N.M.

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say a potent storm headed toward New Mexico could bring some much needed moisture to the drought-stricken state. They issued an advisory yesterday, saying the storm is expected to move across the state beginning Saturday and will reach the eastern plains Sunday. Significant snow accumulations are expected to affect travel and could cause delays late Saturday in the northern mountains, where a few inches up to a foot of snow could fall. The eastern plains could see several inches.

Mass. looks to ban gas car sales by 2035

Source: By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Massachusetts plans to phase out sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, speeding down the same road as California. While many climate hawks have their eyes trained on the federal government, the proposal last week from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) heralds significant climate action at the state level. “I’m really excited to see Gov. Baker moving forward to address global warming pollution from cars and get more zero-emission vehicles on the road,” said Morgan Folger, director of the Zero Carbon Campaign at Environment America.

How climate opponents helped pass a historic emissions law

Source: By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

The most important climate legislation enacted since 2009 was helped across the finish line by two business groups better known for opposing regulation. The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have a history of seeking to curtail EPA’s use of the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. But last year they stepped in to help rescue bipartisan legislation to reduce refrigerants linked to warming as the measure was poised to become a casualty of climate politics. “It became really clear to us that we needed to engage more closely, and had the ability to step in and play the role of broker,” said Rachel Jones, vice president of energy and resource policy with the manufacturing trade group.

Treasury issues final CCS tax credit rule

Source: By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

The Trump administration’s Treasury Department issued a final rule yesterday providing detailed guidelines for companies using a tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects. In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the regulations governing the tax credit known as 45Q would “further modernize the American energy sector, while ensuring American energy producers maintain their competitive edge around the world.”

Giant turbines will generate power at New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm

Source: By JON HURDLE, NJ Spotlight • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm will also be among the first in the world to be powered by the biggest and most powerful turbines ever built, the project’s developer said. Ocean Wind, a planned farm about 15 miles off Atlantic City, is due to start operating in 2024, using as many as 99 Haliade-X turbines — giant machines that will tower 853 feet (260 meters) above the ocean’s surface, using blades that are 351 feet (107 meters) long, and can each generate enough electricity to power 16,000 homes.

Washington state proposes legislation to phase out natural gas utility service

Source: By Tom DiChristopher, S&P Global • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Legislation developed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office could substantially reduce — and potentially eliminate — natural gas utilities’ role in delivering energy to many state ratepayers over the next 30 years. The legislation put Washington on pace to become the first U.S. state to implement statewide restrictions on natural gas infrastructure in new construction, while simultaneously tackling retrofits in existing buildings.

California governor’s stimulus plan includes $1.5 billion to boost electric and hydrogen vehicles

Source: By Lora Kolodny, CNBC • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Tesla and other electric vehicle makers stand to benefit handsomely if California passes Governor Newsom’s proposed $4.5 billion 2021 budget for economic stimulus in the state. The 2021 proposal, which Newsom previewed on Tuesday, includes $1.5 billion earmarked to help people and businesses purchase electric or hydrogen vehicles and equipment, and to invest in construction and maintenance of charging and fueling infrastructure, which would be needed to support expanded use of these vehicles in the state.

World’s Largest Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage System Now Online

Source: By Emily Holbrook, Environment and Energy Leader • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, the world’s largest utility-scale battery energy storage system, is now online. The 300 megawatts/1,200 megawatt-hours lithium-ion battery storage system is located on-site at Vistra’s Moss Landing Power Plant in Monterey County, California. Construction is already underway on Phase II, which will add an additional 100 MW/400 MWh to the facility by August 2021, bringing its total capacity to 400 MW/1,600 MWh.

A Plan Made to Shield Big Tobacco From Facts Is Now E.P.A. Policy

Source: By Lisa Friedman, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Nearly a quarter century ago, a team of tobacco industry consultants outlined a plan to create “explicit procedural hurdles” for the Environmental Protection Agency to clear before it could use science to address the health impacts of smoking. President Trump’s E.P.A. has now embedded parts of that strategy into federal environmental policy. On Tuesday Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the E.P.A., formally released a new regulation that favors certain kinds of scientific research over others in the drafting of public health rules.

Business leaders once allied with Trump now condemn him for stoking violence

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, January 7th, 2021

A bevy of energy business interests in Washington who once cheered on President Trump’s agenda are now blaming him for stoking rhetoric that led to a pro-Trump mob violent storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.  Mike Sommers, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said he found the footage of rioters breaking into the Capitol and clashing with police “absolutely sickening” and “heartbreaking.”  Asked about Trump’s role, Sommers said, “I blame him completely.”