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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 16, 2013

FERC nominee to spark political showdown on Senate panel; other picks less controversial

Hannah Northey, Phil Taylor and Nick Juliano, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2013-09-16 06:58:37

The highly controversial and increasingly political confirmation of President Obama’s pick to lead the otherwise sleepy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will take center stage this week before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The panel tomorrow will weigh the fate of Ron Binz, a Democrat and former chairman of Colorado’s utility board, a nominee who has sparked a fierce campaign battle among clean energy groups, foundations, libertarian think tanks and conservative organizations in Washington, D.C., and beyond. [ read more … ]

E.P.A. Is Expected to Set Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions by New Power Plants

By MICHAEL WINES, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2013-09-16 06:59:18

Following up on President Obama’s pledge in June to address climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency plans this week to propose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from newly built power plants.
But even before the proposal becomes public, experts on both sides of the issue say it faces a lobbying donnybrook and an all-but-certain court challenge. For a vast and politically powerful swath of the utility industry — operators of coal-fired plants, and the coal fields that supply them — there are fears that the rules would effectively doom construction of new coal plants far into the future. [ read more … ]

In sweeping rewrite, Calif. overhauls rates, lifts net metering cap

Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2013-09-16 06:59:36

California’s Legislature yesterday approved a sweeping rewrite of electricity rates, passing a package of legislation that would allow prices to rise while expanding a program that gives bill credits for renewable energy. The state also would throw out a barrier to hiking its ambitious green power mandate as part of A.B. 327 from Assemblyman Henry Perea (D). The California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, had been barred from increasing the existing requirement of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. Under the bill, the agency would be free to raise the level. [ read more … ]

New power plant rule legally sturdier but still requires CCS — source

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2013-09-16 07:00:06

U.S. EPA may be poised to introduce a proposal for new power plant carbon dioxide emissions that is legally sturdier than the one it issued last year but that still relies on a costly emissions-reduction technology that coal-fired utilities say is not commercially viable. [ read more … ]

U.S. power grid operators face tension between integration and independence — FERC chairman

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2013-09-16 07:00:23

As the United States moves to modernize its aging power grid, it is being pulled in two different, and sometimes opposed, directions, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said yesterday. On the one hand, many consumers are pushing for a greater degree of autonomy from traditional power systems, opting for a more decentralized system of small operators producing and distributing energy on a local scale, said Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, speaking during a briefing co-hosted by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.