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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 29, 2014

Dueling experts weigh in on upcoming EPA power plant proposal

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-05-29 06:57:02

With U.S. EPA set to release its greenhouse gas proposal for existing power plants Monday, a leading environmental group and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce painted very different pictures today of the rule’s potential impacts. The Natural Resources Defense Council, which released its own proposal for the rule in 2012, lauded the coming rule as a boon to energy efficiency and public health, and a game-changing moment in U.S. climate change politics. [ read more … ]

EPA power plant rule could lead to drastic cuts in traditional air pollutants — study

Tiffany Stecker, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-05-29 06:57:27

A new study finds that allowing more flexible compliance with U.S. EPA’s upcoming power plant rule wouldn’t only lead to less greenhouse gas emissions — it would lead to cleaner air and healthier ecosystems, too. Researchers from Harvard University and Syracuse University modeled three different possible scenarios for the June 2 proposal, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s existing power plants for the first time. They measured reductions in four different pollutants: fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury. [ read more … ]

Interior begins NEPA review of Ore. floating turbine farm

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-05-29 06:57:46

The Interior Department today announced it has kicked off its review of a Seattle company’s plans to build what would be the nation’s first offshore floating wind farm. The agency’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it will accept public comments on Principle Power Inc.’s plans to install five 6-megawatt floating wind turbines in deep waters about 18 miles off the coast of Coos Bay, Ore. The environmental assessment will review impacts associated with both the issuance of a commercial lease, and construction and operation of the 30 MW project. Potentially affected resources include invertebrates, fish, birds, bats and marine mammals, as well as commercial and sport fishing and vessel traffic, BOEM said. [ read more … ]

Obama admin retools sprawling Western ‘energy corridor’

Scott Streater, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-05-29 06:58:05

The Obama administration is slowly taking the first steps to revise potentially large sections of a congressionally designated 6,000-mile-long energy corridor as mandated by a nearly 2-year-old legal settlement with environmental groups that claimed the original corridor unnecessarily tore through sensitive landscapes and fails to advance renewable energy development. But it could be years before any substantive revisions are made to dozens of contested sections of the “West-wide Energy Corridor” that stretches across 11 Western states and nearly 3 million acres of public land, including federal wildlife refuges and key habitat for greater sage grouse. That’s due mostly to a lack of federal funding that has prevented the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and the Department of Energy from even starting a base-line corridor study that was supposed to be completed in July. [ read more … ]

AEP wants OK of 12.6% rate cut

By Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch  •    •  Posted 2014-05-29 06:58:21

American Electric Power proposes a rate cut for most residential customers, and a trial-like regulatory hearing process that is required to implement it begins next week.
A typical household bill would be 12.6 percent less than under current rates, based on forecasts of market conditions next year, when the plan would take effect. Little has been said or written about the proposal, largely because it is free of the rate increases and other controversial elements that were in the company‚Äôs 2008 and 2011 plans. [ read more … ]

Pentagon, project developers strike deal on N.M. missile range

Scott Streater, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-05-29 06:58:37

A deal has been struck in the months-long battle over the path of a New Mexico-to-Arizona transmission line near an Army missile testing range, with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel agreeing to drop objections to the project if sections near the range are buried underground. Backers of the 515-mile-long SunZia Southwest Transmission Project must also sign a legally binding “hold harmless agreement,” according to the one-page letter Hagel sent to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. Sources say the agreement aims to protect the Army from liability if an errant missile strikes one of the high-tower lines running just north of New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range. [ read more … ]

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