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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

July 23, 2015

What’s in, what’s out of sprawling Senate bill

Geof Koss, Hannah Northey and Manuel QuiƱones, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-07-23 06:55:45

Out is New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich’s proposal to give FERC backstop authority to approve projects that face state-level delays, as well as Arkansas Republican John Boozman’s bill to limit federal eminent domain authority. Whereas Heinrich is from a state seeking to fast-track long-distance transmission to tap isolated pockets of wind and solar, Arkansas has shown a reluctance to accept the government blessing lines that don’t have state consent.
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Senate bill arrives; markups on tap next week

Geof Koss and Hannah Northey, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-07-23 06:57:35

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this afternoon will introduce its long-awaited bipartisan energy package, with two markups slated to kick off next week. The “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015” marks the first aisle-crossing effort in years to break through a legislative stalemate on energy policy. It has a heavy emphasis on modernizing energy infrastructure, encouraging efficiency, and increasing supplies of renewables and traditional energy sources, while also looking to boost the security of the electric grid from cyberattacks.
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Dozens of riders, but will any become law?

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-07-23 06:57:08

Republican lawmakers have included dozens of environmental policy riders in their 2016 spending bills, setting up a major clash with Democrats and the White House as lawmakers seek to hammer out a deal to fund the government. While most of the policy riders likely will never become law, some could be bargaining chips for President Obama and Democrats in their pleas for the GOP to raise discretionary spending levels. Republicans now have control of both chambers, giving them increased leverage to challenge the administration’s efforts to confront climate change, protect waterways and conserve imperiled wildlife. [ read more … ]

Energy bill sails through subcommittee, but tough talks loom

Hannah Northey and Daniel Bush, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-07-23 06:56:15

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee unanimously approved a comprehensive energy bill today, making clear the stripped-down measure will serve as a vehicle for policy riders down the road. In a voice vote, the Energy and Power Subcommittee advanced the legislation that its sponsors say would modernize energy infrastructure, boost energy jobs, and address security, diplomacy, efficiency and accountability. [ read more … ]

As He Heads to Africa, Obama’s Electricity Plan in Jeopardy

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  •    •  Posted 2015-07-23 06:58:00

As President Barack Obama returns to Africa this week, his signature program to help the continent double its access to electricity is in jeopardy, undermined by Congress’ refusal to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Of the $7 billion that Obama set aside for Power Africa, $5 billion fell under the auspices of the now-defunct bank, which guarantees loans to foreign companies buying U.S.-made products. But out of that $5 billion, just $132 million in transactions had been approved before the bank’s charter expired last month, rendering it unable to approve new transactions. Although the bank says it had several billion dollars of Power Africa projects in the pipeline, none of them can proceed unless lawmakers revive the bank. [ read more … ]

New York, San Francisco mayors use Vatican appearance to roll out new climate goals

Scott Detrow, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-07-23 06:58:23

“The Holy See or individual countries might be able to make nice speeches at the United Nations, but if the work doesn’t come from the periphery moving to the center, there is no effect,” Francis said, comparing cities to the limbs of a body. “And that is the responsibility of you mayors of cities.” It was a sentiment echoed by another onetime Jesuit seminarian who attended the conference. California Gov. Jerry Brown has made greenhouse gas reductions a centerpiece of his fourth and final term. Brown told the collection of politicians that in order to keep the rise in global temperatures to a minimum, “one-third of the oil that we know exists as reserves can never be taken out of the ground. Fifty percent of the gas can never be used, and over 90 percent of coal.” [ read more … ]

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