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Work program trains unemployed oil and gas workers in solar technology

The coal industry has been painted with a bleak brush in recent years. Production has plummeted. Plants have closed. Jobs have been lost. But in Delta County, one organization is targeting unemployed coal miners in the hope of transitioning them into the solar industry — and leaving politics out of the conversation. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in April gave the Paonia-based solar organization a $401,000 matching grant as part of the WORK Act, legislation passed in May 2015 that aims to fill skills gaps in Colorado industries.

California May Push For 15 Percent Of New Cars To Be Emission Free In 10 Years

With the extension of California’s landmark climate change law stalled, a legislative plan is emerging to significantly up the ante on California’s commitment to electric vehicles by requiring that 15 percent of all new automobiles be emission-free within a decade.  Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Los Angeles, told The Associated Press on Friday that she’ll introduce legislation next week to ramp up the pressure on carmakers. Automakers that fail to sell enough electric vehicles would be required to make payments to rivals that do or pay a fine to the state.

Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it's taxing those who use it

The Wyoming legislature did something no other state has done, the concluded they owned the wind and with great efficiency for a conservative state not traditionally tilted toward burdening the energy industry, they did something no other state has done, before or since: They taxed it.  In the four years since Wyoming began taxing power generated by wind turbines, it has collected a little less than $15 million in revenue.

Oil Is Seeping From A North Dakota Hillside

The North Dakota Department of Health is investigating an oil spill on a western North Dakota butte where oil is seeping out of a hillside. Karl Rockeman, director of the Division of Water Quality, said late Friday that oil was discovered to be seeping out of the hillside in multiple locations. The company has recovered 504 barrels, or 21,168 gallons, of oil and 120 barrels, or 5,040 gallons, of produced water from holes drilled into the subsurface of the site. The total size of the spill is still being determined.  “It may be larger than that yet as well,” Rockeman said.

Illinois leaders promote NY energy program as model

A group of Illinois mayors and community leaders encouraged state lawmakers in a letter Tuesday to follow the lead of the state of New York, which has adopted a new energy program that will help preserve several of that state's struggling nuclear plants. The letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders was sent on the same day as Exelon Generation announced an agreement to assume ownership and management of Entergy Corp.'s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, New York.

Report: States stand to gain if corporations have better access to renewables

Four Midwest states rank among the top in the nation for making it easier for corporations to gain better access to wind and solar. According to a report by Advanced Energy Economy.  The report lists the top 11 states that are “above average” when it comes to clean energy resources available as well as having large industrial energy loads, which includes Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio. The report makes six policy recommendations that would make it easier for large energy users in those states to access renewable energy.

Louisiana officials go to court blaming Big Oil for coastal ruin

The oil industry has left a big footprint along the Gulf Coast, where a Delaware-sized stretch of Louisiana has disappeared. But few politicians would blame Big Oil for ecosystem abuse in a state where the industry employs up to 300,000 people and injects $73 billion into the economy. Until now.  Following the lead of Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana political orthodoxy is being turned upside-down as prominent leaders of both parties join lawsuits seeking billions of dollars for environmental improvement projects.

Bankrupt Peabody wants to provide $11.9 million in executive bonuses

St. Louis-based coal miner Peabody Energy Corp. which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy asked a U.S. judge for permission to pay nearly $12 million in bonuses to the company's top six executives if it meets performance targets and emerges from bankruptcy. In a filing, Peabody said the incentives would help the company maximize its value for the benefit of all stakeholders. If the company falls short of the targets, executives will receive only their base salaries, which range from $444,000 to $1 million, Reuters reports.


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