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Energy

Biomass Power Slumps as EPA, Industry Spar on Science

The industry that burns wood to produce electricity is floundering nationwide because of low power prices, and some lawmakers from heavily forested states are pushing to provide it with an extraordinary market advantage.

US CO2 Emissions From Natural Gas Will Top Coal in 2016

A steady drumbeat of new natural-gas plants have replaced coal as the dominant source of electricity generation in the U.S.  At the beginning of 2016, America’s coal production fell to its lowest level in 30 years.  But the increasingly heavy reliance on natural gas has exacted a toll. The energy-associated carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas are expected to top the CO2 emissions from coal for the first time more than 40 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

California Senate proposes new plan to spend cap-and-trade money

With two weeks left in the legislative session, Senate leader Kevin de León is making a new effort to unsnarl a two year budget gridlock over money generated from the state's cap-and-trade program. The $1.2-billion spending plan would include money for cleaner cars, energy efficient upgrades and urban parks.

First-of-its kind project would replace Lee County wind turbines

The Mendota Hills wind farm could be the first in the nation to decommission its entire fleet of turbines and replace a portion of them with upgraded models. Dallas-based Leeward Renewable Energy, which owns the wind farm, has requested a special-use permit from the Lee County Board to remove its 63 turbines in the southeast region of the county and build between 33 and 35 new structures.

Weekly Ethanol Production Ties All Time Record

According to EIA data, ethanol production averaged 1.029 million barrels per day (b/d)—or 43.22 million gallons daily. That is up 11,000 b/d from the week before and tied for the largest total on record. The four-week average for ethanol production remained unchanged at 1.012 million b/d for an annualized rate of 15.51 billion gallons.

What’s the future of nuclear in the Midwest? A state-by-state look

Nuclear power was born in the Midwest, and helped fuel the region’s once-vibrant manufacturing sector for decades.  But the Midwest’s cheap power prices and, in some states, deregulated markets make it hard for nuclear to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewables.

What 10 Years of RGGI’s Carbon-Trading Agreement Means for the Future

In August 2006, a handful of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states signed an amended memorandum of understanding that would lay the groundwork for the first multi-state carbon-trading scheme in the U.S. A decade after that agreement, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, has cut CO2 emissions from generation sources in those states by 50 million short tons, or 36 percent, from 2008 to 2014. Nine states currently participate, including all of New England, Delaware, Maryland and New York (New Jersey pulled out in 2011).

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.

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