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Energy

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Blows Up Controversy

The United States’ first offshore wind farm is going to cost about $17,600 per home it will power. Private investors will turn a profit, and government officials can pat themselves on the back for having done something to combat “climate change.” But the owners of those homes, some of whom are already paying among the highest power rates in the nation, will end up shelling out nearly twice as much as the average American for this “green” electricity.  Deepwater Wind, a private energy firm, put the finishing touches on the Block Island Wind Farm in August.

Energy development gets a pass, kind of, for global methane rise

Global methane emissions from fossil fuel development are up to 60 percent greater than estimated by previous studies, according to a new report.  But the analysis shows that fossil fuel facilities are not directly responsible for the increased rate of global atmospheric methane emissions measured between 2007 and 2013 - estimated at some 28 million tons per year.

Fed approval paves way for low-cost cellulosic ethanol production

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Pacific Ethanol’s registration of its Stockton ethanol plant to generate valuable credits by producing cellulosic ethanol with the same equipment the company uses to produce corn-based ethanol. The EPA approval now allows Pacific Ethanol to generate so-called “D3 RINs” (Renewable Identification Numbers) using proprietary technology from one of its partners, Visalia-based Edeniq.

IEEFA Update: The Many Hurdles Facing the U.S. Coal-Fired Power Fleet

Why has U.S. coal production declined so enormously in recent years? Because the coal-fired power industry is producing less of the country’s electricity than ever. As recently as 10 years ago, coal-fired power plants provided half of U.S. power needs. Today that number is closer to 30 percent—and falling. Coal is not likely to fade entirely from the scene any time soon, but its share of the U.S. energy mix stands to drop to less than 20 percent in the not very distant future.

Utilities squeezed as corporations seek renewable energy elsewhere

As large corporations increasingly demand 100 percent renewable energy, many utilities are left in a bind: Add to their already excess capacity, or they can risk losing new customers to lower-priced third-party agreements. “We have to figure out how to thread the needle with utilities,” said Letha Tawney who, as the director for utility innovation at the World Resources Institute, spends many of her waking and working hours trying to guide utilities into a new energy paradigm.

2 more Hoosiers plead guilty to RIN, tax credit fraud

The owners of an Indiana biofuel producer pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and false statements for participating in a scheme that generated more than $60 million in fraudulent tax credits and U.S. EPA renewable fuels credits, or RINs, at Triton Energy LLC, a company that purported to produce and sell biofuel for use as transportation fuel.  Fred Witmer, 46, and Gary Jury, 58, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Magistrate Judge Susan Collins of the Northern District of Indiana, announced Assistant Attorney General John C.

New regulations of shale drilling take effect in Pennsylvania

New Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulations on unconventional gas drillingtake effect Oct. 8. The new rules regulate unconventional drilling practices and hydraulic fracturing, as well as related activities. “These regulations are a long time in coming and have undergone one of the most transparent and participatory processes ever overseen by DEP,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

Why climate change divides us

When it comes to global warming, the border between Weld and Larimer Counties might as well be a fault line.  They are two quintessentially Colorado counties – Weld stretching eastward from the shadow of the Rockies onto the wide and empty skirts of the high plains, while Larimer gathers up the cities that cluster against the foot of the Rockies north of Denver.  But their different character speaks to a broader divide nationwide. Weld voted for Mitt Romney in 2012; Larimer voted for President Obama.

EPA announces settlement with Western Dubuque regarding RFS

EPA and the Department of Justice announced a settlement with Western Dubuque to address alleged violations of the Renewable Fuel Standard on Oct. 4 and the filing of a complaint against NGL Crude Logistics, LLC and Western Dubuque Biodiesel LLC. Under the settlement, Western Dubuque has agreed to pay $6 million to resolve alleged Renewable Fuel Standard program violations for generating RINs for renewable fuel that was produced using unapproved feedstocks and production processes. A feedstock is the basic material used in the production of renewable fuel.

SD County -Moratorium on mining and alternative energy extended

Pennington County commissioners voted  to extend a moratorium on construction permits related to mining and alternative energy for one year. The temporary moratorium was originally approved in April and essentially blocked issuance of construction permits for those types of operations.

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