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Honolulu leads the nation in installed solar capacity per capita

Biz Journal | Posted on April 5, 2018

Hawaii's state capital has nearly three times as much solar PV per capita as the next leading city, San Diego, California.


First Floating U.S. Wind Farm May Be Built Off California Coast

Bloomberg | Posted on April 5, 2018

An agency that leads sustainable energy efforts for cities and counties along the state’s Redwood Coast chose a consortium of companies -- including Energias de Portugal SA’s EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Principle Power Inc. -- to build a floating wind farm that may generate as much as 150 megawatts of power.


Rick Perry mulls request to save coal, nuclear plants

Washington Examiner | Posted on April 4, 2018

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is considering a request from utility First Energy for an emergency order to save nuclear and coal power plants in the regions where it operates. The Energy Department confirmed the request by the utility company for an emergency must-run order under section 202 of the Federal Power Act, which gives Perry the authority to direct the "temporary" continued use of power plants in circumstances that include war, energy shortages or sudden surges in demand.


Judge dismisses Exxon’s ‘implausible’ attempt to stop climate investigations

The Hill | Posted on April 2, 2018

A federal judge dismissed Exxon Mobil Corp.’s attempt to stop the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts from investigating its alleged fraud regarding what company officials knew about climate change and when. The country’s largest oil company argued that probes by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) violated its free speech rights and were improperly motivated by political bias, among other claims.Exxon wanted Judge Valerie Caproni in the District Court for the Southern District of New York to stop the attorneys general from issuing subpoenas or other demands for records or dispositions.But in a big loss for Exxon, Caproni, whom former President Obama nominated to the bench, said the company’s allegations were “implausible,” and dismissed its case.


Farmers fear ethanol talks could 'destroy' rural economy

Nebraska TV | Posted on March 30, 2018

Ethanol and oil are fighting over market share today, as the highway of tomorrow looks very different. “You're going to be looking at maybe less liquid fuel being used than we are today, whether it's electric vehicles coming on or fuel efficiency getting better, cars with better gas mileage,” said Troy Bredenkamp, Executive Director of Renewable Fuels Nebraska. Oil state senators like Ted Cruz say the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is broken, and he has said jobs at oil refineries are at stake.“These are blue–collar, working–class jobs, the kind that are the backbone of our economy, the kind that keep refineries going,” Cruz said in a speech on the Senate floor.But corn growers fear one proposed solution would immediately cut ethanol consumption by a billion gallons a year.“That would literally destroy the Midwest,” said Jan tenBensel, chair of the Nebraska Ethanol Board.


RFA Opposes Proposed PES Settlement; Would Allow Refiner ‘to Have its Cake and Sell it Too’

Renewable Fuels Association | Posted on March 28, 2018

 The Renewable Fuels Association strongly opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed settlement agreement with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) that would allow the bankrupt refiner to unjustifiably waive the vast majority of its Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), it said in comments filed today with the U.S. Department of Justice. The proposed PES settlement agreement, which covers the refiner’s RVOs for January 2016-April 2018, should be rejected “because the terms are patently unfair, unreasonable, and inconsistent with the purposes of the RFS program,” RFA wrote. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware has to approve PES’ proposed settlement agreement on April 4. As numerous independent reporters have concluded, the true causes of PES’ financial woes are: rerouting of lower-cost domestic crude oil supplies to Gulf coast refineries, antiquated technology, mismanagement, and lifting of the crude oil export ban.As RFA noted, “By allowing PES to retire only 138 million RINs for its pre-effective date obligation of more than 500 RINs, DOJ and EPA have effectively waived approximately three-quarters of PES’s RVOs for this period….Exacerbating its noncompliance, PES reportedly had been also selling roughly 40 million RINs in the fall of 2017, even as the March 2018 RVO compliance deadline approached. This is a classic case of a regulated entity being allowed to have its cake and sell it, too—while PES seeks to escape from its financial responsibilities under the RFS program, it embraces that same program for the limited purpose of profiting from it,” RFA added.


Cruz’s one-man energy crusade

McClatchy | Posted on March 28, 2018

Ted Cruz has a plan to fix an environmental regulation Texas oil refiners hate. Yet Cruz’s plan has not been widely embraced by the very industry he’s trying to help.Texas’ powerful oil and gas sector detests the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard, which mandates that transportation fuel contain a certain quantity of renewable fuels. Cruz’s aggressive attempts to unravel that policy — by taking his case to the White House — could offer the quickest path to changes the industry wants.Rather than work with a divided Senate, Cruz is appealing to Trump’s anti-regulatory EPA to change a small piece of the 2005 regulation, a piece most in the energy industry believe would blow up the entire policy Cruz has long sought to abolish.


Oil companies not questioning climate science

Scientific American | Posted on March 26, 2018

Oil companies accused of raising ocean levelswon't question the existence of climate change in federal court today. Chevron Corp. is expected to take a lead role in a climate science “tutorial” at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The unusual hearing was required by Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing lawsuits filed by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland claiming that five oil giants are contributing to damages related to climate change.In the hours before the tutorial, which Alsup is using to gather historical observations about climatic conditions that can go back thousands of years, Chevron said it wouldn’t question the facts around rising temperatures. San Francisco and Oakland, along with several counties in California, are suing Chevron, BP PLC, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC for allegedly downplaying the threat of climate change. The local governments claim that the oil majors knew years ago that the emissions related to their products could cause sea-level rise and contribute to other damages.


Ohio State coal tech captures CO2, but can it compete with renewables?

Energy News | Posted on March 26, 2018

A promising technology under development at The Ohio State University converts fossil fuels into electricity without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If the method makes it out of the lab and into the real world, it could represent a breakthrough for “clean coal.” The process — known as coal-direct chemical looping — is “the most advanced and cost-effective approach to carbon capture we have reviewed to date,” said David Kraft, a fellow with Babcock & Wilcox, a power company that’s partnered with the university. “CDCL has potential to transform the power and petrochemical industries.”


‘I saw more dead birds in that one pit than hunters would poach’

High Country News | Posted on March 22, 2018

When he drove out to inspect the half-acre pond, he found something far worse. As he expected, its banks were covered with dried oil. But it was the bottom of the abandoned pit that shocked him: It was blanketed with the bones of thousands of birds. “You see that carnage and you know there are 500 more pits with oil on them and you can’t see the bottom,” Mowad said. “It’s an ‘Oh, my God’ moment. If there are this many dead birds in this pit, can you imagine what’s in the others?” “I knew that I saw more dead birds in that one pit than hunters would poach my entire career,” Mowad, who is now retired, said of the 1996 discovery. “It was very clear to me that this is where our work priority should be.” Since the 1970s, federal officials had used the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to prosecute and fine companies that accidentally killed birds with oil pits, wind turbines, spills or other industrial hazards. But a legal decision issued in December by the Interior Department revoked that ability.


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