FERC to Look at Winter Coal Deliveries to Power Plants

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s regular monthly meeting on December 18 will feature an unusual agenda item: a detailed look at winter coal deliveries to power plants. FERC said in a press release that it will “convene a panel discussion” on coal transportation problems, with witnesses from it staff, the Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation [...]

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Is Ivanpah Going on the Federal Dole?

Touted as the world’s largest solar power plant, the 392-MW Ivanpah concentrating solar project in California’s Mojave Desert is underperforming and seeking a federal bailout on top of federal subsidies to build the project. Owned by Google and NRG Energy, Ivanpah was built with a $1.6 billion U.S. Department of Energy loan in 2011, out [...]

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EPA’s Greenhouse Plan and Reliability: Train Wreck?

Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1990. The key to the 1990 amendments, and the previous versions of the air law, was state implementation of federal requirements. State regulators would implement the federal requirements on state-regulated electric companies. In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which started a major transformation in the electricity [...]

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Blankenship Indictment Isn’t a Conviction

It’s too early to be measuring Don Blankenship for a prison-striped suit. He was the odious Massey Energy CEO in April 2010 when the company’s Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine in Raleigh County in southern West Virginia exploded and killed 29 miners. Blankenship faces federal charges that could put him in jail for the [...]

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Ozone Rules: Are the Costs Too High?

The on-again, off-again new federal ozone rules are on again, as the Obama administration the day before Thanksgiving announced it will revise the air standard for ground-level ozone to a range of 65 parts per billion to 75 ppb (the current standard, set in 2008), with a request for comments on the possibility of a [...]

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Why Google Gave Up on Green

Hoping to apply the smarts they showed in the online world, in 2007 engineers at Google decided they would save Mother Earth from global warming. The company concluded that renewable energy was the path of the future and created RE<C, a moon shot approach to make renewables cheaper than fossil fuels. In 2011, Google quietly [...]

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Pielke Writes the Book on Climate and Disasters

Roger Pielke, Jr. has written the book on the relationship between climate change and weather disasters. Literally. His new book – Disasters & Climate Change – became available last week. The slim text (114 pages) is the best, clearest exposition yet of why the claims that particular weather events – droughts, floods, Superstorm Sandy and [...]

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What’s FERC Got to Do with It?

Fractivists and climate campaigners have besieged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of late, charging that the independent agency is erecting barriers to combating global warming by granting approval for new natural gas pipelines and LNG export terminals. Activists have appeared at FERC’s normally dry-as-dust monthly public meetings to make their claims that the agency is [...]

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Will GOP’s Wave Revive Yucca Mountain?

The crash of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate following this month’s elections and the unseating of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada as majority leader has supporters of the Department of Energy’s stagnant Yucca Mountain storage site for spent civilian nuclear fuel singing “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Is the refrain premature? Former Democratic Sen. [...]

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Green Greenbacks Fail to Sway Elections

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer was demonstrably a heck of a hedge fund investor. But as an investor in partisan politics, he’s a bust. Steyer, the green equivalent of the Koch brothers on the right, reportedly poured $76 million of his personal holdings into his NextGen Climate Action PAC. Steyer’s political action committee is on [...]

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