Tag Archives: Congress

Kayaking to Cut Coal Fired Power Plants: 2,341 Miles Down the Missouri River

By Clarence Dennis, Flatland KC

Part passion, part protest, Graham Jordison is paddling his kayak all 2,341 miles of the Missouri River, completely on his own. On Monday morning, Jordison pulled his orange boat onto the rocks at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas, just a few hundred yards from the state of Missouri’s final stretch of the “Big Muddy.”

Jordison’s journey, which set off July 18 from Three Forks, Montana, is about a week away from the finish line in St. Louis, where the Missouri River pours into the Mississippi River. The long-distance paddler is moving at an average of 35 miles per day, give or take. Continue reading here.

Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Gas Campaign

Photo: Graham Jordison on the Missouri River near Sioux City. Credit: Emma Colman

BEYOND TAR SANDS

EDP Renewables, TC Energy Sign Power Agreement for Alberta Wind Farm, North American Wind Power

 “This agreement, which is Alberta’s largest power purchase agreement for wind, is an important step as TC Energy continues to build its renewable energy portfolio,” states Corey Hessen, TC Energy’s senior vice president and president of power and storage.

Previously Posted: Developer Abandons Keystone XL Pipeline Project, Ending Decade-Long Battle, by Jeff Brady and Neela Banerjee, NPR

FULLY ELECTRIFIED CAMPUS INITIATIVES

Columbia Pledges That All Future Campus Construction Will Be Fossil Free, Columbia News
As Climate Week NYC begins, the university explores creating a fully electrified campus. The Columbia Climate School is university partner of the weeklong climate showcase.

RESIDENTIAL RENEWABLES FOR ALL 

Advocates push for clean energy tax credits to help low-income households in budget bill, contributed by Jason Plautz, Utility Dive

A new coalition of more than 350 environmental groups, renewable energy companies and minority advocates is pushing for House Democrats to maintain tax language increasing clean energy access for low-income communities in the budget reconciliation package. 

 EVGO MILESTONE

EVgo Celebrates 300,000 Customer Account Milestone, Valdosta Daily Times
EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO), the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and first powered by 100% renewable electricity, today announced its nationwide customer accounts have crossed the 300,000 mark. The milestone arrives as EVgo continues to expand its fast-charging network footprint with convenient and reliable fast charging stations where drivers shop, work, and play.

FEATURED OPINION

Congress must commit to electric vehicles, Utility Dive
Contributed article by Ben Prochazka, Executive Director, Electrification Coalition; Dr. Shelley Francis, Co-Founder and Director, EVHybridNoire; Jeff Allen, Executive Director, Forth; and Joel Levin, Executive Director, Plug In America.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

80% Clean Electricity Payment Program = Enormous Job Growth

By Arjun Krishnaswam, Natural Resources Defense Council

A clean energy policy like the one under consideration in Congress right now could expand the workforce by nearly 8 million jobs and generate $1 trillion in economic benefits over the next 10 years. New analysis released today demonstrates that a well-designed Clean Electricity Payment Program (CEPP) will support a strong clean energy economy, and is vital to addressing the climate crisis. Continue reading here.

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

Invest in a robust civilian climate corps to build our resiliency — our lives depend on it, The Hill

Contributors: Joe Neguse represents Colorado’s 2nd District in Congress and serves as chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. Mary Ellen Sprenkel is the president and CEO of The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps.

GOOD NEWS FROM KIT CARSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

5 things I learned from exiting my G&T power provider, and the 300 things I’ve gained 

Utility Dive article contributed by Luis A. Reyes Jr.,
CEO of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative

We have about 11 months left of exit fee repayments. After that, we’ll have some of the lowest wholesale power rates in the country. We are generating our own solar power locally, with batteries to store it. Now we’ve set a new, bolder goal to make KCEC 100% carbon-free by 2030. I know we’ll get there. Meanwhile, I see too many other cooperatives struggling without the ability to make their own power supply choices.

Previously Posted:
 Tri-State asks FERC to approve ‘transparent and simpler’ contract termination approach for members, Utility Dive. The member cooperatives include Wheat Belt Public Power and Northwest Rural Public Power in Nebraska.

USDA NEWS RELEASE

USDA Invests $464 Million in Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Help Rural Communities, Businesses and Ag Producers Build Back Better

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs in 48 states and Puerto Rico. 

USDA is financing $129 million of these investments through the Rural Energy for America Program and $335 million through the Electric Loan Program.

Would Upper Midwest carbon capture pipelines offer a lifeline to coal plants?

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

An environmental group is warning that a proposed pipeline network that would carry carbon emissions to underground storage in Illinois and North Dakota could also extend the life of fossil fuel power plants in the Upper Midwest.

The recently announced projects would immediately benefit ethanol producers, but the Sierra Club says they might also offer a regulatory or economic lifeline to coal-fired power plants in the region under future federal emissions policies. Continue reading here.

LINKS TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management

DOE’s Carbon Capture Program at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The program is managed by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management.

NETL Resources Include:

National Carbon Capture Center

Department of Energy News Releases

Global CCS Institute

IN NEBRASKA

Clean electricity standard lands spot in $3.5 trillion Democratic-backed infrastructure deal

By Scott Voorhis, Utility Dive

The Biden administration wants Congress to pass a clean electricity standard but is also prepared to pursue efforts to push utilities to ratchet down their emissions through the federal regulatory process should a national standard fail to make the final bill, according to Gina McCarthy, the White House’s national climate adviser. McCarthy said the administration believes a national clean energy standard would be more effective in prompting action on part of the utility industry to reduce emissions. Read more here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

SOLAR TOOL FOR INSTALLERS & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

U.S. Department of Energy Kicks Off ‘Summer of Solar 2021’ With Tool That Fast-Tracks Solar Power For Communities Nationwide, Department of Energy News Release

Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today kicked off the ‘Summer of Solar 2021’ with the nationwide launch of the Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) tool – a free web-based platform that gives local governments the ability to expedite their review and approval of residential solar installation permits. Developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), SolarAPP+ will drastically reduce barriers to solar deployment, spur community economic development, and advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals.  

Related Reading

FEATURED REPORTS

The Clean Economy Revolution Will Be Unionized, Center for American Progress
While no state or city government has taken every necessary step to achieve good jobs, climate action and environmental justice, many of them have made important progress—and from this progress, federal lawmakers and lawmakers in other states can derive policy lessons and political momentum. This report offers a recap of some informative state and local actions designed to support good jobs, ensure high-road labor standards, and confront the climate crisis.

Clean Energy Labor Supply Report, American Clean Power Association
Based on two scenarios of renewables deployment — 50% and 70% of electricity generated from renewables by 2030 — the study projects the number of workers that will be needed to meet these goals and highlights those occupations where high demand for workers could result in labor gaps.

Download the executive summary
Download the infographic

Bipartisan Appeal: Solar Can Span the Aisle and Bridge the Gaps

Solar Energy Industries Association Blog

As Congress considers how best to revive our ailing economy, investing in homegrown solar energy could jumpstart investment and create jobs. Solar energy isn’t a niche technology: there are now more than 2.5 million solar systems installed in every state and before the pandemic 250,000 Americans had a solar job.

The latest polls show overwhelming support for expanding clean energy and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are listening to their constituents that are demanding more clean energy. While bipartisan support for clean energy is now getting attention, it isn’t a new concept and it isn’t a surprise. Continue reading here.

SEIA News Release: Nearly 650 Companies Urge Congress to Include Solar in Recovery Legislation, SEIA News Release. WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 650 solar companies sent a letter to Congress today galvanizing support for legislation that deploys clean energy to help rebuild the U.S. economy.

FROM GTM 

Biden Pledges $2T in Clean Energy and Infrastructure Spending, Greentech Media
“We’re not just going to tinker around the edges,” says Democratic candidate, promising “historic investments” in solar, wind, batteries and transmission.

MORE ON FERC ORDER 841 RULING

  • FERC Order 841: US about to take ‘most important’ step towards clean energy future, Energy Storage News. “Today’s decision is a big step towards realizing cleaner, healthier air for all Americans and creating opportunities for more clean energy jobs. FERC’s order 841 creates an even playing field for energy storage to compete with traditional fossil fuel generators,” EDF attorney Michael Panfil said. “It removes market barriers for energy storage and unlocks its enormous public health, environmental and cost-saving potential”.
  • D.C. Circuit Ruling Empowers Energy Storage Technology To Tap Bigger Markets, Forbes
    Energy storage, or the use of batteries to absorb electricity from the grid when it is plentiful and discharge it when it is scarce, is ready for the big leagues. That was the implication of a ruling on Friday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that has renewable energy enthusiasts beside themselves with glee. Analysts believe that the ruling could clear the way for the development of up to 50 gigawatts of energy storage, which would equal a third of the country’s current total wind and solar capacity.

DOE’S ENERGY STORAGE GRAND CHALLENGE

DOE unveils draft roadmap for US global energy storage leadership, Utility Dive
The Department of Energy released a draft roadmap Tuesday for its Energy Storage Grand Challenge, first announced in January, which aims to develop and bring to market​ the next generation of energy storage technologies. The program also aims to advance a domestic supply chain for energy storage, something that has gotten increasing attention, analysts say, in the wake of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. DOE is seeking public input by Aug. 21 to help inform the activities proposed under the draft roadmap.

NEWS FROM COLORADO

DIVESTMENT NEWS

How the University of Dayton divested from fossil fuels — and what happened to its bottom line, by Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter. More than 180 Catholic institutions worldwide have publicly committed to fossil fuel divestment. That includes Seattle University in Washington and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In Nebraska, Creighton University announced in February it was divesting a portion of its endowment. 

EV NEWS

15 states, DC will collaborate on 100% electric truck sales by 2050, Transportation Dive
Governors from 15 states and the mayor of Washington, D.C., signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ensure 100% of medium- and heavy-duty sales are zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) by 2050, according to a Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) press release. The group has an interim target of 30% electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030.

Digging Deeper Into Federal Lands’ Renewable Promise

Clean Energy Finance Forum – Yale Center for Business and the Environment

To herald “Key Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy on Public Lands,” a report years in the making, Clean Energy Finance Forum invited Nikki Springer to expand on the themes and challenges in the work she’s co-written.

In this internal discussion, Nikki highlights the mix of skills the Yale Center for Business and the Environment aims to cultivate and shows how those skills can foster employment, fossil-free resources, and environmental flourishing in America’s most biologically tricky places.
Read more here.


IN NEBRASKA

Nebraska’s public lands encompass nearly 800,000 acres on about 300 state and federal areas. Most of the land is owned by the federal government. Of the state-owned lands, about 47,000 acres have been purchased with proceeds from the sale of Nebraska Habitat Stamps.
Source: Nebraska Map.Gov, 2018

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY NEWS NETWORK SERIES

Clean energy programs can help address some racial disparities, advocates say, by Kathiann M. Kowalski. This is Part Three of a series on racial disparities and energy issues. Part One looked at systemic problems that contribute to racial disparities. Part Two explored issues of energy poverty and utility disconnections.

GTM’S “POLITICAL CLIMATE”

The Path to a Net-Zero Economy: Where Do We Stand?
On this week’s Political Climate, we discuss where we stand on the trajectory to net-zero emissions by 2050. Plus, we ask: Is the path to zero as inclusive as it should be?

Protecting American jobs and clean energy investment during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented challenges to the U.S. healthcare system, disruptions to daily life across the country, and deep uncertainty across the economy. Global supply chain disturbances and massive public health interventions are extending these obstacles to the U.S. wind energy industry as well. We’re working hard to understand the many hurdles our members are facing and the impacts to their businesses this represents. Protecting American jobs and economic investment and ensuring the safety of the wind workforce remain our primary objectives.

To that end, we have co-written and signed a joint letter to Congress with the Solar Energy Industries Association outlining the complications the U.S. renewable energy market faces amidst the pandemic, and proposed actions Congress can take to keep U.S. workers busy building the clean energy grid of the future. Click on the image below to read the full letter.

Additional Recommended Reading

Top Photo Credit: AWEA Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

Industry Vows to Continue Fight for Pro-Solar Policies, Despite Missed Opportunity This Year

SEIA News Release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Congress and the White House were unable to agree on including an extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in an end of year tax package, meaning the credit will decrease at the end of this year. The measure also failed to include energy storage in the ITC. This represents a missed opportunity to take an achievable step to boost the economy, add jobs and reduce carbon emissions.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on this development: 

“While I’m disappointed by this missed opportunity to boost the U.S. economy and jobs, and tackle climate change, I’m heartened that voter support for clean energy policies is at an all-time high. The solar ITC is a proven way to generate tens of billions of dollars in private investment each year, while substantially reducing carbon emissions. We will look for opportunities next year to again engage our incredibly supportive solar community and work with Congress on clean energy policies that work for all Americans.” Read the entire news release here.

Additional Recommended Reading

More Than 70 Associations Back Renewable Energy Extension Act

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

More than 70 organizations representing farmers, homebuilders, environmental groups, electric cooperatives and a variety of other industries sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act.

“It’s not every day that you see higher ed advocates and farm families agree on energy policy,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Extending the Investment Tax Credit is common sense and this effort shows us just how many people, communities, and interests it touches. Whether you want to reduce emissions, stimulate economic investment, or create jobs, we’re showing Congress that the ITC is a proven policy that can do all of those things.” Read the entire news release here.

Join SEIA’s campaign to extend the ITC: seia.org/defendtheitc

Hundreds of Mayors Call on Congress to Extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of 231 mayors from Tacoma, Wash to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. sent a letter to Congress today urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act (HR 3961/S. 2289), a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

“More than 200 mayors from 39 states are stepping up to defend the ITC,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Mayors are increasingly turning to solar energy to fight the effects of climate change and generate millions of dollars of private investment in their cities. We’re thrilled to have their support as we fight to preserve one of the most successful clean energy policies in U.S. history.” Read the entire news release, which includes several statements from mayors, here.

Learn more about SEIA’s fight to defend the solar ITC here.