The Energy Department’s $28 billion loan programs for clean energy and high-tech vehicles, associated with failures like Solyndra and successes like Tesla Motors, are estimated to cost taxpayers more than $2.21 billion when all loans are repaid.
But that projection is down considerably from the Obama administration’s previous estimate of $4.49 billion, a government audit found, due to stronger performance in the vehicle loan program.
Legislation that requires creation of voluntary energy efficiency standards for commercial buildings has been approved by the House on a voice vote, and sent on to the President for his signature, The Hill reports.
With Congress back in town, a group of businesses, trade associations and electric grid operators are urging the House to move quickly on a Senate efficiency package passed last month, to avoid an impending Energy Department deadline for large-volume electric resistance water heaters.
The bill, introduced and passed by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, includes a number of measures aimed to boost energy efficiency and would also exempt certain large-volume, grid-enabled heaters from rules set to take effect on April 16.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy says a proposal to improve the fuel efficiency of trucks and buses is getting reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, The Hill reports.
It took several years and a vote in the wee hours of the morning, but Senate approval Friday is a major step forward for long-delayed energy efficiency legislation -- with the House preparing to move on a bill of its own. Representatives already have a history for backing efficiency legislation, and have a bill teed up.
Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, were the sponsors of the Energy Efficiency and Improvement Act. They were also the only two people to vote for it. All the other senators had gone home following a marathon session of voting on budget amendments.
Cleaning up a Tesoro Corp. pipeline spill in northwestern North Dakota, which has left oil covering more than 7 acres of land, will take at least two and a-half more years, according to state regulators, The Associated Press reports.
Plants would no longer be exempt from air pollution regulations when they’re starting up, shutting down or malfunctioning, under a new regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, The Hill reports.
A series of major energy and environmental regulations will be published by federal agencies between June and August, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules limiting power plant carbon emissions, the Interior Department’s rule protecting streams from mountaintop removal coal mining, and the Obama administration strategy for cutting methane emissions, The Hill reports.
A group of senators - 17 Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders - has written to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, asking her to stop Royal Dutch Shell or anyone else from drilling in the Arctic, Reuters reports.
The reaction in Washington to this week’s oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara has been muted, National Journal reports, despite wishes expressed by environmentalists that the incident generate backing for policies moving the country away from fossil fuels.
A website set up by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to collect grievances about federal regulation and bureaucracy has received complaints about a wide variety of the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending regulations, E&E reports.
Mississippi electric power cooperatives are backing away from a deal in which they would take 15 percent ownership of the Kemper County coal plant that will use carbon capture technology, because they said the power it generates would end up being too expensive, E&E reports.
A stronger dollar combined with the drop of only 1 oil rig in Baker Hughes’ weekly count sent crude prices sliding Friday. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost 1.6 percent, or $1, to settle at $59.72 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent was $1.17 , or 1.8 percent, lower, at $65.37, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Standard & Poor’s thinks oil companies that have managed to survive the slide in crude prices by borrowing more money may start running into trouble in the coming months, particularly if the price stays in the $50 range, FuelFix reports.