For the second time in a year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has turned what should be a noncontroversial appointment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission into yet another headache.
First, it was former Colorado electricity regulator Ron Binz last fall, bowing out of his nomination to chair FERC in the face of opposition by Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va. over his views on natural gas and coal.
Now Reid is faced with finding a way to confirm President Barack Obama's followup nominee for chairman, Norman Bay.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday floated a proposal to resolve the concerns of a key colleague about President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, one that would leave Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur in the post for some time to come.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., said the proposal to confirm Norman Bay to the commission and confirm LaFleur for a second term, while leaving her in her current post as acting chair, would address concerns by him and Republicans that Bay lacks sufficient regulatory experience.
The EPA's plan to allow states to develop plans to achieve federal limits on carbon emissions at existing power plants has tempered fear among utilities, confident that their sway over state governments will result in more favorable regulations, E&E reports.
China's recent moves to limit reliance on coal in order to cut air pollution may scuttle some U.S. coal companies' export ambitions, already suffering from a number of domestic challenges, Bloomberg reports.
A committee vote on President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission won't happen this week, according to an aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is raising new questions about the choice.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, proposed a business meeting Thursday on the nomination of Norman Bay. But Murkowski, the ranking Republican from Alaska, asked for more time to deliberate on his nomination, her spokesman Robert Dillon said.
An aide to Landrieu confirmed that she agreed to put off the meeting on Bay and the nomination of Cheryl LaFleur to a second term on the five-member commission. LaFleur's term expires at the end of this month.
Despite loud opposition to the EPA's limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants in coal-rich Kentucky, some state officials say the state is already moving toward reducing its reliance on coal and competition from natural gas will keep power prices at bay, The New York Times reports.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The coal industry is shedding thousands of jobs and facing the government's most severe crackdown on carbon emissions yet. But king coal still flexes its political muscle in Kentucky and West Virginia, where Republicans and even Democrats try to out-coal one another by cozying up to the industry and slamming President Barack Obama.
In other coal-producing areas such as Ohio and Virginia, Democrats have been able to win even with the industry against them. That's not an option for politicians in the heart of Appalachia.
Many people here still cling to coal as a source of work and cultural pride, so almost everyone running for office seeks the mantle of coal savior, or at least defender.
President Barack Obama's nominee to become the nation's top electricity regulator isn't buying assertions coming from critics of power plant carbon regulations, who contend reliability could be undermined by the 30 percent emissions cut proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Norman Bay, nominated to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said in written answers to questions raised by members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that planning by industry, regulators and grid operators "can help anticipate and address any potential implications for resource adequacy and reliability."
OBILIC, Kosovo (AP) — A huge explosion rocked Kosovo's main power plant Friday, killing at least three people and injuring more than a dozen, a government official told The Associated Press Friday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the number of casualties was not final and the official was not authorized to talk to the media before the families of the victims could be notified.
The official said authorities believe the blast at Kosovo A power plant was caused during a botched replacement of hydrogen canisters used for cooling generators. The powerful blast was heard in the nearby capital, Pristina. A black plume of smoke could be seen rising from the coal-fired plant, as ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals.
Trying to phase out old DOT-111 tank cars within two years, as proposed in new Department of Transportation regulations, could trigger a shortage and hurt oil and ethanol production, industry officials warned, Platts reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency, ahead of four public hearings set for next week on its proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, says it has already received 300,000 comments on the regulation, The Hill reports.
Texas and Oklahoma -- states that are home to some of the biggest critics of President Obama’s climate policy – would have the most to gain from his administration’s proposed carbon rule because of the boost it would provide the natural gas industry, according to a study being released Thursday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Rhodium Group, The New York Times reports.
Canada’s Talisman Energy has confirmed that it’s in talks to sell some of its assets to Spain’s Repsol, which analysts speculate may include interests in Marcellus Shale and Eagle Ford Shale, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., says the latest measure he’s introduced to speed Energy Department consideration of LNG export permits –- which would require action within 45 days of a preliminary application being filed with the Federal Energy regulatory Commission -– is a good compromise on the issue, The Hill reports.
Carbon capture should begin at the Kemper County Energy Facility in the fall, and operations at the coal-fired plant are on track for a May start date, according to officials of Southern Co. subsidiary Mississippi Power, E&E reports.
The installation in Texas of a massive transmission system for wind energy, which can handle up to 18,000 megawatts, has encouraged development of clusters of wind farms in its competitive renewable energy zones, The New York Times reports.
Renewable energy advocates attending a public meeting Wednesday asked the Utah Public Service Commission to reject an application from Rocky Mountain Power to charge customers with solar panels an extra fee, the Deseret News reports.
Staff and former members of the Chemical Safety Board continue to paint a picture of an agency in turmoil even as Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso maintains the CSB is getting its workload under control, National Journal reports.