FERC's Moeller warns rolling blackouts a possibility in Midwest

New federal environmental regulations could lead to rolling blackouts in the Midwest by the summer of 2016 unless action is taken to boost reserve generating capacity, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told House lawmakers on Thursday.

"We're looking at, potentially, some pretty tight situations in the Midwest...perhaps as early as the summer of 2015 but certainly as soon as the summer of 2016," said Commissioner Philip Moeller at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's energy subcommittee.

EnergyGuardian Photo

McCarthy the messenger

After only a few months on the job as the nation's top pollution regulator, Administrator Gina McCarthy has already come to the conclusion that the Environmental Protection Agency's problem is not the mission, but the message.

"I really want EPA to maintain the stature that it has internationally and it has with the American people, of being the best science agency that knows how to do the science and turn it into real-life improvements for Americans. We are not telling that story," she told an audience at the left-leaning Center for American Progress on Monday.

That stance puts her in line with her boss, President Barack Obama, who exudes a can-do spirit about the actions government can take to right society's problems.

Yet, like him, she has to be careful not to underplay the difficulties in putting into practice a climate plan that is expected to reshape the American energy market and could put coal power on a slow decline. 

Chinese firms look to buy foreign coal assets


As China's push for cleaner energy boosts demand for high-grade coal, Chinese energy companies are looking to purchase mining assets in Australia and Mozambique but are waiting for further price decreases, Reuters reports.

EnergyGuardian Photo

McCarthy to take Obama climate agenda to China

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is headed to China next month on a bilateral trip to strengthen climate change cooperation with the world's top carbon emitter.

An EPA spokeswoman said specific details of McCarthy's itinerary were not yet available. The trip was revealed by the left-leaning Center for American Progress in an announcement of McCarthy's appearance at its Washington offices on Dec. 2 to talk up U.S-China climate cooperation and President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan.

Ontario premier announces attempt to ban coal-fired power

The Canadian Press

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, a member of the Liberal party, joined former Vice President Al Gore to announce legislation that would ban coal-fired power in the province, The Canadian Press reports.

Sierra Club shifting goal for getting power plants off fossil fuels

National Journal

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said the organization is in the process of figuring out how to shift its target for getting the United States off fossil fuels in the power sector to 2030, 20 years earlier than its current goal of 2050, National Journal reports.

UN climate chief calls on coal industry to change

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The U.N.'s chief climate diplomat on Monday urged the coal industry to diversify toward cleaner energy sources and leave most of the world's remaining coal reserves in the ground.

UN climate chief calls on coal industry to change

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The U.N.'s chief climate diplomat has urged the coal industry to diversify to cleaner energy sources and leave most of the world's remaining coal reserves in the ground.

EPA, Manchin take sides over power plant carbon cuts

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution office on Wednesday said the Obama administration has "serious concerns" about the draft of a power plants carbon bill by coal-state lawmakers Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Ed Whitfield.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Air and Radiation Janet McCabe said in written testimony published in advance of a House hearing on Thursday that the bill would delay power sector carbon cuts, add regulatory uncertainty to new plant proposals and stall clean energy innovation.


Chamber of Commerce backs bill to rein in Obama carbon rules

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday threw its weight behind a draft bill by two coal-state lawmakers that would undercut President Barack Obama's ability to curb carbon emissions from power plants.

The open letter to Congress by R. Bruce Josten, the chamber's executive vice president for government affairs, calls on lawmakers to support the bill that is to be formally introduced in the coming days by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.


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