U.S. Energy News

Vermont lawmakers ask utilities to help customers cut fossil fuel use

EFFICIENCY: The Vermont House gave final approval Tuesday to an energy bill that overhauls the state’s renewable-energy program and asks utilities to help customers reduce fossil fuel consumption. (Montpelier Argus Times)

ALSO: Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) are putting a renewed effort into their years-long push to establish a cohesive, national energy-efficiency mandate. (The Hill)

SOLAR:
• Solar City is launching a marketing campaign to expand its footprint in Texas with a buy-back offer that competes with traditional power plans. (The Dallas Morning News)
• A power company in California’s wine country will build the largest floating solar project in the United States, which will produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes when it comes online in 2016. (Greentech Media)
• Developers and Michigan’s largest municipally-owned utility could nearly double the state’s solar energy portfolio by partnering in 20 megawatt solar project. (Midwest Energy News)
• Louisiana’s generous solar tax credit is scheduled to sunset at the end of 2017, and Governor Bobby Jindal’s hopes scale it back beforehand. (The Times-Picayune)

WIND: Residents of Colorado’s El Paso County say they intend to file for an injunction to halt the construction of a controversial wind farm until their lawsuit against the project is heard. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

ALSO: The American Bird Conservancy has asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to require independent third-party monitoring of bird and bat deaths at wind power facilities across the country. (KCET Link)

BIOFUELS: The makers of advanced biofuels from algae, animal fat and non-edible plant materials on Wednesday broke with traditional corn-based ethanol producers to call for sweeping changes to the nation’s biofuels mandates. (FuelFix)

FRACKING: Two months after the biggest fracking-related spill in recent North Dakota history, state lawmakers are pushing pipeline regulations to prevent similar disasters. (InsideClimate News)

OIL: The decision by the largest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale basin to put itself up for sale may signal a wave of consolidation as oil prices undercut companies with heavy debt and high costs. (Bloomberg)

EPA: Senate Republicans used a Wednesday hearing on the EPA’s climate rule for existing power plants to highlight objections from states that oppose the proposed regulation. (The Hill)

CALIFORNIA: State and federal governments will move forward on less than half the California desert land initially designated for renewable-energy plants. (Associated Press)

OREGON: Oregon’s governor is expected to sign controversial legislation that extends a required 10-percent cut in carbon from vehicle fuels over the next decade. (The Oregonian)

FLORIDA: Florida is becoming too reliant on natural gas for electricity, which could send electric rates surging, according to a new study. (Sun Sentinel)

POLITICS: As Florida’s governor, Jeb Bush fought to keep oil rigs away from the state’s beaches, but he has never opposed drilling outside Florida. (Politico)

COFFEE: The morning coffee that so many depend on to get through the day is at risk due to climate change, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency warned Wednesday. (The Hill)

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