U.S. Energy News

World saw unprecedented boom in renewables in 2014

RENEWABLES: The world saw an unprecedented boom in renewables in 2014 during which global investments totaled $270 billion—an increase of 17 percent over the previous year, according to the UN and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. (Climate Central)

ALSO: Cheap oil will do “little to derail” growth of renewable power because oil generates about 5 percent of global electricity and doesn’t generally compete directly with wind and solar, according to a new report from Citigroup. (Bloomberg)

EMISSIONS:
• The White House on Tuesday introduced President Obama’s blueprint for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. (The New York Times)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) told foreign countries Monday to think twice before entering into the UN climate pact and called President Obama’s submission “job-killing and likely illegal.” (The Hill)
• President Obama’s pledge to the UN Tuesday on cutting greenhouse gas emissions relies rebuffing legal and legislative challenges as well as continuing availability of cheap natural gas. (Bloomberg)

EPA RULE: A federal court has rejected an EPA request to dismiss a lawsuit from coal companies alleging that the agency failed to review possible jobs losses from its proposed carbon emissions rule for power plants. (Bloomberg BNA)

DIVESTMENT: Syracuse University is dropping all fossil fuel stocks from its $1.2-billion endowment, making it the largest endowment to divest entirely of fossil fuel stocks. (The New York Times)

METHANE:
• The amount of methane escaping from natural gas distribution systems across the U.S. has dropped significantly in the past two decades, according to a nationwide field study released by Washington State University Tuesday. (Fuel Fix)
• New research is using a machine imported from the U.S. to analyze the methane emissions in cattle belches, with the goal of creating a low-gas diet. (ABC Australia)

COAL: Coal prices have dropped 33 percent over the past four years to levels that have made most mining companies across the Appalachia mountain region unprofitable. (Bloomberg)

FRACKING: North Dakota plans to join Wyoming in a lawsuit challenging a new federal hydraulic fracturing rule for U.S. government lands. (Fuel Fix)

ENERGY STANDARDS: Republicans in Michigan’s legislature say more robust long-term planning requirements for utilities can effectively replace renewable energy and efficiency standards. (Midwest Energy News)

STORAGE: Duke Energy is giving $1 million to an Indiana research project on storing renewable energy as part of a 2012 settlement with the state over costs to consumers for construction of a power station. (Associated Press)

NEW YORK: New York is drawing more and more power from wind and solar, but its renewable energy standard is set to expire at the end of the year. (Northeast Public Radio)

MAINE: A plan to erect nearly 3,000 solar panels in a field in a rural Maine community prompted town officials to propose a moratorium on such projects. (Bangor Daily News)

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