Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Posts by Randy Leonard

266 Posts

March 9, 2015

More Questions About Diablo Canyon Nucler Plant

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. equipment at Diablo Canyon nuclear plant before verifying it could pass a seismic safety test.

The company realized the mistake in 2011 and said the parts were safe after a subsequent analysis, the San Francisco Chronicle reported:

Starting in 2008, PG&E swapped out the plant’s old steam generators and reactor vessel heads without evaluating whether the replacements could withstand a major earthquake on the Hosgri Fault — just 3 miles away — and a simultaneous loss of cooling water within the reactors.

By Randy Leonard Posted at 12:47 p.m.

March 4, 2015

Rooftop Solar Seen Shifting Grid Costs

A draft analysis prepared for the Louisiana Public Service Commission finds that users of home and small business solar systems are shifting the costs of grid maintenance to other ratepayers, a conclusion that could set the stage for new consideration of utility fees and surcharge, CQ Roll Call’s Ed Felker reports on CQ State Report.

By Randy Leonard Posted at 12:17 p.m.

March 2, 2015

Investigation Raises Questions About Solar Firm

The Oregon Department of Justice has been asked to look into questions about $11.8 million in tax credits for solar projects following an investigation by The Oregonian, the paper reports:

“The department clearly didn’t follow its own rules,” said [Oregon] Energy Department Director Michael Kaplan when told of the findings of The Oregonian/OregonLive.

February 27, 2015

Nuclear Power Would Get Boost Under Illinois Proposal

Illinois lawmakers are pushing to support the state’s nuclear power industry with a bill just introduced, CQ Roll Call’s Ed Felker reported Thursday: Full story

By Randy Leonard Posted at 12:30 p.m.
Emissions, Nuclear

February 26, 2015

A Keystone Wrinkle

President Barack Obama urging expedited construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2012. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama urging expedited construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2012. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

For those who thought the Keystone XL pipeline decision was a bygone affair, Wednesday may have been a bit jarring. Full story

February 25, 2015

WV Gov Vetoes Net Metering Bill

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

At the urging of the solar power industry, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would have set new guidelines for net metering, CQ Roll Call’s Ed Felker reported for subscribers: Full story

By Randy Leonard Posted at 11:36 a.m.

February 24, 2015

State Moves to Help Dominion Solar Plans

Virginia lawmakers are pushing a measure to develop a solar authority that would facilitate financing for solar projects and help Dominion Virginia Power carry out proposed plans, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:

This month, Dominion Virginia Power, the state’s largest electric utility, said it would invest $700 million in large-scale solar photovoltaic projects in a number of locations. The projects would generate at least 400 megawatts of power by 2020.

An amendment approved by the committee was tailored specifically to Dominion. It charged the authority with assisting Dominion’s plans by “providing for the financing or assisting in the financing of the construction or purchase of such solar energy projects” authorized by state law.

A state Senate committee sent the bill to the floor Monday.

By Randy Leonard Posted at 11:50 a.m.

February 23, 2015

Traders Bet Oil Price Will Rise, or Fall



As they have been since oil prices started falling in the summer, Wall Street speculators are looking for the bottom of the market. Full story

February 20, 2015

Army Corps Eyes Nome for Deep Port

As the shipping industry and countries make plans to expand Arctic sea lanes amid shrinking ice coverage, the Army Corps of Engineers is considering expanding and deepening the Port of Nome, Alaska, the Associated Press reported:

Corps spokesman Tom Findtner said by email that the agency in December tentatively selected a plan to modify the Port of Nome. The plan suggests extending Nome’s causeway by 2,150 feet, building a 450-foot dock and dredging the new, protected area and entrance channel to 28 feet.

The lack of a nearby deep-water port has also been cited as an issue for Arctic oil and gas exploration. We will have more on the administration’s proposal to overhaul Arctic drilling regulations on

February 19, 2015

Draft Report: DOE Lab Issues Linger

A special commission has skewered the Energy Department’s national laboratories for ongoing and uncorrected issues outlined in draft interim report last week that cited lack of trust, micromanagement and an emphasis on compliance rather than production: Full story

By Randy Leonard Posted at 12:11 p.m.

February 18, 2015

NARUC Members Knock Clean Power Plan

State and regional regulators took the opportunity Tuesday to press the administration on aspects of EPA’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Full story

February 17, 2015

NJ Leg Pressing Approval of Offshore Wind Project

A company is hoping the New Jersey legislature will force approval of its 25 megawatt offshore wind project that has Energy Department support but that a state commission has twice rejected. Full story

By Randy Leonard Posted at 8:51 a.m.

February 13, 2015

After Spill, One Governor Skips Keystone Letter

Among the 24 Republican governors who signed a letter Thursday urging President Barack Obama to reconsider vetoing a bill that would approve the Keystone XL, one name was notably absent, that of Montana Democrat Governor Steve Bullock, who previously strongly supported the pipeline.

Full story

By Randy Leonard Posted at 9:40 a.m.
Natural Gas, Oil

February 12, 2015

Regulators Add Nod to Utility Merger

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Another regulatory board signed off on the planned merger between power giant Excelon and energy distributor Pepco Holdings. Wednesday’s vote by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioners follows approvals in the fall by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Full story

By Randy Leonard Posted at 11:36 a.m.

February 11, 2015

DOE Welcomes New Renewable Power Transmission

Electrical District 5 Substation (Todd Rhoades/Western Area Power).

Electrical District 5 Substation (Todd Rhoades/Western Area Power).

United States Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall will head to a substation 80 miles outside of Phoenix Thursday to celebrate a new 109-mile transmission project which, according to the department, “advances America’s energy infrastructure by eliminating system constraints and providing increased capacity access to affordable energy.” Full story

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