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November 30, 2015

Posts in "Coal"

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 6, 2015

ICYMI: All Things Budget, FutureGen

The Energy Department unveiled a $29.9 billion budget for fiscal 2016 that includes big increases for renewable energy programs and natural gas emissions control.  We took a look at how the funding breaks down by state. Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz said the department would do what it could to move beyond the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste impasse. Moniz will head to Capitol Hill to defend the budget before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee next week. Full story

February 5, 2015

Moniz to Head to Hill

Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Ernest Moniz For Energy Secretary

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz will be in the hot seat next week, defending his department’s 2016 budget before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources. Full story

February 4, 2015

DOE Axes Funding for CO2 Project

(Energy Department)

(Energy Department)

The Energy Department is pulling about $900 million in remaining economic stimulus money it planned to spend on the FutureGen carbon dioxide sequestration project in Illinois, citing a lack of private participation. Full story

February 3, 2015

Energy Budget Takeaways

The Energy Department unveiled its 2016 request for $29.9 billion in spending.
Here are some highlights:

• A 41 percent jump the energy efficiency and renewable energy program including big additions for vehicle technologies and geothermal programs.
• Natural gas technologies would see a 76 percent boost to $44 million while the department is looking to pare down overall fossil energy research by 2 percent.
• The department is requesting an 84 percent increase in spending for electricity delivery and energy reliability, doubling smart grid research increasing energy storage technology by 75 percent.
• Funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy would jump 16 percent.
• Nuclear reactor concepts would decrease 19 percent while fuel cycle research would increase 11 percent and fusion research would be down 10 percent.


CQ subscribers can view our full budget coverage here.

February 2, 2015

This Week: Budget, Falling Oil & State Energy

Monday the administration unveils the 2016 budget, expected to ignore sequester spending caps. Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz will discuss Energy Department spending plans, streamed live.

The State Department set Monday as the deadline for department feedback on the Keystone XL presidential permit, though don’t expect to hear anything. “The Department of State is treating the agencies’ replies as part of an internal inter-agency process,” a State official told Geof Koss Friday. Full story

January 30, 2015

The Reality of Three Ozone Maps


Maps lie.

At least that’s what cartographers say. Maps can also provide compelling insight and as such are key messaging tools in political discourse, as demonstrated in the debate around Thursday’s Senate ozone hearing. Here we look at several maps, all of which are accurate but can be misleading without context.

Full story

January 26, 2015

Biden and Moniz Push Island Energy Overhaul

US Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Amos J. Hochstein, US State Department international energy coordinator, talk before the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative meeting Monday.      (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

US Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Amos J. Hochstein, State Department international energy coordinator, talk at the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative meeting Monday. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz met Monday with Caribbean leaders and global financial organizations to promote development of alternative energy sources for island communities. Full story

January 8, 2015

QER Eyes Strategic Reserve and Waterways



Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz said that problems with inland waterways and the strategic petroleum reserve are among the top infrastructure issues identified in the Quadrennial Energy Review. Full story

January 7, 2015

Demand Response Part II – Roadblocks

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff outlined the successes and roadblocks of state and regional demand response programs in a recent annual report. While demand response programs have made progress, there are potential snags and recent efforts to overcome them. Full story

December 30, 2014

Looking Ahead to 2015

The 114th Congress will convene next week with Republican majorities controlling both chambers. Here is a look at energy issues on the horizon.

Keystone XL Pipeline – A still-pending Nebraska court decision means the Barack Obama administration won’t likely act on the pipeline before the new Congress is seated, leaving some time for Republicans to force an approval or for the White House to use the pipeline as a bargaining chip to advance other priorities.

Cross-border Infrastructure – And what about the next Keystone? A push to give Congress and agencies control of the permitting process that has stymied the Keystone project resulted in a measure that was passed in the House and got as far as the Senate calendar last month. Under GOP control, similar legislation could possibly land on the president’s desk, though the White House has threatened a veto.

Oil Prices – The more than 40-percent tumble in global oil prices will have wide-ranging effects that will be seen throughout 2015. Shale producers in the United States have already announced plans to scale back new investment by as much as 75 percent. Lower prices have ramifications for Russia, which is already dealing with the effects of sanctions. Though speculators expect an eventual rebound in prices, sustained long-term cheaper oil could erode the incentives for U.S. liquefied natural gas exports.

Tax Overhaul – House and Senate finance leaders on both side of the aisle have promised renewed efforts to make permanent changes to the tax code that could end up providing more clarity for renewable energy credits or revisions to breaks for fossil fuels.

Energy Efficiency – After falling just short of a procedural hurdle Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., will likely try to rekindle bipartisan support for their energy efficiency legislation.

EPA Regulations – Proposed restrictions on carbon dioxide, ozone levels and other EPA regulations were a lightning rod for Republican criticism this year, with energy funding hitting a roadblock blamed in part on an amendment from then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The intensity of GOP objections is likely to increase as McConnell takes leadership of the Senate and the agency moves forward with its proposals.

Energy Xtra will resume regular publication on Jan. 5 — Have a safe and happy New Year’s!

December 15, 2014

New GOP Senators Claim Energy Seats

Rep. Bill Cassidy (File photo, Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Bill Cassidy (File photo, Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two Republican lawmakers who emphasized energy issues in their successful bid to unseat Democratic senators will now take slots on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Full story

Capturing CO2 with Fuel Cells


Using the gas separating properties of fuel cells, a Connecticut company is developing technology to add carbon dioxide capturing capabilities to power plants, which it says could provide an economic way to meet EPA’s proposed power plant regulations. The process, developed by FuelCell Energy using a $2.5 million grant from the Energy Department, would also provide additional power generation to reduce the ratio of a coal plant’s carbon dioxide to kilowatts, the New York Times reported:

In FuelCell’s design, a coal plant adds a fuel cell unit next to its smokestack, and the fuel cell soaks up the carbon dioxide and adds power to overall output. Some energy is used — the demonstration unit here would produce eight kilowatts, enough for a midsize commercial air-conditioner, but in carbon capture mode makes only about six kilowatts — but the loss is more manageable than drawing energy from the coal plant for conventional carbon capture.

The process also unexpectedly breaks down nitrogen oxide emissions, a pollutant that is regulated directly and contributes to ozone pollution. The company’s next step is to build a full-sized demonstration facility at an operating coal power plant.

Moniz, van der Hoeven & Moniz

Following Thursday’s nail-bitter as the omnibus bill squeaked through the House, the Senate cleared the bill late Saturday over the objections of more than 20 Democrats. The Senate is around this week to wrap up nominations and potentially clear a package of tax extensions including a break for wind energy. Here’s what else is going on as the holidays approach: Full story

December 11, 2014

Another Look at Ozone Rule Impact


The expected costs of EPA’s proposed rule for ozone vary by industry and geography, potentially dividing opposition groups. Full story

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