Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 26, 2015

Posts in "Coal"

January 8, 2015

QER Eyes Strategic Reserve and Waterways

(NOAA)

(NOAA)

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

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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

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

December 10, 2014

Wide Disparity in Ozone Rule Costs

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While Republicans have decried the expense of the EPA’s proposed tightening of ozone restrictions, the costs of the final rule are uncertain and depend on the level on which the agency settles. Full story

FERC to Consult on CO2 Regs

The Appalachian Electric Power coal-fired Big Sandy power plant, seen in June. (Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

The Appalachian Electric Power coal-fired Big Sandy power plant, seen in June. (Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a series of technical conferences to confer with those involved in the EPA’s proposed regulations for carbon dioxide, known as the Clean Power Plan. Full story

December 2, 2014

Upton Eyes the ‘Architecture of Abundance’ for Energy

The following is a special report, which CQ Roll Call subscribers received last week.

After peeking inside Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s, R-Alaska, energy manifesto Monday for clues on how she’ll run the Energy and Natural Resources Committee next year, we turn today to the corresponding plan by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. Full story

December 1, 2014

Murkowski’s Energy Manifesto Hiding in Plain Sight

The following is a special report, which CQ Roll Call subscribers received last week.

There’s plenty of speculation about what Republicans will do on energy in the 114th Congress, and while a lot of details remain to be sorted out, the House and Senate chairs with primary jurisdiction have dropped plenty of hints about their thinking. Full story

November 24, 2014

The Week Ahead Is Today

Congress is off for the week, leaving very little time to wrap up anything in the rest of what remains of this session. Energy events have been crammed into Monday to leave room for all the traveling and eating later in the week.

Monday

EPA’s Sharyn Lie, director of the Climate Economics and Modeling Center at the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, will participate in a webinar on bioenergy and invasive species, hosted by the Environmental Law Institute.

Deputy Assistant Energy Secretary for climate change Jonathan Pershing, Mexico National Energy Commissioner Francisco Barnes and World Bank energy director Charles Feinstein will participate in a panel looking at a United States Energy Association report on energy equity, security and environmental performance, at the National Press Club.

International Energy Agency economist Fatih Birol will discuss the organization’s energy outlook, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and streamed live.

Natural Resources Defense Council members will discuss prospects for limiting China’s coal use, at the Woodrow Wilson Center and streamed live.

State Department special envoy for climate change Todd Stern will join a discussion on U.S. preparations for the 2015 climate change conference in Paris, at the Center for American Progress.

November 19, 2014

Whitehouse Pitches Carbon Carrot to EPA’s Stick

File photo. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Climate issue advocate Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is once again pushing for a price on carbon dioxide in a bill he introduced Wednesday. Full story

November 17, 2014

This Week: Keystone Vote, Policy Outlook

Congress is in full swing to wrap up lame duck priorities and the Senate is expected to vote on a measure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday. Here is a schedule of other events on tap. Full story

November 11, 2014

Electricity Markets Bracing For Next Polar Vortex

A rare winter storm coated most of the South with ice on February 12, 2014 in Summerville, South Carolina. More than 400,000 customers have lost power across the Southeast and at least 13 deaths caused by the storm. (Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

A rare winter storm coated most of the South with ice on February 12, 2014 in Summerville, South Carolina. More than 400,000 customers have lost power across the Southeast and at least 13 deaths caused by the storm. (Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

Regional regulators are implementing market structures designed to get more reliable power under peak conditions to avoid supply related outages. Full story

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