Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

Posts in "Coal"

October 30, 2014

Moniz Talks ‘War on Coal’ and Energy Investment

moniz 475 240x243 Moniz Talks War on Coal and Energy Investment

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz. (energy.gov)

 

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz was on hand to discuss energy policy on day two of the Ideas Forum hosted by the Aspen Institute and the Atlantic. He was asked a range of questions from his thoughts on tax reform to what’s necessary to get better energy infrastructure investment in the United States.

But first, almost immediately after taking his seat, Moniz was asked “What’s the harm in doing Keystone?” And almost just as immediately he deferred to Secretary of State John Kerry, who was the previous guest on stage, and whose State Department has jurisdiction over construction of the pipeline.

Only 30 seconds in and we had our first artful dodge.

Next, the moderator turned to tax reform and how it would affect the incentives for energy investment embedded in the current tax code. Specifically he wanted to know “Is there a cost to not using tax credits and tax policy as an incentive for behavior?”  Moniz expressed his support for energy tax credits, particularly the ones involving renewable energy. “We need to extend those renewable tax credits and do it in a way where there is predictably on all sides.” He added that without predictability it’s difficult for both firms and customers to make sound financial decisions.

When the topic turned to energy infrastructure investment, Moniz stressed that there was no issue with the current level of investment. However, the direction of investment dollars should be shifted. He specifically noted the lack of natural gas in New England, propane in the midwest, or the fact the we are using rail to transport oil.

Finally, when asked about Republican charges of a “War on Coal.” He reiterated that he takes an “all of the above” approach to energy policy before adding: “Make no bones about it. There is a fundamental commitment, it starts with the president, on moving toward a low carbon future.”

October 27, 2014

The Week Ahead: Natural Gas & Clean Coal in China

Here’s what’s on tap for the week.

Tuesday

NRG President and CEO David Crane, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz, and BP Capital Management Chairman T. Boone Pickens will be speaking at the Aspen Ideas Forum hosted by the Atlantic along with the Aspen Institute. The event will take place over two days at the Harman Center for the Arts.

Kevin C. Ramnarine, minister of Energy & Energy Affairs for Trinidad and Tobago, will take part in a discussion hosted by the Natural Gas Roundtable. The discussion will center on natural gas and energy security in Trinidad and Tobago and the Americas and will be held at the University Club.

The Brookings Institute will host the International Energy Agency’s Chief Economist Fatih Birol for the U.S. launch of the IEA’s Africa Energy Outlook report.

The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum that looks at clean coal in China featuring Dr. Ren Xiangkun. Ren will discuss clean coal technology being developed by his company.

Wednesday

The Florida Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association will hold a forum at its annual conference in Jacksonville on Wednesday and Thursday.  The panel will discuss guidelines for CO2 emissions from existing utility units.

Thursday

The U.S. Energy Association will host a forum on subsurface technology and engineering for energy applications such as oil and gas, carbon storage, geothermal and waste disposal.

Hans Bruyninckx, the executive director of the European Environment Agency, will discuss Europe’s 2050 agenda and event put on by the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program.

Friday

The Wilson Center will host a panel discussion that examines the economic and political impact of low oil prices on countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria and Venezuela.

October 22, 2014

Energy Ads Intensify As Senate Campaigns Heat Up

LAPOL14 312 092214 240x159 Energy Ads Intensify As Senate Campaigns Heat Up

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., right, answers questions from the local media during her event to exchange endorsements with Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., left, in Baton Rouge, La., surrounded by local elected officials on Sept. 22, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With just under two weeks until an election in which control of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs, campaign ads are starting to intensify — in volume and rhetoric — in several key battleground states (Louisiana, Alaska, West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Colorado and Michigan). Somewhat surprisingly, energy and environment are the third most mentioned issue in Senate races this cycle (surprising since it barely registered during the 2012 presidential campaign). Some are running because the states they air in are significant energy producers. Others are running in states that feature environmentally conscious electorates.

The ads tend to focus on coal, oil, green energy and climate change. It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that West Virginia and Kentucky are leading the way in coal-related ads with both states featuring pro-coal positions in 87 percent of their energy-related ads. Also unsurprisingly, 39 percent of Iowa’s energy ads are anti-oil while 40 percent focus on green energy (likely, due to ethanol).

It’s also notable that both Democrats and Republicans are finding politically advantageous ways to deploy these energy ads. For instance, in blue states, Democrats are attacking Republicans for denying climate change and accepting money from the Koch brothers. And in red states, Republicans look to tie President Obama’s new environmental regulations around the necks of their opponents.

 

October 15, 2014

States Fighting CO2 Regs Get Money to Comply

495453921 445x296 States Fighting CO2 Regs Get Money to Comply

Appalachian Electric Power coal-fired Big Sandy Power Plant in Cattletsburg, Ky.
(Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

The Energy Department has awarded $4.86 million to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase efficiency through programs in 13 states, including several that are fighting proposed regulations. Full story

October 14, 2014

The Week Ahead: Russia, Solar, Gas, Carbon and Coal

A little bit of everything is happening this week, and much of it takes place Tuesday. Full story

October 10, 2014

Methane Hotspot Associated with Hydrofracked Coalbeds

satellite methane signal averages 445x234 Methane Hotspot Associated with Hydrofracked Coalbeds

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan)

An area in the Southwest accounted for the nation’s largest concentration of methane emissions during a period before 2010, researchers at NASA and the University of Michigan announced Thursday. Full story

September 26, 2014

Questions on CO2 Compliance Dates

92591158 445x295 Questions on CO2 Compliance Dates

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Industry, states and advocacy groups are asking how EPA’s Clean Power Plan will treat measures that will be taken between the reference year of 2012 and the compliance deadline of 2020. Full story

September 23, 2014

Congress’ Pre-Recess Energy Bills

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Workers continue to erect scaffolding around the Capitol dome last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The stop gap spending measure President Barack Obama signed Friday included provisions to allow the Energy Department to cover additional costs at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico and spending for programs under the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning fund – with requirements to keep Congress apprised of the spending above previous appropriation rates.

The chambers also passed three other energy measures before clearing out of town for final campaign pushes. Full story

September 19, 2014

Coal Politics & Shifting Loyalties in the Mountain State

National Review has a story up that looks (with glee) at the shifting party allegiance in West Virginia. Once a reliably blue state, West Virginia has been supporting Republicans in recent elections. Of course, this all comes down to one issue: coal. Full story

September 18, 2014

Moniz Unveiled

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Photo courtesy of the Energy Department

CQ Roll Call’s Geof Koss sat down with Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz earlier this summer to discuss his relationship with Congress, as we mentioned last week. The whole story is now available outside the paywall.

Enjoy.

September 16, 2014

Senators Launch National Laboratory Caucus

wilson hall 1 445x556 Senators Launch National Laboratory Caucus

Fermilab’s Wilson Hall (Energy Department)

A bipartisan group of senators are launching an effort to support the work of the national laboratory system. Full story

September 15, 2014

GAO: Even More Coal to Retire

coal 445x248 GAO: Even More Coal to RetireThe Government Accountability Office just upped its estimate for coal plants expected to retire in coming years. Full story

September 12, 2014

Moniz’s Congressional Straddle

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Moniz fishing for salmon in Alaska with Verne Martell, Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s husband. (Energy Department)

Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz is embraced by members on both sides of the aisle while straddling the contentious divide over energy and environment issues, CQ Roll Call’s Geof Koss reports in the forthcoming copy of CQ Weekly (subscription). Full story

September 11, 2014

Coal Production is Doing What?

CoalProduction2 445x377 Coal Production is Doing What?

With coal job cuts grabbing the headlines, here are some unexpected facts on coal mining production and employment. Full story

September 4, 2014

FERC to Wade Through Market Revisions With Congress on Sidelines

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will evaluate making changes to competitive markets in cases over the next several months, Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur said Thursday. Full story

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