Maine energy reform bill could lower electricity costs
6/4/13 | FierceEnergy
The bill identifies Maine's electric bills as the 12th highest in the United States. The Natural Resources Committee of Maine estimated that the bill could lower electric bills by $100 to $200 million per year after implementation, including $30 million in immediate rate relief. Cost reductions would come from streamlining natural gas and hydroelectric development in the state.
Coalition of states threaten EPA with lawsuit over New Source Performance Standard delay
4/22/13 | Power Engineering
Nine states and Washington D.C. threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for delaying the finalization of the New Source Performance Standards for new power plants. EPA’s standards limit carbon dioxide emissions to 1,000 pounds per MWh for new power plants.
US energy-related CO2 emissions reach record low in 2012
4/8/13 | Gas to Power Journal
Coal-to-gas switching in power generation has led to a plunge of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States to reach a record low in 2012, dropping to 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 - the lowest level since 1994.
The largest drop in emissions in 2012 came from coal use in power generation. "In spring and early summer of 2012, low natural gas prices resulted in reduced levels of coal generation, and increased less CO2-intensive gas-fired generation," analyst from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
New Mass. rules require more renewable power
4/1/13 | The Boston Globe
Massachusetts regulators have approved new requirements that state utilities seek more electricity from renewable sources. The new provisions approved Friday by the Department of Public Utilities require utilities to solicit bids for long-term clean energy contracts at least twice by the end of 2016.
Renewables are often more expensive than fossil fuel sources such as natural gas. Above-market costs in clean energy contracts are typically passed on to ratepayers.
EPA may revise rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants
3/18/13 | Power Engineering
The Obama administration in leaning toward revising a rule that would regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The original rule, which was originally issued in March 2012, issued rules limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases from new power plants but did not impose any restrictions on existing coal-fired power plants. It requires new power plants to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per MW/h of electricity produced.
US energy intensity to continue decline through 2040 - EIAs
3/6/13 | Gas to Power Journal
Energy intensity in the US will continue its steady decline since the 1970s through 2040 mainly due to greater efficiency and structural changes in the economy, projections from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) show. Between 1950 and 2011, the energy intensity in the US decreased by 58 percent per real dollar of GDP from 1950 to 2011, according to EIA figures.
The fall in energy intensity is set to continue with the EIA's 2013 Annual Energy Outlook Reference case projecting an average annual decline of 2 percent to continue through to 2040.
Pay to Play: Pennsylvania to Seek Authority to Impose Annual Tax on Retail Suppliers, Brokers
2/20/13 | Energy Choice Matters
Pennsylvania will proceed with seeking legislative authority to impose an annual licensing fee on electric generation suppliers, including retail suppliers, brokers, marketers, and aggregators.
"[T]he Commission intends to require all EGSs, including brokers and marketers, to pay an annual flat fee in the amount of $1,000," the PUC said.
EPA: Power plants still top source of greenhouse gases
2/6/13 | Electric Light & Power
Power plants remain the largest stationary source of greenhouse gas emissions with 2,221 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (mmtCO2e), which equals about one-third of total U.S. emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency posted the second year of GHG emissions data on its website February 5. The information, which shows GHG emissions in 2011, allows public access to emissions data by sector, greenhouse gas and geographic region.
Emissions from power plants were down about 4.6 percent from 2010 to 2011, however, which the EPA states reflects an ongoing increase in power generation from natural gas and renewable energy sources.
Nebraska governor OKs Keystone XL route
1/23/13 | Fuel Fix
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman on Tuesday approved a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline that would ferry Canadian oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast, setting up a big Obama administration decision on whether to green light the controversial project. The widely anticipated move now puts the pipeline's future squarely in front of Obama's State Department, which is tasked with vetting the $7 billion project because it would cross the U.S.- Canada border.
Fracking lobbyists prepare case against Matt Damon's Promised Land
12/19/12 | The Guardian
Hollywood's discovery of fracking has caused some unease in the oil and gas industry - even in the midst of America's energy boom. A leading lobby group, Energy in Depth, has put out a 'cheat sheet' of pro-fracking talking points to counter any bad publicity that may arise following the release of the new Matt Damon film, Promised Land. The film, directed by Gus Van Sant, stars Damon as a gas company salesman who travels the dying towns of the American heartland, buying up drilling rights from struggling farmers. It is due for a limited release.