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Ohio lawmakers fine-tune renewable energy mandates

COLUMBUS — Ohio utilities would still have to find more of their power from renewable sources like solar and wind but not as much as required by current law under a bill that could soon see a Senate vote. A revised version of House Bill 114 rolled out last week would get rid of the House-passed concept of replacing the mandates with voluntary goals carrying no penalties for failure. The bill also seeks to resolve a four-year...

Editorial: Trump bailout turns free market upside ...

Houston Chronicle: Americans of a certain age likely remember Tennessee Ernie Ford, a TV entertainer whose musical rendition of a coal miner’s lament, “Sixteen Tons,” sold millions of records in the mid-1950s. Written a decade earlier by a former Kentucky coal miner, “Sixteen Tons” opened with the evocative question: “You load sixteen tons, what do you get?” In his sonorous baritone voice, Ford offered up a doleful reply....

Industries Try to Strip Power from Ohio River̵...

Climate advocates worry the move will weaken water standards and keep coal-burning power plants running longer. The river has a coal plant roughly every 38 miles. More than two dozen coal-fired power plants that line the Ohio River stand to get a break from regional oversight that has helped to dramatically improve water quality in the river, the drinking water source for 5 million people. Electric utilities and other...

Ohio diverts money from coal mine cleanup fund as ...

A $5 million transfer from a fund meant to guarantee environmental cleanup of shuttered coal mines in Ohio could prolong reclamation efforts or leave taxpayers on the hook in the event of unexpected closures. Ohio’s Reclamation Forfeiture Fund is paid into by mining companies to make sure money is available to restore land to its natural state if companies abandon their operations. Reclamation includes treating water...

New Pew Survey: Americans Are Noticing the Effects...

Significant majorities of Americans are seeing the impacts of climate change on their communities and don’t think that the U.S. government is doing enough to combat it, according to the results of the latest survey by the Pew Research Center, reported Monday. Some highlights of the comprehensive national survey on environmental attitudes, taken by 2,541 adults between March 27 and April 9, are outlined below. 1....

Q&A: Retired Air Force general on the need to...

A retired Air Force general talks with Midwest Energy News about his solar-powered Wisconsin home and the case for developing alternative liquid fuels. Energy was always on General Donald J. Hoffman’s mind, as a kid growing up in a big family in central Wisconsin, and in the Air Force where he was a pilot and managed Air Force weapon systems from bases around the world. As Hoffman explains it, energy has always been at the...

Fossil Fuels Squeezed by Plunge in Cost of Renewab...

The economics of generating electricity from fossil fuels are deteriorating rapidly as renewable energy technology plunges in costs. Wind and solar power seen beating coal in most places by 2023 Rapid change in energy economics is ‘changing perceptions’ That’s the conclusion of a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report on the levelized cost of energy, a measure that takes into account the expenses from buying equipment,...

Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Rule Change That...

Seven environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Ohio Citizen Action, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday, The Hill reported. The lawsuit seeks to reverse the agency’s January decision to repeal the “once-in always-in” policy, which said that all “major” sources of air pollution, like power...

IEEFA Update: An Effort in Congress to Bail Out th...

A Bill to Ostensibly Enhance National Energy Security but Would Benefit Only a Select Few Having failed to obtain bailouts for failing coal plants and mines by way of policy actions from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the coal industry has now turned to its friends in Congress. Rep. Larry Bucshon, a Republican from Indiana, is promoting House Bill HR 5270, the Electricity...

Trump wanted to slash funding for clean energy. Co...

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that passed Friday morning and averted a government shutdown increases spending on clean energy and keeps the Environmental Protection Agency funded at current levels. That’s despite the White House suggestion that Congress cut EPA’s budget by one-third and make drastic reductions in clean energy research. Tarak Shah, a former chief of staff in the science and energy office at the US...

Editorial: No Ohio future seen for coal

There’s not much future in coal, even in Ohio. Even though coal still plays a prominent role in the imagination and politics of southeastern Ohio, it’s an ever-shrinking part of our economy. Some politicians profit by selling the false narrative of a “war on coal,” promising a comeback in mining jobs by relaxing or rolling back environmental laws. The hard truth, however, is that coal has been on the decline for decades. And...

US utilities find water pollution at coal ash dump...

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Major utilities have found evidence of groundwater contamination at coal-burning power plants across the U.S. where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash, according to data released by plant owners under a Friday deadline. Heightened levels of pollutants – including arsenic and radium in some cases – were documented at plants in...

Hundreds of mayors stand up to Scott Pruitt over c...

EPA chief Scott Pruitt received an unusual letter Tuesday morning. Two hundred and thirty-six mayors from 47 U.S. states and territories had sent him a clear message: Stop dismantling the Clean Power Plan. Last October, Pruitt announced his intentions to repeal and replace the Obama-era plan, the nation’s first attempt at regulating harmful greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. So far, Pruitt has done a bang-up job of...

In 2018, expect ‘clean energy’ to be cheap energy...

The central fact that will drive the energy industry worldwide in 2018, profoundly affecting businesses, consumers and policymakers, is that “clean energy” is now “cheap energy.” Fossil fuel extraction is expensive. It is giving way to cheaper, more flexible technologies, primarily renewables like wind and solar, and electric vehicles. These shifts will change investment decisions, business models, household usage,...

White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy r...

The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post. Many of the sharp cuts would likely be restored by Congress, but President Trump’s budget due out in February will mark a starting point for negotiations and...