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Blog posts October 2012

Energy Update, Oct. 19

In the States

CT – Hoping to make Connecticut more business friendly, Governor Dan Malloy announced the State will pursue a new Comprehensive Energy Strategy. The Governor, in a speech to the State’s industry leaders, spoke in favor of expanding natural gas use and set a goal of converting up to 300,000 households and 75 percent of businesses to natural gas by 2020. The Governor projects such a move will create as many as 7,000 construction jobs, mostly attributable to 900 miles of new gas main lines and pipelines. The $2.2 billion investment would be jointly financed by natural gas companies, state bonding, and private industry investment. "A comprehensive energy strategy can help us create jobs, it can make our state's businesses more competitive, and it can ensure that we preserve and protect our environment for generations to come," the Governor said. Malloy unveils his new energy policy for Conn.The Boston Globe and Governor has plan for switch to natural gasThe Norwalk Citizen

 NE – Governor Dave Heineman, along with the presidents of Edison Mission Energy (EME) and Nebraska Public Power District, attended the dedication of the $145 million Broken Bow wind project in Custer County, Nebraska. The wind farm, once completed, is projected to produce 80 megawatts of electricity per year, or enough to provide power to 25,000 Cornhusker households. The facility, spanning 14,000 acres of land, will be powered by 50 wind turbines mounted on 80 meter tower. According to the State, Broken Bow will create seven permanent jobs and will provide roughly $600,000 annually in property and state income taxes. Calling it a boost to the State’s economy, Governor Heineman thanked EME stating, “Your continued investment in our state and our natural resource enhances Nebraska's portfolio of providing renewable energy sources.” Custer County landowners welcome 50-turbine wind farmThe Omaha World Herald  and Broken Bow wind farm dedication set for TuesdayThe Lincoln Star Journal

 Regional News

Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell will take over the chairmanship of the Outer Continental Shelf (OSC) Governors Coalition, a group that includes the governors of Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. In addition to promoting dialogue between coastal governors and the federal government, the OSC Governors Coalition supports energy expansion and advocates for offshore energy production. Governor Parnell, who took over the chair’s duties from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, said: “Developing America’s resources, both onshore and offshore, are essential to achieving a more sustainable, independent energy future.” Parnell chosen to lead governor’s groupThe Sacramento Bee

 National News

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently announced the setting aside of 250,000 acres of public land in several Western states for the development of solar power projects. The announcement preliminarily establishes 17 solar energy zones, which are predicted to produce as much as 23,700 megawatts of solar energy, in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. According to Secretary Salazar, the newly-designated zones are “sweet spots,” meaning they are well-suited for solar energy production, and many, when completed, will already have access to existing or planned transmission lines. “We're basically mapping out the future of solar energy,” the Secretary said. U.S. sets Western land aside for solarUnited Press International and 60,400 acres in Nevada designated for ‘solar energy zones’The Las Vegas Sun

 The Commerce Department has decided to increase tariffs on Chinese-made photovoltaic or solar cells to almost 36 percent, a 12 percent increase from the previous duty. The Department determined that Chinese manufacturers, which receive generous government subsidies, were “dumping” – selling their products below the cost of production – in the United States. Chinese-made solar cells, which convert sunlight energy directly into electricity, have been the focus of several recent trade cases, including a $26.5 billion antidumping case currently underway in the European Union. Before the tariffs are enforced, the International Trade Commission must determine whether Chinese practices have actually endangered the American industry. U.S. will place tariffs on Chinese solar panelsThe New York Times

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Energy Update, Oct. 5

In the States

AK – Governor Sean Parnell took his second state-sponsored trip to Asia to promote Alaskan natural gas and to advance a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that would allow for exports to the Pacific Rim. Convinced that a market exists in Asia, namely in Japan and South Korea, Governor Parnell has asked Alaskan officials, producers, and industry experts to remain committed to the future development of a major gas pipeline. Touting a decades-old trading partnership with Asia, Governor Parnell stated he will continue to meet with higher-level Japanese and South Korean officials and businessmen to champion Alaska as a source of supply. “My goal is simply to work to grow demand for Alaskan gas in Japan by opening their eyes to the opportunity that can come with LNG from Alaska,” said the Governor. Parnell travels to Asia to promote Alaska natural gasThe Anchorage Daily News

 CA – Hoping to increase the State’s renewable energy usage while cutting costs, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed several energy-related bills, including the Energy Security Coordination Act of 2012. The law requires California to coordinate the implementation of state energy security strategies and environmental policies with the U.S. Department of Defense. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research will directly work with several state energy agencies to ensure military involvement and collaboration in the development of renewable energy technologies. “The health of the environment, job creation and indeed, the security of the nation, depends on how we end America’s dangerous addiction to foreign oil,” said Governor Brown. Jerry Brown OKs bills to expand renewable energy in CaliforniaThe Los Angeles Times and Calif. Governor signs the Energy Security Coordination Act of 2012California Newswire

Regional News

The Southern States Energy Board has selected Governor Phil Bryant as its chairman. Governor Bryant, who will serve in this position for one year, will take over the chair’s responsibilities for Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, whose one-year term recently expired. A bipartisan, interstate nonprofit organization comprised of 16 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, the Southern States Energy Board seeks to promote economic development in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policy and programs. “For our nation to become more energy independent,” said Governor Bryant in a press release, “we must recognize the importance of a forward-thinking approach to energy, and continue to develop a comprehensive energy policy that works.” Governor Bryant’s selection as chairman was announced days before his Governor’s Energy Summit, which brought together industry experts to discuss Mississippi’s energy future. Gov. Bryant appointed to chair bipartisan energy boardThe Clarion-Ledger

 Twenty-two states have now joined the coalition led by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to spur the production and the purchase of vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Earlier in July, the Governors met with American auto manufacturers in Detroit, Michigan to announce the coalition’s intent to purchase thousands of CNG vehicles. The preliminary results of the multistate request for proposals were released yesterday, with dealerships representing Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, and Honda submitting more than 100 bids. Governor Hickenlooper announced he expects the partnership to purchase as many as 5,000 to 10,000 vehicles annually. According to the coalition, whereas approximately 10 million CNG vehicles run worldwide, no more than 200,000 operate in the United States. Colorado Gov: States willing to buy up to 10,000 natural gas vehicles annuallyThe Detroit News and Okla., Colo. Govs. Report on 22-state CNG PlanThe Denver Post

 National News

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved Alliance Pipeline’s plan to build a 79.3 mile pipeline to carry natural gas from North Dakota to the Chicago, Illinois market. The new lateral pipeline, which will connect to a larger main line, is projected to deliver up to 10 million cubic feet of natural gas per day when completed. According to the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the State’s natural gas production represents 1% of total natural gas production in the nation. "We are very pleased to obtain regulatory approval for this pipeline, which will help address North Dakota's need for natural gas transportation infrastructure," said Mike McGonagill, Chief Operating Officer for Alliance. North Dakota gas pipeline approvedUnited Press International

 Citing national security concerns, President Barack Obama ordered a Chinese company to remove all property, installations, and any interests in an Oregon wind farm project. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency committee headed by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, recommended the President prohibit the acquisition of the wind farm by Ralls Corporation, a company owned by two Chinese executives affiliated with a large Chinese machinery manufacturer. The wind farm site is located near a restricted naval training facility where drones and other weaponry is tested. Stating it was not a political issue, President Obama, who is being sued by the company, said he was not “interested in triggering an all-out trade war that would damage both economies.” Chinese-owned company sues Obama over wind farm project Bloomberg

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