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Energy Update, August 1

In the States

CA – Governor Jerry Brown and Mexico’s Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell signed a bilateral nonbinding agreement to support and to collaborate on clean energy projects, research, and infrastructure. The pact calls for California and Mexico to “work together in developing and deploying renewable energy, biofuels, and other clean energy technologies.” Under this agreement, the State and Mexico will also collaborate on climate adaptation strategies, air quality, and fuel efficiency standards. Governor Brown also recently signed an agreement with other Mexican energy and environment officials to align their efforts to stem greenhouse gas emissions. “By this agreement, we intend to work together to dramatically increase solar, wind and other renewable investments,’’ Governor Brown said in a written statement. California joins Mexico in clean-energy pactBloomberg

KY – Governor Steve Beshear called a new carbon capture project at a coal-burning power plant “a big step forward for solving one of the biggest challenges facing the Commonwealth,” namely carbon emissions. The new $19.5 million facility at the E.W. Brown Generating Station, which is located in Harrodsburg, will capture and separate carbon dioxide emissions after the coal is burned. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contributed approximately $14 million to the carbon capture projects, and is sponsoring another 15 similar projects across the United States. John Litynski, carbon capture program manager at the DOE’s fossil energy division, said carbon capture "technologies are going to be necessary and commercially available for coal to play a significant role while addressing greenhouse gas issues." Project at Ky. Coal plant to catch carbon dioxideThe Houston Chronicle

PA – According to a new report by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), natural gas and oil extraction operations damaged the Commonwealth’ water supplies and infrastructure more than 200 times since the end of 2007. State regulators, in the DEP’s report, list 209 water supplies at both the country and municipality level that were disrupted. State law requires regulators to determine and disclose within 45 days of receiving a drilling-related water complaint. According to both the DEP and the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry trade group, only a small percentage of the total number of new oil and gas projects, estimated to be roughly 20,000 wells, disrupted or damaged Pennsylvania’s water supplies. Patrick Creighton, a spokesman for the coalition, said this data further demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of oil and natural gas wells in Pennsylvania – over 99 percent – have been developed without any impact on ground or well water.” DEP: Oil and gas operations damaged water supplies 209 times since end of ’07The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal and Regional

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently said the Pentagon, specifically the Navy, requested biofuels to be included in its “annual request for fuels that are delivered to facilities in the eastern and inland United States.” The EIA noted this was the first time the Pentagon has made such a request. Biofuels, according to the Navy, can be blended in a range of 10 to 50 percent with conventional petroleum products and have already been approved for use in Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, ships, and other equipment. The Navy hopes to reduce its reliance on petroleum and generate 50 percent of its energy from alternative sources by 2020. Currently, the Navy generates 17 percent of its energy from renewable sources, though no biofuels are, at this time, being consumed. The Navy, states EIA, is primarily interested in “drop-in biofuels, or “fuels that can be used as direct replacements for petroleum-based gasoline and distillate fuels.” Navy includes biofuels in annual fuel request The Hill and Biofuels are included in latest U.S. Navy fuel procurementEnergy Information Administration

Thirteen western State air regulators met in private recently to discuss the Obama Administration’s new carbon emission standards and regulations for power plants and how States could work together to meet the new benchmarks. The new policy seeks to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), also encourages States to develop “regional carbon-trading systems.” The roundtable discussion was led by former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and was organized by the Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy. “The meeting provided a forum for us to get a better understanding of how the proposal works,” said Camille St. Onge, spokeswoman for Washington’s Department of Ecology. According to John Chatburn, interim administrator of the Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy Resources, the discussion laid “the groundwork for exploring the potential of either a regional or multi-state or bi-state program.” Meeting of western states lays regional carbon groundworkBloomberg


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