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Energy Update, September 4, 2009

In the States

HI – Governor Linda Lingle testified before the US Senate Appropriations Committee on the both the beneficial effects of the federal stimulus legislation on Hawaii and the challenges faced in tracking and reporting the use of funds.  The Governor also discussed her administration’s five-point plan for managing the State’s economy, which includes attracting and retaining private investment for its renewable energy sector.  Lingle testifies before US Senate on American Recovery and Reinvestment ActHawaii247.org

OR – Governor Ted Kulongoski and the Oregon Business Development Department are increasing efforts to reduce unemployment by generating more clean energy technology jobs within the state.  The Governor hopes the Department’s efforts to reach out to clean energy companies will help the state compete for federal stimulus funds.  Oregon already provides some of the most generous tax credits for clean energy and has the highest percentage of workers in that field nationwide.  Oregon looks to clean tech for revivalWall Street Journal

UT – Governor Gary Herbert plans to host a forum on climate change, which will include skeptics of human-caused global warming.  The Governor has said that he is interested in bringing all points of view into the discussion and believes it still important to “take care of the planet” and “be good stewards of the Earth” regardless of whether climate change is real.  Governor Herbert currently has no plans to withdraw the State from the Western Climate Initiative in which his predecessor, former Governor Jon Huntsman, entered into an agreement with neighboring states to lower emissions through a cap-and-trade system.  Utah Governor says climate change debate not overForbes.com

Regional and National News

David Crane, President and CEO of NRG Energy, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that suggested using regional strengths as part of a national strategy to lower greenhouse gas emissions.  For example, the Western United States would use solar energy while the South would use nuclear.  To lower emissions nationwide, he suggests a push toward “clean coal” technology.  An energy plan we can start nowWashington Post

A record number of patents for clean energy technology were filed in the second quarter of 2009 according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index.  Compared to the first quarter of 2009, there were 31 more patents, which included increases for wind, solar, biofuels, tidal/wave and fuel cells, but fewer patents for hybrid/electric vehicles.  There were also more fuel cell, solar, hybrid/electric, and biofuel patents and fewer wind and tidal/wave patents than in the same quarter of 2008.  Clean energy patents set quarterly recordReuters

A trade group for the oil industry says that if the proposed cap-and-trade legislation that passed the House earlier this year is enacted, US oil refineries would produce 2.5 million barrels fewer than today, or about a 17% drop.  A report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows that refineries would increase output if the bill does not pass and that more oil will need to be imported if the bill does become law and domestic refinery utilization rates drop.  Oil industry details costs of climate billWall Street Journal

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