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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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