The American Wind Energy Association is working to cut the amount of turbine-related bat deaths in the US by about 30%, showing that the industry "is strongly committed to producing one of the safest and cleanest forms of energy, for people and wildlife," CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement. John Anderson of AWEA writes that a new protocol for protecting bats "is the best 'bang for the buck,' as it strikes a balance between protecting and preserving bats when they are most at risk, while allowing wind energy to continue producing reliable, zero-emissions electricity the rest of the year."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is speaking out against the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. "This is a fundamentally flawed plan that threatens the progress we've already made in developing clean and renewable energy in New Jersey without the heavy-handed overreach of Washington," said the 2016 Republican presidential candidate. Christie asked the Environmental Protection Agency to drop its "burdensome" rule.
California legislators are considering tough emissions proposals that would double buildings' energy efficiency, require 50% renewable energy use by state utilities and halve gasoline consumption by 2030. The oil industry is launching a major PR offensive to derail the effort, but Gov. Jerry Brown says he's determined to implement the policies. "It's absolutely necessary if we are to have any chance of stopping potentially catastrophic changes to our climate system," he said.
A group called Chubby Chipotle recently ran a full-page ad in the New York Post criticizing the burrito vendor's claims about its products' sustainability. The campaign is bankrolled by a restaurant industry lobby group, notes Ian Lang. "At worst they're trying to outright sabotage any momentum Chipotle provides to the campaign for more ethical food standards," he writes.
US District Judge Scott Skavdahl on Thursday approved a joint motion by parties to delay the implementation of federal rules governing hydraulic fracturing until the middle of next month. The delay is needed to "complete a preliminary review of the record and identify additional citations pertinent to the pending motions for a preliminary injunction," attorneys wrote Wednesday.
Cheniere Energy received a 20-year license from the Energy Department to export liquefied natural gas from its Corpus Christi Liquefaction project in Texas to countries with free-trade agreements with the U.S. The license will enable exports of about 1.41 billion cubic feet of LNG per day.
The Power Company of Wyoming is awaiting the federal government's final decision on a proposed 3-gigawatt wind farm. The Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm would feature 1,000 turbines and cost about $5 billion to build. The US Bureau of Land Management is expected in November to complete an environmental-impact report and make a decision on the project's first of two phases, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service is reviewing an application for an eagle-take permit.
Oil and natural gas production last year helped bolster economic growth for several states, according to data from the Commerce Department. North Dakota had the fastest gross domestic product growth at 6.3%, followed by Texas with 5.2%.
Enbridge Energy on Thursday signed a deal with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to avoid transporting heavy crude oil via the Line 5 pipeline that passes through the Straits of Mackinac.
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