Ex-Im Approves $61.1M Loan for Wind Energy
The U.S. Export-Import Bank approved November 26 a $61.1 million loan to a Central American company to purchase American-made wind turbine generators for its 50-megawatt project in Costa Rica. Inversiones Eolicas de Orosi Dos S.A., a subsidiary of Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy, will be able to purchase the generators from Pennsylvania-based Gamesa. The loan will support 200 U.S. manufacturing jobs. FTC U.S.
Ethanol Production Report
The Federal Trade Commission released 2013 Report on the State of U.S. Ethanol Production on November 26. The report found that the ethanol market is unconcentrated despite 156 firms producing or likely to be producing the fuel in the next year. It concluded that it is unlikely the market will set prices or coordinate prices or output levels.
Departments Release Regulatory Agendas
Agency and cabinet departments released their regulatory agendas on November 26. The
Department of Energy promoted energy efficiency, nuclear weapons safety, and science and
technology. The Department of the Interior included in its agenda plans to update fracking
regulations and to create a competitive bidding process for wind and solar projects. The
Environmental Protection Agency outlined six goals: creating solutions at the community level,
addressing climate change, ensuring on chemical safety, protecting water resources, advancing
state and local partnerships, and promoting sustainability. The agency also released a list of
Environmental Groups on Diesel Fracking Guidance
Environmental groups met with officials from several White House offices on November 26 to
discuss Environmental Protection Agency guidance on diesel fuel use in fracking. The guidance was
submitted to the administration for consideration in September. Participating offices were the
Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget, and the EPA; participating
environmental groups included the Natural Resources Defense Council and Clean Water Watch.
Sutley Stepping Down
A Council on Environmental Quality aide confirmed December 3 that Chairman Nancy Sutley will
depart the council in February 2014. Sutley will return to California. She has served in this position
since President Obama took office. Names being floated to replace Sutley include former
Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, former Governor
Christine Gregoire (D-WA), and former Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes.
DOE, HUD Expand Better Buildings Challenge
The Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development announced December 3 that they
are expanding the Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing and to support state
and local energy efficiency efforts. Research has shown that saving 20 percent of energy in
multifamily homes could result in $7 billion in annual cost savings. The Better Buildings
Accelerators support local efforts by convening state governments, local governments, utilities, and
manufacturers to break down market barriers. The announcement did not set a specific
commitment figure, but the Council on Environmental Quality will release a target early next year.
DOE, EPA Release Fuel Economy Guide
Model Year 2014 Fuel Economy Guide was released by the Department of Energy and the
Environmental Protection Agency on December 3. The guide includes lists of the most efficient
advanced technology vehicles, estimated annual fuel costs, and vehicle greenhouse gas ratings. It
was designed to provide consumers information on vehicles to make the best fuel efficient and low
greenhouse gas emissions decisions.
National Research Council Climate Change Report
Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change was released by the National Research Council on December 3,
warning that climate changes will be more abrupt as global warming continues. The report
recommended additional research on these changes. It also proposed an early warning system be
put in place to assist policymakers at the local level predict and plan for natural disasters.
Memo on Federal Renewable Energy Use
Federal Leadership on Energy Management was signed by President Obama on December 5. The presidential memorandum directed federal agencies to obtain 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. It also promoted energy efficiency efforts at federal buildings.
Biden Promotes HFC Cooperation with China
Vice President Joe Biden was in China last week, and he and Chinese officials agreed December 5 to improve cooperation on reducing hydrofluorocarbons use. A new contact group on HFCs was proposed and approved. The agreement also included efforts to assist China in implementing low-sulfur fuel and motor vehicle emissions standards.
Agencies’ Sustainability Plans
Federal agencies, as directed by Executive Order 13514, released on December 5 sustainability plans and goals for the next year. The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency promoted energy efficiency and renewable energy investments as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Department will promote renewable energy and will advance partnerships with local communities. The Environmental Protection Agency will work to consolidate or right-size its laboratory infrastructure.