Electric Motor Efficiency Standards Proposed

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy released a notice of proposed rulemaking on electric motor efficiency standards on November 25. The proposal—designed for motors between 1 and 500 horsepower—would increase efficiency by up to 9 percent over current levels, saving consumers $23 billion in energy costs. The rule would reduce emissions by approximately 400 million metric tons over 30 years. A public meeting on the proposal will be held in Washington, DC on December 11.

Two Floating LNG Export Projects Approved

The Office of Fossil Energy approved two floating liquefied natural gas export projects on November 26. The Eos LNG project and the Barca LNG project will both serve offshore gas fields at the Port of Brownsville, TX. The projects are authorized to export up to 1.6 billion cubic feet per day to free trade agreement countries for 25 years.

GLE, AREVA to Negotiate on USEC Plants

The Department of Energy announced November 27 that it will open negations with Global Laser Enrichment on depleted uranium at USEC’s Paducah and Portsmouth plants as well as with AREVA for uranium considered off-specification. Global Laser Enrichment proposed building a laser uranium enrichment facility at the Paducah, KY plant. The AREVA proposal involved processing off-spec uranium at the Richland, WA plant.

DOE Urges Appeals Window Extension

The Department of Energy asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit December 3 to extend the appeals window by 31 days from January 3 to February 3. The department said the federal holidays in the 45-day window make it difficult to challenge the November 19 ruling which said the department must zero out its nuclear waste fee. The next day, the plaintiff, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, wrote to the court urging the ruling be implemented immediately.

Draft Strategic Plan Lauds Loan Guarantee Program

The Energy Department released its draft Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2018 for public comment on December 4. The plan expressed support for past loan guarantee program efforts, and it said the department will use federal credit authorities to support clean energy and transmission technologies. The last loan guarantee was finalized in 2011 although the department recently announced a new round of up to $8 billion for advanced fossil fuel technology.

Energy Conservation for General Service Lamps Comment Period

The Department of Energy, in a December 9 Federal Register posting, announced a public comment period on post-2020 energy conservation standards for general service light bulbs. A public meeting will be held January 14, and comments will be accepted through January 23.

Loan Guarantee Solicitation Forthcoming in New Year

Peter Davidson, the Department of Energy’s top loan programs office official, announced December 9 that the agency is considering new loan guarantee solicitations for renewable and nuclear energy. The agency has about $3billion and $12 billion in loan guarantee authority for renewable energy and nuclear technology, respectively, in its 1703 loan guarantee program.