The Week Ahead: Senate to Take Up Clean Energy Standard, Climate Negotiators Meet in Bonn


In Congress, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing Thursday on the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 (S. 2146), which would promote a range of low- and zero-carbon electricity generation sources. The bill would require utilities to obtain 24 percent of electricity from "clean" sources starting in 2015, increasing 3 percent per year through 2035.

As detailed in a May 2 World Climate Change Reportarticle, Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M), who introduced the legislation, concedes the bill has little chance for passage this year, but is hopeful about its chances in the future.

Climate Negotiators Continue Talks in Bonn

International climate negotiators will meet in Bonn, Germany for two weeks of talks, starting Monday. Negotiators hope to make progress on agreements reached in Durban, South Africa, last December during the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Topics include how long a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol should continue, establishing a climate fund to help poorer nations deal with the effects of climate change, and selecting a group to host the U.N. Climate Technology Center for boosting clean energy technologies.

Other International Developments 

While Canada has said it will withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, legislation to make it officialthrough a comprehensive budget billis expected to be voted on by Parliament the week of May 14. As covered in a April 27 article, the bill passed its first reading in April 26.

Commerce to Make Announcement on Chinese Solar Cell Exports

The Department of Commerce is expected to announce results of an antidumping investigation over solar cells imported to the United States from China May 17. Details of allegations that China is providing subsidies to exporters of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and solar panels are covered in a March 20 article.

EPA Climate, Energy Events

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson is scheduled to give a keynote address Monday to a "Technology Market Summit" at American University in Washington, D.C.

The summit is being billed as a way for government, industry, and academia to accelerate "development and adoption of technologies to achieve economic growth through environment protection." Other speakers on the agenda include Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, and John Bryson, Secretary of Commerce.

EPA will hold a webinar Tuesday on "EPA's Corporate GHG Goal Evaluation Model" Overview and Q & A."

The model, which was created under the Climate Leaders Program, was designed as a way for projecting business-as-usual greenhouse gas intensity improvements to assess reduction goals.

Also no Tuesday, EPA will hold a webinar on "Restoration-Adapt-Mitigate: Responding to Climate Change Through Coastal Habitat Restoration."

California to Hold Fuel Workgroup Meeting

On Thursday, the California Air Resources Board's Low Carbon Fuel Sustainability Workgroup will hold a meeting to discuss reporting requirements, "chain of custody," certification requirements, and other sustainability topics.