President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address

President Obama and his administration are bracing themselves from a Republican controlled Congress in wake of his FY 2016 budget which will see heavy investment in clean energy industries. “In addition to some $7.4 billion in research and development funding for clean energy and climate science, President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget — a nearly $4 trillion affair — includes $239 million aimed at the Environmental Protection Agency’s contentious Clean Power Plan, which among other things seeks to reduce emissions from power plants that burn fossil fuels, including coal. Adding to that, Obama is seeking another $4 billion to create a set of incentives for states to go above and beyond that federal program in a broad effort to begin dramatically reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

But such funding will face stiff opposition in Congress, which must approve the budget. The new Republican leadership has been openly disdainful of the administration’s climate-centric rulemaking through the EPA, vowing to starve the agency of funding as a tactical measure.  Along those lines, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, responded to the president’s proposed budget by announcing on Monday that he’d be joining a subcommittee that directly controls funding for the EPA. [Forbes]

GDF SUEZ has made an investment in Tendril to further compensate towards its European demand for consumer-centric ESM software and analytics. “GDF SUEZ, a global energy independent producer and Tendril, a leading U.S. provider of Energy Services Management (ESM) solutions, announce today the signature of a partnership to better serve European electricity users. Under the terms of the agreement, GDF SUEZ, through its investment fund GDF SUEZ New Ventures targeting innovative startups, invests $7.2 million in Tendril.

We have been planning our entry into the European market for a long time,” said Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendril. “We knew our proven, enterprise-class software platform could be customized to meet the diverse needs of the European market. Our challenge was finding a forward-thinking utility partner to help us build winning solutions and support our market entry as a lighthouse partner. We have found that partner in GDF SUEZ.”

Tendril’s ESM Platform already delivers highly personalized energy services to millions of customers in the U.S. Developed over the past 10 years and honed through millions of customer interactions, the Tendril ESM Platform is the only flexible, scalable, enterprise-class software platform that serves as the connective tissue between the providers and consumers of energy. The goal of this partnership is to enable European customers to have access to Tendril’s customized ESM solution. In turn, Tendril will benefit from GDF SUEZ’s large customer base and should contribute to addressing the pressing issue of energy transition in Europe.” [GDF Suez]

Two young children in Pennsylvania have been banned from talking about fracking under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company. “The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates.

The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs’ son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America’s shale gas boom.” [The Guardian]