President Obama has committed the United States to the goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. “This would nearly triple the amount of wind- and solar-generated electricity on the national grid.

The EPA ran afoul of the law by failing to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before it acted to reduce mercury emissions from coal-power plants. There is no objective cost-benefit analysis that could justify the president’s target for renewable energy.” [WSJ]

A new report from the EPA as found that hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can lead, and has led, to the contamination of drinking water. “It was the first time the federal government had admitted such a link.

The study, based on “data sources available to the agency”, found levels of any contamination to be small compared to the number of wells across the country, the EPA said.” [The Guardian]

Chevron continues to encounter problems with its acquired LNG facility on Barrow Island off Western Australia. “The facility is meant to convert two natural gas fields into liquefied fuel for Asia’s energy-hungry economies. Mega projects were common with the industry on the upswing. That summer, the $5 price per one million British thermal units in Japan and South Korea was among the highest in the world and rising.

Today, the industry is more challenging. Liquefied natural gas prices in Japan have fallen 60 percent since February 2014, when they hit $20. The current price is about half what Chevron needs for the facility to make money, according to the brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

Neil Beveridge, an analyst at Bernstein, said Gorgon had the highest cost relative to its output of any liquefied natural gas project being built. He estimates that Gorgon needs to sell fuel for about $14 per million British thermal units to be profitable over the life of the plant. The price in May in Japan was $7.90.” [The NY Times]