Arkansas Energy

Arkansas' two Republican senators say they will place a hold on a confirmation vote for a U.S. Department of Energy nominee because of their concerns over a proposed wind-energy transmission line that would cross the state.

U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton said Wednesday they will place a hold on the confirmation vote for Victoria Wassmer, who is President Barack Obama's nominee for the department's undersecretary for management and performance.

A Senate committee advanced Wassmer's nomination last month.

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock unveiled a new power generation plant on campus Wednesday that university officials said will reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the coming years.

During a ceremony at the campus, university officials and representatives of Little Rock-based energy firm TME demonstrated UALR’s top-of-the-line power plant, capable of powering the campus during outages or scheduled power grid interruptions.

Residents of Faulkner, Conway and Van Buren counties have filed a class action lawsuit against five energy companies claiming they made fictitious deductions and charges against royalty owners.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that the 88 residents represented in the lawsuit are royalty owners of oil, gas and mineral interests in lands and wells located within the three counties.

Although gas prices have edged up in recent weeks across Arkansas and the rest of the U.S., the monthly average for a gallon of regular unleaded is expected to decline between Thanksgiving and Christmas as unplanned refinery outages this fall come back online, according to Tuesday’s short-term energy forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Pipe manufactured in advance of a Keystone XL decision sits idle outside of an east Little Rock plant.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

President Barack Obama on Friday (Nov. 6) rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal after a lengthy State Department review of the controversial project. The move ignited a barrage of criticism from Arkansas’ Congressional delegation and the oil and gas industry.

“Shipping dirtier crude oil into our country would not increase America’s energy security,” Obama said in a press conference with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at this side.

jobs unemployment employment

More than 50,000 workers across the U.S. will join the unemployment line ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, but the good news is that employers are cutting fewer positions than a year ago, according to the latest layoff report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Power Lines

The U.S. Department of Energy released its final environmental impact statement for the proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line transmission project, a controversial $2 billion electric transmission line that proposes to deliver up to 3,500 megawatts of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states.

A small town in northwest Arkansas has annexed the 300 acres of land a developer hopes to use for Arkansas' first wind farm.

Two aldermen and the mayor say the city council voted 4-2 to annex the land during its Oct. 19 meeting.

Dragonfly Industries International has said it wants to use the land for a shrouded wind turbine design that would provide 80 megawatts of power to the area.

white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

Less than a full business day after the final rules for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan were published on Friday in the Federal Register, legal challenges from industry groups to halt the new greenhouse gas rules are already piling up at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The newly hired chief of Walmart’s energy division told members of the Arkansas Advance Energy Association on Tuesday that the retail giant’s ultimate goal in becoming 100% sustainable and supplied by renewable energy is still to reduce costs and bring lower prices to the retail giant’s millions of customers

“My responsibility as we execute these (goals) that we are doing is that at the same time we are reducing costs to Walmart and passing it on to the customers,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of Walmart energy.