E2 Round-up: Zero hour looms for Cape Wind, Colorado eyes tougher green energy mandate, and Detroit gets a jolt

Salazar wants some kind of compromise between the parties by March 1, and if that doesn’t happen, he’ll “take the steps necessary to bring the permit process to conclusion,” he said last week.

 The Cape Cod Times sets the table for the meetings nicely.

Speaking of renewable energy, the Denver Post reports that Democrats in Colorado are planning to boost that state’s renewable electricity standard, which requires utilities to supply escalating amounts of power from wind, solar and other renewable resources.

The standard is currently 20 percent by 2020 but Xcel Energy, the state’s dominant power provider, is well ahead of schedule, the story notes. The Democratic plan would boost the mandate to 30 percent.

Pending energy and climate legislation on Capitol Hill includes a national renewable electricity standard, but with climate change stuck behind several other priorities in the Senate, the states remain where the action is.

In Detroit, where the huge North American International Auto Show is underway, there’s plenty of excitement about hybrid and electric-powered vehicles. Ford expects up to a quarter of its North American sales to come from hybrid or electric vehicles in 2020, notes the Detroit Free Press.

But there are some caveats too, notes a Wall Street Journal story about GM’s upcoming Chevy Volt. The upshot: the car’s range on battery power may vary significantly with the weather and driving conditions.