E2 Round-up: Green buildings in the Capital, renewables in on both coasts (and Colorado), and a push to revive Yucca Mountain

The move comes amid continued debate in Congress over proposed federal renewable electricity mandates.

Activists say legislation on Capitol Hill – which sets much less aggressive nationwide targets – is too weak. It won’t prompt additional renewable generation beyond what will happen already through state standards, funding in the recent stimulus law and other existing programs, they note. The Colorado action could be another arrow in their quiver.

Anyway, even if the Senate follows the House in taking up a big energy and climate bill, it’s not clear whether a federal renewable power standard will remain in the mix.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) would prefer a broader “clean” energy standard that also credits new nuclear plants and coal plants that trap carbon emissions (a technology that hasn’t been commercialized yet).

Bloomberg looks at Graham’s predictions yesterday about the climate bill he’s crafting with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Speaking of renewables, the New York Times looks at oil giant Chevron’s solar power effort. The company is using an old refinery site in California to test various photovoltaic technologies, the Times reports.

The Boston Globe reports from a public hearing Monday on the proposed Cape Wind project in Massachusetts.

A historic preservation panel advising Interior Secretary Ken Salazar received input on the contentious proposal to build a wind farm in federal waters in Nantucket Sound. Salazar plans to make a final decision on the long-delayed project as soon as next month.

Nuclear power is picking up steam with or without a sweeping new climate and energy bill. The Obama administration is pro-nuclear power and recently announced the first new federal commitments to provide loan guarantees for new reactors (Southern Company will receive $8.3 billion worth of guarantees for to help finance two reactors in Georgia).

But the administration has come under fire from business groups for abandoning longstanding (and long-delayed) plans to build a high-level nuclear waste dump inside Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.

The Las Vegas Sun reports on a push by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other groups to keep Yucca on the table.