News

Hertz places a risky wager on EVs

Source: By David Ferris, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Car rental company Hertz Corp. made its biggest bet yet on electric vehicles Tuesday with a commitment to buy up to 175,000 of them from General Motors Co. These EVs — if Hertz can actually get them — could get many Americans behind the wheel of an EV for the first time and supplement cars entering the company’s fleet from Tesla Inc. and Polestar. But Hertz could get the blame from its customers if the charging experience goes awry.

Grid anger rises in Puerto Rico as massive outages remain

Source: By Carlos Anchondo, Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Puerto Rico struggled to restore power for residents Tuesday, providing a reminder that the U.S. territory’s shaky electricity system was unreliable long before Hurricane Fiona arrived Sunday. The ongoing crisis — which left more than 3 million people without power — is renewing critiques of Puerto Rico’s centralized system from environmental groups and some analysts who see microgrids as key to building a more reliable grid. Others have called for the implementation of more rooftop solar. Grid experts and residents are asking why more hasn’t been done to strengthen Puerto Rico’s electricity system since Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm, made landfall five years ago. There’s also increasing pressure on LUMA Energy LLC, the company that began operating the island’s grid last year.

More Than Half of US Car Sales Will Be Electric by 2030

Source: By Ira Boudway, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Just over half of passenger cars sold in the US will be electric vehicles by 2030, according to a report from BloombergNEF, thanks in part to consumer incentives included in the $374 billion in new climate spending enacted by President Joe Biden.  Those incentives, among them a point-of-sale tax credit of up to $7,500 for a new EV purchase, are likely to boost the pace of adoption, BloombergNEF analysts found in the report. Prior to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, projections for EV sales by 2030 2030 came in at 43% of the US market. With the climate-spending measure in place, that estimate was revised upwards to 52%. 

California is awash in renewable energy — except when it’s most needed

Source: By Erica Werner, Washington Post • Posted: Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

As California suffered through an epic heat wave this month, state officials pleaded with residents to conserve electricity. Almost simultaneously, power grid operators were rejecting thousands of megawatts of solar and wind energy that could have provided a cushion to get through the crisis. The explanation illustrates one of the paradoxes confronting California as it rushes to transition to a clean-energy economy: The state has built up so much renewable energy production in recent years that it can rarely use it all during peak production hours. But it also doesn’t have enough storage capacity to hang onto it for when it might be needed.

Manchin: ‘Revenge politics’ could sink permitting reform

Source: By George Cahlink, Nico Portuondo, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin is decrying forces aligning against his permitting overhaul effort, a sign of the long odds the legislation likely faces in passing Congress. The bill, long sought by the energy industry, is expected to be released later today. “I got to be honest with you, I’ve been around for a long time in state and federal politics, I’ve never seen stranger bedfellows than the Bernie Sanders and the extreme liberal left siding up with Republican leadership in Congress,” Manchin (D-W.Va.) said of opposition to the plan Tuesday. “I’ve never seen this.”

How a Quebec Lithium Mine May Help Make Electric Cars Affordable

Source: By Jack Ewing. and photographs by Brendan George Ko, The New York Times • Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

About 350 miles northwest of Montreal, amid a vast pine forest, is a deep mining pit with walls of mottled rock. The pit has changed hands repeatedly and been mired in bankruptcy, but now it could help determine the future of electric vehicles. The mine contains lithium, an indispensable ingredient in electric car batteries that is in short supply. If it opens on schedule early next year, it will be the second North American source of that metal, offering hope that badly needed raw materials can be extracted and refined close to Canadian, U.S. and Mexican auto factories, in line with Biden administration policies that aim to break China’s dominance of the battery supply chain.

‘There’s so much to do’: Greens want more rules, faster

Source: By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

Advocates are pushing President Joe Biden to ramp up executive action on the environment, arguing the pace of rulemaking has so far been sluggish. Groups want the president to strengthen a number of oil and gas and vehicle emissions rules, quickly hire attorneys and other staff, and set up tax credits stemming from the Inflation Reduction Act. “There is so much to do,” said Margie Alt, executive director for the Climate Action Campaign, which is made up of a dozen environmental and public health groups. “This is our moment to get the climate crisis under control.”

Republican AGs blast FERC transmission planning proposal, citing ‘major questions doctrine’

Source: By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive • Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proposal to reform regional transmission planning and cost allocation is “fatally flawed,” partly because it lacks clear Congressional authorization needed to survive the Supreme Court’s major questions doctrine, a group of 17 Republican attorneys general said Monday. FERC’s proposal effectively seeks to reshape the U.S. generating mix in favor of renewable energy resources and spread the related transmission costs to states uninterested in renewable generation, the AGs said in comments filed at FERC.

Western reservoirs could run dry in 3 years, top official warns

Source: By Jennifer Yachnin, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

A top Centennial State official warned Colorado River Basin states that the system’s federal reservoirs could effectively empty in a few short years barring aggressive reductions to water demands.
Colorado River Water Conservation District General Manager Andy Mueller painted a bleak future for the basin’s seven states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — on Friday, during his organization’s annual conference in Grand Junction, Colo., on the river’s future.

GOP fumes over climate law. Is there a will for repeal?

Source: By Jeremy Dillon, Nick Sobczyk, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

When Democrats passed their health care overhaul in 2010, it helped launch a yearslong struggle from Republicans to kill it off. Will the recently enacted climate, health care and tax law be a similar target? For the short-term, the answer is no. For the long-term, the answer is maybe. Republican lawmakers may not like the Inflation Reduction Act, with its $369 billion in climate spending, but they admitted in recent interviews that any effort to repeal it would be an uphill battle.