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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 22, 2020

Top Story

Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:37:19

The Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act, introduced Tuesday, comes as the ocean is rapidly warming and acidifying, a result of climate change and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. The bill directs the Department of the Interior to up the number of permits for offshore wind projects, where higher wind speeds allow windmills to generate more electricity than they do on land. The bill also repackages some measures already before the House, such as a pledge to conserve 30 percent of oceans by 2030 and an approved measure to bar offshore drilling along both coasts that has failed to advance in the Senate. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Would Biden bring offshore wind to the West Coast?

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:39:09

Offshore wind supporters say Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be a deciding factor in a long-standing battle if he’s elected: bringing the first turbines to the West Coast. The idea of mooring turbines onto floating platforms in California’s deep waters has been in the works since the Obama administration, when Interior Department officials responded to unsolicited proposals from wind companies by mapping three potential areas for turbine construction and asking for comment on their viability. If completed, the plan could have major implications for the state’s emission profile and the offshore wind industry, which to date has largely been focused along the U.S. East Coast. [ read more … ]

Iberdrola’s Avangrid Expands U.S. Reach With $4.3 Billion Deal

By Rodrigo Orihuela, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:38:31

Avangrid Inc., the U.S. arm of Iberdrola SA, agreed to buy PNM Resources Inc.of New Mexico for $4.3 billion, strengthening the Spanish utility giant’s position as a global giant in an industry that’s being transformed. The deal — at $50.30 per PNM share and a 10% premium — values PNM at $8.3 billion including debt. It’s Iberdrola’s eighth acquisition since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The company bought Infigen Energy of Australia in September. [ read more … ]

MidAmerican Energy takes 46 wind turbines offline after blades fall in rural Iowa

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:36:57

MidAmerican Energy says it has idled nearly four-dozen electricity-generating wind turbines while workers check them for safety after blades broke off of two similar turbines over the past two months. Those blade failures follow a break earlier this year and one in 2019. [ read more … ]

Zero Emission Vehicles

Senator Merkley, Congressman Levin Introduce Legislation to End U.S. Sale of Gasoline-Powered Vehicles by 2035

By Office of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:41:16

Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Mike Levin (D-CA-49) on Tuesday introduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act of 2020, path-breaking legislation that would create jobs, improve health, and address climate chaos by ending American sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles in 15 years. Pollution created by gasoline engines is widely understood by the medical community to cause premature deaths and asthma attacks, and may also increase mortality among coronavirus patients. One in 13 Americans live with asthma, and millions of Americans who have had the coronavirus may suffer from long-term respiratory complications. [ read more … ]

EVs

GM Debuts Electric Hummer Pickup With $80,000 Starting Price

By David Welch, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:38:51

General Motors Co. showed its much-anticipated battery-powered Hummer pickup in an online video, spearheading the automaker’s renewed push into the electric-vehicle market. The 2022 model-year truck will have a starting price of $80,000 and a range of 350 miles when fully charged. GM will sell it at GMC brand dealerships once production starts in the fall of 2021, the automaker said late Tuesday. The GMC Hummer’s driving range is about the same as Tesla Inc.’s Model 3, and the truck’s zero-to-60 miles per hour acceleration in three seconds is equivalent to a gasoline-powered sports car. [ read more … ]

With Hummer and $2B factory push, GM roars ‘electric’

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:39:39

After a quarter-century of building and honing — and also slow walking and killing — the electric car, General Motors yesterday shouted about it from the rooftops. In a two-minute ad that spanned an entire commercial break in Game 1 of the World Series, General Motors Co. unveiled the new Hummer, which it billed as “the world’s first all-electric supertruck.” Combined with other marketing platforms, GM aims for some version of the ad to reach 80% of all Americans. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden’s Approach To Brazil’s Bolsonaro Could Prove He’s Serious About Climate Change

By Travis Waldron, Alexander C. Kaufman, and Grasielle Castro, Huffington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:38:15

At the first presidential debate in early October, however, Democratic nominee Joe Biden made clear that if he were to defeat Trump in November’s election, the U.S. government would no longer sympathize with climate change denial. Biden said he would create a $20 billion international fund to incentivize Brazil to stop tearing down the Amazon. If Bolsonaro rejected the plan, Biden said, Brazil would face “economic consequences.” The proposal wasn’t new, but this time it drew Bolsonaro’s ire. Brazil “does not accept bribes,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter and Facebook. Biden’s statement, Bolsonaro said, was “a clear sign of contempt for cordial and fruitful coexistence between two sovereign nations.”  [ read more … ]

Trump Nemesis Mary Nichols on Short List to Run Biden EPA

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:40:56

If Joe Biden wins the presidency, his EPA chief could be a clean air champion from California who has fought President Donald Trump on automobile pollution or an environmental justice activist from Mississippi. Biden’s campaign has heard recommendations for both California air regulator Mary Nichols and Mississippi’s Heather McTeer Toney to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, among others, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named revealing personnel discussions. [ read more … ]

Renewable Energy Investing

Trump Administration Moves at ‘Warp Speed’ to Scrap Environmental, Social and Governance Focused Rule

By Tim Quinson, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:37:50

Despite widespread objections from the money management industry, President Donald Trump, through the U.S. Department of Labor led by Eugene Scalia, is speeding ahead with a proposal to make it more difficult for fiduciaries of retirement plans to direct money to environmental, social and governance focused funds. The Employee Benefits Security Administration submitted the rule change, called “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments,” to the White House last week. The administration’s stance is that ESG investment strategies sacrifice returns and promote goals unrelated to financial performance. It wants to adjust the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to require those overseeing pension and 401(k) plans to always put economic interests ahead of so-called non-pecuniary goals, in what seems intended as a direct attack on ESG and green investing. [ read more … ]

140 finance firms have fled coal. Oil, gas are next — report

By Avery Ellfeldt, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-21 16:40:16

Dozens of major financial firms have begun to limit their investments in the oil and gas sector — a signal that the world has started to retreat from businesses that drive climate change, according to one advocacy group. The findings by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a sustainable energy proponent, is derived from a new tool, released Monday, that tracks which financial institutions have committed to reducing their exposure to oil and gas companies. [ read more … ]

Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.