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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 5, 2016

New Federal Rule Would Permit Thousands of Eagle Deaths

BY MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2016-05-05 06:37:47

The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles. Under the plan announced Wednesday, wind companies and other power providers could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty — nearly four times the current limit. Golden eagles could only be killed if companies take steps to minimize the losses, for instance, by retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution. [ read more … ]

FWS retools plans for 30-year permits to kill eagles

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-05-05 06:38:06

The Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday revived a proposal to allow energy companies to obtain 30-year permits to disturb or kill protected bald and golden eagles, a move aimed at encouraging more firms to commit to eagle conservation measures. The agency released a draft rule along with a draft programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) analyzing the rule’s effect on eagles and a requirement that companies perform mitigation to offset harm to golden eagles. [ read more … ]

Moniz to host Iowa meeting on energy review

Hannah Hess, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-05-05 06:38:43

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz travels to Des Moines on Friday for the first stop in a two-day Iowa visit pegged to the Quadrennial Energy Review. Moniz will speak before panels on bulk power generation, transmission development and electricity distribution in the Iowa capital before heading west to dedicate the Ames Laboratory’s Sensitive Instrument Facility and deliver the commencement address at Iowa State University’s graduation ceremony. Moniz joins Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie (D) and U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development administrator Sam Rikkers for the session at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, one of six regional meetings on the review. It is part of the agency’s broader push for technology development. [ read more … ]

Lobbying by renewable energy groups is on the rise in Massachusetts

By STEVE LeBLANC, The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2016-05-05 06:39:14

An effort to jolt Massachusetts’ reliance on solar and wind projects has surged in recent years, powered in part by an increase in lobbying by supporters of renewable energy. In 2015, nearly two dozen renewable energy companies and advocacy groups poured more than $1.5 million into lobbying in an effort to get their voices heard by Beacon Hill lawmakers, according to an Associated Press review of state lobbying records. Just five years ago, in 2010, only five of the 23 companies had spent anything on lobbying. [ read more … ]

Even in states suing over new climate regulations, coal use is shrinking

By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2016-05-05 06:39:49

Either way, the data reinforce a common theme since the final Clean Power Plan was unveiled back in August of 2015, and then after it was stayed by the Supreme Court. Namely, this: Even without the plan in place, the U.S. is transitioning its energy system in precisely the direction that the plan would itself require. It’s not yet the law — but it’s already a sign of the times. [ read more … ]

Industry, greens assessing expected Trump-Clinton smackdown

Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2016-05-05 06:40:13

Environmentalists including the Sierra Club immediately used Trump’s expected nomination to criticize the businessman, who has called climate change a “hoax,” voiced opposition to a carbon tax and said he would slash funding for U.S. EPA. [ read more … ]

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