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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 6, 2017

Trump Team Relaxes EPA Restrictions on Media and Contracts

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2017-02-06 06:48:20

Trump’s pick to serve as EPA administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, cleared a Senate committee vote Thursday and appears headed for confirmation by the full chamber in the coming weeks. While Pruitt’s nomination has been enthusiastically praised by Republicans and the fossil fuel industry, Democrats and environmental groups said his confirmation would be a disaster for EPA. The Trump team also appears to be distancing itself from some of the more controversial comments made by Myron Ebell, who led transition efforts at EPA prior to the president’s swearing in. [ read more … ]

Scott Pruitt Is Seen Cutting the E.P.A. With a Scalpel, Not a Cleaver

By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-02-06 06:47:28

Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, is drawing up plans to move forward on the president’s campaign promise to “get rid of” the agency he hopes to head. He has a blueprint to repeal climate change rules, cut staffing levels, close regional offices and permanently weaken the agency’s regulatory authority. But Mr. Pruitt, a lawyer who made a career suing the E.P.A., is not likely to start with the kind of shock and awe that Mr. Trump has used to disorient Washington. Instead, he will use the legal tools at his disposal to pare back the agency’s reach and power, and trim its budget selectively. [ read more … ]

Scott Pruitt’s Climate Change Plan From 2014

  •  By The New York Times  •  Posted 2017-02-06 06:47:52

Scott Pruitt, the likely next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, drafted his own plan for climate change while he was attorney general of Oklahoma. [ read more … ]

Debate Over Executive Order Can Prompt New Look at Inconsistent Energy Regulations

By Ernie Shea, 25×25  •  By The New York Times  •  Posted 2017-02-06 06:50:12

The wind and solar industries, along with the electrical transmission sector, have long lamented the protracted and costly pace of regulatory approval needed to upgrade the nation’s grid. Efforts to get the sanctions to build and operate new transmission lines can take as long as a decade and with a price tag in the billions of dollars. County ordinances, state regulatory agencies and federal government oversight have splintered the process that enables the delivery of clean energy from more remote locations in the nation to areas with high energy demand. Efforts to mediate these issues and harmonize the regulatory authority among the various players should be put on the front policy burner to optimize the benefits of vast new energy sources. [ read more … ]

US utilities seek sun as Trump sides with coal, fossil fuels

By EMERY P. DALESIO, Associated Press  •  By The New York Times  •  Posted 2017-02-06 06:48:42

The plunging cost of solar power is leading U.S. electric companies to capture more of the sun just when President Donald Trump is moving to boost coal and other fossil fuels. Solar power represents just about 1 percent of the electricity U.S. utilities generate today, but that could grow substantially as major electric utilities move into smaller-scale solar farming, a niche developed by local cooperatives and non-profits.It’s both an opportunity and a defensive maneuver: Sunshine-capturing technology has become so cheap, so quickly, that utilities are moving to preserve their core business against competition from household solar panels. [ read more … ]

Without a quorum, what happens at FERC?

By James P. Rubin, Politico  •  By The New York Times  •  Posted 2017-02-06 06:49:17

In a few hours, FERC will become a two-woman show after Commissioner Norman Bay departs at the end of the day. That will leave the commission without a quorum for the first time in its 40-year history. Bay’s decision to leave the agency so soon after having the chairman’s gavel taken from him by President Donald Trump has stirred the agency and left energy analysts, industry big wigs, lawyers, and lobbyists fretting over just how much work screeches to a halt. [ read more … ]

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