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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 5, 2017

Buffett’s PacifiCorp Plans $3.5 Billion Clean Energy Expansion

By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:44:35

PacifiCorp, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., plans to spend $3.5 billion on clean-energy projects that include 3 gigawatts of new wind and solar farms. The plan calls for developing 1.1 gigawatts of wind projects, mainly in Wyoming, by the end of 2020, Portland, Oregon, based PacifiCorp said in a statement Tuesday. The company will also upgrade 900 megawatts of existing wind capacity by 2020, adding larger blades that generate more power, and will build another 859 megawatts of wind power and more than 1 gigawatt of solar farms between 2028 and 2036. [ read more … ]

Trump Declares End to ‘War on Coal,’ but Utilities Aren’t Listening

By Valerie Volcovici, Nichola Groom and Scott DiSavino, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:45:28

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to sweep away Obama-era climate changeregulations, he said it would end America’s “war on coal”, usher in a new era of energy production and put miners back to work. But the biggest consumers of U.S. coal – power generating companies – remain unconvinced. Reuters surveyed 32 utilities with operations in the 26 states that sued former President Barack Obama’s administration to block its Clean Power Plan, the main target of Trump’s executive order. The bulk of them have no plans to alter their multi-billion dollar, years-long shift away from coal, suggesting demand for the fuel will keep falling despite Trump’s efforts. [ read more … ]

Colorado’s NREL could face severe cuts under Trump, says report

By Cathy Proctor, Colorado Business Journal  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:46:01

Budget proposals from President Donald Trump’s administration could cut deeply into the operations of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. Trump’s “skinny budget” proposal, released on March 16, called for unspecified cuts to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) — the $2 billion-a-year office that provides 80 percent of the funding for NREL NREL’s last budget, in fiscal 2016, was $386.8 million including money from all sources. [ read more … ]

White House explores two new tax ideas — a value-added tax and carbon tax — as leading proposal to raise revenue falters

By Damian Paletta and Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:46:36

The White House on Tuesday disavowed two controversial options for their planned overhaul of the tax code, after two Trump administration officials earlier in the day said the president’s team was exploring a value-added tax to raise government revenue. One of those administration officials also earlier Tuesday said the White House was considering the creation of a carbon tax, but a Trump administration spokesperson later said that idea was also no longer under consideration. [ read more … ]

Nebraska utility will add even more wind
power to serve Facebook data center

By Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:47:21

Because of the Facebook project and the recent closure of its nuclear plant, OPPD plans to recommend to its board that it add even more wind energy — up to 450 megawatts. Burke said he expects a decision on the additional wind power in May or June. The winning bid will partially fill what OPPD lost when it closed Fort Calhoun in October. Before then, the utility was generating far more electricity than it needed to serve customers, so it only will replace about 40 percent of Calhoun’s output with wind energy. [ read more … ]

Ohio House Green-Lights Repeal Of Renewables Mandate

By Betsy Lillian, North American Wind Power  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:47:48

Here we go again: Only a few months after Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, vetoed a similar bill, Ohio lawmakers have advanced new legislation to repeal the state’s renewable energy mandate. In June 2014, Ohio became the first U.S. state to roll back its clean energy mandates after passing a law that implemented a two-year “freeze” on the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. Last year, the Ohio legislature passed a bill that would have effectively extended the freeze by turning the requirements for utilities to purchase renewables and invest in energy efficiency into voluntary goals, with no compliance obligations, through 2019. However, Kasich vetoed the bill last December, thus reinstating the utility mandates on Jan. 1. [ read more … ]

N.D. lawmakers accuse PTC of ‘wreaking havoc’ on coal sector

Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-04-05 06:48:09

North Dakota is not waiting around for the Trump administration to save its coal industry. A group of Roughrider State lawmakers are seeking an immediate repeal of the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy, a policy that they say has undermined coal-fired power generation in North Dakota, eroded the state’s tax base and threatens to put thousands of coal miners out of work. [ read more … ]

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