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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 4, 2017

Trump puts critic of renewable energy in charge of renewable energy office

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2017-05-04 06:36:20

President Trump has appointed Daniel Simmons, a conservative scholar who sharply questioned the value of promoting renewable energy sources and curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, to oversee the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), according to an email distributed to department employees. The selection marks one of several recent Trump appointments to top energy and environmental posts, which appear to repudiate the Obama administration’s policies aimed at shifting the nation to low-carbon sources of electricity. Last week, Trump nominated David Bernhardt, a lobbyist who served at the Interior Department under George W. Bush, as Interior’s deputy secretary. And Alex Herrgott, who had served as majority deputy staff director at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has joined the White House Council on Environmental Quality to serve as associate director for infrastructure. [ read more … ]

12 governors tell Trump they can meet carbon goals

Hannah Hess, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-05-04 06:37:05

Twelve Democratic governors today urged President Trump to continue U.S. involvement in the Paris Agreement, telling him their states are proof that cutting carbon does not mean sacrificing jobs or the economy. The governors of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington wrote to Trump, pointing out they are already seeing the impacts of climate change through rising sea levels, increased flooding, drought and extreme weather. [ read more … ]

Debate Over Paris Climate Deal Could Turn on a Single Phrase

By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-05-04 06:37:31

The debate within the Trump administration over what to do about the Paris climate agreement has reached a critical phase, according to people familiar with the internal negotiations. The decision could hinge on the interpretation of a single phrase in a single provision of a document that took years to write. The question is whether to walk away from the agreement sealed by the Obama administration and nearly 200 other nations at the end of 2015 — as Donald J. Trump promised as a presidential candidate to do — or to weaken the nation’s commitment under the deal to reducing greenhouse gases while remaining in the accord. [ read more … ]

More than dust in the wind: Kansas a first quarter leader

By Greg Alvarez, AWEA Blog  •    •  Posted 2017-05-04 06:37:59

Kansas finished behind only Texas in new wind installations during the quarter. Nearly 500 MW of new in-state capacity came online, and the state will soon top 5,000 MW. As Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has said, ““Building a world-class wind industry in Kansas has demonstrated that a market-driven approach to renewable energy can and will benefit industry and consumers alike.” [ read more … ]

Turbines propel Nebraska past a wind-energy milestone

By NICHOLAS BERGIN, Lincoln Journal Star
   •    •  Posted 2017-05-04 06:38:46

Nebraska has joined the “Gigawatt Club. With the raising of Grand Prairie, a 400-megawatt wind farm in Holt County, Nebraska has sailed past 1,000 megawatts — or 1 gigawatt — of wind-generated capacity. It’s the 18th state to join the club, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Despite ranking fourth among states in abundant wind, Nebraska has long been a straggler when it comes to harnessing that resource. The state briefly climbed to 17th in wind energy production last year before being bumped down to 18th by New Mexico during this year’s first quarter. [ read more … ]

Colorado bill would extend, change energy office’s mandate

By JAMES ANDERSON Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2017-05-04 06:39:14

A Colorado Senate committee on Wednesday passed a bill to save a state energy agency from extinction — but with caveats that would drastically reduce the agency’s renewable energy portfolio and make it easier for some utilities to produce and stockpile natural gas. The latter provision has little to do with the Colorado Energy Office , whose funding expires June 30. But it’s a goal pushed by the bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Ray Scott, who represents a western Colorado region rich in natural gas. [ read more … ]

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