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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 31, 2017

Even as Wind Power Rises, It Falls Under a Political Cloud

By DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:39:42

Wind farms, with their rapid geographic spread and technological advances, are reshaping the electric system, defying skepticism that they are steady or reliable enough to displace conventional power plants.

“The fuel of choice right now, certainly for us, is wind,” said Ben Fowke, the chief executive of Xcel Energy, which shut down a large natural-gas plant in Colorado for two days in January and let wind fill, on average, half of its customer demand. Now politics, not skepticism, may be wind power’s biggest barrier. Under new leadership with ties to conventional energy interests, the Energy Department is scrambling to complete an internal study in the next month that could lead to an upending of the policies that fostered the rapid spread of solar and wind. [ read more … ]

Trump Advisers Wage Tug of War Before Decision on Climate Deal

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and DIANE CARDWELL, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:40:08

A divided White House staff, anxious corporate executives, lawmakers and foreign leaders are fiercely competing for President Trump’s ear this week as he nears a decision on whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, the landmark agreement that commits nearly every country to combat global warming. For a president not steeped in policy intricacies, the decision is vexing. On both sides are voices he profoundly respects: chief executives of some of the world’s largest companies urging him to remain part of the accord and ardent conservatives like Stephen K. Bannon, his chief strategist, and Scott Pruitt, his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, tugging him toward a withdrawal from the 195-country agreement. [ read more … ]

Official on grid study: ‘We haven’t prejudged anything’

Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:40:30

A top Department of Energy official today defended a contentious study on energy subsidies and baseload power as collaborative and open-minded. “We haven’t prejudged anything; it’s the outside groups that are prejudging it,” the official said. “It’s going to be interesting to me to see how they respond to it, especially when it turns out to be a well-researched and balanced study.”
[ read more … ]

DOE axes ‘clean energy’ from tech websites

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:40:52

The Department of Energy has removed the words “clean energy” from multiple technology webpages, suggesting a greater focus on fossil fuels. The “Clean Energy Investment Center” — part of the Office of Technology Transitions — is now called the “Energy Investor Center,” said the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, which monitors federal websites. [ read more … ]

Only Place in America Where Coal Demand’s Risen Is Nebraska

By Tim Loh, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:41:41

Looking for a rare bright spot in U.S. coal? Consider Nebraska, the only state producing more electricity from the fossil fuel than it did a decade ago, according to a Bloomberg analysis of U.S. government data. While America’s slashed its coal-fired electricity generation by more than a third between 2006 and 2016 — creating havoc for the coal sector, which once dominated the country’s utility space — Nebraska raised its coal-fired power output by 6 percent, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [ read more … ]

Clean energy bills light up Nevada

Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:45:15

“Right now, the people of Nevada overwhelmingly support clean energy,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “What this means for Nevada is legislators are hearing that.” The deluge of energy legislation follows the Democratic takeover of the General Assembly and Senate in November and the overwhelming passage of a ballot initiative designed to deregulate the state’s power market. The measure was widely viewed as a rebuke of NV Energy Inc., the state’s sole investor-owned utility, which lobbied hard to do away with net metering. [ read more … ]

‘Green’ Mutual Funds Bounce Back After Trump-Induced Retreat

By Ross Kerber, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2017-05-31 06:45:44

After U.S. President Donald Trump’s election last November, investors pulled nearly $68 million from so-called “green” mutual funds, reflecting fear that his pro-coal agenda would hurt renewable energy firms. But now investors are pouring money back in, boosting net deposits in 22 green funds to nearly $83 million in the first four months of 2017, according to data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper unit. [ read more … ]

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