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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 29, 2017

Senate energy package 2.0 leapfrogs to floor

Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 06:57:27

McConnell moved last night to put the revised energy bill (S. 1460) on the Senate calendar, skipping the committee process entirely. Murkowski this month said revisions in the bill, including to the efficiency title, reflect the discussions with House conferees. An aide last night said the bill would address natural gas exports, electric reliability, cybersecurity, Energy Department technology transfers and lab reforms, hydropower licensing, nuclear research, sportsmen’s provisions, critical minerals, Indian energy and national parks maintenance. [ read more … ]

Iowa, Nebraska governors take part in roundtable discussion at White House; Trump commends efforts to ‘achieve true energy dominance’ by U.S.

By Joseph Morton, Omaha World-Herald Bureau  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 06:58:03

Both Ricketts and Reynolds touted the importance of ethanol, although he said he kept his specific policy asks to a meeting prior to the roundtable with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. That included making the case for allowing certain ethanol blends to be sold in the summer. Reynolds also talked about Iowa’s robust supply of wind energy. Trump has caused a stir in Iowa with comments about the birds killed by wind turbines. [ read more … ]

Trump vows to help tribes ‘unleash’ energy reserves

Emily Holden, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 06:58:25

Flanked by administration energy advisers and leaders from around the country, Trump touted his administration’s work over the last four months to make America “energy dominant” and said that “for too long, the federal government has put up restrictions and regulations that put this energy wealth out of reach, just totally out of reach.” Trump said he wanted to talk with state and tribal leaders about “unleashing domestic energy reserves, tremendous reserves we never appreciated, never understood — but now we understand them very well.” [ read more … ]

Appropriators agree to cut renewables, efficiency, ARPA-E

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 06:59:04

A House appropriations subcommittee advanced a $37.5 billion energy and water bill that would slash funding for renewable and efficiency programs and eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The fiscal 2018 bill, approved by voice vote, would provide more funding than the Trump administration’s request for many Department of Energy offices but still would lead to deep cuts in energy programs if enacted. [ read more … ]

China to Relax Further Curbs on Foreign Investment

By Reuters  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 06:59:33

In new guidelines jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce, the government cut the restricted items by about a third, leaving 63 items still restricted, or off-limits to foreign investment. The entries dropped from the list in manufacturing include rail transportation equipment, motorcycles, edible fats and oils, and fuel ethanol.China, which requires foreign automakers to form joint ventures to manufacture domestically, also made an exception to a cap of two joint ventures per foreign automaker if a new JV company is going to make pure electric vehicles. [ read more … ]

Air pollution exposure may hasten death, even at levels deemed ‘safe,’ study says

By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 07:00:04

At a time when the Trump administration is moving to delay and dismantle air quality regulations, a new study suggests that air pollution continues to cut Americans’ lives short, even at levels well below the legal limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The nationwide study of more than 60 million senior citizens linked long-term exposure to two main smog pollutants — ozone and fine particulate matter — to an increased risk of premature death. [ read more … ]

California Weighs Making EVs Cheaper Right Off the Lot

By Dana Hull and Ryan Beene, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 07:00:28

The state, long a champion of electric cars, is considering a bill to provide rebates to EV buyers at the time of purchase, reducing the sale price right as customers drive off the lot by as much as $10,000. The bill, which proposes giving the most cash to low-income buyers, looks to set aside as much as $3 billion for the incentives. If passed, the program could help bridge the “valley of death” looming on the horizon for EV demand as federal rebates begin to wind down, said Max Baumhefner, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s clean vehicles program. “The conditions are right for a tipping point to occur but with uncertainty about the state’s purchase rebates and the prospect of federal tax incentives expiring, it could tip in the wrong way.” [ read more … ]

As renewables grow, grid operations center makes sure lights stay on in Oklahoma, 13 other states

By Paul Monies, The Oklahoman  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 07:01:01

With the rapid rise of wind and solar generation in the past decade, concerns remain about how to best integrate those renewable, intermittent resources into the grid. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in April ordered a review of how renewables are affecting grid reliability as aging coal and nuclear units continue to get retired. It’s unclear when that Energy Department report will be publicly released, but several renewable energy groups have already issued “pre-rebuttal” reports. They think the review will try to find justifications for additional coal and nuclear generation. Most coal and nuclear units, and some types of natural gas units, operate around the clock to provide what’s called baseload generation. [ read more … ]

Pruitt: Courts didn’t give EPA ‘tools’ for carbon

Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-06-29 07:02:39

“Massachusetts v. EPA simply said to the EPA that it had to make a decision on whether it had to regulate, whether it posed a risk to health, and there was an endangerment finding that followed that in 2009. It did not address whether the tools were in the toolbox,” Pruitt said. He noted that when Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1990, there was a “great question” over whether greenhouse gases should be regulated. The overhaul of the landmark 1970 environmental legislation focused on reducing urban smog, acid rain, toxic air pollutants and depletion of the ozone layer. The amendments also established stricter standards for vehicle emissions. [ read more … ]

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