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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

July 12, 2017

EPA chief wants scientists to debate climate on TV

By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:42:54

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the early stages of launching a debate about climate change that could air on television – challenging scientists to prove the widespread view that global warming is a serious threat, the head of the agency said. The move comes as the administration of President Donald Trump seeks to roll back a slew of Obama-era regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, and begins a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement – a global pact to stem planetary warming through emissions cuts. [ read more … ]

The Energy 202: Trump could start his infrastructure push at Energy Department

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:43:29

President Trump has said that he wants to spend $1 trillion on rebuilding U.S. infrastructure, an investment in the nation’s public structures the size of which has not been seen since the construction of the interstate highway system. Trump may be hard-pressed to get that tall sum from his fellow, penny-pinching Republicans in Congress. But he already has a pot of money sitting at the Energy Department that, some argue, can be used to finance energy infrastructure projects today without any additional congressional approval. [ read more … ]

Think tank to governors: Question Perry’s grid study

Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:45:05

Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s high-profile study on the electric grid is not expected to be released until later this month, but organizations on the opposite side of the political spectrum are already throwing out rebuttals to what they expect it will say. The review, which was launched in April and has been delayed by a month, is examining how energy policies could be contributing to nuclear and coal plant closures. In ordering the study, Perry suggested that regulatory burdens and subsidies benefiting renewable energy have a negative effect on baseload power plants, forcing them to close and in turn threatening grid stabilit [ read more … ]

Swath of U.S. hit by ‘double whammy’ of ozone, pollen

Sean Reilly, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:44:36

About 40 percent of the United States’ population lives in areas plagued by a “double whammy” of unhealthy ozone levels and ragweed pollen, according to data released this afternoon by the Natural Resources Defense Council with a renewed warning that rising temperatures will make things worse on both fronts. “Climate change is going to make it more difficult for people with respiratory illnesses to stay healthy,” Kim Knowlton, an NRDC senior scientist, said in a conference call with reporters this afternoon. [ read more … ]

Washington solar incentives bill has industry seeing sunny days

By Kara Carlson, Seattle Times  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:46:00

A bill extending incentives that make solar more affordable was signed by Gov. Inslee, encouraging installers who say that the incentives remain key to selling the technology to cost-conscious customers. The Washington solar industry has a few more years of sunshine and clarity to look forward to after Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed the Solar Incentives Job Bill. Many in the solar industry believe the bill, which extends incentives that make solar more affordable, could help carry the Washington solar industry until panel and installation prices go down enough to make it sustainable without tax breaks. [ read more … ]

Gov. LePage vetoes solar ‘net metering’ bill, again

By Kevin Miller, Portland Pres Herald  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:46:32

In his veto letter, LePage repeated his contention that net metering “subsidizes the cost of solar panels at the expense of the elderly and poor who can least afford it.” Supporters, who will need to maintain the two-thirds majorities they had in both chambers to override the veto, countered by accusing LePage of blatantly misrepresenting the bill’s intentions in order to turn Republican votes. [ read more … ]

Solar funding down as uncertainty grows over trade

Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:47:59

The solar finance sector cooled over the last three months as concerns about trade disputes, softening U.S. markets and other uncertainties cast a shadow over the world’s fastest-growing energy field. Corporate funding of solar fell steeply during the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, with venture capital, public market and debt financing totaling $1.4 billion from April to June, according to a new analysis. [ read more … ]

Fossil fuel promoter settles into renewable energy office

Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:48:23

A recent Energy Department political hire is a well-known critic of renewable energy and former spokesman for Fueling U.S. Forward, a campaign promoting fossil fuels funded by Koch Industries Inc. Alex Fitzsimmons is now a senior adviser in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, according to the department’s internal registry. [ read more … ]

Endangerment finding documents disappear from website

Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2017-07-12 06:48:42

U.S. EPA has removed a link to documents on its website for the research that underpins the Obama administration’s consequential “endangerment finding” for greenhouse gases. The link on EPA’s website titled “Technical Support Document for the Findings” now yields an error message: “Page Not Found (Restricted).” Other links on the page, including “legal basis” for the endangerment finding and “climate change facts,” have similarly been removed. [ read more … ]

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