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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 15, 2018

Top Stories

Fact check: Wind Energy’s Carbon Footprint

By Vanessa Schipani,  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:45:53

In observing that “every type of energy has consequences,” Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed the “carbon footprint on wind [energy] is significant.” In fact, wind power’s carbon footprint is among the smallest of any energy source. Coal’s carbon footprint is almost 90 times larger than that of wind energy, and the footprint of natural gas is more than 40 times larger, according to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [ read more … ]

Volkswagen will expand EV production, signs battery contracts worth $25B

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:46:39

The Volkswagen Group wants to speed up the “Roadmap E” transportation electrification strategy unveiled last year, and has announced plans for more than a dozen new production sites for electric vehicles and massive contracts for the batteries which will power them. Volkswagen currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, but this week said it would add nine more within two years, ultimately building 16 plants by 2022. The locations will are global, with specifics yet to be announced. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Virginia governor signs omnibus energy bill into law

By Kevin Randolph, Energy Insider  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:47:00

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam recently signed a bill in Richmond, Virginia, that will encourage solar and wind development in the state, initiate a grid modernization effort and end the freeze on energy utility rates and refunds to customers. [ read more … ]

Oklahoma lawmakers propose cutting tax credits for wind farms

By Ryan Maye Handy, Houston Chronicle  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:47:18

The Oklahoma legislature has proposed caps on tax credits for the wind industry that could have a devastating impact on the state’s wind farms, renewable energy companies say. Despite being the number two state for wind power capacity, Oklahoma has soured on its wind industry, which has lost all state-level tax incentives amid a budget crisis brought on by the oil bust. Two bills, one in the House and another in the Senate, have proposed capping the state’s zero emission tax credit. In 2016, Oklahoma paid $74 million in zero emission tax credits, which the legislature is proposing to cap at $5 million or $10 million. [ read more … ]

Rain or shine: new solar cell captures energy from raindrops

By Damian Carrington, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:47:51

New device is designed to prevent power output plummeting when the sun isn’t shining – but practical application is still some years off A solar panel that can generate electricity from falling raindrops has been invented, enabling power to flow even when skies cloud over or the sun has set. [ read more … ]

GM chief talks fuel efficiency with Pruitt, Chao

Camille von Kaenel, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:48:11

Mary Barra, the chairwoman and CEO of General Motors Co., met with U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao yesterday on fuel efficiency standards. The Trump administration is coming up on an April 1 deadline to decide whether to lower the Obama-era targets for greenhouse gas emissions from cars. Automakers have pressed for a weakening of the rules, and EPA is likely to agree, but the details of the changes are still being hammered out. [ read more … ]

U.S. Solar Forecast Ratcheted Down as Tariffs Weigh

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:48:29

U.S. solar energy installations will grow slower than previously expected in the coming years due to the Trump administration’s tariffs on panel imports and new federal tax laws that will restrict investment in the clean energy source, according to a report published on Thursday. Installations between 2018 and 2022 will be 13 percent lower than originally forecast, GTM Research said in the quarterly solar market report it conducts for industry trade group the Solar Energy Industries Association. [ read more … ]

Weathering Trump’s skepticism, U.S. officials still fighting global warming

By Timothy Gardner, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:48:49

There is a disconnect between what Trump says at home and what his government does abroad. While attention has been focused on Trump’s rhetoric, State Department envoys, federal agencies, and government scientists remain active participants in international efforts to both research and fight climate change, according to U.S. and foreign representatives involved in those efforts. [ read more … ]

Greens fear climate backslide with Pompeo as top U.S. diplomat

By Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:49:10

Several green groups criticized the Trump administration’s choice on Tuesday of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, saying his past skeptical comments about global warming show he is less suited to run U.S. foreign policy about climate change than the former Exxon Mobil CEO. Pompeo, who was a Republican congressman from Kansas prior to running the CIA under U.S. President Donald Trump, has been among the biggest critics of efforts to combat global warming by past U.S. administrations, and has questioned the validity of existing climate science – saying it needs to be developed further.
[ read more … ]

Pruitt’s climate clash was declared dead. There’s a Plan B

Robin Bravender, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-03-15 06:49:24

While White House aides put the brakes on Pruitt’s plan, they also suggested an alternative, according to the person in the meeting. Option B: Take public comments on petitions asking EPA to revisit the Obama administration’s endangerment finding, the agency’s underlying authority to regulate greenhouse gases in cars, power plants and other sources. That would allow EPA to determine “where the arguments are supporting and rejecting the science,” said the person at the meeting. [ read more … ]

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