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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 29, 2018

Top Stories

It’s the No. 1 Power Source, but Natural Gas Faces Headwinds

By IVAN PENN, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:44:15

As environmental concerns drive power companies away from using coal, natural gas has emerged as the nation’s No. 1 power source. Plentiful and relatively inexpensive as a result of the nation’s fracking boom, it has been portrayed as a bridge to an era in which alternative energy would take primacy. But technology and economics have carved a different, shorter pathway that has bypassed the broad need for some fossil-fuel plants. And that has put proponents of natural gas on the defensive. “It’s a very different world that we’re arriving at very quickly,” said Robert McCullough, an energy consultant in Portland, Ore. “That wind farm can literally be put on a train and brought online within a year. It is moving so fast that even critics of the old path like myself have been taken by surprise.” [ read more … ]

U.S. can replicate Europe’s wind build-out, executives say

Saqib Rahim, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:44:31

The CEO of a U.S. offshore wind company says project costs in America could one day approach the low costs seen in Europe. It just takes three things, said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski: “projects, projects and projects.” [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Perry to scientists: ‘You’re awesome’

Debra Kahn, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:44:52

Energy Secretary Rick Perry emphasized his advocacy for federal scientists and their work on basic research in a speech at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) yesterday. “I am as serious as I can be about how important what you do is,” Perry said to scientists on the second stop in his three-day tour of the West Coast’s national labs. “It is not lost on the people of this country, and the ones that maybe aren’t either paying attention or don’t know, I will spend my time as the secretary of Energy sharing with them the great story of the national labs of this country. You’re awesome.” [ read more … ]

Massachusetts Utilities Cut Ties With New Hampshire Power-Line Project

By Jon Kamp, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:45:36

Electric utilities in Massachusetts have officially broken ties with a power-line project in New Hampshire that was envisioned to connect New England’s most populous state to hydroelectric dams in Canada. The struggles of Eversource Energy ’s Northern Pass venture are the latest example of how hard it is to build large-scale infrastructure projects in New England, where high electricity costs and a heavy reliance on natural gas-fired power plants are pressing concerns.   [ read more … ]

Saudis, SoftBank Announce Massive Solar Power Project

By Michael Amon, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:45:13

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 -3.75% announced plans to launch the world’s biggest solar-power-generation project, providing another ambitious goal for two of the world’s richest investors. [ read more … ]

Partisan split on climate grows, even as U.S. fears are on the rise, poll finds

By Steven Mufson, Washington Port  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:46:22

Fewer Republicans say they believe that there is a scientific consensus on climate change or that the effects of global warming have already begun, according to a new Gallup poll, which showed a widening partisan gap near record levels. The moves comes after a year in which President Trump, who has called global warming a “hoax,” withdrew from the 2015 Paris climate accord and removed climate change from a list of top national security threats. [ read more … ]

A year after Trump’s energy order, rollbacks inch forward

Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:46:00

A year ago today, the president appeared onstage in U.S. EPA headquarters in Washington and answered those questions with a crushing blow to his predecessor’s environmental legacy. Flanked by coal miners and Cabinet officials ready to flex their deregulatory muscle, Trump signed the “energy independence” order aimed at boosting domestic fossil fuels by lifting regulatory burdens on the coal and oil and gas industries. The order was sweeping, setting the stage for a push toward “energy dominance” the administration has since prioritized. The decree targeted the Obama administration’s embattled Clean Power Plan, along with a slew of safety and environmental regulations for oil and gas production and coal leasing [ read more … ]

Here’s the strategy behind cities’ lawsuits against Big Oil

Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:46:41

Lawsuits seeking to make oil companies pay for climate-related damages in California could go forward in both state and federal courts, after judges issued split decisions on where the cases belong. That could give cities and counties behind the claims multiple chances to win. Oil companies need to prevent even one loss to avoid a powerful precedent, legal experts said. [ read more … ]

Three Climate Updates You Might Have Missed (and One We Did, Too)

By The New York Times  •    •  Posted 2018-03-29 06:46:56

Buried in the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and grudgingly signed by President Trump were surprisingly large increases in funding for clean energy programs at the Department of Energy. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which has helped reduce the cost of solar power, got a 14 percent bump. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds long-shot technologies like algae biofuels, got a 16 percent increase. The Office of Nuclear Energy got a 19 percent increase. [ read more … ]

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