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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 20, 2018

Top Stories

More than 95% of world’s population breathing unhealthy air

By James Masters, CNN  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:51:29

More than 95% of the world’s population is breathing unhealthy air and the poorest nations are the hardest hit, a new report has found. According to the annual State of Global Air Report, published Tuesday by the Health Effects Institute (HEI), long-term exposure to air pollution contributed to an estimated 6.1 million deaths across the globe in 2016. [ read more … ]

Senate hearing studies promise, challenge of rural power

Sam Mintz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:54:03

Senate lawmakers promised to look out for the interests of rural energy providers yesterday during a hearing that zeroed in on both the problems and promise of power production in remote parts of the country. “We’re in an energy revolution, and rural areas and islands are Bunker Hill,” said Sen. Angus King (I-Maine). “We need the private sector to come up with a rural electric system in a box, whether it’s solar, wind, biomass, that can be scaled for a community of 80 or 800.” [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Air pollution can be bad for the brain — these are the cleanest and the smoggiest places in America

By Sarah Berger, CNBC  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:53:04

Ozone pollution, or smog (created by emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors and chemical solvents, according to the Environmental Protection Agency) is worse than in 2017, according to the report, released Wednesday. It also found nearly 128.9 million people live in 185 counties that earned an “F” grade for ozone. [ read more … ]

China cuts smog but health damage already done: study

By David Stanway, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:53:22

While China has made progress cutting smog, the damage to the health of millions of people may already have been done, especially as the population ages, the head of a U.S.-based research agency said. China faces about 1.6 million premature deaths a year as a result of air pollution, the U.S.-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) said in a report, based on data going back to 1990, published on Tuesday [ read more … ]

Pruitt on GHG drop: Trump’s ‘critics are wrong again’

Niina Heikkinen, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:53:45

while EPA touted the 11 percent decrease in carbon emissions between 2005 and 2016, the press release did not mention that carbon emissions actually increased by about 2.4 percent from baseline levels set during EPA’s first inventory in 1990. The report shows that the transportation sector accounted for 28.7 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, followed closely by the electric power sector at 28.6 percent and industry at 21.7 percent. Just as the power sector has reduced emissions, industry emissions have also declined at least in part due to a shift away from manufacturing to more service-oriented jobs, according to the inventory. [ read more … ]

Alliant heading to 30% wind capacity in Iowa as regulators approve another 500 MW

By Peter Maloney, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:52:38

Alliant Energy has received regulatory clearance to add 500 MW of wind energy in Iowa. Under advance ratemaking principles approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, Interstate Power and Light, Alliant’s Iowa utility, will earn an 11% return on equity on the new wind projects. [ read more … ]

Mich. PSC approves net-metering replacement

Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:54:19

Michigan became the latest state to approve a move away from net metering in an action that renewable energy advocates warned will only serve to inject uncertainty into a slow-developing residential solar market. The Public Service Commission voted 3-0 to replace the state’s net-metering policy with a new billing methodology proposed by commission staff. [ read more … ]

Proposed bill takes ‘principled position’: By 2050, Pennsylvania should use only renewable energy

By Marie Cusick, NPR  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:54:36

A bipartisan group of state legislators want Pennsylvania to aim for 100 percent renewable energy by the middle of this century. Identical bills introduced in the House and Senate would create a new task force and a center for clean energy excellence, with the goal of having all of Pennsylvania’s needs met by renewable energy by the year 2050. The aim is to avert the worst effects of climate change. [ read more … ]

Lawmakers from both parties join to scrap Trump tariffs

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:55:01

A bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers are making the first legislative push in Congress to repeal President Trump’s solar tariffs. The “Protecting American Solar Jobs Act,” introduced today by Reps. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), would return solar duties to the rates in place before Trump’s executive action. [ read more … ]

Forget Rising Interest Rates, Banks Are Still Loving Solar Power

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:55:26

Interest rates are rising, making debt much more expensive for capital-intensive industries across America. But there’s at least one exception: solar. While the cost of borrowing has been increasing since 2016, some banks are taking a smaller cut to win deals from solar developers. Loans of seven years or longer can be obtained for 137.5 basis points over the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, down from as much as 200 basis points last year, said Keith Martin, a project-finance attorney at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. Even the higher-rate loans for residential projects are getting cheaper. [ read more … ]

FirstEnergy hires top-earning K Street firm

Dylan Brown, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:55:40

FirstEnergy has pulled out all the stops to have the Trump administration or Congress step in to avoid the closure of a number of coal and nuclear plants. Last year, the utility spent $2.2 million on influencing policymakers in the nation’s capital, up nearly $400,000 from 2016. [ read more … ]

Trump’s new energy guy is a 28-year-old known as ‘the

Zack Colman and Hannah Northey, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2018-04-20 06:55:54

Francis Brooke frequently wears purple — the Northwestern University alumnus and former Wildcats baseball pitcher is known to sport the school’s plum shade whenever possible. When his name surfaced as President Trump’s new energy aide, some people thought of a different color: green, as in inexperienced. That’s the label 28-year-olds get when they step into a prominent White House role. [ read more … ]

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