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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 13, 2018

Top Stories

U.S. Electricity Commission Sees No Emergency in Power Market

By Timothy Gardner, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:39:35

All five members of the panel that regulates the U.S. power grid indicated at a Senate hearing on Tuesday there was no emergency in the country’s electricity markets, potentially undermining efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to save ailing coal and nuclear plants through subsidies. Trump this month directed U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take emergency measures to keep coal and nuclear plants running in order to protect national security. [ read more … ]

FERC members throw cold water on plan to save coal, nuclear

Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:40:45

The federal government’s grid overseers today undercut the Trump administration’s assertion that a grid emergency is brewing and that ailing coal and nuclear plants need a direct lifeline. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning peppered the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for more than two hours with questions about the need for federal intervention to secure the grid as reactors and coal plants close. [ read more … ]

Administration looks offshore for wind energy boom

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:40:17

The Trump administration is “bullish” about offshore wind, working with governors in the Northeast to transform what was once a fringe and costly investment into America’s newest energy-producing industry. “When the president said energy dominance, it was made without reference to a type of energy,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “It was making sure as a country we are American energy first and that includes offshore wind. There is enormous opportunity, especially off the East Coast, for wind. I am very bullish.” [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

A wind farm developer offered Ocean City free electricity, but resort town is still fighting offshore turbines

By Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:41:57

Ocean City officials say they don’t want offshore wind turbines to be built within 30 miles of the resort town’s beaches under any circumstances — not even in exchange for free electricity. That was among the offers energy developer U.S. Wind recently made to appease concerns that its planned wind farm off Maryland’s coast will harm tourism. [ read more … ]

FERC regulators: No grid emergency to justify DOE coal, nuke bailout

By Gavin Bade, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:39:55

Members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission criticized President Donald Trump’s order to bail out coal and nuclear generators during a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday, saying it could unravel wholesale power markets. All five FERC members told lawmakers they do not believe there is a national security emergency in wholesale power markets that justifies immediate federal intervention. Security concerns underpin a Department of Energy memo on saving coal and nuclear generators that was leaked the day before Trump’s order. [ read more … ]

AEP CEO on money-losing coal units: ‘We’ll shut ’em down’

Rod Kuckro, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:42:20

Any federal plan to forestall the closure of struggling coal and nuclear power plants to stabilize the electric grid should be reviewed by utilities so customers are protected from rising costs, said Nick Akins, CEO of American Electric Power Co. Akins was referring to a controversial proposal under development by the Trump administration to protect and pay electric generating units that play a role in national security, such as supplying a military base. [ read more … ]

Solar industry shows strength despite tariffs

David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:41:29

The solar industry is growing a little faster, and losing jobs a little slower, than it expected after a round of tariffs made key parts more expensive, according to new data. The United States installed 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels in the first quarter of 2018, 13 percent more than the same quarter last year, GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said in a new report. More than half of new U.S. electricity — 55 percent — came from solar power. [ read more … ]

Op-Ed: Cybersecurity threats to U.S. gas pipelines call for stricter oversight

By Neil Chatterjee and Richard Glick, Axios  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:42:49

Foreign enemies are increasingly launching cyberattacks on U.S. critical infrastructure, including energy facilities. To protect against attacks that could compromise electric service, grid operators must comply with mandatory standards overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Yes, but: The U.S. has no comparable standards for its network of pipelines. As abundant and affordable natural gas has become a major part of the fuel mix, the cybersecurity threats to that supply have taken on new urgency. [ read more … ]

Trump to name Mary Neumayr as CEQ head

Zack Colman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:43:11

President Trump is nominating Mary Neumayr as chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality. She currently is the highest-ranking official at the council, which coordinates environmental policy and regulations across agencies. The White House’s first nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White, withdrew from consideration earlier this year amid opposition from Democrats and some Republicans. She had rejected mainstream climate science. [ read more … ]

Bill Gates-led fund makes first ‘breakthrough’ investments

Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:43:49

Today, Gates confirmed the fund would invest in Form Energy and Quidnet Energy Inc., which take entirely different approaches to storage. Quidnet overhauls the idea of pumped hydro by pumping water underground in shale rock to create pressure, later harnessing the water to run turbines. Form Energy is developing new types of battery chemistries that it says can store renewable energy for longer periods of time at low cost. [ read more … ]

Groups want more time to comment on cost-benefit proposal

Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:44:17

Public interest groups are calling for EPA to extend the comment period on a controversial proposal to alter the way it considers costs and benefits in rulemaking. The agency will take comments on the proposal for 30 days, according to a notice set for publication in tomorrow’s Federal Register. [ read more … ]

Democratic Party to ban fossil contributions

Nick Bowlin, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2018-06-13 06:44:07

The Democratic National Committee is moving to ban accepting contributions from fossil fuel companies, E&E News has confirmed. Christine Pelosi, an activist and daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), proposed a successful motion against the donations over the weekend. [ read more … ]

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