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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 4, 2019

Top Story

Britain, Struggling With Brexit, Eyes Another Retreat. This One’s From Fossil Fuels.

By Somini Sengupta. New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:59:43

In the shadow of a noisy, turbulent Brexit, another epic transformation is underway in Britain. A leading industrial power that built itself on coal and colonialism, Britain is now trying to pivot away from the fossil fuels that powered the industrial age. The government has set a legally binding target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Some of that change is already in motion: The country is fast ditching coal in favor of wind energy and gas. And this summer, for the first time in more than 130 years, it went two weeks without burning one lump of coal. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Offshore wind leaders push Calif. to set record U.S. target

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:58:34

A newly formed coalition of energy companies is pushing California to set the most aggressive goal for offshore wind development in the United States, even as conflicts with military uses of nearby waters remain unresolved. The Offshore Wind California coalition’s eight founding members include European energy giants Equinor ASA and Ørsted A/S — two deep-pocketed leaders of the incipient industry along the Atlantic coast — as well as two smaller companies that have already proposed building floating wind turbines in the deep waters off California. [ read more … ]

Vineyard Wind, Edgartown Commission Reach Settlement

By Michael P. Norton, State House News Service  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:59:06

Vineyard Wind and the Edgartown Conservation Commission have reached a settlement that’s critical to the offshore wind project’s ability to connect its 800 megawatt development area to the mainland electricity grid. The commission this summer denied the project’s plans to bury two transmission cables in Nantucket Sound and Muskeget Channel areas within Edgartown, and the project appealed to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). After the department issued an order of conditions favoring the project, the commission appealed and the settlement was reached before that appeal was fully heard by another wing of the DEP. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Meet the ‘NIMBY people’ trying to kill solar

By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:57:49

My husband would say, ‘Well, what’s wrong with NIMBY?'” she said while drinking a skim latte at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. “So what if I don’t want it in my backyard!” Ralston — a former special assistant to President George W. Bush and aide to Karl Rove — has for much of this year turned her attention away from national politics to focus on one thing: fighting a mega-solar project in Virginia across the street from her family farm. “Solar is not going to save the planet,” she said. “It’s never going to replace fossil fuels.” [ read more … ]

Blackouts are on the rise. So Austin is making a ‘microgrid’

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:59:26

The Department of Energy and the nation’s utilities are exploring ways to make cities more resilient in the face of mounting and costly blackouts from severe storms and heat waves that are increasing with climate change. They will use of a variety of relatively new features appearing in urban grids, including large storage batteries, a rising number of rooftop solar installations, and new computer-controlled programs and switches. They will also ask for help from homeowners. [ read more … ]

Coal ‘stronghold’ turns to wind, solar — report

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 16:00:35

The days of coal-fired power generation in the southeastern United States are numbered, according to a report released this week from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Coal use across nine states in the region has fallen 30% over the past decade, according to a review by the group, whose goal is to “accelerate transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.” [ read more … ]

Sun Tribe Solar Turns to Utility-Scale Projects to Tap Virginia’s Growth

By Julian Spector, GreenTech Media  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 16:01:47

Sun Tribe Solar is expanding from commercial development and construction into the utility-scale business, as Virginia’s renewables market prepares for rapid growth. Four-year-old Sun Tribe is a leader in Virginia’s distributed solar market. But the state’s utility-scale market is now poised to grow considerably, supported by Dominion Energy’s plans for gigawatts’ worth of new installations and Governor Ralph Northam’s new goal of 30 percent clean energy by 2030. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Climate language deleted from car rules document

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 16:03:06

The White House deleted language about how climate change poses a “serious challenge” from a proposal to preempt California’s clean cars program, new documents show. An earlier draft of the proposal from EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contained the phrase “while global climate change is a serious challenge.” That language was nixed while the proposal was under review at the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
[ read more … ]

Trump officials likely to back off automotive regulations freeze

By Ben Geman, Axios  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 16:02:41

The move, depending on the details, will likely force automakers into tough decisions about whether to endorse it. The industry’s position is that there should be annual increases, rather than no gains through the mid-2020s. EPA and the Transportation Department had initially proposed freezing the Obama administration’s planned increases in 2020. [ read more … ]


Pennsylvania to move forward on power plant emission caps

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:57:10

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration will start working to bring Pennsylvania into a regional consortium that sets a price and caps on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, part of the Democrat’s agenda to fight climate change. Wolf will make a formal announcement Thursday that he is ordering a start to the process of joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, administration officials said. [ read more … ]

Massachusetts leads the nation in shifting to clean energy

By Khristopher J. Brook, CBS News  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:57:30

States along the East Coast lead the U.S. in creating policies and programs that promote clean energy, according to a report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The nonprofit group’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released Tuesday, named Massachusetts the most energy efficient locale. California ranked No. 2, Rhode Island and Vermont tied for third, and New York rounded out the top five. Measures taken by those states will help dramatically reduce pollution across the nation, the council’s executive director said Tuesday.   [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Rick Perry Is Said to Be Stepping Down as Energy Secretary by Year’s End

By Lisa Friedman and Maggie Haberman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-04 04:37:58

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has aggressively promoted President Trump’s fossil fuel agenda, is planning to step down by December, ending his run as one of the longest-serving cabinet members in a tumultuous administration, according to two people familiar with his plans. Mr. Perry’s tenure at the Energy Department has been marked by fierce battles over the role that coal and nuclear energy should continue to play in the United States energy landscape. The agency under his direction has tried and failed to prop up struggling coal and nuclear power plants, and has energetically trumpeted oil and gas development while overseeing plans to reduce funding for wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy. [ read more … ]

U.S. Coal Giant That Pressed Trump for a Bailout Faces Default

By Will Wade, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 15:58:14

Murray Energy is struggling to stay afloat, along with the rest of America’s coal miners, as cheap natural gas and renewable energy resources cut into coal’s share of the U.S. power market. At least four miners including Cloud Peak Energy Inc. and Blackjewel LLC have gone bankrupt this year, laying bare the decline of a fuel that once accounted for more than half of all U.S. power generation. Today it’s less than 25%.
[ read more … ]

As EPA preps coal ash rollback, study finds heightened risks of water, soil contamination

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-10-03 16:02:06

With the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) poised to loosen coal ash rules for dry onsite storage and large fill projects, a new study from Duke University finds that leaving those contaminants exposed may significantly heighten the risk of toxic contamination to nearby soil and waterways. The research finds that health-threatening compounds “can be leached out from coal ash under oxidizing conditions, similar to what one would expect from uncontrolled placement of coal ash on soil, or even buried in soil,” Duke Earth and Ocean Sciences Professor and author of the study Avner Vengosh said in testimony to the EPA on Wednesday, during a public hearing on the proposed new rules. [ read more … ]

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