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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 25, 2019

Top Story

Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying

By Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:08:04

One thing that’s clear at the moment is the effect that rising pollution is having on mortality and life expectancy. Using commonly accepted formulas for translating air pollution exposure to death rates, the Carnegie Mellon researchers estimate that in 2018, nearly 10,000 lives would have been saved had pollution levels remained at their 2016 numbers. Nearly 43 percent of those additional deaths would have happened in California, largely because of the wildfires there. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest the Camp Fire alone caused more than 1,400 deaths due to air pollution exposure. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

BOEM chief on Vineyard Wind, Trump and offshore permitting

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:08:51

Few people have greater influence over the future of the American offshore wind industry than Walter Cruickshank. As acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Cruickshank is charged with permitting a growing number of offshore wind projects planned for federal waters. Cruickshank later sat down with E&E News to discuss the Vineyard decision, the administration’s view of offshore wind and concerns from the fishing industry, among other topics. [ read more … ]

Global offshore wind prices drop 32%: BloombergNEF

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:09:41

Global benchmark prices for offshore wind have plunged 32% in the past year and 12% in the last six months, according BloombergNEF’s latest analysis released Tuesday. Benchmark prices hit $78/MWh for the second half of 2019, largely driven by cheaper equipment costs, according to analysts. Meanwhile, onshore wind and solar prices have dropped 6% and 11% respectively since the first half of 2019, hitting global benchmark prices of $47/MWh and $51/MWh. Battery storage prices also fell 35% in the past year, hitting a global average of $186/MWh. [ read more … ]

Climate

Justice Dept. Sues California to Stop Climate Initiative From Extending to Canada

By Lisa Friedman and Katie Benner, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:10:14

The Trump administration took another legal shot at California on Wednesday, suing to block part of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program and limit its ability to take international leadership in curbing planet warming emissions. In a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of California, the Justice Department said that a regional system created by California’s air resources board, which caps planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions but lets corporations trade emissions credits within that cap, was unlawful because it included Quebec, Canada. The Justice Department cited the constitutional prohibition on states making their own treaties or agreements with foreign governments. The suit brought immediate condemnation from California Governor Gavin Newsom, who called it a “political vendetta” and only one in a series of acts against a liberal state government that has defied President Trump on immigration, his tax returns and climate change. [ read more … ]

Trump expands attack on Calif. climate programs

By Jean Chemnick and Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:10:36

The Department of Justice launched another salvo yesterday in the administration’s campaign against California and its climate policies. It sued the state in an effort to suspend California’s partnership with Quebec, a Canadian province, that formed a cross-border carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system. The state and province say they’re connected by a memorandum of understanding and they stress that it’s voluntary. But Jeffrey Bossert Clark, who heads DOJ’s environment division, said that by going around Washington to deal directly with Quebec, California had “veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter an international emissions deal.” [ read more … ]

A Republican and Democrat form a climate caucus. What can they get done?

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:11:05

It has been about a decade since the Senate seriously kicked around ideas for tackling climate change on a bipartisan basis. Now, two senators are hoping to change that. Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced Wednesday they are forming the first Senate bipartisan caucus focused on finding solutions to climate change that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. But the senators have a tough road ahead of them if they want to build legislation on an issue that many Republicans, including President Trump, refuse to acknowledge as a scientific reality. The new caucus is a sign while moderate compromises are possible, a big comprehensive bipartisan climate bill is still far away. But the pair suggested a deal may be what’s necessary to address the warming of the planet in the long term. [ read more … ]

Transmission

Tonko talks up transmission

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:12:54

Democrats seeking to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 have a major problem: massively expanding the use of wind and solar power can’t happen without more interstate transmission lines. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s climate change subcommittee, said Thursday that his panel won’t be able to reach its decarbonization goals unless Congress provides better direction on national transmission policy.
[ read more … ]

Energy Storage

The conundrum: 100% renewables and energy storage

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:11:44

Senate legislators, energy investors and utilities are looking to the next generation of energy storage to achieve “deep decarbonization,” but few researchers are confident that today’s experimental technologies will ensure wind and solar become the dominant sources of power. Over the past decade, power companies have cultivated a taste for lithium-ion storage, stringing together battery packs into a giant sponge that soaks up electricity and later delivers it for four- to eight-hour increments. [ read more … ]

EVs

Commentary:Chuck Schumer: A Bold Plan for Clean Cars

By Chuck Schumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-10-25 04:22:29

Scientists tell us that to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change, the world needs to be carbon neutral — to have net-zero carbon dioxide emissions — by midcentury. At the moment, we are not remotely on track to meet that target. We need to act urgently and ambitiously, which will require building diverse coalitions of political support. That’s why I am announcing a new proposal designed to rapidly phase out gas-powered vehicles and replace them with zero-emission, or “clean,” vehicles like electric cars. The goal of the plan, which also aims to spur a transformation in American manufacturing, is that by 2040 all vehicles on the road should be clean. [ read more … ]

Tesla delivers ‘game changer’ quarter of profit

By Dana Hull, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:12:16

Tesla Inc. flipped the script on those who doubted Elon Musk could return to profitability and meet aggressive timelines, delivering positive earnings few saw coming and declaring it’s ahead of schedule on a new plant and product. The electric-car maker earned $1.86 a share in the third quarter, exceeding the most optimistic projection by a wide margin and beating the consensus estimate for a 24-cent loss. On top of that, Musk peppered investors with positive updates: Tesla’s new factory in China is already starting production, the Model Y crossover will launch months earlier than expected next year and the long languishing energy business is showing signs of life. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Senators introduce flurry of renewable bills

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:13:18

Senators this week introduced a quartet of proposals to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. The measures to boost wind, solar and geothermal technologies are part of a focus on enacting policies to help carbon-free power sources better compete at lower costs on the electric grid. Leading the measures is a bipartisan bill, S. 2666, led by Senate Energy and Natural Resources members Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), that would help streamline the permitting process for renewable energy sources on public lands. [ read more … ]

Democrats target Big Oil, starting with Exxon

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:13:39

As Exxon Mobil Corp. faced a New York City court, two of the company’s former scientists told a House panel yesterday Exxon has known for decades about the impacts its products have on the climate. Yesterday’s hearing was the first in what will likely be a string of hearings targeting the fossil fuel industry. [ read more … ]

Democrats try to link oil with the tobacco industry

By Mark K. Matthews, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:13:57

“Exxon Mobil, like the tobacco industry, engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to deceive the American public and funded a climate denial program years after its own scientists established that man-made climate change was real,” said Eubanks in prepared remarks. “As in the case of tobacco, the oil industry’s campaign of misinformation was conducted by individual companies and by trade groups, advertisers and other proxies that spread its message of doubt.”
[ read more … ]

Trump outlines environment plan: More fracking

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-10-24 16:14:14

President Trump encapsulated his 2020 energy argument in a speech yesterday to the natural gas industry: boost fracking, exit an international climate agreement, and tout the benefits of lower emissions. It was the first time Trump spoke at the Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh since he addressed the group in October 2016. A few weeks later, his narrow election victory in Pennsylvania helped him seal up the electoral college. [ read more … ]

 

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