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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 15, 2019

Top Story

100% ‘clean’ electricity: Where things stand

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:20:48

More than 70 cities and counties across the United States are powered by 100% “clean” energy, according to a new report that said cities, counties and states are leading the transition toward lower-carbon sources of electricity. The briefing paper, released last week by the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, said over 200 cities and counties have pledged a 100% commitment to clean energy, despite federal policy that researchers said is designed to promote fossil fuels.
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Wind Energy

Gov. Cooper Talks Up Offshore Wind As Part of Clean Energy Future

By David Boraks, WFAE  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:19:47

North Carolina has been slower than some neighboring states to embrace wind energy, amid resistance from some Republican lawmakers. In September, Virginia’s Dominion Energy announced plans for a 220-turbine wind farm off the coast near Norfolk. In North Carolina, an 18-month moratorium on new wind farms ended Dec. 31, 2018. This year, some Republican lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to revive a ban in eastern North Carolina and its coastal waters. Cooper said Wednesday he’ll fight any future bans, to remove uncertainty for wind developer [ read more … ]

Trump Organization must pay $290K over wind farm fight

By Lesley Clark, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:19:25

President Trump’s continued war against wind power is costing him more money. The Trump Organization will pay the Scottish government nearly $290,000 after losing a yearslong legal battle to stop wind turbines from being built in the North Sea near a Trump-owned golf course. The agreement to pay the government’s legal fees comes nearly four years after Trump lost a case against an experimental wind farm being built close to his golf resort in Aberdeenshire. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

California will still require rooftop solar panels on new homes — at least for now

By SAMMY ROTH, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:23:32

State officials declined Wednesday to approve a program that would allow new homes to be built in Sacramento without rooftop solar panels — handing at least a temporary victory to clean energy advocates, who said the program would cripple California’s first-in-the-nation home solar mandate. The California Energy Commission postponed a decision on a controversial proposal from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District after hearing from dozens of solar industry representatives, environmental activists and utility ratepayers. Under SMUD’s proposal, home builders would be allowed to take credit for electricity produced at existing solar farms, rather than installing solar panels on new single-family homes and low-rise multifamily buildings. [ read more … ]

Does a Ga. utility’s solar plan break the law?

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:21:10

Consumer advocates are raising legal questions over Georgia Power Co.’s approach to solar power as the utility pushes to raise rates. The battle centers on how Georgia’s largest electricity provider values rooftop solar and whether the Atlanta-based company is complying with a 2001 law aimed at boosting use of the technology.
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Policy & Politics

Former Inslee aide joins Center for American Progress

By George Cahlink and Kellie Lunney, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:25:09

Sam Ricketts, a former top environmental adviser Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s Democratic presidential campaign, is joining the Center for American Progress, where he’s vowing to promote “bold” ideas to confront the climate crisis. “It’s no longer enough to consider climate change as a stand-alone ‘green’ issue. Our work to build a safe climate must also create good, high-paying and union jobs, and end a toxic legacy of environmental racism that steers pollution into our most vulnerable communities,” Ricketts tweeted today in announcing he would be a senior fellow on CAP’s energy and environment team. [ read more … ]

Democrats’ tax bill offers breaks for wind, solar, EVs

BY Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:20:13

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are finalizing a comprehensive green energy tax bill that would overhaul key tax breaks for electric vehicles, wind, solar and other renewables, panel members said. The measure, dubbed the “Green Act,” would fulfill a pledge made by Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) in June, when he promised to produce a broad energy tax bill before the end of the year. [ read more … ]

EPA study rebuked in escalating clash over soot standards

By Sean Reilly, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:24:49

The existing annual standard, last revised in 2012, is too weak to prevent thousands of early deaths, EPA air staff concluded in the preliminary assessment released earlier this year. Evidence of PM2.5’s dangers continues to mount. One recent study found that black carbon particles can migrate from a pregnant woman’s lungs to the placenta surrounding her baby). Another linked especially tiny ultrafine particles to heightened risk of brain cancer [ read more … ]

Are blackouts here to stay? A look into the future

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:25:27

It’s 2030, and the risk of raging wildfires has intensified since the largest utility in California made history a decade earlier by triggering intentional blackouts for millions of residents. Higher temperatures bake the arid West, and warmer, drier winds threaten to turn sparks into roaring infernos. In this potential future, envisioned by climate scientists and policy experts, utilities would still need to cut power when high winds race across tinder in northern forests and southern chaparral. Their liability could be higher than ever. To avoid major cash settlements or even bankruptcy, they might risk the wrath of politicians and customers to avoid sparking a catastrophic event. [ read more … ]


Tesla picks Germany for European Gigafactory

By Christoph Rauwald and Dana Hull, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:24:19

Elon Musk picked a glitzy event in Germany, a few hours’ drive from the birthplace of the internal combustion engine, to drop the news before some of the world’s biggest car bosses: Tesla Inc. plans to set up shop in their backyard. The billionaire chief executive officer announced Tuesday that Tesla will expand its global manufacturing network with a factory near Berlin. At a red-carpet awards ceremony attended by the heads of BMW AG, Volkswagen AG and Audi AG, he said the company will also establish an engineering-and-design center.
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Democrats seek major shift in mobility for every American

By Mark K. Matthews, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-11-14 15:24:32

The United States hit a milestone in the fight against climate change in October 2018 when sales of electric vehicles passed the 1 million mark. But the achievement — though notable — is hardly cause for celebration. It’s taken years and plenty of government-backed incentives to convince enough U.S. consumers to buy 1 million electric vehicles. And while sales have increased recently, they still represent just a fraction of U.S. demand. Last year, sales of EVs accounted for about 2% of the American market. [ read more … ]

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