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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 11, 2019

Top Stories

Policymaker of the Year: Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:17:58

“You don’t see a lot of candidates for governor out here. Much less one willing to climb a 26-story ladder. But Michelle is no usual candidate.” That was the message that then-candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham famously sent in a campaign video that showed her climbing a wind turbine when she was running for governor in 2018. During that election cycle, the governor’s chair flipped Republican to Democrat in seven states, with all of the Democratic candidates demonstrating strong support for clean energy. “We had a Republican governor for eight years, and our voters made it clear last November that they weren’t satisfied with what happened during those years,” the governor told Utility Dive in an email. [ read more … ]


Don’t Let China Win the Green Race

By John Kerry and Ro Khanna, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:21:06

Washington is consumed with discussion about the consequences of a rising China, from trade disputes, to their authoritarian surveillance and oppression of Uighurs, to their aggression in the South China Sea. There’s comparably little debate about how the United States can shape the environment into which China is rising, let alone the actions we can take at home to ensure our values prevail. We see more focus on tariffs than building wind turbines and solar farms. We should not be spectators in shaping our own future, or the world’s. We should pledge that by the end of the next decade, America will surpass China and win the clean energy race. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Offshore wind still looks to get a foothold in California

By ROB NIKOLEWSKI, San Diego Tribune  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:20:37

There may be a literal energy windfall off the coast of California but it is still unclear whether the federal government will give approval to specific sites and how long it will take before tall turbines are bobbing on the Pacific, sending electricity to customers across the Golden State. Wind energy’s boosters are eager to see proposed projects get the go-ahead. “Let’s get a couple of these rolling, get some floating offshore turbines out there and build this over time, which is exactly what you’re seeing on the East Coast,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

New Jersey lowers price utilities pay for solar as it phases out credit program

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:18:25

New Jersey is cutting down the subsidies paid to solar developers under a new plan approved Friday by state utility regulators. The program is a “bridge” between the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC)​ and “a yet-to-be determined successor incentive program,” the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) said in a statement announcing its decision. New credits established under the program, Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs), will be capped at a fixed price over a 15-year contract. [ read more … ]

Battery Storage

NYC’s biggest battery is quietly powering Brooklyn

By Nic Querolo, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:17:17

The biggest battery in New York City has been quietly running for months at the edge of Brooklyn. The 4.8-megawatt lithium-ion system sits beside a shopping center in East New York, helping power the local grid, according to a statement yesterday from the property owner, Related Cos., and Enel SpA, the Italian power giant that installed it.
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Nuclear Power, a Low-Carbon Energy Source, Is Shunned by the West

By David Hodari, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:17:41

In the U.S., nuclear-reactor designer Westinghouse Electric Co. and utilities company FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. have emerged from chapter 11 status over the past year, after struggling with plant construction and battling to compete with declining natural-gas and renewable-energy prices, respectively. Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management bought Westinghouse from ToshibaCorp. early last year. Deadly accidents such as the ones at Chernobyl and Fukushima remain etched in the public memory, provoking fears of future disaster. [ read more … ]


Utilities need to upgrade distribution — report

By Rod Kuckro, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:16:49

Time is not on the side of the nation’s electric utilities if they want to overcome the challenges posed by an erosion of their long-standing business model, according to a new report. Chief among the challenges is changing their local distribution grids from the single-direction flow of electricity that has been standard for more than 100 years to a bidirectional flow to accommodate customer choices and the adoption of solar power and other forms of distributed power, said Dana Hanson, Ernst & Young’s Americas power and utilities leader. The adoption of distributed energy resources, including electric vehicles and advanced energy storage technology, is driving the need for a more dynamic process of electricity distribution, Hanson said in an interview. [ read more … ]


New York Loses Climate Change Fraud Case Against Exxon Mobil

By John Schwartz, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-12-11 04:27:55

A New York state judge on Tuesday handed Exxon Mobil a victory in the civil case brought by the state’s attorney general that argued the company had engaged in fraud through its statements about how it accounted for the costs of climate change regulation. After some four years of investigation and millions of pages of documents produced by the company, the judge said, attorney general Letitia James and her staff “failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence” that Exxon violated the Martin Act, New York’s powerful legal tool against shareholder fraud, in the closely watched case. [ read more … ]

Oil giant wins N.Y. climate challenge

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:19:12

A New York court sided with Exxon Mobil Corp. in a long legal battle launched by the state’s top attorney accusing the oil supermajor of misleading investors on the financial risks of climate change. Justice Barry Ostrager of the New York Supreme Court ruled today that Democratic Attorney General Letitia James failed to establish that the oil giant’s public disclosures of climate risks violated state law. “The Court finds that there was no proof offered at trial that established material misrepresentations or omissions contained in any of ExxonMobil’s public disclosures that satisfy the applicable legal standard,” Ostrager wrote in his decision on People of the State of New York v. Exxon Mobil Corp. [ read more … ]

Senate Democrats float pro-Paris resolution

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:20:12

The resolution, which has more than a dozen Democratic co-sponsors, would express support for the agreement and note steps by states and localities to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets. “We wrote a new chapter for the United States that captured our commitment to our people, our planet, and to other nations when we signed the Paris climate agreement,” Markey said in a statement. “Despite President Trump’s fealty to fossil fuels, we will not abandon our duty to global climate leadership.” [ read more … ]

Republicans solidify energy innovation pitch

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:15:41

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans are attempting to flesh out their party’s “energy innovation” rhetoric with policy, but they’ve left plenty of open questions about the future of GOP climate politics. The panel’s GOP leadership yesterday held an energy innovation showcase, featuring displays from various companies and universities. [ read more … ]

Watchdog slams ‘likely infeasible’ renewable energy goals

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:16:29

New York’s plan to pursue a large-scale switch to renewable energy by 2030 could lead it to fall short of emissions goals set out in a landmark climate law enacted this summer, according to an independent fiscal watchdog. In a report published yesterday, the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) said New York’s goals for renewable growth are “likely infeasible” given local opposition to new projects. The CBC called on the state to set a carbon price to meet targets in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, signed in July by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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Car Rule

5 things Trump got wrong about the rollback

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:15:58

President Trump made some unusual claims about clean car standards last week. Many of them were false, experts say. At issue are Trump’s remarks at a Friday event described by the White House as a “roundtable on small business and red-tape reduction accomplishments.” His most viral comments concerned toilets. The president complained that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once” and directed EPA to study the matter, prompting mockery on Twitter. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Impeachment trial to upend Senate business, slow agenda

By Geof Koss and George Cahlink, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-12-07 04:28:00

With the House likely to vote on articles of impeachment before Christmas, senators are starting to weigh what roles they might play in the historic trial expected early next year. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) set the ball rolling on the next phase by tasking committees with drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump regarding his efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political rival by withholding military aid [ read more … ]

Energy aides named in articles of impeachment against Trump

By George Cahlink, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-10 15:19:38

The Department of Energy, as well as two key energy aides, is specifically cited in an article of impeachment filed today by Democrats against President Trump for obstructing Congress. House Judiciary Democrats are set to mark up two articles — one focused on abuse of power and the other obstruction — by Thursday at the latest. They will then send them to the House floor for what would be the chamber’s third-ever vote to impeach a president. That floor vote is expected next week.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.