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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 13, 2019

Top Story

Renewables ‘hit a wall’ in saturated Upper Midwest grid

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:50:25

In August, two wind farm developers quietly withdrew their requests to tie into the Midwest power grid. NextEra Energy Inc. and Southern Power Co. filed the notices with regulators in Minnesota and North Dakota, respectively. The documents didn’t draw much attention. Developers routinely enter the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s (MISO) interconnection queue and later drop out if projects aren’t feasible. But renewable energy advocates in the region say the projects belong to a much larger group of wind and solar developments that have also dropped requests to plug into MISO’s system. And the reason they surrendered their place in line — grid congestion — is a red flag for thousands of megawatts of projects still waiting for a chance to connect. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

New Task Force Will Consider Leases For Offshore Wind Energy Developers In The Gulf Of Maine

By Fred Bever, Maine Public Radio  •    •  Posted 2019-12-15 16:26:41

A new task force will convene for the first time Thursday to consider how and where to lease potentially vast swathes of the Gulf of Maine to offshore wind-energy developers. The outcome could have big consequences for Maine’s fishing industry, and for the state’s role in the next wave of renewable energy development. An earlier round of auctions awarded leases in federal waters off southern New England, where several large-scale wind projects should soon start churning out thousands of megawatts of electricity — a big down payment on state commitments to ramp up the use of renewable energy. Now, at New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu’s request, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is starting a new process to designate the best areas for offshore wind projects farther north — in the Gulf of Maine. Analysts say investments could be worth billions of dollars, with thousands of jobs in the offing. [ read more … ]


Scope of extenders package shrinks as clock ticks

By Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:48:26

After days of pessimism surrounding year-end talks on energy tax incentives, key senators said yesterday there were signs of progress in reaching a deal in the coming days. Members and lobbyists signaled this week that the range of tax items tied up in the negotiations over extending an array of expired or soon-to-be-expired energy tax incentives was growing smaller. Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told E&E News last night there may be signs of life in the talks, which have been stalled in part because of House Democrats’ insistence that a costly expansion of the earned income tax credit (EITC) be part of the mix. [ read more … ]


Utilities press Congress for changes to storage credit

By Kristi E. Swartz and Geof Koss, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:48:46

A group of major electric companies is pressing Congress for tweaks to a proposed energy tax credit bill that they say would encourage investment in storage projects. Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Duke Energy Corp., Portland General Electric and Xcel Energy Inc. are seeking a change to the bipartisan proposal, S. 1142, to allow regulated electric companies to opt out of long-standing requirements to spread out savings from a federal tax credit over the life of a major capital project — such as a solar farm or nuclear reactor. These utilities cannot immediately apply the tax benefit to the project, something that would lower its upfront costs. [ read more … ]


Europe sets pace for worldwide climate fight

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:50:42

The European Union this week bolstered its claim to the mantle of global climate guardian. In the Spanish capital, where delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered for a second week of U.N. climate talks, representatives of the 28-nation compact offered to partner with any nation that would fight climate change or is in line to suffer from it. In Brussels, the European Commission — the E.U.’s executive branch — yesterday announced plans for a green overhaul of the bloc’s economy, from manufacturing to agriculture to fisheries to power generation. [ read more … ]

Lawyer: Case against Big Oil is about ‘lying’ not CO2

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:50:58

Attorneys for BP PLC and other companies yesterday told a panel of judges that Baltimore officials should not be able to pursue state-level litigation to “punish” oil producers. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday considered whether state or federal court is the proper venue for the Charm City’s quest to secure industry reimbursement for local climate damages linked to greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel production and other sources. Baltimore and the oil companies made their case to Chief Judge Roger Gregory and Judges Stephanie Thacker and Henry Franklin Floyd. [ read more … ]

Conn. governor aims to work with neighbor states on climate

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:51:50

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said yesterday he plans to work with his counterparts in Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey to address climate change, noting he hopes the coalition of states can set an example for the rest of the country. Appearing before the newly expanded Governor’s Council on Climate Change, Lamont said state officials need to take action, given President Trump’s skepticism of a warming planet. “Climate change is an existential threat. It’s a real threat,” Lamont said. “And if they don’t understand that in the White House, we understand that here in Connecticut, and we understand it with our fellow governors.” [ read more … ]


White House hopefuls launch climate ad blitz during U.N. talks in Madrid

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:52:08

Several White House hopefuls unveiled ads this week trashing President Trump for refusing to crack down on polluters and work with other world leaders to slow global warming. The advertising blitz comes as negotiators from other countries meet at a United Nations climate summit in Madrid try to hammer out the details of implementing the Paris climate accord, an agreement from which Trump has promised to withdraw.  The latest candidate out with a climate ad is former vice president Joe Biden, who is leading most national polls.  [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Amid climate change concern, GM rolls out big new Chevy SUVs

By Tom Krisher, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:51:17

Global concerns about climate change are not stopping General Motors Co. from making large SUVs for U.S. drivers. GM on Tuesday rolled out the next generation of its big truck-based SUVs with more space and features. They’re also heavier with only a small improvement in gas mileage. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban will come out in the middle of next year. They’ll be longer and weigh more, because customer research showed a need for more interior space. [ read more … ]

Natural Gas Boom Fizzles as a U.S. Glut Sinks Profits

By Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2019-12-12 14:51:33

A decade ago, natural gas was heralded as the fuel of the future. In shale fields across the country, hydraulic fracturing uncorked a lucrative new source of supply. Energy giants like Exxon Mobil and Chevron snapped up smaller companies to get in on the action, and investors poured billions of dollars into export terminals to ship gas to China and Europe. The boom has given way to a bust. A glut of cheap natural gas is wreaking havoc on the energy industry, and companies are shutting down drilling rigs, filing for bankruptcy protection and slashing the value of shale fields they had acquired in recent years. [ read more … ]

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