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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 13, 2020

Top Story

Climate

Advocates push Congress on technology against climate change

By Marc Heller, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:54:58

Farmers continue to be scared off from advanced technology that could help reduce the effects of climate change while making them money in the long run, witnesses told a congressional panel yesterday. At a House Small Business subcommittee hearing, experts said farmers could take advantage of more cutting-edge practices in conservation and carbon sequestration but are reluctant to take on short-term risk for what might be long-term rewards. That’s holding back opportunities for agriculture to play a bigger role in climate mitigation, they said. [ read more … ]

NEPA

Trump infrastructure proposal impacts ‘virtually every’ federal decision on environment: DOI Secretary

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:55:49

President Donald Trump unveiled major changes to how his administration will implement a 50-year-old law on Thursday that will ease the energy industry’s ability to secure environmental permits for major infrastructure projects. The proposal would cut down federal permitting timelines under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and reduce the amount of agencies overseeing the permitting process, among other changes. “I believe [this plan] will be the most significant deregulatory proposal you ultimately implement,” Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told the president after the announcement. [ read more … ]

Democrats promise action against Trump NEPA overhaul

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:54:42

Congressional Democrats are eyeing a legislative response to the Trump administration’s proposed National Environmental Policy Act overhaul, a sign of the fight to come over one of the president’s marquee deregulatory moves. Several lawmakers said yesterday that a Congressional Review Act resolution would eventually be on the table after the Council on Environmental Quality proposed to update its NEPA regulations for the first time in decades.
[ read more … ]

Trump unveils landmark rewrite of NEPA rules

By Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:58:09

President Trump announced plans today for overhauling rules surrounding the nation’s bedrock environmental law, and administration officials refuted claims they were downplaying greenhouse gas emissions. The president, during remarks at the White House with supporters and Cabinet officials, said he wanted to fix the nation’s “regulatory nightmare” through new guidelines for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act.
[ read more … ]

EVs

Teslas still go much farther on a single charge than their competitors. But the strategy carries risks.

By Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:54:08

Its closest electric car competitors on range, from companies such as Chevrolet, Jaguar and Nissan, can only make it about 240 miles — or a little farther than a drive from Washington, D.C., to New York City, though some individual models top out around 260. Most others are behind, barely topping 200 miles. Tesla is leading the electric vehicle race because it has more high-powered battery tech — and it takes more risks. For more than a decade, Tesla has been designing battery-powered vehicles from the ground up and using software to make the batteries more efficient. It has scrapped many weighty, traditional luxury features in favor of aerodynamics, taken measures such as ditching multi-gear transmissions in favor of dual motors programmed to send varying power ratios to the front and rear wheels. [ read more … ]

Panel approves electric vehicle infrastructure legislation

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:58:24

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee approved a series of electric vehicle and energy infrastructure bills meant to promote zero emission technology. The nine measures — moved by the Subcommittee on Energy via voice vote, despite Republican apprehension — constitute key provisions in the committee’s larger climate action framework and are likely to be part of draft legislation coming later this month. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Colo. governor seeking CO2 cuts applauds coal plant closure

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:56:46

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) hailed a utility cooperative’s decision to close two coal plants in the next decade, saying it delivers a significant boost to the state’s climate ambitions. Speaking to lawmakers in his annual State of the State address yesterday, Polis called Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.’s announcement “exciting news.” The Westminster, Colo.-based utility cooperative said it would close its Escalante Station this year and its Craig Station in northwest Colorado by 2030. The governor said the move would cut Tri-State’s emissions in the state by 90%. [ read more … ]

Coal plants set to close in Colo., N.M., La.

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:57:04

A major Western power provider announced plans yesterday to shutter two plants as it prepares to exit coal-fired generation in New Mexico and Colorado, the latest in a string of coal closures across the U.S. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.’s shift drew a shoutout from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) during a state address, as well as calls from the Sierra Club for more action. [ read more … ]

Despite Trump’s claim, U.S. still needs some Middle East oil

By Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-01-12 15:57:24

President Trump said during an address from the White House Wednesday that the U.S. no longer needs oil from the Middle East, but American refineries still use the kind of oil that region produces. Thanks to booming shale production, the U.S. reduced shipments from the Persian Gulf to a 30-year low last year. Still, Middle East crude makes up more than 10% of U.S. imports. With new oil production records being set in the Permian Basin, the country’s energy growth engine, America’s thinning reliance on Middle East crude isn’t about to reverse course. [ read more … ]

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