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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 12, 2020

Top Stories

Oregon Governor takes sweeping action to cut global warming

By Andrew Selsky, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:31:06

In an end run around Republican legislators, Oregon’s Democratic governor ordered the state yesterday to lower greenhouse gas emissions, directing a state agency to set and enforce caps on pollution from industry and transportation fuels. Gov. Kate Brown’s sweeping executive order, one of the boldest in the nation, aims to reduce carbon emissions to at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% below by 2050. It more than doubles a clean fuels program, making it the most ambitious goal for clean fuels in the country, Brown said at a news conference. [ read more … ]

How a big climate bill quietly died in Inslee’s backyard

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:31:17

This was supposed to be the year that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee finally clinched a major climate victory on his home turf. Not anymore. As the legislative session in Olympia draws to a close, the odds aren’t looking good for the Democratic governor, who ran for president as the self-styled “climate candidate” before withdrawing from the race in August. [ read more … ]


Oil Lobbyists Call on Trump to Buy the Dip for Strategic Reserve

By Ari Natter, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:35:52

America’s emergency oil reserves have been used in the past to provide relief from price spikes caused by wars or hurricanes. Now, they could be deployed to help oil drillers reeling from the worst market rout in nearly 30 years. Under a novel plan that’s been pitched by some industry lobbyists, the Trump administration would take advantage of the recent collapse in prices to snap up barrels on the cheap, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity to detail private deliberations. [ read more … ]

Grid overseer issues warning on coronavirus

By Christian Vasquez, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:31:51

The top U.S. grid security monitor urged power utilities to prepare for the new coronavirus in a rare alert yesterday, adding to a chorus of warnings from federal and private organizations. The North American Electric Reliability Corp. called for power providers to update business continuity plans in case of a pandemic outbreak and weigh the need to prioritize construction or maintenance projects while the COVID-19 virus continues to spread.
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Offshore wind to drive billions over next decade — report

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:33:07

The American Wind Energy Association predicted today that offshore wind will repeat the rapid growth witnessed in onshore wind in recent years, driven by falling costs of development, technology advances and federal tax credits nearing sunset. The $25 billion mark is at AWEA’s high end of expectations for the burgeoning sector, which has yet to grow beyond the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm pilot project off the coast of Rhode Island. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Floating panels buoy predictions of global growth spurt

By John Fialka, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:28:50

Solar energy appears to be heading toward a global growth spurt, due to a combination of new technology and expanding reach to consumers as it becomes more competitive with the cost of traditional energy sources. One sign of the potential of new technology came from a Norwegian company, Ocean Sun, that announced this week that its floating solar panels — sized to fit in reservoirs for hydroelectric dams or on shallow offshore water near cities — have met Norway’s safety and environmental requirements. [ read more … ]


Study: Get ready for a surge of grid batteries

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:34:07

Utilities are planning a massive increase in storage battery installations in the next five years, accelerating opportunities for greater wind and solar generation across the U.S., according to a market survey by Wood Mackenzie and the Energy Storage Association. At the end of 2019, battery storage in utility and residential markets stood at 899 megawatts, a blip compared with the total U.S. electric power plant capacity of over 1.1 million MW. But the forecast issued yesterday predicts that as much as 1,452 MW of new battery capacity could be added this year, with utility installments around 60% of the total, joined by a sharp increase in “behind-the-meter” residential and commercial battery purchases. [ read more … ]


Hawaii bill could become nation’s first carbon emissions tax

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:35:36

Hawaii could become the first state to enact a tax on carbon emissions, but the bill still requires passage by the House and the governor. A carbon tax proposed by Democratic state Sen. Karl Rhoads was recently passed by the Senate, Hawaii Public Radio reported Monday. No dollar figure for the tax has yet been specified in the bill’s current draft, which would take effect in 2021, with graduated increases every three years until 2030.
[ read more … ]

Ind. coal ‘bailout’ heads to governor’s desk

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:36:08

An Indiana bill aimed at slowing the retirement of coal-fired power plants in the state is headed to the desk of Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) after the General Assembly passed the controversial measure last night. The state House and Senate passed H.B. 1414 in separate votes. The bill would require utilities to get approval of state regulators before they shut down a power plant. [ read more … ]


McConnell sets vote on Trump FERC nominee

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:34:32

The partisan fight over filling vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is heading to the Senate floor this week. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to end debate yesterday on the nomination of James Danly to serve on the commission. The procedural vote likely paves the way for the Danly nomination to go through as soon as today. Because of changes to the Senate’s confirmation vote rules, he only needs a simple majority to pass. That may benefit Danly, who currently serves as the general counsel at the commission.
[ read more … ]


Climate voters help secure Biden’s Mich. victory

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:32:40

Exit polls indicated voters, while interested in climate change, did not view it consistently as the No. 2 issue behind health care, as they had in most previous contests. Race relations and income inequality were also key concerns. For those voters who did back climate change, the former vice president won the majority in half the states polled — Missouri and Michigan — according to exit polling by Edison Research for numerous news organizations including CNN and The Washington Post. [ read more … ]


Incoming EPA chief of staff draws fire

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-03-11 15:33:51

Trump EPA veteran Mandy Gunasekara doesn’t return to the agency until next week, but Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s incoming chief of staff is already drawing fire on Capitol Hill.
Democratic senators this morning raised concerns about her inflammatory, partisan tweets and the ethical implications posed by the unknown funders of the pro-Trump advocacy work Gunasekara has been doing since leaving the administration last February. [ read more … ]


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