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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 23, 2020

Top Story

Tens of Thousands Are Getting Laid Off in U.S. Shale Patch

By David Wethe, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:29:29

Tens of thousands of Texans are being laid off across the state in places like the Permian Basin shale fields in West Texas as companies shut down drilling rigs, according to Ryan Sitton, a state oil regulator. Announcements are trickling in. Drilling-service company Canary LLC cut 43 workers last week. And oilfield pipemaker Tenaris SA is firing 223 from its Houston-area facility. But the biggest blow so far came from Halliburton Co., the world’s dominant fracking-services provider, which is furloughing 3,500 workers at its Houston headquarters. [ read more … ]

Wind & Solar Energy

U.S. clean energy sector seeks subsidy help to confront slowdown

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:33:25

Wind and solar energy companies called on Congress to pass tax incentives that would help the sector avoid project delays and keep financing flowing amid a pandemic that has choked off supply chains and slowed construction. In a letter to House and Senate leadership, seven clean energy trade groups asked lawmakers to extend deadlines that would allow their projects to qualify for generous wind and solar federal tax credits despite delays caused by the spread of the coronavirus across the globe. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy Group Says $43 Billion at Risk from COVID-19

By Darrell Proctor, Power  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:29:56

Energy groups continue to assess the industry disruption caused by the coronavirus, with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on March 19 saying the global pandemic is putting  $43 billion of wind industry investments and payments at risk. Utilities, grid operators, and other have been altering their routines as state and local governments call for the closures of many non-essential businesses. Energy companies have instituted travel bans, have shuttered their offices—asking many employees to work remotely—and changed how they will interact with customers. [ read more … ]

Unemployment poised to skyrocket, creating urgent need to spur renewables: Obama veteran of 2008 financial crisis

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:32:36

Analysts have found the immediate economic impacts could be devastating to clean energy technologies in particular, projecting demand for budding technologies such as solar, storage and electric vehicles will drop dramatically from original estimates in 2020. And the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) on Thursday released its initial industry impact estimates, projecting the novel coronavirus could threaten $35 billion in investments and $8 billion in rural community tax benefits, as well as over 35,000 jobs. [ read more … ]


GOP kills Kansas governor’s plans on services, energy office

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:30:40

Republican legislators in Kansas have killed Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s plans to merge two social services agencies and create an independent energy policy office. The GOP-controlled House has passed two resolutions rejecting executive orders Kelly issued in January. Under the state constitution, the votes prevent the orders from taking effect. Democrats saw the votes as partisan, but Republicans said Kelly didn’t provide enough details about her plans to make them comfortable. [ read more … ]


Coronavirus outbreak may speed decline of US coal sector

By Taylor KuykendallJacob Holzman, S&P Global  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:30:18

“A material impact on electricity demand over the next two quarters seems inescapable,” said Steve Piper, director of energy research for S&P Global Market Intelligence. “If U.S. Treasury Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin’s speculation of unemployment spiking to 20% comes about, even on a short-term basis, we can expect the impact to commercial and industrial demand to well more than offset any incremental gains to residential demand from quarantine activity.” [ read more … ]

Pennsylvania Coal Mines Must Shut Down, Governor Orders

By Will Wade, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:31:12

Coal miners including Consol Energy Inc. and Contura Energy Inc. must shutter their operations in Pennsylvania after the governor ordered “non-life-sustaining” businesses to close. The order took effect Thursday night, according to a statement from Gov. Tom Wolf. Pennsylvania is the latest state to order commercial activities to shut down as governments move to slow the spread of the coronavirus. California has taken more extreme measures, telling all residents Thursday to stay home, and New York followed suit on Friday. [ read more … ]


U.S. Considers Intervention in Saudi-Russia Oil Standoff

By Timothy Puko and Rebecca Elliott, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:31:42

The Trump administration is considering intervening in the Saudi-Russian oil-price war, and Texas regulators are weighing whether to curtail crude production for the first time in decades, as U.S. producers suffer from a historic crash in prices. Administration officials are exploring a diplomatic push to get the Saudis to cut oil production and threats of sanctions on Russia aimed at stabilizing prices, after U.S. oil companies pressed them to intercede, people familiar with the matter said. [ read more … ]


Comparing America’s grid operators on clean energy progress: PJM is headed for a climate disaster

By Miles Farmer and Amanda Levin, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:32:03

Mapping the trajectories of the nation’s regional grid operators demonstrates that PJM, the nation’s largest grid operator and power market, is headed for climate disaster. While PJM has touted its market as a driver of emissions reductions, the story it paints — which relies nearly exclusively on coal-to-gas switching — is fundamentally ephemeral. [ read more … ]


FERC launches long-delayed revision of transmission incentives, bringing benefits into the equation

By Iulia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:34:42

All three FERC commissioners agree on the importance of upgrades to transmission incentives, but Glick said the comment period should be extended to 120 days. “Suffice it to say, utilities and other interested parties have more important things on their plate at the moment,” he wrote. Regarding responses to the novel coronavirus, Glick believes FERC should extend deadlines and create more flexibility during this difficult period for other regulatory processes as well. [ read more … ]

Energy regulators disagree on whether to delay actions amid coronavirus

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-03-22 15:34:22

The organization’s one Democratic commissioner, Richard Glick, said in a Thursday statement that while FERC is required by law to carry out certain actions, it should pause others to allow the industry to focus on its response the virus.  “I believe we should refrain from acting to allow parties who are otherwise dealing with the pandemic to avoid putting resources toward seeking rehearing of a Commission order,” Glick said.  Chairman Neil Chatterjee, however, said Thursday on a call with reporters that in some cases it might be good to be flexible but that in general “the last thing the industry needs right now is delays.” [ read more … ]


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