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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 30, 2020

Top Story

Smooth sailing so far for planned Iowa-Illinois underground power line

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:51:03

A high-voltage underground transmission line proposed to cross Iowa and Illinois is moving ahead without the landowner opposition that has dogged overhead transmission lines in the region. The SOO Green HVDC Link, which would span 349 miles from Mason City, Iowa, to a connection with the PJM grid at Yorkville, Illinois, has encountered no major objections at the four public meetings that have been held in Iowa and Illinois, according to project spokeswoman Sarah Lukan. She said the developer knows of no organized opposition to the project. [ read more … ]


E.P.A., Citing Coronavirus, Drastically Relaxes Rules for Polluters

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:51:56

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a sweeping relaxation of environmental rules in response to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing power plants, factories and other facilities to determine for themselves if they are able to meet legal requirements on reporting air and water pollution. The move comes amid an influx of requests from businesses for a relaxation of regulations as they face layoffs, personnel restrictions and other problems related to the coronavirus outbreak.
[ read more … ]

EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:53:27

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak. The temporary policy, for which the EPA has set no end date, would allow any number of industries to skirt environmental laws, with the agency saying it will not “seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations.” [ read more … ]


Gasoline demand expected to fall by 50 percent in wake of coronavirus: analysis

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:52:27

A sudden drop in travel due to the coronavirus could cut demand for oil by more than 50 percent. The analysis from IHS Markit, which studies the energy market, said the oil industry could take a sustained hit as people stay close to home and forgo typical commutes along with travel plans.
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

At a Critical Moment, the Coronavirus Threatens to Bring Offshore Wind to a Halt

BY DAN GEARINO, Inside Cimate News  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:51:34

“We see the virus situation slowing everything down, economywide, and our effort is to try to move these projects ahead as fast as possible to save the jobs, to keep the people in the supply chain working,” said Jaime Steve, senior vice president for policy and programs at the Business Network for Offshore Wind, a trade group. He told me the stakes are high because offshore wind farms are an essential part of how several East Coast states plan to meet ambitious energy and emissions standards. Prolonged delays would affect the timetables for making much needed progress in the transition to clean energy. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

New Mexico regulators give green light to solar project

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:53:00

New Mexico utility regulators have approved a program that will allow local governments and large businesses to subscribe to a universal solar field to be built by the state’s largest electric provider. Public Service Co. of New Mexico says the cities and businesses can make a 15-year commitment to match their energy use to the solar field’s output.
[ read more … ]


California approves climate change target that critics say is far too weak

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2020-03-29 15:53:55

State officials signed off Thursday on a climate change target that critics say will reduce planet-warming emissions far too slowly. The action comes as economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to slow the growth of renewable energy. Meeting via video conference to protect against the novel coronavirus, the five-member California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a plan that aims to cut power-plant emissions by about 25% over the next decade — a slower pace than those emissions fell during the previous decade. [ read more … ]

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