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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 8, 2020

Top Story

The Trump Administration Is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List.

By NADJA POPOVICH, LIVIA ALBECK-RIPKA and KENDRA PIERRE-LOUIS, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-05-08 04:15:24

After three years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo. Calling the rules unnecessary and burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other businesses, his administration has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and from cars and trucks, and rolled back many more rules governing clean air, water and toxic chemicals. Several major reversals have been finalized in recent weeks as the country has struggled to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. [ read more … ]

Markets

Arc of peak oil: From empty wells to demand destruction

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:30:18

The world once debated whether oil wells would run dry. Now, with crude flooding the market, the debate has turned to whether oil companies can sell enough of it. If peak oil is a relic, the question now is if we’ve hit peak oil demand. The debate, like nearly everything these days, is stoked by the novel coronavirus. Demand has plummeted with much of the world on lockdown. Roughly a third of global oil consumption evaporated in April.
[ read more … ]

Pandemic

A Harvard study tying coronavirus death rates to pollution is causing an uproar in Washington

By Dino Grandoni and Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:30:42

An early study from Harvard University linking dirty air to the worst coronavirus outcomes has quickly become a political football in Washington. Presidential candidates, agency regulators, oil lobbyists and members of Congress from both parties are using the preliminary research to advance their own political priorities — well before it has a chance to be peer-reviewed.
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Renewables sector shrugs off devastating effects of coronavirus

by The Financial Times  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:32:51

At a time when much of the global energy industry is in crisis, wind and solar projects are having their moment in the sun. Renewable energy is one of the few sectors that has managed to weather the devastating effects of coronavirus, with new deals and new records being struck, even while the rest of the world has been grappling with the pandemic.
[ read more … ]

So far, COVID-19 fallout not altering plans to retire US coal-fired plants

By Darren Sweeney, Taylor Kuykendall and Anna Duquiatan, S&P Global  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:33:15

While U.S. power generators continue to assess what the total implications could be of a decline in electricity demand caused by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, those forecasting a shift to less carbon-intensive assets have not yet changed near-term plans to retire coal plants. [ read more … ]

Relief

What to expect when you’re expecting another coronavirus package

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:29:23

And by week’s end, House Democrats are expected to unveil their sweeping package of priorities, providing a glimpse into the fights ahead on coronavirus funding.  Democrats aim to increase the pressure on GOP leaders who have rejected Democratic priorities in previous aid bills. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on her committee chairs to finalize their portions by close of business Monday with hopes of releasing a package by the end of the week. [ read more … ]

Industries Pushing for Targeted Tax Relief in Pandemic Bills

By Kaustuv Basu and Colin Wilhelm, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:28:57

A bipartisan group of senators has urged Treasury to extend a deadline for production tax credits and investments tax credits that is in use by some clean energy industries. An extension of the “continuity safe harbor” from four to five years would benefit projects that began in 2016 or 2017 but cannot be completed on time because of delays caused by Covid-19, the senators, who include Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a letter to Mnuchin. [ read more … ]

Climate

How to stop a climate vote? Threaten a ‘no social distancing’ protest

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:31:53

San Luis Obispo was on the verge of passing an ambitious climate change policy when the proposal’s most vocal critic, Eric Hofmann, found a trump card: fear of the coronavirus. Elected officials in this city along California’s Central Coast planned to vote on an energy code that would encourage construction of all-electric buildings, which don’t use gas appliances and aren’t hooked up to the gas grid. It’s an increasingly popular tool for cities looking to phase out fossil fuels — and a threat to the gas industry, which has mounted a vigorous counteroffensive. [ read more … ]

Exxon Says Boulder Climate Case Aims to Reshape Energy Policy

By Ellen M. Gilmer, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:32:22

Federal judges are weighing the fate of a high-stakes climate lawsuit in Colorado, one of many cases taking aim at fossil fuel companies for their role in global temperature rise. During oral arguments Wednesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Exxon Mobil Corp. argued that litigation from Boulder, Colo., and other local governments shouldn’t proceed in state court. [ read more … ]

Grid

Trump’s security order could have ‘chilling effect,’ slow smart grid deployment, experts say

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:33:37

President Donald Trump’s executive order limiting the installation of bulk power system (BPS) equipment sourced from adversaries of the United States is likely to have a “chilling effect” on transactions, raising costs and slowing the installation of some smart grid devices, according to trade and security experts. The May 1 executive order aims to address weaknesses in the utility sector supply chain by initially blocking purchases from countries hostile to the United States. Observers say the long-term impacts will depend on how rules are promulgated to enforce the restrictions. [ read more … ]

EVs

Motor racing: Electric SUV series takes a lead from mixed doubles tennis

By Alan Baldwin, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:29:47

In a motor racing first inspired by mixed doubles tennis, the Extreme E electric off-road series plans to pit male and female drivers against each other in equal numbers and the same machinery when it launches next year. Series boss Alejandro Agag, who also founded the all-electric Formula E, said eight teams would each have a male and female driver who will take turns at the wheel of their shared and identical 550 horsepower SUVs. [ read more … ]

Pandemic should provoke pivot to electric vehicles

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2020-05-07 15:31:26

Securing America’s Future Energy, a group that advocates for lessening U.S. dependence on oil, released a reportWednesday saying lawmakers should promote electric vehicles as part of recovery and stimulus efforts. Among other provisions, SAFE calls on Congress to provide trade-in incentives for consumers to swap older, less fuel-efficient cars with electric vehicles. This will help EVs compete in a period of low oil prices, and prepare the U.S. to keep pace with China, the world’s largest market for EVs. [ read more … ]

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