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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 20, 2020

Top Story

FERC market order to cost consumers billions — report

BY Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:10:35

A contentious order issued last year by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rankled renewable power proponents, posed hurdles for regional clean energy objectives and driven states to consider exiting the nation’s largest energy capacity market. But the real loser in the expanded minimum offer price rule, or MOPR, debacle is the consumer. That’s according to an updated analysis by Rob Gramlich and Michael Goggin, founder and vice president, respectively, of policy analysis firm Grid Strategies LLC. [ read more … ]

PJM MOPR could cost market consumers up to $2.6B annually, report finds

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:15:28

A new market rule could cost customers in the PJM Interconnection from $1 billion to $2.6 billion annually, according to an updated analysis from consulting firm Grid Strategies. The estimate cuts in half the group’s cost analysis from August, which found the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) could cost up to $5.7 billion per year. But while it’s widely been accepted by stakeholders that costs are not anticipated to rise in the next capacity auction, Grid Strategies’ “conservative” estimate finds that over the long term, the “MOPR will result in billions or tens of billions of dollars in excess costs to electricity consumers across PJM,” the report reads. [ read more … ]


Global emissions dropped ‘shocking’ 17% during lockdown

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:14:46

Global carbon dioxide emissions plunged by 17% in early April, as much of the world shut down to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a report released today.
The assessment by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) represents the most comprehensive look to date at the emissions impact of the global pandemic. Researchers studied emissions from 69 countries representing 97% of global CO2 emissions in an effort to get a picture of the virus’s effect on greenhouse gas levels. They compared daily CO2 output over the first four months of 2020 to the same days in 2019. [ read more … ]


Americans care about climate despite pandemic — poll

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:15:54

Public understanding about climate change and the underlying science has remained largely steady over the last year and in some cases reached new heights, according to the latest edition of “Climate Change in the American Mind,” the polling project conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. [ read more … ]

Vatican ties virus rethink to pope’s environmental appeal

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:16:17

The Vatican is marking the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical by calling for the world to map out a sustainable post-coronavirus future that considers the plight of the hungry and poor.Francis has made protecting the planet one of the hallmarks of his papacy, and in 2015 issued a landmark encyclical, “Praised Be,” to lay out his appeal in the most authoritative teaching document a pope can pen. In it, Francis denounced the “perverse” economic model that had allowed the wealthy to exploit the poor and turn the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” [ read more … ]


Oil prices are bouncing back from coronavirus-fueled lows

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:14:18

The price of oil price has rebounded big time – just a month after it took an unprecedented plunge briefly below $0. West Texas Intermediate, a crucial U.S. benchmark that turned heads on April 20 after trading for near negative $40, inched above $30 and hit a two-month high as demand for energy returns from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. And the price of Brent crude, a global benchmark, is now selling for around $35 a barrel.
[ read more … ]

Mexico cites virus in slapping down wind, solar power

BY Mark Stevenson, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:12:14

It is not the first such tussle for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a champion of the state-owned oil industry who dislikes renewables and private-sector energy projects. Since taking office in December 2018, he has canceled planned bidding on private oil exploration and forced private firms to renegotiate gas pipeline contracts. The new rules published late Friday appear to accomplish several of his goals: to guarantee income for the government’s electrical power provider; boost consumption of government stockpiles of fuel oil; lessen the role of private power generators; and avoid breakdowns in the aging, inadequate power transmission system. What was striking was that his administration cited the coronavirus pandemic — and the economic shutdowns that accompanied it — to justify the measure. [ read more … ]


Democrats want FERC official meeting on carbon pricing

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:12:45

Six Senate Democrats called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday to host a technical conference on the viability of incorporating a carbon price into the nation’s electric markets. The letter, led by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), throws additional weight behind a push by renewable and utility groups for FERC to better understand the impacts a carbon price could have on grid operations. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

White House warned EPA about legal concerns, ‘spurious’ tone

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:13:11

“OMB was telling the agencies they didn’t have a legal justification. If the economists at OMB could see that, can you imagine how the court is going to look at this?” said Margo Oge, the former longtime head of EPA’s transportation office. Bethany Davis Noll, litigation director at the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, agreed with that assessment.
[ read more … ]


Analysts: Crisis will spark ‘electrification of transport’

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:11:07

Sales of new cars in the United States since the start of the year are down 31%, according to Cox Automotive, and in times of stress, any industry is tempted to stick to the tried and true. EVs are a multibillion-dollar investment that improves the climate but provides no relief to the immediate bottom line. But a new snapshot today by BloombergNEF delivers the glass-half-full forecast that while EV sales are being savaged by worldwide lockdowns, the prognosis for the traditional automobile is mortally worse. In 2020, the study concluded, EV sales will drop by 18%, but that’s not as bad as the 23% plunge for internal-combustion engine vehicles. [ read more … ]

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die

By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:15:04

“EV adoption is probably going to keep rising and not even dip, which is quite remarkable,” said BNEF head of advanced transport Colin McKerracher, the lead author on the long-term forecast, which assesses the market from now to 2040. “But that adoption rate is about to get very different between different countries.” [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Chatterjee for Va. governor?

By Arianna Skibell and Timothy Cama, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-05-19 15:11:51

Over the weekend, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee created a Facebook group pitching his “hypothetical” run for Virginia governor. Now the nation’s top energy regulator says he was just “playing around.”
[ read more … ]

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