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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 29, 2020

Top Story

Feds throw 1-year lifeline to renewables

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:50:00

The IRS yesterday offered a pandemic-related extension to key requirements needed for renewable projects to qualify for a lucrative tax credit. Issued as new guidance, the IRS extended by a year the so-called safe harbor requirements that outline how projects can qualify for the production and investment tax credits. The action from the Treasury Department follows a lobbying campaign from renewable trade groups and a trio of Senate Republicans, including Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Thom Tillis [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Coal-powered giant clears key hurdle for $2B wind plan

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:50:19

American Electric Power Co. is set to spend about $2 billion on wind generation for customers in at least three states — Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma — as it continues to navigate pushback in Texas. The company’s closely watched, multistate proposal calls for AEP utilities to acquire three planned Oklahoma wind farms known as the North Central Wind Energy Facilities. The acquisitions could occur in 2020 and 2021 as projects are completed. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Court blocks Trump solar tariff plan

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:49:22

A U.S. trade court has blocked the Trump administration’s plan to enact tariffs on a type of two-sided solar panel, dealing a blow to domestic manufacturers that had sought levies against cheap imports. Bifacial solar panels can generate power from both sides. They’re currently used in a minority of solar projects, but many within the industry say that share will grow rapidly, since they can produce more power over their lifetimes than monofacial types. [ read more … ]


Hydrogen as Fuel? An Italian Pasta Factory Shows How It Could Work

By By Stanley Reed, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:49:04

In the hills near Naples, something unusual was taking place at a pasta factory one day in February. In a nearby olive grove, engineers in safety gear had hooked up tanks of a hydrogen and natural gas mixture to an existing gas line. It fed the boiler that provided the heat to dry and sterilize the noodles being produced. Inside, regional specialties like orecchiette and thick, rich paccheri kept rolling out as employees in white coats and head coverings supervised. But because hydrogen fuel is free of emissions, the operation was sending less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than one using just natural gas, an emitter. [ read more … ]


Green group proposes nearly $6T infrastructure and clean energy stimulus plan

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:53:47

The Sierra Club is putting forth a nearly $6 trillion, 10-year stimulus plan that aims to create millions of jobs in both traditional infrastructure and clean energy.  The group commissioned a report from economists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which was shared first with The Hill. The report proposes a plan for creating 4.6 million jobs to upgrade infrastructure annually and another 4.5 million jobs to transition to a clean energy economy annually. 
[ read more … ]

Pelosi says infrastructure package coming soon

Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:52:16

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled yesterday that she plans to introduce a long-awaited infrastructure package soon. “This issue of broadband, it will be even more significantly put forth in our infrastructure bill, which we hope to bring up soon because it is so necessary,” the California Democrat said at a press conference. Pelosi has continued to call for a massive green infrastructure package to be part of the pandemic response, but that effort has been repeatedly delayed as economic assistance and public health needs have ballooned. [ read more … ]

E.U. looks to fight climate change in COVID-19 recovery plan

By Nathanial Gronewold, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:51:54

The European Union unveiled a €750 billion ($825 billion) recovery package for the coronavirus pandemic yesterday that includes plans to address another global crisis: climate change.
Notable is that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen views the proposal as a vehicle to steer the continent toward carbon neutrality by 2050. That’s a critical deadline if the world is to avoid the worst effects of global warming. “We must ensure that the transition to a climate-neutral economy leaves no one behind,” von der Leyen told reporters after the plan was released. “The aim must be to invest together in our own common good.” [ read more … ]

Net Metering

24 Congressional Democrats urge FERC to reject net metering overhaul

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:53:24

A group of Democratic senators and representatives on Tuesday wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urging the regulatory body to shut down a net metering proposal that experts say would effectively overturn the policy nationally. The proposal at hand would subject any behind-the-meter, or customer-sited, energy generation to FERC jurisdiction, arguing that power production constitutes a wholesale sale. In the letter, Congress Members questioned FERC’s authority to make such a rule and also asked the commission to ask the petitioner, New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), to disclose its members. [ read more … ]

Solar protests erupt in FERC net metering war

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:49:37

“I’m afraid FERC is going to come in and say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and we’re not going to allow net metering in Virginia,” he said. “If I were not allowed to net meter, that means I would end up paying more money for electrical power.” Murphy is not alone in his concern. Since the Massachusetts-based nonprofit New England Ratepayers Association filed an April petition with FERC, opposition has steadily grown louder.
[ read more … ]

Democrats join chorus opposing net metering changes

By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:52:38

A group of congressional Democrats called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this week to reject a petition that could upend net metering policies in states across the country. Led by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), the letter from 24 House and Senate lawmakers adds to the growing opposition to a petition filed by the New England Ratepayers Association. [ read more … ]


Coal’s Decline Continues with 13 Plant Closures Announced in 2020

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:55:00

Alliant Energy Corp. announced Friday it will close its coal-fired Edgewater power plant outside Sheboygan, Wis., in 2022. A few weeks earlier, Great River Energy said it plans to shut its Coal Creek Station north of Bismarck, N.D., in two years’ time. And in New Mexico, Arizona Public Service has moved forward the retirement date of the Four Corners Generating Station—long one of America’s largest CO2emitters—from 2038 to 2031. [ read more … ]

14 AGs to court: Calif.-Quebec pact OK under state powers

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:51:40

Left-leaning states this week threw their support behind California in its battle against the Trump administration’s continued legal effort to thwart the Golden State’s emissions pact with a Canadian province. Addressing climate change is a state responsibility and thus does not interfere with federal powers, the top attorneys for 14 states said in a Tuesday brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. “This very Court has expressly reaffirmed in this case that mitigating the effects of climate change by regulating greenhouse gases falls within states’ traditional responsibility to protect health and welfare,” the states wrote.
[ read more … ]

ExxonMobil declines to set long-term climate goal, bucking oil industry trend

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:52:59

ExxonMobil dismissed the idea of setting a date by which it will sharply reduce its contributions to climate change — bucking a recent trend among major oil companies. Darren Woods, the company’s chairman and chief executive, told investors Wednesday that it is up to consumers and the governments they elect to set target dates cutting greenhouse gas emissions — not a single corporation such as his. [ read more … ]

BlackRock sends climate signal to Big Oil

By Avery Ellfeldt, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:50:39

Wealth behemoth BlackRock Inc. leveraged its extraordinary shareholder power yesterday against Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. in an effort to signal its climate concerns with the supermajors. The world’s largest money manager threw its weight behind several climate-related shareholder proposals and voted against two corporate directors during the companies’ annual meetings, held virtually yesterday. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

States, greens sue over car rule

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-05-28 15:54:23

California and 22 other states sued the Trump administration over its rollback of auto emissions standards and fuel economy rules, Pro’s Alex Guillén reports . The Trump administration’s final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles rule requires automakers to improve their fuel efficiency at a rate of 1.5 percent per year through model year 2026, well below the 5 percent gains required under the Obama administration. [ read more … ]

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