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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 1, 2020

Top Story

U.S. Consumed More Renewables Than Coal for First Time in 134 Years

By Katherine Blunt, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:14:12

The U.S. consumed more renewable energy than coal last year for the first time since 1885, according to the Energy Information Administration. The inflection point mainly reflects a steep drop in the use of coal as source of electricity, as well as steady growth in wind and solar power, trends driven by economic as well as environmental factors. Coal consumption fell 15% in 2019 compared with the year before, while renewable-energy consumption grew 1%, the EIA said.
[ read more … ]

Car Rule

States Sue to Block Trump From Weakening Fuel Economy Rules

By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:11:22

Led by California, nearly two dozen states sued the Trump administration on Wednesday over its reversal of fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, arguing that the move is based on erroneous science, and endangers public health. The lawsuit escalates a standoff between President Trump, who has moved to undo a long list of environmental regulations since taking office, and a coalition of Democratic states, which have gone to court to stop him. [ read more … ]

EVs

Largest all-electric aircraft to make maiden flight

By Jack Guy, CNN  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:16:04

As concerns over the environmental cost of flying continue to mount, green propulsion systems can offer an ethical alternative. Electric motor technology is due to reach a new milestone Thursday with the first flight planned of the world’s largest all-electric aircraft. The nine-passenger eCaravan plane is the result of a collaboration between engine company magniX and aerospace firm AeroTEC, according to a press release from magniX. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Wind ban to wind hub? Inside N.C.’s renewable shift

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:11:48

A state known as a hotbed of anti-wind opposition is now aiming to become a manufacturing hub for East Coast offshore wind — a move that could have ripple effects for the nation’s renewable industry and sway the economies in multiple states. But as it seeks to turn the page, North Carolina is facing both natural constraints and a crowded field of competitors. [ read more … ]

Relief

Renewable energy supporters running out of patience

By Nick Sobczyk and Geof Koss, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:15:22

The Trump administration offered renewable energy companies a hand this week, but with thousands out of work across the sector, the industry and its advocates are keeping the pressure on Congress. In new guidance issued Wednesday, the IRS extended safe harbor requirements for the investment and production tax credits by a year, allowing developers facing pandemic-related delays to more easily claim the incentives [ read more … ]

Renewable Hydrogen

Company with 290% gain this year aims for Green Deal riches

By William Mathis and Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:17:37

Some of the companies that make machines that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen are having a stellar year. Companies dedicated to the technology, which could be key to Europe’s plans to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, include ITM Power PLC in Sheffield, England, which has gained 290% this year, beating pharmaceutical stocks including Moderna Inc., which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus. [ read more … ]

Climate Change Litigation

Judge: Mass. Exxon lawsuit is a state matter

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:12:48

A federal judge last week explained why Massachusetts’ lawsuit against an oil supermajor belongs in state court. In its bid to bring the case to a federal bench, Exxon Mobil Corp. failed to show how Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s (D) climate lawsuit raised claims that are federal in nature, wrote Judge William Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. [ read more … ]

California Carbon Market

California’s Carbon Market Stumbles Under Virus Lockdown

By David R Baker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:18:02

The California Air Resources Board, which runs most of the state’s climate programs, reported Thursday that only 35% of the pollution permits available in its most recently quarterly auction sold. It raised just $25 million, a 96% decrease from the previous auction in February. Analysts had expected the auction’s results would be dismal. With much of California’s economy shut down due to the virus, the companies that emit greenhouse gases didn’t need as many permits as usual. And state officials earlier this month warned revenue from the auctions was apt to fall.
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Off Topic

Meet the judge at the heart of the West’s top energy battles

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:12:19

Brian Morris has had a very busy few weeks. The chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, one of three active jurists on the bench, has stalled a national permitting program, upheld federal rules on pipeline inspections and tossed out hundreds of oil and gas leases — all in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Critics warn that Morris’ rulings threaten to cause more economic harm to the oil and gas industry, which has already been battered by the public health crisis. Environmental groups say the judge’s decisions are instead a reflection of the Trump administration’s poorly executed push for energy dominance. [ read more … ]

Trump’s fossil fuel agenda gets pushback from federal judges

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-05-31 15:16:26

Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. Judges have ruled administration officials ignored or downplayed potential environmental damage in lawsuits over oil and gas leases, coal mining and pipelines to transport fuels across the U.S., according to an Associated Press review of more than a dozen major environmental cases [ read more … ]

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