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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 5, 2020

Top Story

Trump, Citing Pandemic, Moves to Weaken Two Key Environmental Protections

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman. New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-06-05 06:32:51

The Trump administration, in twin actions to curb environmental regulations, moved on Thursday to temporarily speed the construction of energy projects and to permanently weaken federal authority to issue stringent clean air and climate change rules. President Trump signed an executive order that calls on agencies to waive required environmental reviews of infrastructure projects to be built during the pandemic-driven economic crisis. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that changes the way the agency uses cost-benefit analyses to enact Clean Air Act regulations, effectively limiting the strength of future air pollution controls. [ read more … ]


Earth’s carbon dioxide levels hit record high, despite coronavirus-related emissions drop

By Chris Mooney, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:12:10

The coronavirus-related economic downturn may have set off a sudden plunge in global greenhouse gas emissions, but another crucial metric for determining the severity of global warming — the amount of greenhouse gases actually in the air — just hit a record high. According to readings from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the amount of CO2 in the air in May 2020 hit an average of slightly greater than 417 parts per million (ppm). This is the highest monthly average value ever recorded, and is up from 414.7 ppm in May of last year. [ read more … ]

Two GOP senators join with Democrats to back bill to help cut emissions from farms

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:14:09

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to make it easier for farmers and forest managers to make money from reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their land. A new legislative proposal tackling the impact U.S. agriculture is having on rising global temperature is the latest effort from some GOP lawmakers to turn over a new, green leaf on global warming.
[ read more … ]

Rethinking Air Pollution After the Virus

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:10:57

The pandemic that’s so far killed more than 350,000 people worldwide catalyzed calls to make cleaner air a permanent condition, and as the death toll from Covid-19 mounted around the world, studies in Germany, Italy, the U.K., and the U.S. stoked public concern that the damage to health from poor air had made the pandemic worse. What had formerly been mostly a debate about the long-term effect of emissions on climate change suddenly became an immediate matter of life and death. [ read more … ]

Air pollution in China back to pre-Covid levels and Europe may follow

By Niko Kommenda, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:11:24

Air pollution in China has climbed back to pre-pandemic levels, and scientists say Europe may follow suit. Air pollution causes at least 8m early deaths a year, and cleaner skies were seen as one of the few silver linings of Covid-19. Experts have called for action to help retain the air quality benefits of lockdowns, and measures taken to date have included expanding cycle lanes and space for walking in cities. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

This Won’t Be U.S. Solar’s Best Year Ever—But It’ll Be Close

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:11:47

This year was shaping up to be Sunnova Energy International Inc.’s best ever. California—already the biggest U.S. solar market—had started requiring most new homes to be powered by the sun. The rooftop solar company’s shares hit a new peak in early March, and analysts projected sharp growth. Even bad news hadn’t harmed Sunnova. Rolling blackouts, which big utilities had used the previous fall to help prevent wildfires? Just another reason homeowners might want Sunnova’s solar and battery products. A trade war hadn’t stopped the rise of residential solar. Even the novel coronavirus in China didn’t look like much of a problem. In late February the company increased its estimate for the number of new customers it would bring in for the year. [ read more … ]

Utilities stay silent on proposal to federalize net metering as states call it a ‘threat’ to solar policy

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:13:48

States have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the NERA petition, joined by Democratic federal lawmakers, clean energy advocates and others. Power trade associations, including Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Supply Association and American Public Power Association have stayed largely quite thus far on how they’ll weigh in. “APPA is still developing its response to the petition and receiving input from members,” John McCaffrey, senior regulatory counsel for APPA said Wednesday during the webinar, though public power utilities across the country do have net metering programs that would be “jeopardized” by the NERA filing. [ read more … ]



PJM: MOPR compliance plan aims to avoid FERC’s ‘immense’ and ‘unreasonable’ burden

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:13:26

PJM Interconnection on Monday issued an updated compliance filing with federal regulators to avoid an “immense, unintended, and unreasonable administrative burden” on the grid operator and its market participants. The filing addresses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s April ruling on the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) that clarified default capacity auctions constitute a state subsidy. Restructured states that offer default service policies as an alternative for customers who do not get their power from retail suppliers are most impacted by this, including New Jersey, Maryland and the District of Columbia. [ read more … ]


Exclusive: GM plans electric van for business users in bid to pre-empt Tesla

By Ben Klayman and Paul Lienert, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:13:02

General Motors Co is developing an electric van aimed at business users, joining a growing list of carmakers planning EVs for the same segment which includes customers such as Inc and United Parcel Service Inc, five people familiar with the plans told Reuters. That multibillion-dollar strategy could enable GM, Ford Motor Co and at least two EV startups to build and deliver more electric vehicles at a time when consumer demand for battery-powered models is still a small fraction of overall industry sales, while targeting a potentially lucrative market segment that Tesla Inc has yet to address. [ read more … ]

Green Recovery

Boris Johnson Sees Green Recovery Essential to U.K. Economy

By Alex Morales, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-06-04 15:12:40

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a “green” recovery will be vital to help the U.K. come back from a dramatic economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “It is indeed the vision that I have for the whole country,” Johnson said in response to a question in Parliament from a Conservative lawmaker proposing a “green enterprise zone” to promote low-carbon manufacturing in his district. [ read more … ]

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