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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 11, 2020

Top Story

First major U.S. offshore wind farm reaches permitting milestone

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:52:27

The first major U.S. offshore wind farm, planned for the Massachusetts coast, reached a key permitting milestone on Tuesday with the release of a long-awaited federal environmental study that considers the project’s impacts on fisheries and navigation. Publication of the document marks a step forward for the Vineyard Wind project, which has experienced delays over concerns that its wind turbines will hurt commercial fishing. The supplemental review by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, announced last year, also considered the impacts of many such projects due to the growing number of offshore wind farms planned for the East Coast. [ read more … ]

Feds release Vineyard Wind environmental assessment

By Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:53:39

The regional director of the Sierra Club, said he compared the new environmental impact assessment released on Tuesday to the one that had been done previously. He said the difference in environmental impacts between the two were minimal. “What the offshore wind developer has proposed is probably the best,” he said, referring to a proposal to place the farm on an east-west orientation and maintain spacing of one mile between turbines.
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EPA

As EPA Steps Back, States Face Wave Of Requests For Environmental Leniency

By Rebecca Hersher, NPR  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:50:57

Some of the country’s most polluting industries have flooded state regulators with requests to ease environmental regulations, according to an NPR review of hundreds of state environmental records. Companies across the country say the pandemic is interfering with their ability to comply with laws that protect the public from pollution. [ read more … ]

Sea Turbines

Capturing the green energy of the deep blue sea

By Craig Pittman, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:55:45

Producing energy from the ocean is not a new idea. The La Rance tidal power station in Brittany, France, has been using 24 turbines to convert ocean tides into electrical power since 1966. Ocean power produces none of the carbon emissions linked to climate change, and it appeals to some energy executives because tides and currents are predictable, unlike solar and wind. But the cost of building the complex infrastructure required is so great that, so far, solar and wind have outpaced it. For instance, the world’s biggest tidal power station, located at Sihwa Lake in South Korea, cost about $300 million to build in 2011. [ read more … ]

Pandemic

Can energy companies help Minnesota’s economy recover from the COVID pandemic?

By Gregg Aamot, Minnpost  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:50:35

In early May, Joseph Sullivan, a commissioner on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, challenged the state’s major energy companies to speed up the completion of projects that could put people to work in a COVID-19-ravaged economy. Sullivan floated the idea in a memo to commissioners ahead of their May 7 meeting, noting that it could have the added benefit of helping the environment by getting green projects like wind and solar farms on the energy grid.
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U.S. power use to drop by record amount in 2020 due coronavirus: EIA

By Scott DiSavino, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:51:50

U.S. electricity consumption will collapse by a record 5.7% in 2020 due to business closures for coronavirus-linked lockdowns, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Tuesday in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO). EIA projected total U.S. power demand will drop to 3,675 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2020 from 3,896 billion kWh in 2019 before rising to 3,711 billion kWh in 2021.
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The Pandemic Has Everyone Ditching Coal Quicker — Except Asia

By Will Wade, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:54:22

Coal is caught between conflicting geographies — one where its demise is celebrated in favor of cleaner options, and another where the cheap fuel powers rapidly developing economies. At stake is a $200 billion industry at the crux of the global fight to rein in carbon emissions that are driving climate change. “The future of coal depends on Asian demand, which is still growing, and is offsetting the decline from the rest of the world over the next decade,” said Shirley Zhang, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. [ read more … ]

Climate

China Seen Adding New Wave of Coal Plants After Lifting Curbs

By Bloomberg Green  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:51:26

A wave of new coal power plants are under construction or in development after the country lifted curbs on new builds, according to a study published Tuesday by Greenpeace. About 46 gigawatts worth of new plants were under construction as of May, the study said. Another 48 gigawatts were under various stages of development, Greenpeace estimated. [ read more … ]

Chesapeake Energy, a Fracking Pioneer, Is Reeling

By Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:52:53

Shares of Chesapeake Energy, a pioneer in extracting natural gas from shale rock that came to be known for its excesses, including a scheme to suppress the price of oil and gas leases, went on a wild ride on Tuesday amid reports that it was preparing a bankruptcy filing. Trading was halted for more than three hours in the morning. After buying and selling resumed, the trading was quickly interrupted again by circuit breakers. The company’s shares closed just below $24 for a loss of about 66 percent for the day. [ read more … ]

EVs

Tesla Hails Air-Quality Effects of Shutdowns Elon Musk Called Fascist

By Gabrielle Coppola, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-06-10 14:53:18

Tesla Inc. is proffering a decidedly different take on the coronavirus-related shutdowns Elon Musk called “fascist” and sued over weeks ago by suggesting they may bolster the case for banning internal-combustion engine cars. In its 2019 Impact Report released Monday, Tesla pointed to sharp improvements in air quality in recent months tied to restrictions on business and travel aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19. The company said the drop in pollution could embolden governments that already have been making plans to eventually ban vehicles that run on fossil fuels. [ read more … ]

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