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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 12, 2020

Top Story

Interior: Offshore wind to have major ‘adverse’ effects

  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 14:59:36

The industry had broadly expected the Vineyard environmental review to conclude and a decision to be made by the end of summer 2019. Vineyard briefly signaled that BOEM’s delay could threaten the viability of the project but later eased that narrative. The company — a joint project of Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners — said it had adjusted to fit the new permitting timeline. The federal delay prompted some to question whether Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had intervened on behalf of the fishing industries. The secretary has not been viewed as a proponent of the wind industry in comparison with his predecessor, Ryan Zinke, who had been a vocal advocate for growing offshore wind until he resigned in 2018. [ read more … ]

Stricter waters ahead

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:23:03

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s new draft environmental assessment for the Vineyard Wind facility off Massachusetts’ coast could lead to stricter conditions for developers seeking to build new facilities off the Northeast coast. The draft report assesses an array of construction scenarios for Vineyard and 22 gigawatts of other facilities planned in New England waters. It found the project posed potentially “major” adverse impacts to sea life and other industries, particularly commercial fishing. BOEM will take comments on the document for 45 days from the document’s publication in the Federal Register — something that the agency says will happen in the “near future.” [ read more … ]

Interior says offshore wind farms may have an ‘adverse’ impact on commercial fishing

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:20:09

“The supplemental study, which is to be published in the Federal Register at an unspecified time, looks beyond Vineyard Wind — which is planned off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. — and outlines a host of effects that the burgeoning offshore wind sector in the Northeast could have on other industries, the environment and marine life,” per the report. [ read more … ]

EPA

What Trump’s permit order means for NEPA, energy and race

By Kelsey Brugger, Lesley Clark and Heather Richards, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 14:28:37

The impact really depends on how the executive order is applied, said Susan-Jane Brown, an attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center. There is a “relief valve” in NEPA that allows for expediting. But it doesn’t waive environmental review obligations, it delays them, she said. “Simply saying we’ve got an economic emergency on our hands and therefore go build large infrastructure projects — it just doesn’t work that way in the real world,” she said. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Despite pandemic, new U.S. solar capacity will grow 33% in 2020

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:17:23

New U.S. solar installations will increase by a third this year, a report published on Thursday showed, as soaring demand by utilities for carbon-free power more than outweighs a dramatic decline in rooftop system orders for homes and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The solar industry will install 18 gigawatts this year, enough to power more than 3 million homes, according to the report by the U.S. Solar Industries Association and energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. That is 9% less than the group’s forecast before the outbreak prompted construction delays, weakened consumer demand and tightened access to financing. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Despite pandemic, new U.S. solar capacity will grow 33% in 2020

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:17:23

New U.S. solar installations will increase by a third this year, a report published on Thursday showed, as soaring demand by utilities for carbon-free power more than outweighs a dramatic decline in rooftop system orders for homes and businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The solar industry will install 18 gigawatts this year, enough to power more than 3 million homes, according to the report by the U.S. Solar Industries Association and energy research firm Wood Mackenzie. That is 9% less than the group’s forecast before the outbreak prompted construction delays, weakened consumer demand and tightened access to financing. [ read more … ]

Pandemic

Minority areas already have high pollution. Trump’s coronavirus response makes it worse, critics say.

By Dino Grandoni with Paulina Firozi, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:18:05

President Trump’s efforts to prop up the economy during the coronavirus pandemic may end up doing more harm than good for poor and minority neighborhoods facing chronic pollution, administration critics say. A pair of recent administration actions in response to the viral outbreak may deprive African Americans, Native Americans and other groups of a voice in major decisions that affect air and water quality near them and end up allowing pollution to go unchecked in their communities.  [ read more … ]

Fossil fuel fight sidelines aid for hard-hit communities

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter E&E Daily  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:22:18

Environmental justice is part of a pattern of institutional racism that often leaves communities of color with poorly funded infrastructure and few opportunities, said Mustafa Santiago Ali, vice president for environmental justice, climate and community revitalization at the National Wildlife Federation. “Environmental justice is an environmental issue, but it is also a transportation issue, it is a housing justice issue, it is a public health issue, and it is an economic justice issue,” Ali said. [ read more … ]

Climate

Britain Goes Record Two Months Without Coal Power Generation

By Bloomberg News  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:21:29

Britain has gone a record two months without burning coal, the longest the dirtiest fossil fuel hasn’t been used for power since the start of the Industrial Revolution. It’s been more than 60 days since the last coal generator came off the U.K.’s power network. The fuel’s portion of the power generation mix dropped from 40% just seven years ago to 2.5% in 2019. [ read more … ]

EVs

Race for big EVs heats up with 3 automakers

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:21:10

The race to build bigger, cargo-hauling electric vehicles grew more intense yesterday as Tesla Inc., Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. all signaled plans to make them. Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to staff telling them that it is time to bring the company’s electric Semi, a full-size tractor-trailer, into “volume production,” according to Reuters. [ read more … ]

2020 Campaign

Trump’s biggest weakness? The environment, polls show

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-06-11 15:21:48

One of the widest gaps in how voters perceive the presidential candidates is on environmental policy, even as the nation reckons with a deadly pandemic and an eruption of protests over racial injustice. Recent polls reveal broad mistrust of President Trump’s handling of environmental issues, suggesting that Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has a large advantage on those issues less than five months before the election. [ read more … ]

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