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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 26, 2020

Top Story

Minnesota Sues Exxon, Koch Over Climate Change

By Christopher M. Matthews, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:54:24

The Minnesota attorney general sued Exxon Mobil Corp., Koch Industries and a top oil-and-gas trade group Wednesday, alleging they have for years deceived consumers about the effects of climate change. Attorney General Keith Ellison said Exxon, three Koch companies and the American Petroleum Institute deceived the public about climate-change science to protect their business interests and, in doing so, violated Minnesota laws that prohibit consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false advertising. [ read more … ]

Wind & Solar Energy

Trump administration wind and solar approvals lag Obama record: study

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:57:42

President Donald Trump’s Interior Department has approved about half as many wind and solar energy projects on federal lands as the Obama administration had at the same point in its first term, according to a report published on Thursday. The numbers reflect the administration’s soft-pedaling of renewable energy development while favoring expansion of oil and gas drilling, the study by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress said. [ read more … ]

Grid

What China’s ‘unprecedented’ grid means for U.S. renewables

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:56:16

China’s grid engineers, plotting a route for a massive new transmission line to feed Shanghai’s insatiable electricity appetite, faced a historic barrier in their land — the Yangtze River. Spanning the crowded river with transmission towers and lines was too dangerous, so the giant State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC) went underneath it just west of Shanghai with a 3-mile tunnel carrying six first-of-a-kind gas-insulated 1,000-kilovolt direct-current power lines, each of them larger than anything in the United States. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Projects to Stash Carbon Dioxide Underground Get a Boost

By Brad Plumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:57:15

Carbon capture, a rarely tested strategy to fight climate change, is attracting growing interest in the United States after the Trump administration began clearing a longstanding roadblock to subsidizing the technology. In 2018, Congress approved a lucrative tax break for companies that trap carbon dioxide produced by industrial sites before the gas escapes into the atmosphere and heats the planet. But for years, potential carbon capture projects stalled because the Internal Revenue Service had yet to clarify how, exactly, the tax credit worked. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

DOJ whistleblower: California emissions probe was ‘abuse of authority’

By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:56:45

A Department of Justice (DOJ) decision to investigate a California effort to reduce vehicle emissions was highly criticized on Wednesday by House Democrats, who called it an effort to strong-arm the state and automakers. An antitrust investigation into the July deals struck between California and four different automakers was kicked off just a day after a tweet from President Trump, a DOJ whistleblower testified during a fiery House Judiciary Committee hearing. [ read more … ]

Former Trump adviser alleges Trump caved to auto lobby on fuel economy rule

By Abby Smith & Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:54:53

President Trump’s former chief economist says the White House backed off from plans to “totally rip out” Obama-era fuel economy standards because of pressure from car companies.
“I disagree with what the president did. I mean, he ended up protecting the car companies, which every president before has done, and he did it too,” said Casey Mulligan, an economics professor at the University of Chicago who served as the chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers from July 2018 to June 2019. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Green Energy Is Finally Going Mainstream

By Rochelle Toplensky, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:55:51

After many false dawns, the sun is finally starting to shine on green-energy bets. Public support for the environmental movement has soared over the past year, as has political backing in many countries. Crucially, the cost of renewable energy can now be competitive with fossil fuels. Government, corporate and consumer interests finally seem to be aligning. The stock market has noticed. After years of underperformance, indexes that track clean-energy stocks bottomed out in late 2018. The S&P Global Clean Energy index, which covers 30 big utilities and green-technology stocks, is now up 37% over two years, including dividends, compared with 18% for the S&P 500. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Is Trump’s fealty to Big Oil endangering Republicans’ grip on the Senate?

By Mike Carr, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2020-06-25 14:55:24

When Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) cruised to a nearly 10 point win in her first election in 2014, it was no surprise to the Des Moines Register, the gold standard for Iowa polling, which had her leading strongly going into that election. So she has to take it quite seriously that the same poll now shows her trailing a newcomer Democratic opponent by 3 points. Perhaps more importantly, her approval rating has been on a steady decline for a year now, with some polling showing her underwater with as much as a -7 net approval rating. So, what’s going on? [ read more … ]

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