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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 7, 2020

Top Story

How electricity deepens the South’s racial divide

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:45:46

Nationwide protests over racial injustice in recent weeks are stirring a fight against a deep-rooted energy gap in U.S. households: People of color pay disproportionately high electricity bills. Nowhere is the divide perhaps more obvious than the South, where the housing stock is old, summer heat is intense, building codes are weak and 40% of residents qualify for low-income energy assistance. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Conservatives urge senate GOP to block renewable tax extenders

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:48:54

Extending the deadlines for wind and solar tax credits, as approved in House Democrats’ infrastructure bill, would cost at least $13 billion, a group of more than two dozen free market conservative groups say. [ read more … ]

GE plans to give offshore wind energy a supercomputing boost

By Justine Calma, The Verge  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:43:42

GE plans to harness the power of one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to propel offshore wind power development in the US. IBM’s Summit supercomputer at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow GE to simulate air currents in a way the company’s never been able to before. The research could influence the design, control, and operations of future wind turbines
[ read more … ]

Former BPU President Challenges NJ to Bring Affordable Wind Power to Customers Here

By TOM JOHNSON, NJ Spotlight  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:44:04

The state needs to plan how it will bring the power from offshore wind farms to the customers who will use it, but at affordable prices, according to a former president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Jeanne Fox urged her former agency this week to begin determining how its goal of providing 3 million New Jerseyans with wind power will fit into the regional power grid and whether it makes sense to pursue building an offshore wind transmission backbone system. [ read more … ]

Interior support could net $1.2B in revenue — report

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:47:02

The offshore wind industry could produce an extra $1.2 billion in Treasury revenues through 2021 and tens of thousands of new jobs in subsequent years, but Interior Department officials would need to “act quickly” to issue leases to developers, according to analysts at Wood Mackenzie. In a report this week sponsored by offshore wind advocates, the energy researcher estimated that 2 million acres of federal waters — all of which is already being vetted by Interior for development — could prove viable host sites for wind turbine projects. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Facebook Expanding Renewables Footprint With Big Solar, Wind Buy

By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:44:35

The social-media giant — already one of the world’s biggest corporate consumers of renewable energy — signed contracts to buy 806 megawatts of additional solar and wind power, the company said. The contracts support eight projects in Utah, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee and Ireland, and involve several different developers, including Brookfield Renewable Partners LP, D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments and Apex Clean Energy. [ read more … ]

Pandemic

Extreme heat fuels storms, fires and floods as virus rages

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:49:25

Far from slowing the transmission of the coronavirus, summer has coincided with an explosion of the disease. It comes as a string of disasters associated with unusually high temperatures threaten to propel the contagion. Ill-timed reopenings across the country have spurred a return to mass gatherings in bars, restaurants and gyms. Coupled with inconsistent mask mandates, a nationwide testing backlog and a lack of federal guidance on containing the virus, infections are surging across much of the nation. [ read more … ]

California

Utility giant sues Calif. over gas bans, climate plan

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:46:42

The nation’s largest gas utility is suing a California energy agency for considering how to phase out natural gas in buildings and other energy sectors, accusing it of violating a state law that promotes the fossil fuel. The lawsuit led by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) against the California Energy Commission (CEC), filed in state court, alleges that officials violated the law earlier this year when they issued a forecast of California’s energy needs for the next decade. That forecast found the state’s climate laws would require a long-term decline in the use of natural gas for power generation, paired with a push to electrify cars and buildings’ heating systems. [ read more … ]

Transmission

Maine court hears arguments about transmission line’s future

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:47:22

Maine’s highest court heard arguments yesterday that could be a taste of a long legal fight over the fate of a proposed hydropower transmission corridor. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments about the future of a citizens’ campaign to block the much-debated hydropower project. The arguments concerned the New England Clean Energy Connect, which calls for construction of a 145-mile high-voltage power line from Mount Beattie Township on the Canadian border to the regional power grid in Lewiston, Maine. [ read more … ]

Cuomo sees enhanced role for states

By Colin A Young, Sentinel & Enterprise  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:48:10

Baker was one of 18 governors who, as part of the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, urged the federal government in 2018 to take a serious look at stitching together the three main United States power grids to make the nation’s overall electric network more resilient, reliable and less vulnerable to cyber attack [ read more … ]

Markets

Exxon Says 20% of Oil, Gas Reserves Threatened by Low Prices

By Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:44:57

Exxon Mobil Corp. warned that low energy prices may wipe as much as one-fifth of its oil and natural gas reserves off the books. If depressed prices persist for the rest of the year, “certain quantities of crude oil, bitumen and natural gas will not qualify as proved reserves at year-end 2020,” the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. A 20% hit would impact the equivalent of almost 4.5 billion barrels of crude, or enough to supply every refinery on the U.S. Gulf Coast for 18 months. [ read more … ]

ComEd

ComEd scandal sparks revamp of clean energy plan

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:46:13

Casting a shadow over any debate on energy legislation will be Commonwealth Edison’s admission last month that it arranged jobs, contracts and payments to associates of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) in return for helping pass two energy bills over the past decade that provided the utility more than $150 million in benefits. The Chicago-based utility, which formally pleaded not guilty to bribery charges yesterday, signed a deferred prosecution agreement and will pay a $200 million fine to end the probe of its lobbying practices. The company has also agreed as part of the deal with prosecutors to cooperate as the federal corruption investigation continues [ read more … ]

FERC

McNamee announces FERC exit plans

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:45:16

Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Bernard McNamee announced yesterday he would step down from his position in September, a move that could hamstring the agency in an election year. “Since I announced at our January meeting that I would not be seeking another term, I have continued to work diligently and tirelessly on the important work of the Commission,” he said in a press release. “I will have more to say before I leave, but needless to say, I thank the Chairman, my fellow commissioners, my advisors and staff, the staff of the Commission, and all of the FERC community for their support and friendship.” [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Polls show Thom Tillis down in N.C. Is climate a factor?

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:47:41

While Tillis now concedes that climate change is real and that humans play a role, political experts said Tillis’ years of supporting climate denial could cost him critical votes in what’s expected to be another close election. A polling average compiled by RealClearPolitics found that Tillis was down 9.5 percentage points to Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham. Notably, some of the constituencies Tillis needs to win — such as suburban women and Latino voters — are groups highly motivated by climate concerns, observers said [ read more … ]

Kamala Harris goes big on environmental justice as Biden considers her as running mate

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-08-06 15:48:34

Days before Joe Biden makes a final decision on his running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris is making her case for the job by issuing a series of environmental justice bills. The California Democrat put out her second bill tackling the racial injustices of pollution in as many weeks as she is being considered by Biden to join the Democratic Party’s 2020 ticket. During the primary, Harris positioned herself to the left of Biden on climate change. But she and Biden want to tackle climate change and other environmental issues in a similar way — with a focus on racial injustice. [ read more … ]

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