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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 13, 2020

Top Story

Mnuchin’s latest overture to Pelosi goes nowhere and relief talks quickly derail again

By Erica Werner and Jeff Stein, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:11:30

The Senate has nominally been in session this week, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delayed a planned August recess in hopes of voting on a coronavirus relief bill. But there are few senators in the Capitol, and no negotiations or votes have been taking place. The House is out of session. Wednesday’s call between Pelosi and Mnuchin was the first real contact between the two sides since Friday but did not appear to move things forward. Instead, the Senate appears likely to recess on Thursday for the remainder of the month. And it looks increasingly possible that there will be no new deal on coronavirus legislation until sometime in September, when an Oct. 1 government shutdown deadline will force legislative action of some kind. [ read more … ]

Wind & Solar Energy

Report: Big businesses hit brakes on wind, solar electricity

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:13:28

Corporate purchases of renewable power fell in the United States during the first half of the year due to pandemic fallout and slumping interest from technology giants, according to a new analysis. Clean energy researchers at Bloomberg New Energy Finance counted 4.3 gigawatts’ worth of corporate contracts for wind and solar electricity so far in 2020, they said in an outlook released yesterday, compared with 6 GW as of this time last year. [ read more … ]

Asia offshore wind market still spinning despite virus

By Nathanial Gronewold, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:13:38

Key Asian markets are moving rapidly to build offshore wind power despite the global economic downturn. In Vietnam, a developer is preparing to install the foundations for what will become the nation’s first offshore wind turbines. Taiwan’s government is preparing a new round of offshore lease sales for wind power. And Japanese authorities are designating special offshore wind development zones and inviting industry players to submit their plans. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

White House sought to further weaken EPA methane rule

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:16:36

The White House appears to have lost its bid to make an upcoming rule for oil and gas emissions less protective than EPA proposed. The EPA rule proposed for monitoring and repairing natural gas leaks, which is set to be final tomorrow alongside another rule that replaces Obama-era regulations for petroleum methane, was already weaker than the 2016 safeguards it replaces. Then the White House stepped in with its own request: Reduce the burden for oil and gas companies by requiring fewer inspections for leaks. [ read more … ]

Trump official says coal isn’t dead, it’s just waiting to become ceramics, roof tiles, and iPhones

By Naveena Sadasivamon, Grist  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:16:53

Coal is on its way out when it comes to electricity generation. But at least one Trump administration official has some creative ideas for how to keep it in our lives. According to Steven Winberg, the assistant secretary of fossil energy at the Department of Energy, coal could be used to manufacture ceramic tiles and backyard decks. Precious metals extracted from toxic coal ash could be used to make iPhones and other gadgets. At the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) last month, Winberg touted this “wide range of products” as the future of coal in a presentation. [ read more … ]


Coal Giant Murray Energy Had Affiliation with Individuals Connected to Ohio Coal and Nuclear Bailout Legislation Bribery Scheme

By JAMIE COREY, Documented  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:15:00

A newly surfaced document reveals an affiliation between coal giant Murray Energy and two individuals connected in a $60 million bribery and racketeering scheme. Documented is the first to report Murray Energy’s previous relationship with individuals connected in the case. Jeffrey Longstreth, a longtime political aide to former Ohio State House Speaker Larry Householder, and Kentucky attorney Eric Lycan, who are both connected to the scandal, attended a 2015 conference of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) as guests of Murray Energy. Their names were included on an attendee list prepared by RGA in advance of the conference. Documented obtained the list from a state public records request. [ read more … ]


How Lucid’s New Electric Car Stacks Up Against Tesla and Porsche

By Edward Ludlow, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:14:33

In a world full of electric vehicle buzz and startup hype, range anxiety remains a key reason why consumers hesitate to make the switch.  For those holdouts, Lucid Motors has just laid a serious hand on the table Tuesday, announcing a battery that can produce 517 miles on a single charge. That’s enough juice to get you, theoretically, from New York to Cleveland, Ohio, or from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Kamala Harris brings record on climate change and environmental justice to Biden ticket

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:13:50

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris to be his running mate, elevating the senator from California who has made climate change a political priority and who will be able to trumpet her state’s role in tackling global warming on the national stage. Harris, who is in her first term, has used her time in Washington to call for reducing pollution in poor and minority communities that often bear the burden of environmental degradation — and to urge that those responsible be held accountable in court [ read more … ]

What choosing Harris says about Biden and climate

By Adam Aton and Scott Waldman, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:14:06

In the Senate, Harris was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution. She swore off fossil fuel donations and recently introduced environmental justice legislation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). And as California attorney general, she secured some $50 million in settlements from oil companies, defended the Golden State’s climate laws in court and sued the federal government to stop offshore hydraulic fracturing. But Harris has had little chance to leave a lasting impact on U.S. climate policy — a tall order for any junior senator in the chamber’s minority party. Biden, meanwhile, has a legacy that includes implementation of clean energy financing under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a role in tightening vehicle emissions standards, and international diplomacy related to the Paris climate agreement. [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Beer unsold during Australia’s coronavirus lockdown has been turned into renewable energy

By Nectar Gan, CNN  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:15:50

When Australia’s coronavirus lockdown forced bars and restaurants to shut down in March, breweries were left with huge inventories of unsold, stale beer. But instead of going to waste, some expired ales and lagers in the state of South Australia have been serving a new purpose: powering a water treatment plant. At the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant to the west of the state capital Adelaide, millions of liters of unused beer from local breweries have been converted into renewable energy to power its water treatment process in recent months. [ read more … ]

How a 30-Ton Robot Could Help Crops Withstand Climate Change

By JACOB BUNGE, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-08-12 15:15:32

The effort—part of a five-year, roughly $26 million project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—is aimed at helping plant breeders identify characteristics and genetic markers pointing to the most efficient and resilient crop varieties. Researchers are seeking to develop crops that can produce biofuels, reducing reliance on fossil fuels. It could also help identify food crops that can thrive in drier, hotter conditions as climates change. “There are opportunities here to figure out the things that are most important, things we didn’t know before, or different combinations of features,” says Abby Stylianou, assistant professor of computer science at St. Louis University, who is developing machine-learning models for the project. “Maybe it’s wide and hot leaves that correspond to some particular output you care about.” [ read more … ]



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