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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 17, 2020

Top Story

A Bitter Wind at a Shaky Time, and Iowa Is Left Reeling

By Will Wright, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 16:02:16

“The short story is 2019 was the year from hell and we were glad when it was over,” said Jim Greif, a corn and soybean farmer in Prairieburg, about 60 miles north of Iowa City. “Now 2020, I don’t know what you’d call it, but it’s worse than last year.” Adding to the setbacks, Covid-19 pulled prices even further downward. “Farmers have basically been treading water financially for the past three to four years,” Prof. Hart said. “That was the mix that we were in coming into this disaster.” [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Utilities Cash In on Green Energy Subsidy for Bigger Wind Farms

By Katherine Blunt, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:44:23

PacifiCorp, a utility company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that serves customers in six Western states, is working this year to finish repowering its entire fleet of 13 wind farms, a $1.1 billion investment eligible for the federal tax credit. Since 2018, the company has been installing larger turbines and replacing faulty components that had led to higher maintenance costs. U.S. utilities and renewable energy developers have targeted 14 gigawatts of wind projects for refurbishment since 2016, representing nearly 15% of domestic production capacity, research-firm Wood Mackenzie estimated. Principal wind-energy consultant Aaron Barr said companies would look to repower an additional 17 gigawatts of wind capacity if the tax credits are extended, notably in places where power-grid congestion has made it difficult to build new projects. [ read more … ]

Renewable energy proves a sound investment for Nebraska

By Tim Gay, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:46:21

With abundant wind power potential, Nebraska has considerable room to grow to meet both corporate and residential energy needs. Wind currently produces 2,132 megawatts of power in Nebraska. That is enough clean energy to power nearly 700,000 homes, and output is now meeting nearly 20% of our state’s total electricity demand. Wind farm projects that will produce an additional 1,000 megawatts are under construction. Even with those impressive numbers, there remains room for growth. The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that Nebraska’s total theoretical wind generation capacity is nearly 100 times greater than our current output. [ read more … ]


Court backs $1B power line at center of CO2 battle

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:45:52

Maine’s Supreme Court ruled that a ballot initiative on revoking permits for a $1 billion power line in New England is unconstitutional, handing a victory to a contentious project at the center of the region’s climate goals. The New England Clean Energy Connect line would deliver Canadian hydropower to Maine and Massachusetts. Governors of both states have said it is an important tool for their decarbonization plans. [ read more … ]

Maine Supreme Court Says Ballot Initiative Aimed At Stopping CMP Project Is Unconstitutional

By Steve Mistler, Maine Public Radio  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:45:31

In a devastating blow to opponents of Central Maine Power’s controversial powerline proposal, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that a ballot initiative designed to scuttle the $1 billion project is unconstitutional. The ruling all but ensures that the referendum will not appear on the November ballot, leaving the project’s many detractors to continue the fight on the permitting and legislative front. [ read more … ]

Policy & Politics

Big Oil to greens: ‘You need a present threat’

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:47:16

Industry and environmental attorneys fought in court yesterday over whether climate change is an imminent threat to a Rhode Island oil and gas storage terminal. Rising tides and strengthening storms induced by global warming are too far off in the future to serve as a basis for a lawsuit over the Royal Dutch Shell PLC facility located in the Port of Providence, lawyers for the company argued before the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Judge William Smith asked Shell’s attorneys whether its argument would still stand even if major storms or flooding can be predicted “to a certain statistical probability.” [ read more … ]

64 mayors press Congress for clean energy aid

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:47:35

A coalition of 64 U.S. mayors has written Congress urging lawmakers to keep clean energy tax incentives at the top of economic recovery strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If the future of energy lies in green technology, I think we need to be doing everything we can to catalyze that process,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in a statement released by Environment America, an advocacy group that circulated the letter. Suarez cited surveys showing broad public support for continued clean energy tax incentives. “Our members of Congress were elected to represent our interests, it’s as simple as that,” he added. [ read more … ]

Trump’s methane rule rollback fractures oil industry

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-16 15:46:57

The Trump administration revoked Obama-era regulations targeting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, a long-awaited move that exposed rifts among oil producers decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the rollbacks at an event in Pittsburgh, putting forward two final rules that remove direct federal methane restrictions for the industry and loosen monitoring and repair regulations aimed at preventing leaks of the potent greenhouse gas. [ read more … ]


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