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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 17, 2020

Top Story

4 things to watch during the Democratic convention

By Lesley Clark, Edward Klump and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:56:53

Democrats will gather virtually this week as their party convenes to officially nominate former Vice President Joe Biden as its standard-bearer, with a range of energy issues expected to surface. As Democrats prepare to put on a united front to try to oust President Trump, who has rolled back environmental protections, they’ve downplayed some party divisions over issues including hydraulic fracturing and how best to realize a carbon-free power sector by 2035. Environmentalists expect climate and clean energy to play a key role at the convention today through Thursday, though some advocates would like Democrats to go further. [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

Death Valley soars to 130 degrees, potentially Earth’s highest temperature since at least 1931

By Jason Samenow, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:56:00

In the midst of a historic heat wave in the West, the mercury in Death Valley, Calif., surged to a searing 130 degrees on Sunday afternoon, possibly setting a world record for the highest temperature ever observed during the month of August. If the temperature is valid, it would also rank among the top-three highest temperatures ever measured on the planet at any time and may, in fact, be the highest. [ read more … ]

First Fires, Now Heat: Millions of Californians Back in the Dark

By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:56:18

First, it was the prospect of wildfires that took down large swaths of California’s power grid. Now, it’s the worst heat wave in 70 years. Climate change is contributing to increasingly extreme weather in California. Less than a year ago, millions of people were plunged into darkness in an effort to keep power lines from sparking catastrophic wildfires. This time, dangerously high temperatures are taxing the system, bringing about the state’s first rolling blackouts since the 2001 energy crisis. [ read more … ]


Oil Companies Wonder If It’s Worth Looking for Oil Anymore

By Laura Hurst, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:58:48

A few dots near the bottom corner of the world map in the southern Atlantic, the Falkland Islands were once at the forefront of a new era for the oil industry as companies scoured the planet for resources. Yet a decade after the discovery of as much as 1.7 billion barrels of crude in surrounding waters, the British overseas territory known for sheep rearing and tension with Argentina looks as remote as ever. Rather than the next frontier, the project to extract energy risks being added to a list of what companies call “stranded assets” that could cost them huge sums to mothball. [ read more … ]

Europe’s Big Oil Companies Are Turning Electric

By Stanley Reed, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:59:01

This may turn out to be the year that oil giants, especially in Europe, started looking more like electric companies. Late last month, Royal Dutch Shell won a deal to build a vast wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. Earlier in the year, France’s Total, which owns a battery maker, agreed to make several large investments in solar power in Spain and a wind farm off Scotland. Total also bought an electric and natural gas utility in Spain and is joining Shell and BP in expanding its electric vehicle charging business. [ read more … ]


Oil giants are backing fusion: A CO2 turning point?

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:57:13

Chevron Corp. last week made the first investment in nuclear fusion by a U.S. oil and gas company, targeting a technology that theoretically could power the world with carbon-free energy but has struggled from high costs and technical challenges. The Houston-based company said it took part in an initial round of investments in Zap Energy, a Seattle-based startup that is seeking to develop a “next-generation” type of nuclear reactor at lower cost than other fusion concepts. The company received funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at the Department of Energy. [ read more … ]

Car Efficiency Rules

State policy outpaces feds on car emissions cuts — analysis

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:58:25

The five automakers — Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Volkswagen AG, BMW of North America LLC and Volvo — agreed to follow more stringent tailpipe emissions standards than those proposed by the Trump administration in its Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule. The five automakers — Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Volkswagen AG, BMW of North America LLC and Volvo — agreed to follow more stringent tailpipe emissions standards than those proposed by the Trump administration in its Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule. [ read more … ]

Methane Rule

Will Trump’s methane rule rollback survive in court?

By Niina H. Farah and Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:57:38

EPA’s rationale for its decision to stop directly regulating potent heat-trapping emissions from the oil and gas sector may contain fatal flaws that could cause the agency’s new standards to stumble in court, legal experts say. The Trump administration last week finalized a pair of regulations aimed at rolling back the Obama administration’s 2016 New Source Performance Standards controlling methane emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas industry. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Can Biden’s alliance with greens outlast the convention?

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-17 14:57:52

This week’s Democratic National Convention will test a months-old cease-fire between climate activists and the party establishment. Their detente is staked on a common enemy, President Trump. Both sides say they recognize a mutual need to turn out Democratic voters. And a unity campaign by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has fostered working-level relationships between activists and insiders. But some activists are already planning for hostilities to resume after the election. And they say Biden — if elected — has a lot of work to do if he wants their support in the future. But for now, the truce appears to be holding. [ read more … ]


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