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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 31, 2020

Top Story

One of the Brains Behind Tesla May Have a New Way to Make Electric Cars Cheaper

By Tim Higgins, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 14:37:19

To JB Straubel, one of the brains behind Tesla Inc., that refuse holds the key to driving the electric car revolution forward—and making the vehicles affordable enough for everyone to own one. Mr. Straubel, Tesla’s longtime chief technology officer, pioneered the lithium-ion battery powertrain design that helped propel the Silicon Valley company to what is now the highest valuation in the car industry. Since leaving Tesla about a year ago, he has been trying to solve a problem created by that success: Where to find all the nickel, cobalt and lithium needed to make the batteries that power Tesla’s cars and their growing list of rivals. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Fishing Report: Eclectic group gets behind wind farms

By Dave Monti, Providence Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:30:57

The expectation of many recreational anglers is that additional wind farms and turbines will have a positive cumulative impact on fish, just like the Block Island Wind Farm and as recent studies of European wind farms have shown. See the March 2019 issue of Fisheries Science & Aquaculture magazine titled, “Meta-analysis of fish abundance at offshore wind farms.” The study concluded that wind farms have had a positive impact on the abundance of finfish within their boundaries compared to control areas outside. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar project with $1.3 million battery is a big step forward for Nebraska

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World Herald  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:27:44

The state’s largest community solar farm will be built next year in Norfolk, and it will be the second such facility to generate electricity below the rate the partner cities are paying Nebraska Public Power District for conventional electricity. Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning said the wholesale price of electricity from the solar farm is expected to be 25% to 30% less than the wholesale price NPPD charges Norfolk. [ read more … ]

Solar device turns CO2 into fuel without electricity

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:29:47

Researchers have developed a device powered entirely by sunlight that produces a useable clean energy source that could have implications for hydrogen production. Scientists at the University of Cambridge created a “photocatalyst sheet” that converts carbon dioxide and water into formic acid, a colorless chemical that can be used as a carbon-free fuel to power cars, heat homes or for other uses, said Qian Wang, a postdoctoral student in chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Formic acid could also be converted to hydrogen gas for different energy applications, Wang said. [ read more … ]


Californians fleeing wildfires are talking about climate change like never before

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:30:35

I’m guessing your news feed, like mine, has offered an endless stream of doomsday images and headlines: More than 1.4 million acres burned, at least seven dead and 136,000 people ordered to evacuate, even as weather conditions began to improve. More than 1,600 structures destroyed, mostly by the second- and third-largest fires in state history. Nearly 14,000 lightning strikes. [ read more … ]

Illinois governor’s energy plan shakes up debate over nuclear and renewables

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:28:22

Pritzker’s Aug. 20 announcement came in the wake of revelations about alleged widespread bribery and corruption by utility ComEd, and the first point of Pritzker’s eight-point plan demands ethics reform and strengthening utility company transparency.  The governor’s plan would likely take a proposal for a state-run capacity market off the table. That concept, part of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and backed by both the Clean Jobs Coalition and ComEd’s parent company Exelon, would prioritize  zero emissions sources in capacity, essentially creating new subsidies for nuclear plants while limiting payments to fossil fuel plants. Theoretically renewables could also benefit from capacity payments, but renewable company leaders said the proposal as drafted would not help them.  [ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Minn. AG: Climate case is a state matter

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:31:52

Minnesota’s top attorney told a judge last week that his climate lawsuit against Big Oil exclusively raises issues of state law and should be tossed from federal court. Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) filed a motion to move his climate lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp., Koch Industries Inc. and the American Petroleum Institute back to Minnesota’s Ramsey County District Court where the case was originally filed. The consumer protection suit claims that the companies and industry group misled Minnesota residents about the role fossil fuels play in exacerbating global warming and should have to pay to correct the damage. [ read more … ]


New hearing set for ex-Ohio House speaker in bribery scheme

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:30:06

A federal judge on Wednesday set a new hearing date for the former speaker of the Ohio House to answer a charge related to an alleged $60 million bribery scheme. Republican Rep. Larry Householder and four others are accused of shepherding $60 million in energy company money for personal and political use, in exchange for passing a legislative bailout of two nuclear power plants and then derailing an attempt to place a rejection of the bailout on the ballot.
[ read more … ]

FirstEnergy had big stake in tainted nuclear plant bailout

By MARK GILLISPIE and JOHN SEEWER, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:31:22

FirstEnergy Corp. was once blamed for its part in triggering North America’s largest blackout nearly 20 years ago. Now, the multistate power company is again facing intense scrutiny — this time for its role in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme that has ensnared one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians. While FirstEnergy and its executives have denied wrongdoing and have not been criminally charged, federal investigators say the company secretly funneled millions to secure a $1 billion legislative bailout for two unprofitable Ohio nuclear plants then operated by an independently controlled subsidiary called FirstEnergy Solutions.
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Calif. OKs largest-ever utility charging investment

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:29:32

A Los Angeles utility will add 38,000 electric vehicle charging stations, the nation’s largest-ever expansion by one utility, California regulators said yesterday. The California Public Utilities Commission approved the $437 million plan by Southern California Edison Co. (SCE). It’s part of the Golden State’s goal to get 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2030.
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Campaign 2020

Trump’s 2nd term energy plan? ‘Continue what we’re doing’

By Lesley Clark and Heather Richards, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:28:39

So what’s Trump’s second-term energy agenda? Fossil fuels remain a big deal for the president, who lambasted Democratic nominee Joe Biden at the Republican National Convention on Monday night for his plan to ban hydraulic fracturing on federal land. But the White House has offered few details on the president’s overall energy game plans. “I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing,” Trump told The New York Times in a story published yesterday. “We’d solidify what we’ve done and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done.” [ read more … ]

Trump: Biden’s ‘radical left’ climate plan imperils economy

By Lesley Clark and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:29:06

President Trump assailed Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s plan to tackle climate change as a threat to millions of jobs and oil-producing states as he officially accepted the Republican nomination for president last night. Trump, who took the unprecedented step of addressing the Republican National Convention from the south lawn at the White House, cast Biden’s $2 trillion plan that embraces green energy as one plank of a “radical left” agenda that would lead to open borders, rising taxes, fealty to China and rising unrest in the streets. [ read more … ]

Trump ignored climate. 5 things are happening anyway

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-08-30 04:32:13

In four days of speeches lasting more than eight hours at the Republican National Convention, climate change was never mentioned as a threat to the country. That silence stands apart from the climate alarm bells that have been sounding since Donald Trump accepted his first nomination for president four years ago. Thousands of Americans have been killed in natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires during Trump’s first term in office. Each of those four years has been among the world’s hottest on record. Leaders of other nations have taken action as the United States ignores the issue.
[ read more … ]

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