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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 11, 2020

Top Story

Bipartisan Senate plan would slash use of hydrofluorocarbons, a powerful greenhouse gas

By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-09-11 04:08:49

In a rare show of defiance of the Trump administration, key Senate Republicans joined Democrats on Thursday in agreeing to phase outchemicals widely used in air conditioners and refrigeration that are warming the planet. Despite the Trump administration’s refusal to join a global agreement to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, which are among the world’s most potent drivers of climate change, a push by U.S. firms and environmentalists appears to have swayed lawmakers. [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

A Climate Reckoning in Fire-Stricken California

By Thomas Fuller and Christopher Flavelle, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-09-11 04:09:13

If climate change was a somewhat abstract notion a decade ago, today it is all too real for Californians. The intensely hot wildfires are not only chasing thousands of people from their homes but causing dangerous chemicals to leach into drinking water. Excessive heat warnings and suffocating smoky air have threatened the health of people already struggling during the pandemic. And the threat of more wildfires has led insurance companies to cancel homeowner policies and the state’s main utility to shut off power to tens of thousands of people pre-emptively. “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said last month. [ read more … ]

Utilities cut power as wind-whipped blazes sweep the West

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:13:43

An Oregon utility this week for the first time ever shut off electricity to some of its customers to prevent wildfires, as blazes burn up and down the West Coast. Portland General Electric in Oregon starting Monday evening disconnected lines serving about 5,000 households, said utility spokesman Steve Corson. Those customers live near Mount Hood, about 100 miles east of Portland. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Supercommittee failure portends yearlong limbo for energy, environment programs

Elana Schor  •  E&E  •  Posted 2011-11-29 13:14:35

After four months of pressure campaigns and prognostication, the failure of the so-called congressional “supercommittee” to agree on $1.2 trillion in long-term spending cuts leaves energy and environmental programs in much the same position that they were after the August debt-limit deal: an uneasy limbo. [ read more … ]

California offshore wind energy show promise as power source

By REVE  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:12:31

As California aims to provide 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2045, a study from California Polytechnic State University provides some good news. Offshore winds along the Central Coast increase at the same time that people start using more energy — in the evening. One of the challenges of moving toward fully renewable energy is matching production to demand. Though the state has high existing solar energy capacity and the potential for even more, the supply of solar power peaks in the middle of the day and ends when the sun goes down. Consumer demand, on the other hand, peaks in the evening when people return from work around or after sunset. [ read more … ]

N.J. goes big in latest bid for developers

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:14:34

New Jersey’s utility regulator is seeking new bids for offshore wind as the state looks to make headway in its ambitious goals for the resource. The state’s Board of Public Utilities said yesterday that it was opening applications from developers to build turbines and generate up to 2,400 megawatts of power from offshore areas. It will announce the winner or winners in June of next year. [ read more … ]

Offshore Wind in NJ Gets Boost, But Lawmakers Demand a Halt to One Project

By TOM JOHNSON, NJ Spotlight  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:14:50

The state opened its second solicitation to build more offshore wind farms along the Jersey coast on Wednesday, one of a series of steps it has taken to bolster its goal of becoming a hub for a new industry emerging along the Eastern Seaboard. Late in the day, however, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assemblyman John Burzichelli and Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro, all Democrats who represent the 3rd Legislative District, issued a letter calling on the BPU to halt the one and only offshore wind project approved by the state — the Ocean Wind project by Ørsted, 15 miles off Atlantic City. [ read more … ]


Federal Report Warns of Financial Havoc From Climate Change

By Coral Davenport and Jeanna Smialek, New York Times  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:13:12

In calling for climate-driven policy changes, the report’s authors likened the financial risk of global warming to the threat posed by the coronavirus today and by mortgage-backed securities that precipitated the financial crash in 2008. One crucial difference, they said, is that in the case of climate change, financial volatility and loss are likely to be spread out over time, as they hit different regions and markets. Insurance companies could withdraw from California in the wake of devastating wildfires, and home values could plummet on coastlines and in floodplains. In the Midwest, banks could limit loans during or after extended droughts that drastically lower crop yields. All of those problems will be exacerbated by climate change, but they are unlikely to hit all at once. [ read more … ]

Brits Ready to Hand Government More Power on Climate Change

By Jess Shankleman and Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:13:27

The British public wants government to play a bigger role in tackling climate change, including bringing forward a ban on diesel and gasoline cars and taxing frequent fliers. That’s the conclusion of a six-month citizens’ assembly convened by the U.K. Parliament, which announced its findings Thursday. More than 100 people from a cross section of society took part in the consultation on how to meet the goal of net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.
[ read more … ]


FERC chairman defends record on clean energy

By Arianna Skibell and David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporters  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:15:10

Republican Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee defended his agency’s track record on renewable energy yesterday and suggested he may move to boost distributed resources like rooftop solar. “I’m proud of what the commission has done under my tenure to remove barriers to entry for new technologies, to create a regulatory ecosystem that allows innovative clean energy technologies to thrive,” Chatterjee said yesterday during the American Council on Renewable Energy’s virtual finance summit. [ read more … ]


State watchdog seeks probe of utility tied to bribery scheme

By Mark Gillispie, Associated Press  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:11:53

Ohio’s consumer watchdog has asked a regulatory agency to conduct an independent investigation of the state’s largest electric utility, FirstEnergy Corp., that federal authorities have tied to a $60 million bribery scheme involving one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians. The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel in a motion filed late Tuesday with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has asked that outside investigators examine whether money collected from consumers “was improperly used for any activities in connection with HB6 instead of for electric utility service.”
[ read more … ]


General Motors claims battery breakthrough

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:11:10

General Motors Co. said yesterday that it will pioneer a new wireless standard to make the batteries of its future electric vehicles more flexible and compact. The news is the latest in a barrage of moves that are clarifying how GM intends to make good on its plans to electrify its vehicles and complete with market leader Tesla Inc. GM’s announcement relates to the battery management system (BMS), which oversees the health of battery cells and how they are discharged and recharged. [ read more … ]

In a Bummer Year for Auto Sales, EVs Are Outperforming

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:12:46

Europe’s sales “exceeded our expectations,” say my colleagues at BloombergNEF. More importantly, “the combination of new stimulus programs, new model launches, and automakers pushing to hit their carbon dioxide emissions targets should keep the market growing.” The electric vehicle market will probably grow year-on-year in 2020. That’s quite a different expectation than we had four months ago, when BNEF published its Long-Term Electric Vehicle Outlook projecting an 18% year-on-year decline in electric vehicle sales. With the global auto market post-peak and EV sales still growing, it stands to reason that EVs will become that much more important to the auto industry’s future growth as their market share increases. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

The Energy 202: Top green group aims record $100 million at defeating Trump and Republicans

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:14:05

To defeat President Trump, a big-spending green group is planning to drop more money than ever on the 2020 election. A super PAC affiliated with the League of Conservation Voters and related groups is aiming to spend more than $100 million to elect Joe Biden and other Democrats in November, breaking the Washington-based organization’s previous record of $85 million in 2018.
[ read more … ]

Climate heresy in Wis. as Democrats call for ‘clean coal’

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •  E&E  •  Posted 2020-09-10 15:11:30

A union leader on Joe Biden’s transition team yesterday pitched the Democratic presidential nominee’s climate plan as an “all of the above” energy strategy, while an additional union official used the same campaign event to tout “clean coal.” The fossil fuel-friendly language at a virtual Wisconsin roundtable — which Biden did not attend — is the latest sign that Democrats remain divided over how to reduce carbon emissions if they win power, even as they have united over the short-term goal of defeating President Trump. [ read more … ]


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