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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 14, 2020

Top Story

Earth hasn’t warmed this fast in tens of millions of years

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:56:40

Scientists just completed one of the most comprehensive investigations of Earth’s climate history — and the findings aren’t favorable. They found that the planet could eventually warm to levels it hasn’t reached in at least 34 million years. [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

How record-smashing heat invited infernos to the West

By Thomas Frank, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:55:09

Two weeks ago, the Pine Gulch Fire became the largest wildfire in Colorado history when it grew to an area nearly the size of Chicago. The 139,000-acre blaze, ignited July 31, was fueled by another record: The area where the fire occurred experienced its hottest August in at least 126 years. Nearly three-quarters of the counties in six Western states broke monthly temperature records for August, NOAA records show. The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah, which make up NOAA’s West and Southwest climate regions.
[ read more … ]

California Utilities Hope Drones, AI Will Lower Risk of Future Wildfires

By John McCormick, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:59:34

As California copes with one of its worst wildfire seasons on record, PG&E Corp. and other major utility companies are investigating how artificial intelligence might reduce the risk of future conflagrations. Current fires have spurred evacuation orders in California, Oregon and Washington and darkened skies in the San Francisco area. In California, fires have burned over 3 million acres and claimed at least 11 lives. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

BP makes $1.1B bet on offshore wind projects

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:58:12

BP PLC’s $1.1 billion investment in offshore wind yesterday is another example of the oil industry’s expanding interest in big electricity projects. The European major, one of the last remaining “seven sisters” oil companies that shaped the fossil fuel sector, has committed to a green pivot unparalleled by other fossil fuel megaproducers. BP would offset or eliminate total emissions by 2050, slash its oil and gas holdings, and ratchet up its renewable capacity in relatively short order [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar power plunges as smoke shrouds Calif.

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:57:50

Smoke from California’s monstrous wildfires has turned the color of the skies into a doomsday reddish-brown — and slashed the output of the state’s array of solar power installations, by far the largest in the nation. Shortly after noon yesterday, statewide solar generation recorded by the California Independent System Operator was almost one-third below the levels reported on many days in the summer, before the outbreaks of fires last month. [ read more … ]


New Jersey spending $6M for wind and other clean energy projects

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:52:02

New Jersey is spending almost $6 million to train workers for jobs in the wind energy industry and to support young companies that deal in clean energy. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the state Board of Public Utilities said Wednesday they have approved two funding agreements. [ read more … ]

Delaware launches latest climate lawsuit against Big Oil

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:56:22

A new lawsuit filed by Delaware is the third challenge this month by U.S. cities and states looking to force industry to pay up for damage caused by climate change.
State Attorney General Kathy Jennings (D) last week took 31 fossil fuel firms to Delaware Superior Court, raising claims that the companies violated state negligence, nuisance and consumer protection laws.
[ read more … ]

Bill would require Vermont to meet greenhouse emissions targets

By Lisa Rathke, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:57:18

The Vermont House on Wednesday passed minor Senate changes to a bill that would require Vermont to meet certain greenhouse gas emissions targets in the coming years and allow for the state to be sued if it doesn’t. The measure, given final approval Tuesday, now goes to Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who said he has issues with parts of the global warming solutions act. [ read more … ]

Pennsylvania governor to protect climate change strategy with veto

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:56:57

Gov. Tom Wolf will veto legislation to prevent his administration from imposing controls on emissions of a key greenhouse gas without Pennsylvania lawmakers’ permission, Wolf’s office reiterated Wednesday, a move that comes as the Democrat works to advance an agenda to fight climate change. The bill, backed by blue-collar labor unions, the coal industry and heavy manufacturers, is aimed at the centerpiece of Wolf’s effort, joining a multistate consortium that sets a price and declining caps on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. [ read more … ]


House to probe US lag on leveraging clean energy for COVID-19 recovery, consider bipartisan energy bill

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:58:45

While the U.S. has yet to include green infrastructure and clean energy in any of its COVID-19 recovery packages, countries across Europe and elsewhere were comparatively quick to tie climate policy into their economic recovery plans. “What’s interesting about the EU situation is they already had a plan,” said Jennifer Huang, senior international fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
[ read more … ]

Virus lockdowns won’t fix CO2 problem after all

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:55:54

“Build back better” is a defining slogan of 2020. But it appears to be little more than a bumper sticker when it comes to addressing climate change. The coronavirus pandemic has battered the global economy and sparked what is expected to be a record drop in global greenhouse gas emissions. But evidence suggests the world is failing to lock in long-term emission reductions and missing an opportunity to stem the worst effects of rising temperatures. [ read more … ]


Obama energy secretary on blackouts and campaign scrutiny

By Amy Harder, Axios  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:54:23

“The issues that led to the recent rolling blackout problems were quite apparent. The message there is not ‘don’t do solar.’ It’s about addressing the system in a way that maintains reliability and manages the risk at all times. Unfortunately that is not the current ground truth. … I’m not saying that solar caused the problem, but the reality is, of course, California is way out in front in solar deployment and clearly there is nothing like the storage capacity to move that resource from the afternoon into the evening, so that’s a fact. … You really got to have the system integration and the risk management approaches coming together to make sure you don’t have reliability problems.” [ read more … ]


Oil Traders Snap Up Tankers in Sign Second-Wave Glut Is Near

By Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:59:10

Some of the world’s biggest oil traders are getting ready for the possible resurgence of a coronavirus-induced glut of crude and fuels, snapping up giant tankers for months-long charters so that they can be ready to store excess barrels if necessary. The chartering spree is likely to alarm Saudi Arabia, Russia and their allies as it indicates that the oil traders believe the crude market is moving into a surplus after OPEC+ managed to create a deficit earlier this summer with its output cuts. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Democrats unveil green alternative for U.S. economic stimulus

By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:59:56

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday unveiled a U.S. economic recovery agenda that would bolster union jobs while tackling climate change and racial injustice – a wide ranging alternative to Republican proposals for stimulating the coronavirus-battered economy. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Representative Deb Haaland introduced the resolution called THRIVE (Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy), which so far has 83 congressional co-sponsors, including Senator Ed Markey and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, co-authors of the Green New Deal.
[ read more … ]

As West burns, green groups want climate change to be central to presidential debates

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:54:41

A growing group of environmentally minded lawmakers and activists are calling on moderators to ask something — anything — about climate change during the presidential debates. The steady rise in global temperatures was almost entirely ignored during the televised debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton four years ago — and they do not want a repeat of that situation in 2020.  [ read more … ]

Will wildfires make the election a climate race?

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-13 14:55:27

Eerie orange light engulfed the Golden Gate Bridge and other California landmarks as smoke from myriad fires blocked the sun in San Francisco. The apocalyptic scenes raised for some the importance of addressing climate change as broad stretches of the West Coast burn uncontrollably weeks before a presidential election promises to shape the nation’s environmental policies. “The fires across the West Coast are just the latest examples of the very real ways our changing climate is changing our communities,” former President Obama tweeted. Protecting our planet is on the ballot. Vote like your life depends on it — because it does.” [ read more … ]

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