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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 21, 2020

Top Story

Ginsburg death leaves ‘no environmental voice’ on bench

By Pamela King and Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 15:58:18

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could shake the foundation of America’s bedrock environmental laws, leaving a chasm on the bench where once sat an environmental champion. Ginsburg, who died Friday, was the Supreme Court’s longest-serving liberal justice and was best known for her advocacy on women’s rights. But she also played a critical role in opening courtroom doors to green groups and established broad interpretations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other laws. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Big potential, but challenges to overcome: A look at offshore wind in the U.S.

By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:36:23

Stretching for thousands of miles, the east coast of the United States is home to major cities, stunning beaches and millions of people. Soon, though, it could also host several major offshore wind farms, a development that would have a significant effect on America’s energy mix. At the moment, the offshore wind sector in the U.S. is small. The country’s first offshore wind farm, the 30 megawatt, five turbine Block Island Wind Farm, only started commercial operations at the end of 2016. [ read more … ]


Google made clean energy cool for corporations, and it’s about to do the same for batteries

By Michael J. Coren, Quartz  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:40:49

By 2030, Google plans to precisely match every electron of electricity flowing into its offices and data centers with one produced from a renewable source. If someone clicks on a search at 3 AM, Google will find the electricity to power that query from a battery, wind turbine, solar panel, hydroelectric dam, or some other carbon-free technology at that precise moment. That goal would make Google the first major company to run its entire business on carbon-free energy around the clock. If the history of renewable energy is any guide, this could have an industry-shifting impact on the market for energy storage and batteries. [ read more … ]


Vermont House Votes to Override Scott’s Veto of Climate Bill

By Kevin McCallum, Seven Days  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:38:38

After hearing impassioned testimony from its members, the Vermont House voted Thursday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act. The final tally was 103-47, surpassing the 100 votes needed for a veto override in the House. The Senate is virtually assured to do the same in the coming days, meaning the bill, H.688, will soon become the law of the land. “A vision without a plan is a hallucination,” Rep. Tim Briglin (D-Thetford), a bill sponsor and chair of the House Energy and Technology Committee, said after the vote. “H.688 moves us from aspiration to accountability.” [ read more … ]


5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize

By Julian Spector, Green Tech Media  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:39:27

Electric utilities all over the place are promising to eliminate or net out their carbon emissions — here’s GTM’s look at the top five. Such promises were unthinkable for utilities just a few years ago. But the trend took off when Xcel Energy figured out it could retire coal plants, build clean power plants, and make more profits while keeping electricity costs down. The combination of positive public perception, a bigger rate-base and greater appeal to sustainability-minded investors turned the carbon-free commitments into the rule, not the exception, for the utility sector. [ read more … ]


‘Game-changer’: FERC order opens door for renewables

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:36:39

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday voted 2-1 to remove market barriers for rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources in a long-awaited move that could boost technologies including electric vehicles to “smart” appliances. Republican Chairman Neil Chatterjee and lone Democrat Richard Glick championed the draft market rule, called Order No. 2222, lauding it as fueling the transition to a clean energy economy. Republican Commissioner James Danly, the only other sitting appointee, voted against the measure in a rare show of dissent with Chatterjee.
[ read more … ]

FERC wades into battle over China-made grid equipment

By Christian Vasquez, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:37:39

Top U.S. energy regulators want to know just how dangerous Chinese-manufactured equipment is to the power grid. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a notice of inquiry yesterday aimed at gathering information on use of equipment and services by foreign companies deemed a national security risk.
[ read more … ]


Ohio axes ‘poison pill’ for Lake Erie project

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:37:00

The prospects for the nation’s first freshwater offshore wind farm got a lift yesterday after Ohio regulators struck down a permitting requirement that might have slammed the brakes on development. The Ohio Power Siting Board approved the 20.7-megawatt Icebreaker wind farm in Lake Erie on May 21. But the board required turbines be “feathered,” or idled, at nighttime for eight months of the year to protect birds and bats — terms that made the project economically unviable, according to the developer, Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. [ read more … ]


Ford to build truck plant in Mich., add 300 jobs

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:36:00

Ford says it will add 300 jobs at a new factory that’s being built to assemble batteries and manufacture an electric version of the F-150 pickup truck. The new plant is being built in Dearborn, Mich., where Ford is starting to produce a new version of the F-150 that’s due in showrooms this November.
[ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Trump, Biden clash on fracking as DOE touts natural gas

By Lesley Clark and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:37:22

Trump White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow used a Department of Energy summit yesterday to lambaste what he called the “other team” for “bizarre plans” he said would do “great harm” to the U.S. energy industry. Kudlow never used Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden’s name, but his comments seven weeks from the Nov. 3 election came as he noted Trump has put a “premium” on achieving energy independence. [ read more … ]

Biden: Fracking ‘has to continue’ for now

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:37:55

There’s “no rationale” to end fracking while seeking rapid decarbonization, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said last night during a CNN town hall. Answering questions from voters in northeast Pennsylvania, the former vice president sought to balance his climate plan’s aggressive deadlines with commitments to protect fossil fuel jobs. Biden held up energy unions as indispensable partners and said the federal government’s purchasing power could reshape the manufacturing sector. But he gave more ambivalent answers on hydraulic fracturing and the Green New Deal. [ read more … ]

How sour relations with China could derail Biden on climate

  •    •  Posted 2020-09-18 16:48:48

But the relationship between the two global powers — and top carbon emitters — has soured so much in recent years that it’s doubtful a similar agreement could be reconstructed if Biden, a Democrat, is elected president. For one thing, the public might not stand for it after a campaign season in which Biden and President Trump are facing off over who can be the toughest on China. [ read more … ]

Many California Republicans side with Trump in dismissing climate change as wildfire cause

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-09-20 04:39:06

Many California Republican lawmakers are siding with President Trump in dismissing climate change as a driving factor of the state’s historic wildfires. Trump, during a trip to Sacramento, stunned many by scoffing at the scientific consensus that temperatures are rising globally and predicted the Earth will “start getting cooler.” But Republicans from rural corners of the state are also loudly objecting to the idea that efforts to reduce emissions will help, even as others in the party warm to the idea of doing something about climate change. [ read more … ]


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