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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 29, 2020

Top Story

How Amy Coney Barrett may make it harder for environmentalists to win in court

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:54:45

One of the biggest potential impacts of Barrett’s presence on the high court would be on who has standing to bring an environmental lawsuit. While serving on the appellate court covering Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, Barrett wrote the majority opinion in two cases — including one brought by a park preservation group against the construction of Barack Obama’s presidential center in Chicago — denying opponents standing in court to sue. Her more restrictive view on who has standing is in line with that of the conservative icon Scalia. Ginsburg’s decision in Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw Environmental Servicesgreatly expanded the ability of citizens sickened by pollution to seek a remedy from the courts. Scalia was only one of two justices to dissent in the 2000 case. [ read more … ]

Supreme Court

How Barrett confirmation could cement Trump energy rules

By Jennifer Hijazi and Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:53:01

“If you look at what Trump has done on NEPA regulations, ACE, WOTUS, they are doing rulemakings that don’t push the envelope, [they are] narrow interpretations of law that I think the court would actually be sympathetic to,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, referring to the National Environmental Policy Act, EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule and the “Waters of the U.S.” rule. [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

More California Fires Erupt as Dry Winds Make State a Tinderbox

By Mark Chediak, Brian K Sullivan, and David R Baker< Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:51:57

Another round of wildfires erupted in Northern California, forcing evacuations and casting palls of smoke over the region as hot, arid weather and high winds leave the state perilously dry.
The blazes in Napa and Shasta counties flared even after the state’s largest utility, PG&E Corp., cut power to about 195,000 people in an attempt to keep its electric lines from sparking blazes. [ read more … ]


The world is getting serious about climate. Is it too late?

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:54:03

“The only thing that gives me hope is we have been so bad at predicting at how things do change,” said Elizabeth Wilson, director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth College. Energy modelers, she noted, have consistently underestimated how quickly the world would adopt technologies like renewables. The coronavirus pandemic presents a unique opportunity for governments and companies to reimagine the world’s energy systems, she said. At the same time, climate-fueled disasters of recent months make clear that attempts to green the world economy can only do so much.
[ read more … ]


Pandemic closures, bankruptcies rattle refining towns

By Mike Lee, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:52:45

The future of the oil and gas industry arrived suddenly in Gallup, N.M. Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced in August it was closing its 27,000-barrel oil refinery just outside the small town in northwestern New Mexico. More than 200 full-time workers and dozens of contractors are expected to lose their jobs this fall. That could have a lasting effect in Gallup, which has a population of about 22,000. The refinery was a big contributor to local charities, and the good-paying jobs helped support restaurants and businesses in the town’s historic business district on Route 66. Marathon is already offering to relocate some of its workers. [ read more … ]

Moniz, Trumka promote energy jobs plan

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:53:17

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka are carving out a place for natural gas under an energy and jobs plan they say would slash emissions across the economy. The plan outlined by the coalition of union and energy interests formed by Trumka and Moniz lists 10 strategies for creating jobs and advancing social equity “in a deeply decarbonized economy.” [ read more … ]


Report urges U.S. to build EVs to counter China

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:53:34

A new report asks American political leaders to adopt a comprehensive plan to produce electric and automated vehicles to protect jobs and fend off a strategic threat from China. The report was published late last week by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), a group of corporate executives and ex-military commanders that has long advocated reducing reliance on oil as a security issue. [ read more … ]

France Maps Out Lower Electric-Car Subsidies Ahead

By William Horobin, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:52:19

France will gradually cut hybrid and electric-car subsidies in the coming years, posing a risk to the segment that’s growing but still remains a relatively small portion of the market. The government plans to decrease an incentive to buy electric cars from 7,000 euros ($8,160) this year, to 6,000 euros next year and 5,000 euros in 2022, according to a budget plan unveiled Monday by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. The state handout for hybrid rechargeable vehicles will be halved to 1,000 euros next year. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Democrats on killing the filibuster: ‘Implausible’

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-09-28 16:54:16

A top priority for many progressives is the abolition of the Senate filibuster, a historic obstacle to climate legislation that has mostly sidelined Congress and made federal agencies and the courts the engines of emissions policy. But several senators said the caucus hasn’t discussed an end to the filibuster, let alone agreed to do it. The reluctance is in spite of recent threats from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that “everything is on the table.” Some Democrats have warned that such talk during the 2020 election would distract from more politically potent campaign issues, like health care. [ read more … ]

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