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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 6, 2020

Top Story

Supreme Court to Hear Cases on Voting Rights and Climate Change

By Adam Liptak, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-10-06 04:17:07

The court agreed to hear an appeal from more than two dozen multinational energy companies that object to a state court lawsuit brought by Baltimore seeking to hold them accountable for their role in changing the earth’s climate. The companies want to move the suit to federal court. The case, BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, No. 19-1189, is one of more than a dozen state and local governments around the nation have filed seeking compensation for what they said were injuries caused by the energy companies’ conduct.

The battle, for now, is about whether the suit belongs in state court. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

The Supreme Court will hear a climate change case next year

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:45:31

The question the high court plans to next year consider is a narrow procedural one. But its answer could have broad implications for a suite of other suits from local governments from Rhode Island to California aiming to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for global warming. The court’s decision to review the case, announced Friday, is a win for oil companies hoping to stop the lawsuits looking for millions, if not billions, in damages for floods, fires and other climate change-fueled disasters. [ read more … ]

Exxon’s Plan for Surging Carbon Emissions Revealed in Leaked Documents

By Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:47:14

Exxon Mobil Corp. has been planning to increase annual carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece, an analysis of internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg shows, setting one of the largest corporate emitters against international efforts to slow the pace of warming. The drive to expand both fossil-fuel production and planet-warming pollution comes at a time when some of Exxon’s rivals, such as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, are moving to curb oil and zero-out emissions. Exxon’s own assessment of its $210 billion investment strategy shows yearly emissions rising 17% by 2025, according to the internal documents. [ read more … ]

Trump team delaying work on major climate report

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:47:38

The Trump administration is slow-walking a mandatory climate report by not seeking out scientists to work on it, says one of the authors of the last National Climate Assessment. Donald Wuebbles, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois who co-led the first volume of the fourth National Climate Assessment, said the Trump administration is late in putting out a call in the Federal Register for researchers to produce the fifth version. [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

California’s Grim Fire Mark: Burn Exceeds Last 3 Years Combined

By Brian K Sullivan and Mark Chediak, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:41:38

Wildfires in California have burned a record 4 million acres since the start of 2020, charring more land in the past nine months than during the previous three years combined. The results are devastating. The more than 8,200 blazes since January have killed 31 people and destroyed more than 8,400 homes and buildings, the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection said Sunday. The number of acres burned is more than double the previous record, set in 2018. [ read more … ]

Record-breaking wildfires surpass 4M acres

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:45:05

Deadly wildfires in California have burned more than 4 million acres this year — more than double the previous record for the most land burned in a single year in the state.
California fire officials said the state hit the astonishing milestone yesterday with about two months remaining in the fire season. The previous record was set two years ago when wildfires destroyed 1.67 million acres. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

California fires back at EPA

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:42:05

California officials sent a scathing response to Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s criticisms of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s electric car executive order in a letter last week that said the agency engaged in “baseless mistruths” and accused it of abdicating its responsibilities to humanity. Wheeler sent a letter last week hinting that EPA would not approve California’s plan following Newsom’s order that would ban the sale of cars that burn gasoline or diesel by 2035. Wheeler’s letter also mocked the state’s recent electric grid reliability issues. [ read more … ]


FERC’s ‘surprise’ PURPA order enrages solar industry

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:43:07

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month issued an order that reversed 40 years of precedent under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) by changing a key threshold for energy production. Now the solar industry is pushing back. The Solar Energy Industries Association last week demanded that FERC overturn the rule, which the lobbying group says would hamper developers’ ability to sell power to electric utilities. “The fact that it came out of the blue and is overturning what has been standard policy for 40 years is pretty striking,” he said. “It seems like they went out of their way to take a swipe at the renewables sector.” [ read more … ]

FERC nominees slide to the December agenda

By Jeremy Dillon and Geof Koss, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:43:22

A pair of pending nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will need to wait until December for an uphill chance at confirmation before the Senate wraps up its session.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in an interview that her committee would work to advance the two nominees but warned that an already crowded December calendar may make the prospects of them moving to the floor difficult to predict. [ read more … ]

Net Metering

Ill. taps brakes on utility bid to end net metering

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:44:00

Net metering remains in effect for an Illinois utility — for now — after regulators ordered an audit to decide whether it can change how it compensates customers for excess solar generation under a 2016 energy law. In an emergency meeting late Thursday, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) ordered its staff to evaluate Ameren Illinois’ methodology to determine whether the utility could terminate a net-metering rate before a replacement compensation system is approved. [ read more … ]


Energy markets shrug at Trump diagnosis

By Lesley Clark and Mike Lee, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:42:36

“As with national security and other areas of policymaking, I think energy policy and environmental policy will proceed on pace despite the president’s COVID diagnosis,” said Bob McNally, a former energy adviser to George W. Bush and founder of oil consultancy Rapidan Energy Group. While Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis may not affect day-to-day business, it could play a significant role in an election McNally called “the most important election for energy policy in modern times, if not in all U.S. history.” Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, he noted, present “diametrically opposed and portentous differences on energy and environmental policy.”
[ read more … ]

Most U.S. Oil Jobs Lost in Pandemic Won’t Return at These Prices

By Katrina Lewis, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:44:37

Almost three-quarters of the pandemic-driven jobs losses in the U.S. petroleum and chemical sectors may not come back before the end of next year, according to Deloitte LLP. The collapse in oil demand and prices spurred the fastest rate of oil- and chemical-industry layoffs in history, with about 107,000 jobs eliminated between March and August, Deloitte said in a study scheduled to be released Monday. The number is probably even higher when furloughs and other headcount measures are taken into account, according to Duane Dickson, vice chairman and U.S. oil, gas and chemicals leader for Deloitte. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Who would run Biden’s DOE?

By Lesley Clark and Hannah Northey, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:41:10

“Cabinet picks are often made in order to tell a story about what kind of government you are going to lead,” said Jeff Navin, a former chief of staff at DOE under the Obama administration. “And with climate taking on a level of urgency that we haven’t seen before, you can expect the next Energy secretary to play a role in using the department to scale up solutions to climate change.” [ read more … ]

Biden incorrectly links derechos to climate change

By Thomas Frank, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-05 15:44:20

Joe Biden drew attention to the little-known and often destructive weather phenomenon called a “derecho” at last week’s presidential debate but said mistakenly that they have been linked to climate change. The Democratic presidential nominee cited the derecho that demolished a wide swath of Iowa in August as evidence of the cost of a warming planet. [ read more … ]


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