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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 19, 2020

Top Story

Barrett resisted climate science. Other judges embraced it

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:30:51

The facts of climate change are well-established, and some experts note that judges have a responsibility to acknowledge them unequivocally in order to rule on questions related to the powers of federal agencies. “Casting doubt on the validity and importance of [climate change] itself, as Barrett does, raises serious concerns,” Jason Rylander, a lawyer with the Defenders of Wildlife, said in an email. “If you cannot admit climate change is real and that humans are the cause, how can you fairly assess the validity of laws and regulations enacted to address it?”
Other judges haven’t had a problem affirming the science of climate change, including Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed to the high court by President Trump in 2018. [ read more … ]


N.M. utility, tribe break ground on solar farm

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:28:36

New Mexico’s largest electric utility has broken ground on a 50-megawatt solar field that will provide power to Western New Mexico University, the city of Albuquerque and other large users that have signed on to a new program officials hope will serve as a model for boosting access to renewable energy. As the third largest solar project on tribal land in the U.S., the array will be capable of producing enough electricity to power the equivalent of about 16,000 average homes for a year. [ read more … ]


Alliance launches to fund hydrogen projects in 13 states

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:29:32

Automakers and fuel-cell companies launched a new alliance last week to demonstrate and advocate for hydrogen trucks and buses in 13 Western states, in a bid to strengthen the technology’s hand against battery-powered vehicles. The Western States Hydrogen Alliance, as it’s known, includes vehicle manufacturer Hyundai and fuel-cell systems producers Ballard Power Systems and Plug Power, as well as startups that want to demonstrate prototypes for hydrogen ships and aircraft. [ read more … ]


FERC sparks firestorm with landmark carbon pricing move

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:30:15

The nation’s top energy regulators last week paved the way for states to incorporate a carbon tax into regional power markets in an unprecedented move that is garnering mixed reviews, including pushback from conservatives and progressive environmentalists. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a proposed policy statement saying the influential panel is willing to consider grid operators’ requests to set a carbon price. [ read more … ]

FERC remands part of PJM compliance filing

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:31:29

FERC accepted just part of PJM Interconnection’s compliance filing on how the grid operator would implement a Minimum Offer Price Rule, and remanded other sections during Thursday’s open meeting.  PJM’s proposal for implementing the price floor in its capacity auction had left space for renewables, nuclear power, and other beneficiaries of state subsidies to find their way into the 13-state power market’s auction. [ read more … ]

Supreme Court Nomination

By Calling Climate Change ‘Controversial,’ Barrett Created Controversy

By John Schwartz and Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:29:10

During two grueling days of questioning over her Supreme Court confirmation, Judge Amy Coney Barrett did her best to avoid controversy. But her efforts to play it safe on the subject of climate change have created perhaps the most tangible backlash of her hearings. In her responses, the nominee to take the place of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an environmental stalwart, used language that alarmed some environmentalists and suggested rough going for initiatives to fight climate change, if as expected she wins confirmation and cements a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. [ read more … ]


How Green Is That Electric Car? And When It Hits 100 M.P.H.?

By Paul Stenquist, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:32:49

In this study, the average electric vehicle in the United States was found to be responsible for emission levels equivalent to those generated by a gasoline vehicle that gets 88 miles per gallon. In areas where a lot of coal is still burned to make electricity, the electric vehicle m.p.g. equivalency number can fall to as low as 49 miles to a gallon, but those areas are few and less densely populated than regions with clean power. OK, but what about electric supercars like the Model S and Taycan? Since they produce mammoth horsepower, doesn’t it follow that their emission levels are high as well? [ read more … ]

‘Achilles’ heel’: How charging hobbles the electric truck

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:29:53

Making an electric truck turns out to be the easy part. Aligning the needs of the extraordinarily complex trucking and logistics industries with the slow-moving electric utility industry — that’s the hard part. And experts worry that when the trucks start to march off the line in large numbers in two or three years, the chargers and electric grid won’t be ready. “The trucks are coming,” said Mike Roeth, the executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency. “Charging is the biggest challenge.” [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden: Banning fossil fuels in 10 years is ‘not possible’

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:30:32

Joe Biden last week said the U.S. will need to capture emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants in order to meet his climate goals — a controversial message among progressives that underscores the challenges of rapidly untangling coal and natural gas from the economy. Biden and President Trump held competing, simultaneous town halls last night instead of a second presidential debate. Literally speaking to different audiences, the two candidates demonstrated how little overlap exists between the parties’ standard-bearers. [ read more … ]

A Biden win wouldn’t mean a slam-dunk for climate — experts

By Thomas Frank, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:31:11

Joe Biden would face huge obstacles as president in taking steps to slow climate change because Republicans in states and Congress would move aggressively to stop such efforts, an expert climate panel said yesterday. Although Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has proposed an ambitious plan to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, he is almost certain to encounter legal and political opposition that could stymie efforts to enact new laws or adopt new regulations, the experts said. [ read more … ]

We asked Joe Biden’s campaign 6 key questions about his climate change plans

By Umair Irfan, Vox  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:32:07

Election Day is closing in, and former Vice President Joe Biden has made climate change one of his signature issues. His “clean energy revolution and environmental justice” plan would be the most ambitious and aggressive environmental agenda in US history if it were enacted. Voters, especially young voters, also crave action on climate change. Polling shows that a majority of Americans of all ages want all levels of government to address global warming, but it’s one of the highest priorities for young Democrats. [ read more … ]

Biden’s energy future

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:33:13

Former Vice President Joe Biden pitched a future dependent on renewables and carbon capture, while repeating his position that he would not ban fracking during last night’s town hall in Philadelphia. “The future rests in renewable energy,” Biden said, when asked what industries he supported that are not harmful to the environment or human health. [ read more … ]


Trump stopped talking about ‘beautiful’ coal

By James Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:33:41

Coal mining employment has been stagnant for most of Trump’s term, which coincided with a rise in demand for coal exports. Industry employment began declining last year and fell off a cliff when the coronavirus pandemic started. Today coal mining employs about 44,500 workers nationwide, 6,400 fewer than when Trump took office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The future of coal as an electricity generator is bleak. The coal industry has lost more plants during Trump’s term than it did during President Obama’s last four years in office as utilities continue to switch to cheap, ubiquitous natural gas and renewables [ read more … ]

Fla. public power giant scraps coal

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-18 13:33:58

Orlando, Fla.’s electric company will be coal-free by 2027 as it presses ahead with plans to meet net-zero carbon emissions targets by 2050. The city-owned utility, which is the second-largest public power company in Florida, this week said it would convert its coal-burning units at the Stanton Energy Center to natural gas and that solar will become the main source of new generation. The utility will invest in energy storage and other energy technology to help ensure grid reliability.
[ read more … ]


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