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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

October 28, 2020

Top Story

Trump’s pullback of pollution controls is even more hazardous than you think

By Joe Wertz, Vox  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:20:48

The US Environmental Protection Agency in August rescinded controls installed by the Obama administration to curb releases of methane, a potent, planet-warming gas leaked during oil and gas production, processing, and transportation. The action, expected but nonetheless condemned by environmentalists, had a little-noticed side effect: Experts say it could lead to higher emissions of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and hazardous air pollutants — chemicals that cause smog and are linked to cancer, respiratory illnesses, and a growing list of other ailments.
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

An Offshore Wind Farm on Lake Erie Moves Closer to Reality, but Will It Ever Be Built?

BY NICOLE POLLACK, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:18:36

On the rare clear day, the wind farm’s turbines would stand offshore, resembling six matchsticks on the horizon. If it is finally built off the coast of Cleveland, eight miles out in the shallow waters of Lake Erie, Icebreaker Wind would be the first freshwater offshore wind farm in North America. But the project, which has polarized Ohio’s environmental groups for more than a decade, is now inching toward unprecedented success and away from total defeat. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Court derails Trump solar tariff plan

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:20:02

A U.S. trade court has thwarted President Trump’s attempt to enact new solar tariffs, throwing the issue into limbo until after the election. In a temporary restraining order over the weekend, the Court of International Trade ruled that customs officers could not enforce Trump’s Oct. 10 presidential proclamation that backed additional import fees on next-generation solar panels. In that proclamation, Trump concluded that an exemption to tariffs for two-sided or “bifacial” solar panels had “impaired the effectiveness” of the administration’s trade agenda. Solar analysts interpreted that as an order to extend tariffs to bifacial types — something the administration has tried and failed to do for months. [ read more … ]


Climate change sets drought trap for U.S. corn — study

By Avery Ellfeldt, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:24:13

U.S. corn production is booming as Midwestern farmers adopt new technologies and methods that mitigate bad weather, destructive pests and weeds. But the long-term outlook isn’t rosy.
New research published yesterday in Nature Food shows maize is becoming more vulnerable to drought, a finding with major implications for annual corn yields given scientists’ predictions that climate change will intensify poor weather conditions. [ read more … ]

Procedural feuds begin in 5 climate cases

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:23:55

Energy companies and industry groups have kicked to the federal bench five lawsuits alleging climate deception by Big Oil. The recent removals to federal district court — which are now commonplace in this type of litigation — launch a fresh round of jurisdictional battles in climate wars waged by local leaders and state attorneys across the country. [ read more … ]

Extreme Weather

355K customers lose power in Calif.; 70K told to flee fire

By Christopher Weber and Olga R. Rodriguez, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:23:11

A fast-moving wildfire forced evacuation orders for 70,000 people and seriously injured two firefighters in Southern California yesterday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes. The smoky fire exploded in size to over 6 square miles within a few hours of breaking out around dawn in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. Strong gusts pushed flames along brushy ridges in Silverado Canyon and near houses in the sprawling city of Irvine, home to about 280,000 residents. There was no containment.
[ read more … ]


Report: Grid investments not ready for renewable surge

By Christian Vasquez, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:20:19

Governments worldwide are failing to invest enough in their power grids to keep up with the clean energy transition, according to a report released this morning by the International Energy Agency. The Paris-based agency’s “Power Systems in Transition” report calls for a more comprehensive and flexible approach to keep the lights on as the electric sector undergoes “its most dramatic transformation since its creation” over a century ago. [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Hurt by fracking but voting for Trump

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:23:31

Rashes cover his son’s belly. The afflicted boy’s father, Bryan Latkanich, flips through more pictures that show the redness clawing up his son’s neck and below his waist. The burns and welts started appearing in 2013 and lasted through last year. His child’s bathwater, he said, had been contaminated by the hydraulic fracturing pad less than 500 feet from his house. A toxicology report advised the family to “stay away from his exposure source (the house site — air and water) as much as is possible.” [ read more … ]

4 election battles that could overhaul U.S. oil and gas

  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 09:10:07

As President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden argue about how their policies would change the future of the oil industry, a handful of states are set to hold elections next week that could do as much or more to shape the nation’s energy future, analysts say. Democrats see opportunities to win regulatory and legislative races in key energy-producing states, particularly Texas and Pennsylvania. Underscoring the point, Democratic super-donor Mike Bloomberg gave $2.6 million this month to the Democrat running for a closely watched seat on the commission that oversees the Texas oil and gas industry. [ read more … ]

Biden’s oil ‘transition’ comment may not be as damaging as Trump hopes

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-10-27 15:18:56

Although Biden’s answer at the debate may have been inartfully put, it’s not inconsistent with his overall plan for tackling climate change that he has been trumpeting for months. As we noted on Friday, Biden’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas contributions by 2050 cannot be achieved without significantly curtailing the burning of oil and gas. Indeed, his proposal does not call for a ban on fossil fuels but does include a major subsidy for consumers to buy electric vehicles and get rid of cars that rely exclusively on petroleum-based fuels. [ read more … ]

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