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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 9, 2020

Top Story

US renewable energy industry cheers Joe Biden election win as ‘beautiful day’

By Darius Snieckus, Recharge  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:56:56

The American renewable energy sector has cheered the declared election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, with industry bodies placing the accent on the potential for the country to rejoin global climate leadership under the new administration. American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan said Biden’s win would “shape a cleaner and more prosperous energy future” for the country. And Liz Burdock, CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, suggested the victory was a “vote for a future that focuses on climate change solutions [and] reengaging on the international stage.”
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The Transition

Biden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies

By Matt Viser, Seung Min Kim and Annie Linskey, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:57:12

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to quickly sign a series of executive orders after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, immediately forecasting that the country’s politics have shifted and that his presidency will be guided by radically different priorities. [ read more … ]

Biden Will Take a Clear Climate Mandate Into the White House

By Leslie Kaufman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:57:44

Joe Biden will take office with something no U.S. president has had before: robust popular support for climate action, borne out in polling data and election results from a hard-fought campaign. “His mandate to go all in on climate change and clean energy could not be more clear,” said Edward Maibach, director of the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.
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A Bipartisan Climate Policy? It Could Happen Under a Biden Administration, Washington Veterans Say

BY MARIANNE LAVELLE, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:03:59

Many environmentalists hoped that Joe Biden would become the FDR of climate change. But if, as seems likely, Biden emerges as the winner of a deeply divisive presidential election, in which the Republican Party retains control of the Senate, it is more likely he will need the skills of an LBJ. And climate policy, in a Biden era, could end up looking more like President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s hard-fought civil rights legislation than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s sweeping New Deal, say veterans of Washington’s energy policy battles. [ read more … ]

Joe Biden will be president, but there will be no Green New Deal

By David Roberts, Vox  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:58:04

Without the Senate, which will likely remain in Republican hands (though control could come down to two runoffs in Georgia), Biden’s power to effect the kind of radical change called for by the Green New Deal will be substantially curtailed. But he will not be powerless — there are expansive parts of his climate agenda that he can drive through executive power alone.
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The looming shake-up of Senate Republican chairmen

By MARIANNE LEVINE and BURGESS EVERETT, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:58:47

Senate Republicans are about to have a big shake-up. And all eyes are on Richard Burr. The North Carolina Republican, who temporarily gave up his Intelligence Committee chairmanship while under investigation for his stock trades amid the pandemic, is in line for the Senate health committee if he wants to take it. Current chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is retiring and Burr is interested in the job, though has made no final decision, according to two people familiar with the situation. [ read more … ]

Election 2020

‘Gut punch’ or ‘prize’? The race muddled climate politics

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:05:54

Did climate boost Democratic turnout? The youth-led Sunrise Movement said it did, pointing to analysis from Tufts University that estimated young voter turnout surged about 10 percentage points compared to 2016, more than covering Biden’s margin of victory in states like Wisconsin and Michigan. Did opposition to climate action boost Republican turnout? The conservative American Energy Alliance said it did, pointing to losses of oil-state Democrats like Reps. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma and Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico. [ read more … ]

State election results could swing 100% clean electricity

By Kristi E. Swartz and Edward Klump, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:00:19

New faces will be joining state utility commissions after Tuesday’s elections, with ramifications for coal, renewables and 100% clean energy mandates. Overall, voters in 10 states cast ballots this cycle for electric utility regulators, who oversee power providers to make sure their decisions and rates of return are in the public interest. Two states in the Southwest — Arizona and New Mexico — saw voters back changes that could affect how clean energy planning proceeds. In most races, incumbents prevailed, although the impact on the ground could be different from state to state. [ read more … ]

Why Ga. might elect a climate president

By Thomas Frank, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:02:16

Eight years ago, when the Atlanta suburbs were comfortably Republican, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 55% of the vote in Cobb and Gwinnett counties and coasted to victory in Georgia over President Obama. Today, the Atlanta suburbs have completed a remarkable flip that shows how Democrats can win states with large, diverse metro areas that are not dependent on fossil fuel industries and open to messages on climate and the environment.
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Young climate voters fueled Democratic sweep in Colo.

By Avery Ellfeldt, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:04:42

Democrats last week swept the Colorado elections on the heels of an unprecedented wildfire season, expanding their majority in the Legislature and securing control of both U.S. Senate seats and the state’s presidential vote. Yet Colorado’s mounting vulnerability to climate change didn’t necessarily sway those races, experts say. Instead, they were dominated by the prospect of a second Trump term, the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing economic crisis. [ read more … ]


Trump demoted key energy panel chair who suggested action on climate change

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:59:12

With the nation transfixed by the presidential election, President Trump demoted the head of a key energy panel who spoke favorably about taking action on climate change — a move the ousted official thinks may have been in retaliation for his views. On Thursday evening, Neil Chatterjee announced on Twitter he was no longer chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying Trump replaced him with fellow Republican James Danly. Chatterjee will still stay on as a commissioner of the five-member panel.  [ read more … ]

Chatterjee on FERC ouster: ‘So be it’

By Arianna Skibell and Hannah Northey, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 15:59:36

Neil Chatterjee told E&E News last night he may have been demoted as Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman because of recent moves to break down barriers to renewable energy. President Trump last night unexpectedly removed Chatterjee as FERC chairman and appointed staunch conservative Commissioner James Danly to take his place. Chatterjee, a Republican who was first appointed chairman in 2017, said he hadn’t spoken directly with anyone at the White House about the move.
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The latest on FERC shake-up

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:03:07

The Trump administration stripped Republican Neil Chatterjeeof his FERC chairmanship yesterday in a late-night bombshell, but don’t expect him to go quietly. Look for FERC to be even more central as a tool to address climate change in a Joe Biden administration, with Chatterjee poised to be a independent-minded dealmaker through the end of his term in June 2021. [ read more … ]


GM accelerates EVs — but is worth less than Chinese EV maker

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:00:56

General Motors Co. posted surprising profits yesterday and said it would use the proceeds to speed its transition to electric vehicles, even as a Chinese EV maker overtook it in market value. Also last week, GM’s EV battery plant, which it runs as a joint venture with South Korea-based LG Chem Ltd., started posting for more than 1,000 job openings. The $2.3 billion factory is under construction in Lordstown, Ohio. [ read more … ]

China signals shift from gas-powered cars by 2035

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:03:29

Half of Chinese auto sales will need to come from electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids or fuel cells by 2035, according to a new report from the country’s organization of automobile experts. The remaining fossil fuel vehicles will need to be hybrids. The plan outlined last month by the Society of Automotive Engineers of China, an influential trade group, underlines the commitment of the world’s largest carbon emitter to green its economy, analysts said. In September, President Xi Jinping announced the country would work to eliminate its carbon emissions by 2060. [ read more … ]

Gas Stations Eye an EV Future

By Kieth Reed, NACS Daily  •    •  Posted 2020-11-08 16:04:20

Electric vehicle fast charging: “Why now? Why not now?” That point was made by Brad Petersen, director of retail fuels at Kum & Go, a retail chain with more than 500 stores in 11 Midwestern states. “Yes, the new EV sales are not drastic in numbers—less that 2% of the vehicle fleet—but we know it’s coming, and we want to be prepared for it and offer fuel to all of our customers, whether that be gas or charging.” [ read more … ]

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