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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 12, 2020

Top Story

Renewable Power Grows Strongly, Despite the Pandemic

By Stanley Reed, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 10:02:42

The energy industry has experienced its worst year in decades because of the pandemic, but clean sources for generating electricity have still managed to grow, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. Consumption of electricity generated by wind, solar and hydroelectric sources will grow nearly 7 percent in 2020, a remarkable jump because overall energy demand will slump by 5 percent, the steepest drop since World War II, the Paris-based forecasting group said in a new report. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Former Iowa Governor Culver Eyed for Energy Post Under Biden

By Jennifer Jacobs and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:51:16

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has spoken to former Iowa Governor Chet Culver and chair of the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition about joining the new administration, according to two people familiar with the matter. A possible senior role in the Energy Department that would draw on Culver’s expertise in renewable power has been discussed, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named discussing a personnel matter. Culver has long family ties to the Bidens — his father served alongside Biden in the Senate in the 1970s — and endorsed the president-elect 10 days before the Iowa caucuses.

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What’s in a name?

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:52:31

Patrice Simms, vice president of litigation at Earthjustice, will lead the EPA team. Arun Majumdar, the first head of the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects-Energy arm, will lead the Energy Department team. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Louisiana Governor Announces Renewable Energy Initiative for Gulf of Mexico

By Office of Gobernor John Bel Edwards  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:49:52

Today, Governor John Bel Edwards announced a renewable energy initiative for the Gulf of Mexico, with plans to harness Louisiana’s strengths in offshore energy production for the development of wind power, the nation’s No. 1 source of renewable energy. In a recent letter, Gov. Edwards asked the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s acting director, Dr. Cruickshank, to establish the task force that will coordinate commercial leasing proposals for wind energy in federal waters off Louisiana’s coast. That effort will create a business path for development of wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico. [ read more … ]

Orsted announces Skipjack Wind Farm project may be delayed again

By Matthew Prensky, Salisbury Daily Times  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:59:13

 The completion of one of two proposed wind farms off the coast of Ocean City may be delayed for the second time this year, according to the company in charge of the project. The Skipjack Wind Farm is a proposed offshore wind project currently in the planning and regulatory review process. The project is slated to be more than 19 miles off the coast of Ocean City and the Delaware coast, and was originally expected to be completed in 2022. Ørsted announced in April that the completion of the Skipjack project would be delayed until the end of 2023 due to issues with the federal regulatory process.  [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

DOE study: This rooftop solar fix could slash CO2

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:54:45

Many solar programs are not bringing lower-income people into the rooftop solar market, a trend that could “decelerate” the solar industry and slow emission cuts, according to a new study by researchers from the Department of Energy. Solar is expected to become a linchpin of state decarbonization goals and could play a principal role in President-elect Joe Biden’s plan of reaching 100% carbon neutral electricity by 2035. Much of that growth is likely to come from large-scale arrays built by utilities and corporations.
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California Is Trying to Jump-Start the Hydrogen Economy

By Ivan Penn and Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:52:52

California, the beginnings of a hydrogen economy may finally be dawning after many fits and starts. Dozens of hydrogen buses are lumbering down city streets, while more and larger fueling stations are appearing from San Diego to San Francisco, financed by the state and federal governments. With the costs of producing and shipping hydrogen coming down, California is setting ambitious goals to phase out vehicles that run on fossil fuels in favor of batteries and hydrogen. Large auto and energy companies like Toyota Motor and Royal Dutch Shell have committed to supplying more cars and fueling stations. [ read more … ]


FERC picks on the move…maybe?

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:57:49

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee may vote as soon as next week on whether to advance two nominees to FERC. Democrat Allison Clements and Republican Mark Christie have been waiting in the wings as election and stimulus drama sucked the oxygen from their nominations. Two energy industry sources said they expect the votes next week, while another industry source was less certain, saying that discussions were ongoing. A spokesperson for Republicans on the committee told ME a potential markup date has not been set. [ read more … ]

Coalition launches to block N.J. from grid market exit

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:55:32

New Jersey, along with states like Illinois and Maryland, is now eyeing a market exit. The states are weighing an alternative plan to meet their reliability needs through a so-called fixed resource requirement, or FRR, to ensure the development of projects they see as crucial for spurring economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and combating climate change. [ read more … ]


Biden’s climate diplomacy has already begun

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:53:14

A few days after being declared president-elect, Joe Biden is already conferring with heads of state about a crisis he sees as on par with the coronavirus pandemic and economic recession: climate change. Biden elevated the issue of rising temperatures in talks on Tuesday with four European leaders. And the head of the transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency is Patrice Simms, an attorney at Earthjustice, a nonprofit law firm that as sued the Trump administration dozens of times. His elevation is a sign of Biden’s desire to reinstitute rules rolled back by the Trump administration. He has also worked at both the EPA and Department of Justice. [ read more … ]

Former White House Climate Adviser: ‘We Just Don’t Have Enough Time’

By Eric Roston, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:53:32

John Podesta served in the White House as counselor in charge of climate and energy policy during President Barack Obama’s second term. He has no desire to reprise his role in the Biden administration, but in an interview he still has some advice for the incoming team.  “The key is setting the right destination. That’s why these net-zero [emissions] commitments are so crucial,” Podesta said, in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg Green ahead of the election. “I’m leaving it to the younger set, let’s put it that way.” [ read more … ]

Trump Administration Removes Scientist in Charge of Assessing Climate Change

By Christopher Flavelle, Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:53:49

The White House has removed the scientist responsible for the National Climate Assessment, the federal government’s premier contribution to climate knowledge and the foundation for regulations to combat global warming, in what critics interpreted as the latest sign that the Trump administration intends to use its remaining months in office to continue impeding climate science and policy.
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White House plans to put denier in charge of climate program

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:57:13

The Trump administration is focused on promoting climate denial even as it counts down the president’s final days. The Trump team is preparing to appoint a climate denier to head development of the National Climate Assessment for the next two months, a key step that involves contracting scientists to write it, according to advisers close to the White House. Those contracts could be structured to keep researchers who reject climate science in place after President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. [ read more … ]


GM Plans to Hire 3,000 Workers to Spur Electric-Car Development

By David Welch, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:54:11

General Motors Co. is going on a hiring binge to accelerate its development of electric vehicles. The Detroit automaker said Monday it plans to hire 3,000 new employees across engineering, design and information technology to spur efforts to develop more EVs and the software that runs them. That’s about as many workers as GM employs at its engine and vehicle-assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The new hires will be added by the end of the first quarter of 2021, the automaker said [ read more … ]

Campaign 2020

Biden’s climate plan would hinge on Senate outcome

By James Osborne, Houston Chronicle  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:52:06

Even with his victory over President Donald Trump, Joe Biden’s hopes for enacting the ambitious climate change policy on which he campaigned remain unclear with control of the Senate in limbo. Biden, who exceeded the necessary 270 Electoral College votes when he was projected to win Pennsylvania on Saturday, still faces the prospect of a Republican-controlled Senate that has roundly criticized his plan to move the country to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury as too costly and disruptive to the economy.
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Biden win boon for grid investors — financial execs

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:56:11

President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump last week pointed the U.S. toward more clean energy opportunities for the power sector and its funders, speakers at an industry investor roundtable said yesterday. “This really was a fork in the road for energy,” Catherine Mann, managing director and global chief economist at Citigroup Inc., said at the annual Edison Electric Institute’s Financial Conference. “To be very simple, under a Biden administration those [U.S.] firms that are engaged in energy are going to be able to compete on a global stage” in emerging clean energy technologies, she said. [ read more … ]

Shifting energy mix, younger voters swung Ariz., Ga. to Biden

By Thomas Frank, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-11 09:57:31

President-elect Joe Biden is being celebrated for recapturing Midwestern states, but his most significant electoral accomplishment may be winning Arizona and Georgia, two states whose minimal reliance on fossil fuels could help him build a national coalition devoted to addressing climate change. Although they have been conservative for decades, Arizona and Georgia have become increasingly supportive of climate goals as their production and consumption of fossil fuels has plummeted and young people have become a larger part of the electorate. [ read more … ]


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