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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 13, 2020

Top Story

Renewable energy defies Covid-19 to hit record growth in 2020

By Damian Carrington, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:19:00

Global renewable electricity installation will hit a record level in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency, in sharp contrast with the declines caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the fossil fuel sectors. The IEA report published on Tuesday says almost 90% of new electricity generation in 2020 will be renewable, with just 10% powered by gas and coal. The trend puts green electricity on track to become the largest power source in 2025, displacing coal, which has dominated for the past 50 years. [ read more … ]

Transmission

Transmission troubles? A solution could be lying along rail lines and next generation highways

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:14:24

“Siting is one of the most intractable barriers,” but “largely untapped” rights-of-way (ROWs) on already developed “brownfields,” such as railroads and highways, could “alleviate the problem,” former FERC Chair James Hoecker wrote on behalf of the Rail Electrification Council (REC) in a July filing with FERC on transmission planning incentives. Hoecker’s filing defines brownfields as “land already developed for another industrial or ground-disturbing purpose” and notes that “there are many potential kinds of available brownfields that may be suitable for co-development, railroads and highways among them.” [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden stocks landing teams with climate experts

By Adam Aton and Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:16:34

Climate experts, former Obama administration officials and green activists abound among the teams managing the transition for EPA; the Energy, Interior and Agriculture departments; and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Unlike past transitions, officials with significant climate or clean energy experience also pop up in departments like State, Defense, Treasury and Justice. [ read more … ]

Climate economist will help shape Biden’s financial council

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:16:57

An economist who has studied the financial consequences of ignoring climate change was tapped this week by President-elect Joe Biden to help him pick who should serve on the next White House Council of Economic Advisers. Jay Shambaugh, an economics professor at George Washington University, was named Monday to the team in charge of vetting applicants to the influential group. Shambaugh has warned that climate change would have a disproportionate effect on low-income communities. [ read more … ]

Biden’s oil plan: The good, the bad and the illegal

BY Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:16:13

An overhaul of the federal oil and gas program didn’t make it into President-elect Joe Biden’s transition priorities listed on his website Sunday after he was declared the winner of the presidential race. But observers are still expecting Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to curtail oil and gas development on federal lands and waters, an area where the president can exert significant direct control, experts say. [ read more … ]

Merkel: D.C., Berlin must stand together on climate change

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:17:46

The U.S. and Germany must stand “side by side” in handling the coronavirus pandemic, fighting global warming and terrorism, and in working for “an open global economy and free trade,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday. President-elect Joe Biden brings decades of experience in domestic and foreign policy to the job, and “he knows Germany and Europe well,” Merkel said in her first comments in person on the election outcome. The chancellor had congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in writing on Saturday. [ read more … ]

Markets

Covid Restaurant Shutdowns Threaten Oil Refiners’ Biofuel Dreams

By Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:13:36

Every day, Miko Del Rosario oversees nine trucks that crisscross Southern California, weaving through alleys behind shopping malls, restaurants and a tortilla chip factory to pick up cooking oil drained from deep fryers. The grease is filtered at his Anaheim plant to remove leftover bits of food, before it’s sold to refiners who turn it into biodiesel— a lucrative business in a state which offers generous subsidies for using scrap oils to generate fuel. But with coronavirus restrictions hurting eateries across California, Del Rosario’s daily intake has fallen 40% from before the pandemic to about 15,000 gallons a day even as orders keep coming in. [ read more … ]

How One Firm Drove Influence Campaigns Nationwide for Big Oil

By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:13:58

In early 2017, the Texans for Natural Gas website went live to urge voters to “thank a roughneck” and support fracking. Around the same time, the Arctic Energy Center ramped up its advocacy for drilling in Alaskan waters and in a vast Arctic wildlife refuge. The next year, the Main Street Investors Coalition warned that climate activism doesn’t help mom-and-pop investors in the stock market. [ read more … ]

First U.S. oil major sets target for all GHG emissions

By Mike Lee, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:15:41

Occidental Petroleum Corp. pledged to cut its climate-warming emissions within three decades, setting the most aggressive target yet for a U.S. oil company. Occidental will eliminate or offset emissions from its own operations by 2040, and it plans to do the same for the products it sells by 2050, Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub said on the company’s earnings call this week. [ read more … ]

Hydrogen

EVs vs. hydrogen: Calif. battle escalates

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-12 15:14:52

A letter from California legislators this week is highlighting a schism between battery electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles that could grow in the wake of the state’s gas car ban. The ban, created via executive order by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in September, will phase out sales of gas cars by 2035, followed by fossil fuel-powered trucks, buses and other heavier-duty vehicles by 2045. Newsom’s order asked regulators to begin drawing up rules to that effect, leaving open questions about which technologies will fill the void left by fossil fuels. [ read more … ]

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