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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 18, 2020

Top Story

Biden Plans to Move Fast With a ‘Climate Administration.’ Here’s How.

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:38:39

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., eager to elevate climate change issues throughout his administration, is already drafting orders to reduce planet-warming pollution and seeking nominees who will embed climate policy not only in environmental agencies but in departments from Defense to Treasury to Transportation. Top candidates for senior cabinet posts, such as Michèle Flournoy for defense secretary and Lael Brainard for Treasury, have long supported aggressive policies to curb climate change. Mr. Biden’s inner circle routinely asks “is the person climate-ambitious?” of candidates even for lower profile positions like the White House budget and regulatory offices, according to a person advising the transition. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden’s 100% clean electricity plan may hit CCS wall

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:40:33

President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to reach 100% clean electricity in 15 years may hinge on a technology that has been deployed at few power plants and faced financing challenges. Currently, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology remains the chief solution to removing carbon dioxide emissions in the next decade from natural gas and coal, which are projected to be central parts of the power mix through 2035. That raises questions what Biden could do to move the needle on the ground, particularly with a potentially divided Congress. [ read more … ]

How Biden can prevent climate action from failing in court

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:42:02

President-elect Joe Biden may have to get creative if he wants his climate policies to survive — or avoid — scrutiny by a federal court system brimming with more than 200 Trump-appointed judges. The incoming administration is widely expected to unravel four years’ worth of Trump-era climate rollbacks in an effort to help the United States regain its footing in the fight against rising global temperatures. [ read more … ]

Trump’s last-minute environmental rules changes may make things hard for Biden

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:42:47

With just two months until Joe Biden becomes president, Trump appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency and elsewhere are up against the clock to lock in rules changes. The last-minute efforts could affect everything from vast tracts of remote Arctic wilderness and air quality nationwide to the everyday showers and clothes dryers in people’s homes. Biden has promised to undo many of the regulatory rollbacks completed over the past fours years. But some of the Trump administration’s under-the-wire rules could end up hampering the Biden administration from aggressively tackling climate change and other issues right out of the gate. [ read more … ]


With GOP support, Arizona mandates cleaner energy

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:42:27

Arizona becomes only the seventh state to pass a law requiring its utilities generate all their electricity from carbon-free sources. It is the first state where such a charge has been led by Republicans. Three Republicans joined the commission’s sole Democrat in voting for the rule, with one Republican commissioner in opposition. The shift says as much about the growth of the renewables industry as it does a change in the political winds. Wind and solar costs have fallen dramatically, and technologies like battery storage, which were once viewed as a future alternative, are now being deployed in the field. That opened the door to support from Republicans like Burns, who chairs the commission and will retire when his term ends on Jan. 4. [ read more … ]

Will Indiana stick with coal or embrace renewables? Energy task force to decide next week

By Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:39:05

Historically, Indiana is a state built on coal. It has been both one of the top producers and consumers of coal across the country — and is a state that still generates more than half of its energy from the fossil fuel today. But where will Indiana’s energy come from in the future? That’s exactly what the state’s 21st Century Energy Task Force is trying to figure out.  The General Assembly created the task force during the 2019 legislative session to explore the impact that emerging technologies and a transition away from fossil fuels might have on Indiana’s energy system. It also is meant to identify policies focused on affordability and reliability of electricity.  [ read more … ]

Climate Change

Bezos makes first donations from $10 billion Earth Fund for fighting climate change

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:40:14

Jeff Bezos said Monday he is giving $791 million to 16 groups fighting climate change, the first grants from his Earth Fund, saying the money is “just the beginning of my $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and others.” More than half of the donations went to established environmental groups, with $100 million donations each going to the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. [ read more … ]

Bezos unveils ‘game-changing’ grants for clean energy

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:41:15

A nearly $800 million pot of climate grants unveiled yesterday by Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos directs funding to emerging energy technologies and groups aiming to boost renewable energy. The bulk of the financing from the Bezos Earth Fund — some $400 million — went to four well-established environmental groups. But of the 16 grantees announced in the first tranche, at least nine have promised to use funds to scale up early-stage technology, boost the deployment of proven clean energy sources or run advocacy campaigns. [ read more … ]


Danly to cancel FERC press briefings

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:40:55

Newly appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman James Danly (R) has canceled the agency’s monthly media briefings and will not take interviews with the press, according to an announcement yesterday that drew criticism from advocates for government transparency. The staunch conservative views his role “as that of an adjudicator; therefore he will not be conducting briefings or any meetings with the news media,” according to an email from a FERC spokesperson. [ read more … ]


It’s electric

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:39:18

A coalition of utilities, electric vehicle makers and mineral producers have formed a new association to push for 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2030.  The group, dubbed the Zero Emission Transportation Association, will seek policies to help the growing sector, such as point-of-sale consumer incentives to buy electric vehicles, investments in federal infrastructure and strengthened emissions performance standards. The aim is for all light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be entirely electric by 2030. [ read more … ]

Is widespread EV use really bad for the climate?

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:41:34

Experts are questioning a new paper from a conservative group that argues widespread electric vehicle adoption could have negative consequences for the planet. The debate comes as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office with plans to combat climate change by boosting electric car deployment nationwide. At issue is a paper released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank whose scholars have said concern about global warming is overblown. [ read more … ]


FBI searches home of Ohio’s top utilities regulator

  •  By Jessie Balmert and Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch  •  Posted 2020-11-17 16:39:44

What they were after wasn’t immediately clear. Randazzo, who was appointed PUCO chairman by Gov. Mike DeWine in 2019, has connections to Akron-based FirstEnergy, the power company at the heart of the state’s nuclear bailout scandal. Agents could be seen carrying boxes out of the condominium in the 600 block of Grant Avenue in German Village, which is owned by Randazzo, according to Franklin County auditor records.   [ read more … ]


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