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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 23, 2020

Top Story

Don’t Discount States for U.S. Climate Progress

By Gernot Wagner, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:00:16

All climate policy eyes are on Washington, D.C., these days and for good reason. The fact that President-elect Joe Biden puts climate change among his top four priorities promises significant progress at the federal level, with or without the Senate. But don’t forget states as a crucial driver of climate progress. During the four years of the Trump administration, states have served as a backstop, while federal climate action has been backsliding. Yet states’ roles go well beyond that. They often serve as a laboratory for new ideas as well as a conduit by which federal agencies make progress. [ read more … ]

FERC

Chatterjee: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:00:58

“On the many times [Biden] visited the Senate chamber, he always made a point to check in on me, despite the fact I was an insignificant staffer,” the former FERC chairman said yesterday during the agency’s monthly meeting. “I certainly have my disagreements on policy with him, but I wish him well.” Chatterjee also acknowledged the historic nature of Kamala Harris’ victory as the first woman and first woman of color to be elected vice president, noting their shared Indian heritage. “I take no small amount of pride seeing the numerous historical barriers she has broken,” he said. [ read more … ]

Coalition calls on Senate to confirm FERC picks

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:02:05

A diverse coalition of 27 trade and labor groups is calling on Senate leadership to fill vacant posts at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the five-member independent agency charged with overseeing major natural gas pipeline projects and electricity markets. “FERC cannot approve new infrastructure, review rate or service proposals, or perform other key functions without a quorum,” the groups wrote in a Nov. 19 letter. “We ask that you support our efforts to create a modern, clean, reliable, and affordable energy system by filling the vacant seats on the Commission as quickly as possible.’ [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden vowed to ban new drilling on public lands. It won’t be easy.

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:02:53

One of Joe Biden’s boldest campaign pledges was to ban “new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” part of a sweeping agenda aimed at curbing greenhouse gases that are warming the planet and threatening life on Earth. The incoming administration will face several legal and political hurdles if it seeks to halt new oil and gas permits on federal land and waters, given existing laws and the enormous sums that drilling royalties generate for the federal and state governments — including Democratic-leaning states such as New Mexico and Colorado. But failure to do so is sure to become a flash point with environmental and youth activists within the Democratic Party, who helped elect him and have made climate a priority. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Another Solyndra? Biden faces solar tariff test

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:03:47

The incoming presidency of Joe Biden is raising questions about the fate of President Trump’s solar tariffs and whether they should be — or are likely to be — repealed. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, repealing the tariffs should be a top priority for Biden, even as a nascent field of U.S. manufacturers warns that it would pose an “existential threat” and raise the possibility of political blowback. The first of the solar tariffs in question was imposed in 2018 by Trump, who slapped a 30% tax on panels and cells brought in from outside the United States. A second tariff enacted that same year took more direct aim at China, hitting solar equipment from the country with an additional 25% duty. [ read more … ]

Hydrogen

11-state alliance launches to push CO2-free hydrogen

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:01:47

A public-private partnership covering 11 Western states and two Canadian provinces launched this week to accelerate deployment of “green” hydrogen projects and related infrastructure in the West. The Western Green Hydrogen Initiative (WGHI) — a partnership among the National Association of State Energy Officials, the Western Interstate Energy Board and the nonprofit Green Hydrogen Coalition — aims to act as the steering committee to help create a regional green hydrogen strategy in the West Coast, the Southwest, the Mountain West and western Canada. [ read more … ]

States

Inside Clean Energy: Arizona’s Net-Zero Plan Unites Democrats and Republicans

BY DAN GEARINO, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:04:34

Arizona is showing the rest of the country how to set the terms for a transition to clean energy that is substantial and nonpartisan. Considering that the state is controlled by Republicans and was known until recently for the way its largest utility, Arizona Public Service, was willing to go to great lengths to oppose progress, that fact in itself is incredible. With a 4 to 1 vote last week, the Arizona Corporation Commission approved a plan requiring regulated utilities in the state to move to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. The plan includes interim targets of 50 percent carbon-free energy by 2032, and 75 percent by 2040. [ read more … ]

Climate

Trudeau Plots Road Map for Canada to Achieve Net-Zero Emissions

By Kait Bolongaro, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:04:09

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government introduced legislation setting emissions reduction targets for Canada to achieve its net-zero pledge by 2050. Under the proposed law, unveiled Thursday in Ottawa by Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, the government would be obliged to set targets every five years beginning in 2030. If it fails to reach them, it is required to assess the reasons for failure and spell out actions to remedy the situation to parliament. It also requires the finance minister to report each year on “key measures that the federal public administration has taken to manage its financial risks and opportunities related to climate change,” according to the bill. [ read more … ]

Doomsday climate study debunked by researchers

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:03:19

No, we haven’t reached a climate “point of no return.” That’s the overwhelming message from climate scientists in response to an alarming climate study that many experts described as flawed when it splashed across social media last week. Yes, there’s still hope to prevent catastrophic global warming. And yes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero could still halt climate change, they said.
[ read more … ]

EVs

GM vs. Ford: What their EV split reveals

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:00:37

General Motors revealed that it is pressing the accelerator pedal hard, with a road map for multiple types of vehicles across all of its brands. Its funding is turning away from gas and diesel vehicles and toward making its own batteries, with the intention of being America’s biggest seller of EVs, aiming straight for the mantle held by Tesla Inc. Ford is on a slower and more cautious road. It is hedging its bets by electrifying just a few vehicles. It will buy batteries from others and will try to make the endeavor profitable by providing services that keep buyers within its ecosystem. [ read more … ]

Regulators greenlight driverless cars for hire

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-11-22 06:02:24

Driverless cars carrying paying customers will soon be cruising California roads. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday approved two new autonomous vehicle (AV) programs, one with a “safety driver” in the vehicle, and the other allowing robot cars without any backup driver. [ read more … ]

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