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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 3, 2020

Top Story

First U.S. offshore wind farm abruptly put on hold

By Heather Richards and Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:47:21

Vineyard said it was temporarily withdrawing its construction and operation plans in order to conduct a technical review of a larger turbine. The company said yesterday it had selected the Haliade-X turbine manufactured by GE Renewable Energy, which would enable it to reduce the number of towers in the development’s first phase from 84 to 62. The Haliade-X has a generating capacity of 12 or 13 MW. Vineyard had previously planned on using 9.5-MW turbines from Danish manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biggest U.S. Solar Manufacturer Wants to Keep Trump’s Tariffs

By Brian Eckhouse and Joe Deaux, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:46:40

America’s biggest solar manufacturer wants President-elect Joe Biden to preserve the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported panels or add other measures to help compete against China. “If you want continued American innovation, you have to have some mechanism to ensure not only free trade but fair trade,” First Solar Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Widmar said in an interview Tuesday. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Knowing Mary Nichols

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:47:48

Mary Nichols, a Yale-trained lawyer who first helmed the California Air Resources Board in the 1970s, has made a career of bringing industry on board with groundbreaking environmental policies in ways that others have struggled — and failed — to replicate. One reason is that she’s better than most at negotiating with industry. [ read more … ]

Schumer backs Mary Nichols to lead Biden EPA

By Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:47:04

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is pressing President-elect Joe Biden to nominate California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols to be his EPA administrator, a move that would offer a chief foe of President Trump’s environmental agenda the chance to reverse many of the previous administration’s policies. A source with direct knowledge of the conversations confirmed this morning that “Sen. Schumer has expressed to the Biden transition team his support for Mary Nichols to lead the EPA.” [ read more … ]

CEO: Biden clean energy costs ‘prohibitively high’

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:49:32

President-elect Joe Biden’s plan for a 100% carbon-free power sector by 2035 could endanger grid reliability and carry an “extremely high” cost that makes such a time frame unlikely, the CEO of Texas-based Vistra Corp. said yesterday. Curt Morgan, who has led the power producer and retailer since October 2016, called Biden a “smart guy” and a “moderate person.” Once experts are able to explain practical realities, he suggested, the incoming administration may aim for electricity without carbon pollution by 2050. [ read more … ]

Report outlines Biden, utility clash over 100% clean power

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:48:13

Most of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities aren’t on track to meet President-elect Joe Biden’s goals to decarbonize the power sector by 2035, according to a new analysis. The companies may have set targets to remove all or most carbon from their generating fleets by 2050, but they are moving at a pace that’s too slow to align with Biden’s proposal, says the report released today by the Energy and Policy Institute, a pro-renewable-energy watchdog group. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

New Zealand Declares Climate Emergency as Ardern Pledges Action

By Tracy Withers, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:51:22

New Zealand’s parliament declared a climate emergency Wednesday, passing a motion tabled by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that calls on the nation to take responsibility for future generations and its South Pacific neighbors. While the declaration is a symbolic statement, it shows that tackling the climate crisis is an important part of the government’s agenda. It records “our intent as a nation” and “acts as a catalyst for change,” Ardern said in a speech in parliament.
[ read more … ]

Clean Energy Essentials

Trump does U-turn on DOE loans for clean energy

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:50:43

The Trump administration is opening over $42 billion in loans from the Department of Energy for projects that boost the nation’s supply of key clean energy minerals, despite the president’s repeated attempts to eliminate funding for the program. In new guidance published yesterday, the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) encouraged companies to seek loans for the production, processing and recycling of “critical minerals” that are central to electric vehicles, renewable energy, advanced nuclear, hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture, among others. [ read more … ]

Natural Gas

‘Methane’ vs. ‘natural gas’: Which words sway the public?

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-02 14:48:40

Americans have a more positive perception of the term “natural gas” than of phrases that include the word “methane,” according to a new study that examined views of the fossil fuel. The analysis from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication surveyed nearly 2,000 people and also found that adding the word “natural” increased respondents’ positive feelings about methane. The Yale team asked respondents — who were roughly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats — to rate positive and negative feelings about “natural gas,” “natural methane gas,” “methane” or “methane” gas. [ read more … ]


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