Please add the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 8, 2020

Top Story

Trump administration rejects tougher standards on soot, a deadly air pollutant

BY Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:30:18

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the standards Friday, according to two individuals familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The agency locked in current thresholds for fine particle pollution for another five years, despite mounting evidence linking air pollution with illness and death. In its decision, the EPA maintained that the Obama-era levels, set in 2012, are adequately protective of human health. Agency scientists had recommended lowering the annual particulate matter standard to between 8 and 10 micrograms per cubic meter in a draft reportlast year, citing estimates that reducing the limit to 9 could save between 9,050 and 34,600 lives a year. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

N.J.’s first offshore wind farm gets boost

By Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:32:30

New Jersey’s largest utility announced Friday it was buying a 25% stake in the state’s first planned offshore wind farm in an effort to create local jobs and boost the industry’s supply chain.
In a statement, the Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) said it inked a deal with Ørsted North America Inc. for a stake in the Ocean Wind project planned off the coast of Atlantic City. If built, the 1,100-megawatt project could power about 500,000 homes, according to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The developers are aiming for Ocean Wind to provide power by 2024. [ read more … ]

Massive 853-foot-tall wind turbines are coming to America’s East Coast

By Loz Blain, New Atlas  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:31:03

America’s first “commercial scale” offshore wind energy project has decided to use GE’s colossal Haliade-X turbines, the world’s largest and most powerful. Standing 853 ft (260 m) high – as tall as an 85-story building – with a 722-foot (220 m) rotor, each one can power a home for two days with one spin. The Vineyard Wind 1 project, an 800 MW renewable energy project, will place a number of these monster turbines some 15 miles off the South coast of Martha’s Vineyard, an island off Massachusetts, to take advantage of the strong winds off the East coast of the United states. It’ll power about 400,000 houses in New England, expecting to become active sometime in 2023. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Ill. solar in limbo with funding loss, net-metering win

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:31:43

The solar industry notched a win last week when Illinois regulators ordered the state’s second-largest utility to continue net metering. But the victory Wednesday was short-lived. Two days later, the Illinois Power Agency announced that incentive funding for distributed generation systems — a key driver of rooftop solar growth — in Ameren Illinois’ service area had run out. The net result will be a slowdown in solar installations across central and southern Illinois as the state continues to fall well short of renewable energy goals adopted more than a decade ago. [ read more … ]


Study links oil refineries to cancer risk

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:32:11

While this particular study didn’t look at what about the oil refineries increases people’s risk of getting cancer, previous research has demonstrated that pollutants like benzene and toluene — and others linked to oil refinery processes — have been shown to be carcinogenic. Of the nearly 830,000 cancer patients living in Texas between 2001 and 2014, roughly 34% of those lived within a 30-mile radius of a refinery, the study said. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

Another Month on a Warming Planet: Record-Hot November

By Henry Fountain, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:30:40

Last month was the hottest November on record, European researchers said Monday, as the relentlessly warming climate proved too much even for any possible effects of cooler ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Scientists with the Copernicus Climate Change Service said that global temperatures in November were 0.1 degree Celsius (about 0.2 degree Fahrenheit) above the previous record-holders, in 2016 and 2019. November 2020 was 0.8 degree Celsius (or 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the average from 1981 to 2010. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden is making the case for deficit spending on climate

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:32:47

President-elect Joe Biden was unveiling his economic team when he made an off-script remark that could reveal as much about his climate plans as any staffing pick. The deficit, Biden said, doesn’t matter. At least for the moment. “You know, the founders were pretty smart. … There’s a reason why all the states and localities have to have a balanced budget, but we’re allowed federally to run a deficit in order to deal with crises and emergencies, as we have in the past,” he said Tuesday in a comment that was not written into his prepared speech. He was even more explicit Friday: “By acting now, even with deficit financing, we can add to growth in the near future.” [ read more … ]

Michigan’s Granholm in the running for Biden climate czar

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:33:28

One of the front-runners to lead domestic climate policy in the next White House is former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who guided her Rust Belt state through the Great Recession by seeking to make it a hub for green manufacturing. Granholm’s two-term stint as Michigan governor ended in 2011 after she helped stave off the collapse of Detroit’s storied auto industry. [ read more … ]

California’s top air official at center of nomination war for Biden’s EPA chief

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:33:40

One of the top contenders to be Joe Biden’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is in the middle of the tug of war between those who want her to get the job and those who don’t.  Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board, is widely admired among many environmentalists for countering the rollback of climate regulations coming out of Washington under President Trump. But she has detractors who see a lackluster record regarding poor and minority communities in the Golden State.  [ read more … ]


Calif. might matter more than Biden for EV sales

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-07 16:34:00

When it comes to boosting electric vehicle adoption in the United States, California may hold more sway than the federal government, experts say. That means the Golden State could steer the country toward an electric future regardless of whether President-elect Joe Biden takes aggressive steps to promote clean cars. “I think it’s plausible that the EV market could move even without federal leadership, as long as the federal government lets California move forward,” said Ann Carlson, co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. [ read more … ]

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