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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 11, 2020

Top Story

The Making of Biden’s Superfast Push for Clean Electricity

By David R Baker and Leslie Kaufman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:40:29

In a net-zero future, there would be almost no power plants with uncontrolled emissions. But at the start of this year’s presidential campaign, way back in the spring of 2019, climate wonks and even activists assumed that future would remain a generation—and several technical innovations—away. That started to change this summer. In a surprise move for a cautious candidate, Joe Biden put a 100% clean grid at the core of his climate agenda. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Wind farm backlash grows in oil-rich Norway before election

By Lars Erik Taraldsen, Lars Paulsson and Jesper Starn, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:43:22

After being harassed on social media and told repeatedly that she’s a traitor who should be in jail, Norway’s 34-year-old energy minister is bracing for a controversial election campaign. In the country that has amassed a trillion-dollar fortune built on the revenue from oil and natural gas exports, it’s the green energy revolution that is stoking one of the loudest debates. Wind power could be a vital part of Norway’s plan to slash pollution, but many voters have had enough of the machines that stand as tall as skyscrapers. Tina Bru is getting abuse both online and when out on foot. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biden trade pick faces tough choices on U.S. solar

By David Iaconangelo and Lesley Clark, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:42:29

President-elect Joe Biden has picked Katherine Tai, a top trade lawyer on the House Ways and Means Committee, to serve as U.S. trade representative — a position that is likely to be key for the new administration’s clean energy goals. A former lawyer for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Tai oversaw enforcement actions against China. Fluent in Mandarin, she will step into the role at a time of rising tensions between the U.S. and China, which also controls much of the world’s supply of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries. [ read more … ]

Clean Air Act

Trump EPA finalizes rollback making it harder to enact new public health rules

By. Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:45:14

The Trump administration finalized a rule Wednesday that could make it more difficult to enact public health protections, by changing the way the Environmental Protection Agency calculates the costs and benefits of new limits on air pollution. The new cost-benefit requirements, which apply to all future Clean Air Act rules, instruct the agency to weigh all the economic costs of curbing an air pollutant but disregard many of the incidental benefits that arise, such as illnesses and deaths avoided by a potential regulation. In other words, if reducing emissions from power plants also saves tens of thousands of lives each year by cutting soot, those “co-benefits” should not be counted. [ read more … ]

The States

Tech, business coalition releases report pegging Colorado’s economic recovery on clean-energy future

By Judith Kohler, Denver Post  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:39:46

A coalition of technology and business leaders says investing in renewable energy and electric vehicles is not only the path to combating climate change, but also a way to bolster Colorado’s economy once the pandemic recedes. The Signal Tech Coalition, which publicly launched earlier this year, released a report Wednesday that details what it sees as the economic benefits of moving from energy generated by fossil fuels to wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable sources. The organization supports private-public partnerships and investing state money in the nonprofit Colorado Clean Energy Fund, started under the John Hickenlooper administration to leverage private dollars. [ read more … ]

Newsom picks utility regulator to lead CARB

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:42:07

A utility regulator will head the California Air Resources Board, a key agency for rules targeting climate change. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) yesterday named Liane Randolph, 55, as the chair of the air board. Randolph is a member of the California Public Utilities Commission, where she’s held a post focused in part on climate change adaptation. She has also led proceedings on long-term electric and gas resource planning, energy market design, and utility infrastructure. [ read more … ]


Clements sworn in at FERC, creating partisan split

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:43:01

Democrat Allison Clements was sworn into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late Tuesday, creating a partisan split of two Republicans and two Democrats. Clements joins FERC Chairman James Danly (R) and Commissioners Neil Chatterjee (R) and Richard Glick (D) on the five-member panel charged with overseeing regional energy markets and large-scale natural gas infrastructure. [ read more … ]


Almost 1 year into pandemic, green recovery is still absent

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:43:44

For the last 11 years, the United Nations has released an annual report detailing the emissions gap facing the world and its climate goals. This year’s edition, unsurprisingly, focuses on COVID-19.
The pandemic itself will have little impact on the world’s emissions trajectory, despite a record fall in the global economy’s output of greenhouse gases this year. More important, the report finds, is how governments choose to build back. “A green pandemic recovery can take a huge slice out of greenhouse gas emissions and help slow climate change,” said Inger Andersen, the executive director of the United Nations Environmental Programme. “I urge governments to back a green recovery in the next stage of COVID-19 fiscal interventions and raise significantly their climate ambitions in 2021.” [ read more … ]

‘Clean products standard’: A key to 100% clean energy?

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:44:21

A newly proposed framework is aiming to address one of the country’s largest sources of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions: the U.S. industrial sector. In a report released yesterday, the research firm Rhodium Group detailed a national “clean products standard” to curb emissions from the manufacturing of products such as aluminum, cement, glass and steel. The standard, which would be implemented through a federal agency like EPA, would set up a maximum amount of emissions per unit of material produced, with manufacturers able to “employ any technological or process-based solutions” to adhere to the emissions limit. [ read more … ]

Amazon Backs 26 Green Projects in Drive to Renewable Energy

By Matt Day, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:40:56 Inc. on Thursday said it was backing 26 new wind and solar utility projects around the globe, a massive investment that the company said made it the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. The retail and technology company said the utility-scale projects, located in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S., would have the capacity to produce 3.4 gigawatts of electricity. Google, the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in 2019, claimed the previous high water mark that year with a 1.6 gigawatt purchase in a single announcement. [ read more … ]


Gas plant developer bets big on CO2-free hydrogen

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:41:22

A wave of new natural gas-fired power plants is taking shape across Ohio, signaling an energy transition underway in the region as cheap, abundant shale gas undercuts the profitability of coal and nuclear energy. One of these new plants, though, may not only represent the current state of Ohio’s fossil fuel-heavy energy mix but be the vanguard of a green hydrogen future if developers can execute their ambitious vision. [ read more … ]


An all-EV government fleet? It’s possible, report says

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-10 16:41:54

Washington state could electrify almost all of its 56,000 public vehicles by 2035, according to a new study that might have lessons for the incoming Biden administration. The analysis found that some vehicles are already affordable for governments or soon will be, like buses, light sedans and garbage trucks. Other types, like heavy pickup trucks, could take a lot longer to fit into state and local budgets, based on the study led by the Atlas Public Policy research group. [ read more … ]

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