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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 15, 2020

Top Story

Vineyard Wind CEO denies claims he’s buying time for Biden

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:01:34

The CEO of Vineyard Wind said the country’s first large offshore wind project will move forward, despite being told by the Interior Department last week that the company would need to refile a new application for a federal environmental permit. Vineyard abruptly announced this month that it was temporarily withdrawing its application from the federal review process. The company said the move was needed to incorporate larger turbines into its plan. But sources close to the process said Interior’s decision to delay a final verdict on the project until five days before Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration contributed to the company’s withdrawal. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Past GOP obstruction haunts Biden search for EPA chief

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:00:20

The last time a Democratic president nominated an EPA administrator, Republican senators stalled her confirmation for a record 136 days — and they didn’t even control the chamber. The travails of former EPA chief Gina McCarthy hang over President-elect Joe Biden as he considers his top energy and environment officials. Senate Republicans will have the power to block Biden’s nominees indefinitely unless Democrats sweep both of next month’s Georgia runoffs. [ read more … ]

Unity frays between activists and Biden over Cabinet picks

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:00:40

Tensions are flaring between President-elect Joe Biden and the young climate activists who hounded him on the campaign trail before helping to elect him. The Sunrise Movement has grown increasingly critical of the appointees Biden has selected for his Cabinet and policy positions, including officials that Biden had hoped would appease climate activists. It’s a deterioration of a monthslong truce that enabled Sunrise to influence Biden’s climate plan — which it had previously branded a failure — in return for lending the Democratic nominee grassroots support leading up to the election. The group estimated it contacted 2.5 million swing-state voters.
[ read more … ]

As leaders set fresh climate goals, Biden pledges support

By Frank Jordans and Jeff Schaeffer, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:01:05

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden pledged Saturday to rejoin the Paris climate accord on the first day of his presidency, as world leaders staged a virtual gathering to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the international pact aimed at curbing global warming. Heads of state and government from over 70 countries took part in the event — hosted by Britain, France, Italy, Chile and the United Nations — to announce greater efforts in cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel global warming. [ read more … ]


Calif. zero-carbon plan raises grid reliability questions

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:02:15

A new report from California regulators is spotlighting the grid reliability challenge that states could face as they try to decarbonize their power sectors. Earlier this month, three California agencies released an analysis outlining policies to enable the state’s transition to 100% clean electricity by 2045, as well as the potential costs and benefits associated with the policies. The road map was mandated under California’s 2018 clean energy bill, S.B. 100. [ read more … ]

Ex-FERC chair: Minn. transmission law will hurt customers

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:00:04

A former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is urging the Supreme Court to hear a case challenging Minnesota’s “right of first refusal” law for the utility sector. Jon Wellinghoff, who led the commission under President Obama, said that the case raised issues of “vital importance” to the country’s electrical transmission grid and that the state law undermined FERC’s efforts during his chairmanship to ensure reasonable electricity rates for customers. “Should the Minnesota right of first refusal rule be permitted to stand, the pool of competitors for building new transmission facilities will be artificially limited,” he wrote in a “friend of the court” brief. “As a result, consumers — not only those within Minnesota, but also those in surrounding states — will be harmed.”
[ read more … ]


FERC ruling seen as setback for Northeast renewables

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 15:59:40

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scrapped a rule that was used to boost emerging energy resources and renewables in New England’s power markets. The move is now eliciting concern among battery storage advocates who say it’s the latest example of federal market rules favoring fossil fuel developers over renewable ones. But critics of the rule say its demise will level the electricity playing field.
[ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Big Oil brings another climate case to the justices

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 16:02:37

Oil and gas industry attorneys are giving the Supreme Court a new foothold to derail state and local lawsuits asking fossil fuel firms to pay up for climate impacts. In a Supreme Court petition docketed earlier this month, Suncor Energy Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. asked the justices to reconsider a 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that sent a climate challenge from Boulder County, Colo., back to the state court where it was originally filed. The filing raises similar questions to a case the Supreme Court has already agreed to hear, BP PLC v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, in which the high court could choose to side with industry that climate liability lawsuits belong in federal court, where they are more likely to fail. [ read more … ]


Nordic States Set Electric-Planes Pace After Green-Cars Push

By Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2020-12-14 15:59:03

The Nordic region’s pace-setting push into green transport is set to extend from cars to the air-travel market. Iceland this month signaled plans to move toward carbon-free domestic flights by the end of the decade, while Sweden’s Heart Aerospace aims to deliver an electric plane specifically designed to ply routes linking remote Scandinavian settlements within six years. [ read more … ]

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