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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 21, 2020

Top Story

Odd couple Chatterjee and Glick block Calif. grid probe

By Arianna Skibell and Christian Vasquez, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:33:37

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission declined last week to launch an investigation of the California grid operator following rolling blackouts in last summer’s heat wave. Chairman James Danly, a Republican, brought forward a vote on a draft order to start a show-cause investigation into the California Independent System Operator, but Republican Commissioner Neil Chatterjee and Democratic Commissioner Richard Glick voted against the measure, saying they prefer a more collaborative approach. The panel currently has just three voting members. [ read more … ]


Battle brews over Wash. plan to ban natural gas

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:34:53

Washington Gov. and former Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee has proposed what would be the nation’s first statewide law banning natural gas in buildings, solidifying the state’s status as a center of the building electrification movement. Unveiled earlier this week as part of a broader climate package, Inslee’s proposal would prohibit natural gas-powered space and water heating in all new homes and commercial buildings by 2030. Stoves could run on gas until 2050, at which point the entire existing building stock would have to switch to electric stovetops, heat pumps and boilers. [ read more … ]

Wisconsin’s original renewables roll with climate change

By CHRIS HUBBUCH, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:35:10

Two and a half years in the making, the agreement, negotiated by groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Wildlife Fund and American Rivers, reflects a recognition that climate change represents an even greater ecological threat and that hydroelectricity will play a key role in integrating variable clean energy sources like wind and solar. “To rapidly and substantially decarbonize the nation’s electricity system, the parties recognize the role that U.S. hydropower plays as an important renewable energy resource,” the agreement states. “At the same time, our nation’s waterways, and the biodiversity and ecosystem services they sustain, are vulnerable to the compounding factors of a changing climate, habitat loss, and alteration of river processes.” [ read more … ]

Northeast states to unveil cap-and-invest plan for cars

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:35:32

A collection of Northeastern states are expected Monday to unveil a final agreement to cap carbon emissions from cars, according to sources close to the process. The announcement follows years of negotiations and represents one of the most significant developments in state climate policy. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States, but states have focused much of their climate efforts on power plants. In the Northeast, more than 40% of emissions comes from cars and trucks. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Historic picks for EPA, Interior complete Biden climate team

By Scott Waldman and Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:35:55

Joe Biden made climate change and racism top issues when running for president. Now he’s melding them with the selection of his Cabinet. Rep. Deb Haaland, Biden’s pick to head the Interior Department, would become the first Native American Cabinet secretary in history if confirmed. Michael Regan, head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, would be the first Black man to lead EPA.
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What Biden’s Interior pick means for oil and gas

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:33:13

President-elect Joe Biden yesterday tapped Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) for his Interior secretary, signaling that his administration could come through on a promise to curb oil and gas development on public lands. But it’s complicated. Haaland is on record saying she opposes hydraulic fracturing. She’s been an advocate for Indigenous rights when in conflict with resource extraction and has said she has reservations about oil and gas development. [ read more … ]

Climate cash pours into Ga. Senate battles

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:34:14

The future of national climate change policy may rest on two Senate runoff races next month in Georgia, and the candidates and their supporters want to make sure voters know that. If Republican incumbent Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue win their respective Jan. 5 races, the GOP will keep a 52-48 majority in the upper chamber. But if the Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) beats Loeffler and Democrat Jon Ossoff beats Perdue, the parties would be tied 50 to 50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to break ties. [ read more … ]


This is bad.’ Hacking chaos engulfs FERC, DOE, Microsoft

By Christian Vasquez and Blake Sobczak, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:32:32

The Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons office and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are the latest agencies swept up in a staggering hack of global computer networks. DOE spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes said the breach “has not impacted the mission-essential national security functions” of the agency or its National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. [ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Where 5 key climate cases stand ahead of Supreme Court brawl

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:36:29

The latest batch of climate liability lawsuits is plowing ahead in federal court as the nation’s highest bench gets ready to decide a case that will help determine whether such challenges belong in state or federal venues. Leaders from Connecticut, Delaware, South Carolina, Hawaii and New Jersey unleashed a flurry of climate complaints this summer, adding to the growing heap of lawsuits asking oil and gas companies to pay up for climate impacts like extreme heat, wildfires and flooding that have been linked to emissions from producing and burning fossil fuels. [ read more … ]


Toyota’s Chief Says Electric Vehicles Are Overhyped

By Peter Landers, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2020-12-20 15:32:56

Toyota  Motor Corp.’s leader criticized what he described as excessive hype over electric vehicles, saying advocates failed to consider the carbon emitted by generating electricity and the costs of an EV transition. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. The infrastructure needed to support a fleet consisting entirely of EVs would cost Japan between ¥14 trillion and ¥37 trillion, the equivalent of $135 billion to $358 billion, he said.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.