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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 7, 2021

Top Story

For first time in 5 years, U.S. gas mileage down, emissions up

By Tom Krisher, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:22:19

A new government report says gas mileage for new vehicles dropped and pollution increased in model year 2019 for the first time in five years. The mileage increase comes as Americans continue to buy SUVs and trucks, and shift away from more efficient vehicles. EPA says the changes show that few automakers could meet what it called unrealistic emissions and mileage standards set by the Obama administration through the 2020 model year. But environmental groups say that automakers used loopholes and stopped marketing fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles knowing that the Trump administration was about to roll back mileage and pollution standards. [ read more … ]


A Plan Made to Shield Big Tobacco From Facts Is Now E.P.A. Policy

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:23:17

Nearly a quarter century ago, a team of tobacco industry consultants outlined a plan to create “explicit procedural hurdles” for the Environmental Protection Agency to clear before it could use science to address the health impacts of smoking. President Trump’s E.P.A. has now embedded parts of that strategy into federal environmental policy. On Tuesday Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the E.P.A., formally released a new regulation that favors certain kinds of scientific research over others in the drafting of public health rules. [ read more … ]

How climate opponents helped pass a historic emissions law

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:25:59

The most important climate legislation enacted since 2009 was helped across the finish line by two business groups better known for opposing regulation. The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have a history of seeking to curtail EPA’s use of the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. But last year they stepped in to help rescue bipartisan legislation to reduce refrigerants linked to warming as the measure was poised to become a casualty of climate politics. “It became really clear to us that we needed to engage more closely, and had the ability to step in and play the role of broker,” said Rachel Jones, vice president of energy and resource policy with the manufacturing trade group. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Giant turbines will generate power at New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm

By JON HURDLE, NJ Spotlight  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:24:45

New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm will also be among the first in the world to be powered by the biggest and most powerful turbines ever built, the project’s developer said. Ocean Wind, a planned farm about 15 miles off Atlantic City, is due to start operating in 2024, using as many as 99 Haliade-X turbines — giant machines that will tower 853 feet (260 meters) above the ocean’s surface, using blades that are 351 feet (107 meters) long, and can each generate enough electricity to power 16,000 homes.
[ read more … ]

Battery Storage

World’s Largest Utility-Scale Battery Energy Storage System Now Online

By Emily Holbrook, Environment and Energy Leader  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:23:42

The Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility, the world’s largest utility-scale battery energy storage system, is now online. The 300 megawatts/1,200 megawatt-hours lithium-ion battery storage system is located on-site at Vistra’s Moss Landing Power Plant in Monterey County, California. Construction is already underway on Phase II, which will add an additional 100 MW/400 MWh to the facility by August 2021, bringing its total capacity to 400 MW/1,600 MWh. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden Picks Rhode Island Governor and former Coalition Chair for Commerce Secretary

By Jonathan Martin and Ana Swanson, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:20:21

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to announce Gina M. Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, as his commerce secretary, a key economic position given the agency’s critical role in everything from technology policy to climate change to promoting American industry, according to a person familiar with the decision. Ms. Raimondo, a moderate Democrat with a background in the financial industry, has served as governor since 2015. She is seen as a relatively traditional choice for commerce secretary, a post that oversees relations with the business community but also technology regulation, weather monitoring and the gathering of economic data, among other duties. [ read more … ]

Will Senate wins unlock Biden’s 100% clean energy agenda?

By Lesley Clark and Peter Behr, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:21:09

“The Biden clean energy agenda just got a huge shot in the arm,” said Paul Bledsoe, a former Senate Finance Committee staffer now with the Progressive Policy Institute. He noted Democrats will now control the calendar and committee chairmanships. “The Democratic Senate can now pursue the broad, Biden clean energy economic jump-starting vision,” Bledsoe said. “And that’s how it will happen, through economic policy.”
[ read more … ]


Washington state proposes legislation to phase out natural gas utility service

By Tom DiChristopher, S&P Global  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:24:29

Legislation developed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office could substantially reduce — and potentially eliminate — natural gas utilities’ role in delivering energy to many state ratepayers over the next 30 years. The legislation put Washington on pace to become the first U.S. state to implement statewide restrictions on natural gas infrastructure in new construction, while simultaneously tackling retrofits in existing buildings.
[ read more … ]

Capitol Riot

Mob stains ascent of Democrats — and climate — in Senate

By Adam Aton and Scott Waldman, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:21:38

Moderates in both parties hoped that Democrats taking control of a 50-50 Senate would lead some Republicans to engage on climate policy. Then President Trump helped to incite a riot. A day that began with the political earthquake of Democrats seizing control of the Senate, ended with the fallout of a history-making incursion into the Capitol, with violent rioters occupying the corridors around the House and Senate chambers. [ read more … ]

Business leaders once allied with Trump now condemn him for stoking violence

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:22:58

A bevy of energy business interests in Washington who once cheered on President Trump’s agenda are now blaming him for stoking rhetoric that led to a pro-Trump mob violent storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.  Mike Sommers, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said he found the footage of rioters breaking into the Capitol and clashing with police “absolutely sickening” and “heartbreaking.”  Asked about Trump’s role, Sommers said, “I blame him completely.”  [ read more … ]

CCS Rule

Treasury issues final CCS tax credit rule

By Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:25:22

The Trump administration’s Treasury Department issued a final rule yesterday providing detailed guidelines for companies using a tax credit for carbon capture and storage projects. In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the regulations governing the tax credit known as 45Q would “further modernize the American energy sector, while ensuring American energy producers maintain their competitive edge around the world.” [ read more … ]


Newsom proposes first funding for gas car ban

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:22:38

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) wants to spend $1.5 billion to get more clean cars and trucks on the road. Newsom plans to propose the funding in his fiscal 2021-22 budget, he said in a statement, adding that he is “building on California’s historic commitment” to phase out gas-fueled vehicles. The governor issued an executive order last year saying no new gas-fueled passenger cars could be sold after 2035. The California Air Resources Board will begin drafting regulations this year to meet that goal. [ read more … ]

California governor’s stimulus plan includes $1.5 billion to boost electric and hydrogen vehicles

By Lora Kolodny, CNBC  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:24:02

Tesla and other electric vehicle makers stand to benefit handsomely if California passes Governor Newsom’s proposed $4.5 billion 2021 budget for economic stimulus in the state. The 2021 proposal, which Newsom previewed on Tuesday, includes $1.5 billion earmarked to help people and businesses purchase electric or hydrogen vehicles and equipment, and to invest in construction and maintenance of charging and fueling infrastructure, which would be needed to support expanded use of these vehicles in the state. [ read more … ]

Democratic Senate could boost EVs, batter fossil fuels

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-07 15:22:02

Corporate advisers are preparing their clients for a strong clean energy push by the incoming Biden administration after Democrats won two runoff elections in Georgia to reclaim the Senate. When President-elect Joe Biden and the new Congress are sworn in, Democrats will have 50 seats in the Senate and a tiebreaking vote in the White House, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) running the House. Policy analysts and corporate lobbyists say Biden could use that unified power to boost federal spending on clean energy, slash tax breaks that support fossil fuels and strike down eleventh-hour environmental rollbacks by the Trump White House. [ read more … ]

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