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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 12, 2021

Top Story

What Trump’s dismal deregulatory record means for Biden

By Pamela King and Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:39:42

As Trump’s sole term comes to a close, that deregulatory legacy remains tarnished and trammeled by the courts. Much of the administration’s efforts have been unable to survive legal scrutiny, while others await judgement that will come after President-elect Joe Biden takes office. So far, the Trump administration has lost 83% of legal challenges to its regulations, guidance and agency memorandums, according to statisticscompiled by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law. [ read more … ]

Wind Enewrgy

Major N.Y. offshore wind project sparks NIMBY fight

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:36:59

A New York project has emerged as a contender to be the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm, shifting the U.S. industry’s sights to a proposal that has encountered opposition from residents of a resort town in the Hamptons. Developed by Ørsted and Eversource Energy, the South Fork project would consist of 15 turbines about 35 miles off the coast of Long Island and could deliver as much as 132 megawatts of power, or enough for about 70,000 homes.
[ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Canada pressures U.S. to repeal Trump solar tariffs

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:37:18

U.S. trade officials are coming under renewed pressure to repeal the Trump administration’s solar tariffs, as President-elect Joe Biden’s stance on the issue remains unclear. First enacted in 2018, Trump’s tariffs on foreign-made solar panels and cells began at 30% and stepped down to 20% last year. They were followed by additional duties on Chinese-made products that same year. Last October, President Trump issued a proclamation that extended the 2018 tariffs onto an increasingly popular type of “bifacial,” or two-sided, solar panel that had been previously excluded. [ read more … ]

Chinese Solar Companies Tied to Use of Forced Labor

By Ana Swanson and Christopher Buckley, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:35:53

The workers, members of the region’s Uighur minority, attended a class in etiquette as they prepared for their new lives in the solar industry, which prides itself as a model of clean, responsible growth. GCL-Poly promoted the housing and training it offered its new recruits in photographs and statements to the local news media. But researchers and human rights experts say those positive images may conceal a more troubling reality — the persecution of one of China’s most vulnerable ethnic groups. According to a report by the consultancy Horizon Advisory, Xinjiang’s rising solar energy technology sector is connected to a broad program of assigned labor in China, including methods that fit well-documented patterns of forced labor. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Kamala Harris gains prominent new role thanks to Democrats’ Senate majority

By CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:39:26

Kamala Harris’s vice presidential portfolio was nebulous before last week. But thanks to Democrats’ upset victories in two Georgia Senate run-offs, Harris has unexpectedly earned a new title: Senate tie breaker. Once Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock are sworn in next week, the Senate will be split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. That puts Harris, who as vice president will formally be the president of the Senate, in position to tip the balance of power on everything from key legislative items to confirming Cabinet nominees and judges. [ read more … ]

Renewables and unions: Biden rounds out energy Cabinet

By Lesley Clark and Heather Richards, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:36:39

Offshore wind insiders say Raimondo appears to be an answer to the growing friction between a burgeoning renewable sector and the fishermen who have long been the ocean’s dominant users. She served as governor of the Ocean State when the first offshore wind farm in the country, Block Island, was built and brought into operation. The wind industry, beset by delays and tension over the last few years, could be a critical green power component for the Biden administration’s goal of zeroing out electricity-sector carbon emissions by 2035. [ read more … ]

What Merrick Garland as attorney general means for the environment

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:38:52

President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for attorney general, U.S. Appeals Court Judge Merrick B. Garland, is set to bring deep expertise on environmental law to the Justice Department. Garland is best known for having his nomination to the Supreme Court shot down by Senate Republicans during President Barack Obama’s last year in office. But he is also well versed on the nation’s major anti-pollution laws as the chief justice of the federal court second only to the high court in matters of environmental law.  If confirmed, he will inherit a department that critics, including Biden, say has curtailed prosecution of polluters under President Trump. The former vice president campaigned on increasing enforcement of Clean Air Act violations and other laws.  [ read more … ]

Here’s what might be in Biden’s first climate order

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:37:55

Joe Biden could mark his first day as president with one or more executive orders announcing plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement, submit a global deal on refrigerants for ratification and deliver on the sweeping climate pledges he made on the campaign trail. People in contact with Biden’s transition team say they expect a spate of early communications on top policy priorities for the new administration, including on climate change. Those orders are believed to still be under development as the incoming administration races to position top nominees amid a turbulent transition of power. Gina McCarthy is moving quickly to establish herself as the national climate adviser, having finished her tenure at the Natural Resources Defense Council last week. [ read more … ]

Biden taps grid security adviser for White House role

By Christian Vasquez, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:37:38

President-elect Joe Biden said Friday he will pick Caitlin Durkovich as senior director for resilience and response on the National Security Council, bringing a longtime grid security adviser to the White House. Biden’s announcement comes amid increased pressure to revamp U.S. cyber defenses as the federal government is still in the throes of a massive hacking campaign that breached multiple agencies, including the Energy Department. [ read more … ]


Newsom proposes $4.1B for climate programs

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:38:16

California’s governor proposed spending $4.1 billion on climate programs in his next budget, including electric vehicle charging stations and efforts to prevent catastrophic wildfires. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the plan as part of his $227 billion blueprint for fiscal 2021-22. It marked a down payment toward his goal of phasing out gas-fueled cars as he seeks to make California a global beacon for zero-emissions vehicles. [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Bald eagle lays egg in San Bernardino National Forest

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:36:18

A bald eagle has laid an egg in a Southern California nest and nature lovers will watch for the hatching via an online live feed. Mother eagle Jackie delivered the egg Saturday afternoon near the mountain community of Big Bear east of Los Angeles. The group Friends of Big Bear Valley, which installed the web cam, says the egg is expected to hatch around Valentine’s Day. [ read more … ]

Industry wary of hiring Trump staff

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-01-11 15:38:35

Government officials and industry executives say President Donald Trump’s goading his supporters to attack the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory has tarnished many of his energy staffers’ resumes — even among oil and gas companies long accustomed to taking heat from Democrats, climate change activists and investor groups. [ read more … ]

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