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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 19, 2021

Top Story

As Commerce Secretary, Raimondo to play key role in offshore wind

By Alex Kuffner, The Providence Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:27:04

In Raimondo’s six years as Rhode Island governor, the Ocean State has not only become home to the first offshore wind farm in the country — an array of five turbines off Block Island completed in 2016 — but the state also signed up for a second project that would be more than 10 times bigger when built, and then, this past fall, requested proposals for yet another.  [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

100 companies dominate sea industries like offshore energy

By Valerie Yurk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:24:03

A hundred companies earn most of the revenue generated from ocean-based industries like offshore energy, according to a new study, giving a handful of large corporations outsize sway over global sustainability efforts. The companies, dubbed the “Ocean 100,” together have a gross domestic product equal to Mexico’s and, if they were a country, would have the 16th-largest economy in the world, according to research published this week in Science Advances. [ read more … ]

The Transition

The other influential Joe in Washington

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:24:50

 As incoming chair of the Senate Energy Committee, Joe Manchin — an appropriator and the most moderate Democrat in the chamber — will have outsize influence over the scope of legislation as Democrats seek to deliver on Biden’s call for massive new investments in clean energy and aggressive action on climate change.
[ read more … ]

Biden’s climate long shot in the Senate

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:25:34

The $2 trillion climate plan promised by President-elect Joe Biden is about to collide with the meat grinder of the Senate. As a candidate, Biden ran on the most aggressive general-election climate platform in U.S. history — a vision that would move the country toward carbon-free electricity in 14 years and create a bonanza of clean energy jobs for labor unions and minority communities. But getting Republican support for the approach seems unlikely, and the Senate’s tight margin means Biden can’t lose any Democratic votes, including those of moderates such as West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Montana Sen. Jon Tester. [ read more … ]

Energy Chairman Joe Manchin warns Democrats against climate mandates: ‘You cannot eliminate your way to a cleaner environment’

By Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:26:12

Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in a split Senate, is signaling that he’ll be a check on liberal climate change policies such as a mandate for carbon-free electricity. “You cannot eliminate your way to a cleaner environment. You can innovate your way. That is the difference in some people’s aspirational goals,” Manchin told the Washington Examiner in an interview. Manchin, who represents the coal state of West Virginia, is perhaps the most powerful man in Washington, where the Democrats control the Senate but only by the thread of a tiebreak vote from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. [ read more … ]

Biden swells the ranks of his White House climate team

By Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:24:27

The new hires include David J. Hayes, who served as Interior deputy secretary under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; Cecilia Martinez, a prominent environmental justice advocate based in Minneapolis who advised the transition team; and Stef Feldman, a top Biden campaign aide who helped craft his climate plan. They will work with several incoming Cabinet officials new to Biden’s orbit, including North Carolina environmental regulator Michael S. Regan, picked to run the Environmental Protection Agency, and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), set to serve as interior secretary. [ read more … ]

Commentary

We led a 50-50 Senate. Sharing power is so much harder now.

By Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:21:35

The last time Senate Democrats and Republicans were split 50-50 was two decades ago. As the chamber’s party leaders, it was our responsibility to accommodate this unusual situation. Coming to an agreement was a thorny process then, and it will be even harder now, with nerves made raw by the fatal Jan. 6 Capitol riot and President Trump’s second impeachment. As a result, the hurdles that Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) face are more onerous. Given our experiences, we foresee five main difficulties that will require, at the outset of the new Congress, careful attention and negotiation in good faith. [ read more … ]

States

Mass. governor blocks sweeping renewable, climate plan

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:28:41

In a statement, the governor said electricity ratepayers would pay too high a price for cutting emissions. The net-zero building codes could slow development of affordable housing, he warned, citing comments from building trade groups. Baker also noted that the 50% emissions reduction target for 2030 would spike costs by $6 billion compared with the 45% reduction recommended by the governor’s office. The bill also failed to address “essential issues like climate adaptation and resiliency” and contained “empty promises” for environmental justice, Baker wrote. He also blamed lawmakers for passing the bill in the final hours of the legislative session. [ read more … ]

‘This won’t be free.’ R.I. maps path to 100% renewables

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:27:29

Rhode Island’s goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2030 is achievable but potentially costly, according to a new report from state officials. The state’s use of renewable power will need to increase 150% over the next decade to meet the all-renewables target established by Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) last year, said the report from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and Boston-based consulting firm the Brattle Group. Rhode Island’s timeline is more ambitious than those of many other states with 100% renewable goals, which typically have targets of 2040 or later. [ read more … ]

Greens tee off on Democrat’s climate plan

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:29:20

Jared Polis announced his campaign for Colorado governor in front of a solar coffee roaster in 2017. Three years later, he is under growing pressure from environmentalists to deliver on his promise to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040. Polis, a Democrat, provided an answer to those critics yesterday by unveiling a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. His proposal includes deep carbon cuts in the power sector, slashing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, and encouraging companies to let employees work at home. [ read more … ]

FERC

Contested market rule at issue as Danly’s chairmanship ends

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:22:53

Top Republican energy regulator James Danly is set to preside over the last Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meeting of the Trump administration next week, taking up several pipeline and grid measures on the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Commissioners are scheduled to vote Tuesday on several natural gas infrastructure projects, including the controversial Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon and the Mountain Valley pipeline in the Virginias. Both projects require further federal approvals to move forward. [ read more … ]

Climate

Survey Finds Majority of Voters Support Initiatives to Fight Climate Change

By John Schwartz, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:21:55

A majority of registered voters of both parties in the United States support initiatives to fight climate change, including many that are outlined in the climate plans announced by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., according to a new survey. The survey, which was conducted after the presidential election, suggests that a majority of Americans in both parties want a government that deals forcefully with climate change instead of denying its urgency — or denying that it exists. [ read more … ]

Climate fight could doom efforts to make Big Oil pay

By Jennifer Hijazi, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:27:59

At issue in the Supreme Court fight is whether federal appeals court judges can review the entire scope of U.S. district court orders that toss climate cases back to the state benches where they were originally filed. Usually, once a case is thrown back to state court, the decision can’t be appealed unless the dispute deals with a limited set of issues such as civil rights claims or federal officer involvement. The question in front of the Supreme Court is narrow, but oil and gas companies have also asked the justices to save time and rule that lawsuits like Baltimore’s seeking compensation for climate change should automatically land in federal court [ read more … ]

EVs

Tesla Might Finally Have Some Competition. From Ford.

By Neal E. Boudette, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:21:05

A few weeks before Christmas, San Tan Ford, a dealership in the Phoenix area, invited car buyers to gawk at the Mustang Mach-E, a highly anticipated electric car that Ford Motor recently started selling. The event drew some 200 people, many driving BMWs, Audis, Subarus and other brands San Tan rarely gets as trade-ins. Ten people put down deposits for a Mach-E — including three who arrived in Teslas. [ read more … ]

The Leaders in the Race to Build a Better EV Battery

By Scott Patterson and Ben Foldy, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-01-18 15:25:08

The two biggest drawbacks of electric cars—limited range and slow charging—will likely persist until battery makers can solve the dendrite problem. That solution will be worth billions, and a range of startups often backed by auto makers are touting their early successes. Investors are swarming around one of the few publicly traded competitors, QuantumScape Corp. QS -4.81% , which for a time last year was worth more than Ford Motor Co. F -2.46% In the human body, dendrites are extensions of nerves that transmit signals among cells. In lithium-ion batteries, they are tiny, needlelike deposits of lithium resembling microscopic tree branches. They can grow within the batteries, leading to short circuits or even fires. [ read more … ]

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