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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 20, 2021

Top Story

Court Voids a ‘Tortured’ Trump Climate Rollback

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:16:24

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration’s plan to relax restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, paving the way for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to enact new and stronger restrictions on power plants. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia called the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule a “fundamental misconstruction” of the nation’s environmental laws, devised through a “tortured series of misreadings” of legal statute. [ read more … ]

Clean Power Plan

Power plant ruling hands Biden a clean slate

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:17:18

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dealt a decisive defeat to EPA today as it tossed out its Affordable Clean Energy rule on the final day of the Trump administration.
A three-judge panel vacated EPA’s rule repealing and replacing the Obama administration’s landmark Clean Power Plan with a much narrower standard for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Offshore Wind Backers Hope Vineyard Wind Permitting Woes Will End Under Biden

By Bruce Gellerman, WBUR  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:18:15

Barrett said he blames the Trump administration for stalling the federal environmental permitting process. “Boy, I feel badly for the private sector developers here,” he said. “They did come to Massachusetts first. Massachusetts beckoned them first, so it’s those private sector firms … they really have been dealt a delay time and again by the Trump people.” Just days before Vineyard Wind expected to get final approval, federal regulators decided to delay the project for 18 months while a cumulative environmental impact of all proposed offshore projects was conducted. [ read more … ]


New Mexico state senators move to ensure ‘environmental rights’

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:31:51

Two Democratic state senators are seeking to strengthen protections for the environment and natural resources through a joint resolution that seeks to amend the state constitution and bring New Mexico in line with numerous other states that already guarantee residents rights to clean air and water. Environmentalists are calling it New Mexico’s “Green Amendment.” It is among numerous environmental proposals up that will be up for consideration during the 60-day legislative session that begi=an yesterday. If approved, the proposal would be put on the ballot for voters to decide. [ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Supreme Court questions Big Oil effort to duck liability

By Pamela King, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:18:37

The Supreme Court expressed concern today that attorneys for the oil and gas industry were hiding elephants in mouse holes in a wonky jurisdictional battle with high stakes for climate change litigation. During oral arguments in BP PLC v. Baltimore, justices posited that industry lawyers might be leveraging a dispute over a narrow technical question to quash lawsuits by state and local governments contending that energy companies should be on the hook for flooding, wildfires and other disasters fueled by rising global temperatures. [ read more … ]

Paris Accord

Biden to act on Paris Agreement today

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:31:29

President-elect Joe Biden will begin the process of returning the United States to the Paris climate accord on the same day he takes office, his transition team confirmed over the weekend. The move is one of roughly a dozen executive actions planned for tomorrow, when Biden replaces President Trump as commander in chief. On the campaign trail, Biden repeatedly pledged to reverse Trump’s decision to leave the agreement. [ read more … ]

The Transition

Biden infuses science team with heavy climate focus

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:20:04

Science won’t just inform federal policymaking in the Biden administration. It’ll also have a prominent seat in the White House. President-elect Joe Biden announced Friday that Eric Lander would come to the White House as his science adviser. Lander has been a leader of the Human Genome Project and a founding director of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Biden also plans to elevate Lander’s assigned role — officially known as the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy — to a Cabinet-level job for the first time in history. The change means it will require Senate confirmation. [ read more … ]

Former Kerry aide named to NSC climate post

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:36:11

Melanie Nakagawa will become the top climate staffer on the White House National Security Council, working on everything from the U.S. return to the Paris Agreement to President-elect Joe Biden’s objective of integrating climate change into all aspects of U.S. foreign policy. Like many of Biden’s top foreign policy picks, Nakagawa has a long association with former Secretary of State John Kerry, whom Biden has tapped for a new presidential special envoy role on climate change. Kerry will have Cabinet-level status and a seat on the NSC, while Nakagawa will hold the title of senior director of climate change and energy.
[ read more … ]


Big renewables buyers call for power market reforms

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:19:28

The expansion of competitive wholesale power markets is critical for enabling companies like Inc. and Apple Inc. to make bigger purchases of renewable energy, according to a new report by a group of corporate energy users. With a day to go before President-elect Joe Biden ushers in a new energy agenda aimed at cutting carbon emissions, a coalition called the Advanced Energy Buyers Group pushed the idea that reforms to competitive wholesale markets are key for meeting corporate energy and sustainability goals. [ read more … ]

Carbon Caprure

Businesses Aim to Pull Greenhouse Gases From the Air. It’s a Gamble.

By Brad Plumer and Christopher Flavelle, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:33:02

Using technology to suck carbon dioxide out of the sky has long been dismissed as an impractical way to fight climate change — physically possible, but far too expensive to be of much use.
But as global warming accelerates and society continues to emit greenhouse gases at a dangerous rate, the idea is gaining support from a surprising source: large companies facing pressure to act on climate. [ read more … ]


DOE creates minerals office that could boost renewables, EVs

By James Marshall, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-01-19 15:20:25

The Energy Department on Friday established a new office to focus on strengthening domestic supply chains for minerals that are crucial in the development of new energy technologies. The department’s Minerals Sustainability Division comes as the need for lithium, cobalt and other so-called critical minerals is expected to skyrocket to feed the increased demand for electric vehicles and clean energy. [ read more … ]


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