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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 2, 2021

Top Story

Two Biden Priorities, Climate and Inequality, Meet on Black-Owned Farms

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Nadja Popovich, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:51:44

Sedrick Rowe was a running back for Georgia’s Fort Valley State University when he stumbled on an unexpected oasis: an organic farm on the grounds of the historically Black school. He now grows organic peanuts on two tiny plots in southwest Georgia, one of few African-American farmers in a state that has lost more than 98 percent of its Black farmers over the past century. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

The Brewing Battle for Offshore Wind Turbines

By Rochelle Toplensky, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:48:10

Offshore wind turbines have a nice tailwind as politicians around the world clamp down on carbon emissions. But global leader Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy also needs to watch its back: The likes of General Electric and Vestas Wind Systems are raising their game. The Spanish-German company’s latest quarterly results, published in full Friday, show a work in progress. Margins rose to 5.3%, having been negative in the comparable period, while orders and revenues disappointed, albeit primarily due to pandemic impacts and currency effects. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biden wants solar jobs. People may not want them

By David Ferris, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:48:28

As President Biden pushes to build out clean energy, he’ll have to contend with a problem: Solar jobs are hard to fill. It’s a curious puzzle. The solar industry’s job rolls have expanded to hundreds of thousands of workers in recent years, as demand for rooftop solar and solar farms has spiked. The jobs offer decent wages, a sense of social mission and sometimes a path to quick promotion. But solar firms face an array of difficulties keeping themselves staffed, even in a COVID-19 economy when so many are out of work.
[ read more … ]

Biden Administration

EPA races to draft interim auto standards for CO2

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:49:09

President Biden’s EPA is expected to draft interim auto emissions standards based on an agreement last year between California and five car companies, according to sources following the matter. EPA is poised to unveil the interim standards and notify the auto industry by April 1. [ read more … ]

Trump left Biden a $30 billion fund used for trade wars. Biden has other plans for it.

By LIZ CRAMPTON, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:50:01

The Trump administration used it to bail out farmers suffering from its trade wars. Now the Biden administration wants to deploy a $30 billion pot of money in the Agriculture Department to tackle climate change, support restaurants and kickstart other programs without waiting for Congress. Long hidden in obscurity as a Depression-era financial institution, the Commodity Credit Corp. is shaping up as one of the first focal points for how the Biden administration is quickly revamping flexible programs left behind by former President Donald Trump. [ read more … ]

FERC

Biden’s Secret Weapon to Cleaning Up Energy Is Spelled FERC

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Ari Natter and Naureen S Malik, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:47:48

President Joe Biden outlined ambitious new plans for taking on climate change on Wednesday, but the most potent weapon may already be in his arsenal. The five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is poised to play a pivotal role fulfilling Biden’s clean-energy ambitions, including his vow to strip greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector over the next 14 years. FERC could help Biden deliver on those promises by fostering carbon prices on electricity, propelling a massive build-out of high-voltage power lines and making it harder to build natural gas pipelines. [ read more … ]

‘No compelling reason not to’: Former FERC chairs, commissioners call for federal transmission overhaul

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:47:27

Federal regulators must tackle interregional transmission planning in order to maximize the capacity of wind and solar power on the U.S. power grid, a bipartisan group of former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners and Chairs agreed last week. Their consensus follows the release of a comprehensive report released from the nonprofit transmission advocacy group Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) that calls for robust interregional planning in order to widen access to cheap renewable energy resources, as well as improve the overall resilience and reliability of the grid. The report calls for more than just a system upgrade — it asks for a comprehensive overhaul of the current utility-by-utility piecemeal transmission buildout. [ read more … ]

Markets

Exxon, Chevron CEOs Discussed Merger

By Christopher M. Matthews, Emily Glazer and Cara Lombardo, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:49:49

The chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.25% and Chevron Corp. CVX -0.31% spoke about combining the oil giants after the pandemic shook the world last year, according to people familiar with the talks, testing the waters for what could be one of the largest corporate mergers ever. Chevron Chief Executive Mike Wirth and Exxon CEO Darren Woods discussed a merger following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which decimated oil and gas demand and put enormous financial strain on both companies, the people said. The discussions were described as preliminary and aren’t ongoing but could come back in the future, the people said. [ read more … ]

EVs

What EV sales reveal about CO2, Tesla and Biden

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:48:47

Electric vehicle sales worldwide soared in 2020 despite the economic fallout of the pandemic, but only a fraction of the growth happened in the U.S., the International Energy Agency reported in preliminary data released last week. Global EV sales increased 46% year over year from 2019 to 2020, even as total car sales dropped by 14%, IEA said. Most of the growth happened in Europe and China, where sales rose by 135% and 12%, respectively. Korea also saw a 60% increase in EV sales compared to 2019 numbers. [ read more … ]

Trudeau’s EV agenda gets boost as U.S. pivots from Trump

By Danielle Bochove, Bloomberg. With assistance from Theophilos Argitis.  •    •  Posted 2021-02-01 14:49:23

Approaching Toronto on a typical Friday evening, Highway 401, the major artery connecting the Windsor-Detroit border with Canada’s largest city, is more often than not jammed. Pick-up trucks pulling campers or towing snowmobiles, SUVs crammed with tents or skis, and bumper-to-bumper tractor-trailers in the slowest lane of the world’s widest highway resembling a train. It’s enough to make an environmentalist weep. [ read more … ]

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