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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 3, 2021

Top Story

Biden abandons legal defense of Trump-era auto standards

By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:35:33

The Biden administration yesterday asked a federal appeals court to pause litigation over President Trump’s rollback of clean car standards. In a motion last night, lawyers for EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to freeze consolidated lawsuits over part of the rollback while the new administrations considers its next steps. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Republicans to grill Regan on regulatory agenda today

By Kevin Bogardus, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:43:35

Regan likely will also have to contend at his confirmation hearing with many of the thorny challenges that have tripped up his predecessors at EPA. Farm state senators in both parties serve on the EPW panel and often press the agency on the renewable fuel standard. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) held up some of President Trump’s EPA nominees over his administration’s handling of biofuel mandates. She pressed Regan on biofuels in her meeting with him, including the need to deny refiner waivers for oil companies and expand access to higher blends of biofuel, her office said. Environmental justice — helping fence-line communities, often of color and impoverished, deal with the pollution from their industrial neighbors — could be a major topic for Regan’s hearing.
[ read more … ]

Clean Energy Policy

Burned by carbon pricing, Dems chart new course on climate

By Benjamin Storrow and Adam Aton, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:36:39

Democrats on all sides of the debate say their priority is to pass whatever policy they can, however they can. “The professional heartbreak of my time in the Senate has been our failure to deal responsibly with climate change,” Whitehouse said. “I can’t go through that again. I won’t go through that again. And I think there are a lot of people who feel the same way in our caucus, that we blew it last time and we can’t do that again. Period. End of story.” [ read more … ]

DOE study: Net-zero emissions feasible at low cost

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:36:59

The U.S. could achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 while spending less on energy relative to gross domestic product than it has for the past 50 years, according to a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the San Francisco-based firm Evolved Energy Research. Published in the AGU Advances journal last month, the study puts a spotlight on President Biden’s aim to fully decarbonize the U.S. economy by midcentury, in line with the targets set by the Paris Agreement.
[ read more … ]

Natural gas ban backlash spreads across the U.S.

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:34:10

The Berkeley, Calif., City Council passed the nation’s first ban on natural gas hookups for new buildings in the summer of 2019. A year and a half later, the decision to help the city meet its climate goals continues to reverberate across the country. Dozens of other cities, mostly in California, have adopted or proposed policies to prohibit or limit gas infrastructure in new buildings. Seattle passed similar restrictions last night. Now, Republican-led states in the South and Midwest — many of them gas-producing states — have moved swiftly to preempt local governments from following suit. [ read more … ]

Markets

Exxon forms low-CO2 division, invests $3B in emission cuts

By Mike Lee and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:34:40

Exxon Mobil Corp., the biggest U.S. oil company, said yesterday it’s forming a low-carbon division and investing $3 billion by 2025 to develop emissions-reducing projects around the world. The company’s plans include carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS, and production of hydrogen, which has been floated as a low-emissions alternative to natural gas, according to a statement. [ read more … ]

FERC

Glick names senior commission staff

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:35:01

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick (D) yesterday appointed two agency insiders to senior staff positions. Pamela Quinlan was named acting chief of staff in Glick’s office, and Matt Christiansen was promoted to general counsel. [ read more … ]

Commentary

G.M.’s Bold Move on the Climate

By Jody Freeman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-02 14:33:40

G.M.’s decision is a sea change. For decades, the company and other automakers resisted pollution rules. As recently as last year, G.M. supportedthe Trump administration’s relaxation of fuel efficiency standards, only to make an about-face after the November election. When one of the most recalcitrant and iconic American companies so markedly changes its tune and embraces the clean-energy transition, something big is happening. Pressure will undoubtedly mount on oil and gas companies, among others, to produce credible energy transition plans of their own. [ read more … ]

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