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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 4, 2021

Top Story

U.S. Cities Are Vastly Undercounting Emissions, Researchers Find

By John Schwartz, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:36:09

The average error is nearly 20 percent, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers suggested that if that error was consistent across all American cities, the resulting annual missed emissions would be nearly one-quarter higher than those of the entire state of California. Nearly three-quarters of the carbon dioxide generated from fossil fuels comes from cities, the researchers said, and urban areas will continue to boom in coming years. Many cities around the world have set ambitious goals to lessen their burden to the planet, but there is not yet a consistent way for them to measure the amount of carbon dioxide or to gauge any reductions. The new research shows that voluntary efforts by cities to measure those emissions are inconsistent and flawed. [ read more … ]

Car Rule

Automakers Drop Efforts to Derail California Climate Rules

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:48:21

Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and several other major automakers said Tuesday they would no longer try to block California from setting its own strict fuel-economy standards, signaling that the auto industry is ready to work with President Biden on his largest effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The decision by the companies was widely expected, coming after General Motors dropped its support for the Trump-era effort just weeks after the presidential election. But the shift may help the Biden administration move quickly to reinstate national fuel-efficiency standards that would control planet-warming auto pollution, this time with support from industry giants that fought such regulations for years. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden’s EPA nominee vows ‘urgency’ on climate change

By Brady Dennis, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 15:00:35

As the new White House moves decisively and activists clamor for even more far-reaching, swift efforts, Regan — in keeping with his track record and reputation in North Carolina — positioned himself Wednesday as more a consensus seeker than crusader. “Throughout my career, I’ve learned that if you want to address complex challenges, you must first be able to see them from all sides, and you must be willing to put yourself in other people’s shoes,” Regan said, adding that he would pursue “pragmatic” solutions and that “we can’t simply regulate ourselves out of every problem we face.” He vowed to “establish clear, consistent rules of the road” for businesses the EPA oversees. [ read more … ]

Biden bet big on climate. Will the GOP raise, call or fold?

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:37:10

Joe Biden kicked off his presidency with a blitz of climate action. Now comes the hard part: making policy that doesn’t rely on executive orders and can outlast his administration. To do that, Biden will need to win over at least some Republicans in Congress. But it’s unclear whether GOP lawmakers are more receptive now to climate action than they were in the final days of the Obama administration.
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President Biden’s Climate Advisor Addresses States at NASEO Energy Policy Conference

By NASEO  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:37:46

Before a virtual group of hundreds of State Energy Office directors and staff, McCarthy discussed a number of the Biden Administration’s energy and climate priorities, noting: “President Biden told me that every time someone says climate change to him, he thinks of jobs – and we are going to deliver on those jobs.” Critical to the White House’s strategy is an “all-of-government” approach, enlisting agencies across federal government to focus on the climate crisis and key intersecting issues such as public health and racial equity. [ read more … ]

Biden Puts Weight Behind Climate Pledge With Rules Office Pick

By Courtney Rozen, Bloomger Law  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:38:03

President Joe Biden has picked Obama-era environmental official Alex Barron as senior counselor in the White House regulatory review office, adding a climate scientist to the team that will vet and sign off on rules written by agencies across the federal government. Barron is now the second-highest ranking political appointee in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, along with senior counselor K. Sabeel Rahman, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget said Tuesday. [ read more … ]


National Academies: Zero-carbon goal on ‘edge of feasibility’

By Peter Behr, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:38:50

A comprehensive road map for achieving a carbon-free economy by midcentury, issued yesterday by the National Academies, calls on the United States to invest $2 trillion over the next decade to jump-start monumental transitions in energy, innovation and manufacturing. If done wisely, the transformation could leave Americans paying roughly the same share of income for energy services as they do today, thanks to declining costs for zero-carbon sources, the report says. [ read more … ]

U.S. to eliminate coal electricity in 12 years — report

Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:39:12

Coal could be eliminated from the U.S. power sector by 2033 as the costs of renewables fall, investment firm Morgan Stanley said in a research note this week. Coal has been declining steadily from the electricity sector for the past decade and supplied about one-fifth of U.S. electricity last year, Morgan Stanley said. This year, higher natural gas prices will shift some electricity generation from gas to coal-fired power plants, resulting in a slight increase in coal use, the research note said. But that trend will reverse indefinitely after 2021, Morgan Stanley said. [ read more … ]


Oil giants reel from record pandemic losses

By Mike Lee, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-03 14:36:43

The top U.S. oil companies say they’re committed to their core business of fossil fuels despite pressure from investors, a new president who wants to address climate change and a disastrous year brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Exxon Mobil Corp. yesterday announced a record $22.4 billion loss in 2020, the company’s first full-year loss in decades. ConocoPhillips said it lost $2.7 billion for the year. The news came three days after Chevron Corp. reported a $5.5 billion loss during 2020 [ read more … ]


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