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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 19, 2021

Top Story

Texas Was Warned a Decade Ago Its Grid Was Unready for Cold

By Ari Natter and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:45:23

Federal regulators warned Texas that its power plants couldn’t be counted on to reliably churn out electricity in bitterly cold conditions a decade ago, when the last deep freeze plunged 4 million people into the dark. They recommended that utilities use more insulation, heat pipes and take other steps to winterize plants — strategies commonly observed in cooler climates but not in normally balmy Texas. [ read more … ]

Blackouts

No, Wind Farms Aren’t the Main Cause of the Texas Blackouts

By Dionne Searcey, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:47:49

“It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary for the state of Texas as well as other states to make sure we will be able to heat our homes in the winter times and cool our homes in the summer times,” said Gov. Greg Abbott, speaking on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. Other conservative talk-show hosts had already picked up the theme. However, wind power was not chiefly to blame for the Texas blackouts. The main problem was frigid temperatures that stalled natural gas production, which is responsible for the majority of Texas’ power supply. Wind makes up just a fraction — 7 percent or so, by some estimates — of the state’s overall mix of power generation [ read more … ]

Texas blackouts fuel false claims about renewable energy

By ALI SWENSON and ARIJETA LAJKA, The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:49:37

“We should never build another wind turbine in Texas,” read a Tuesday Facebook post from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. “The experiment failed big time.” “This is a perfect example of the need for reliable energy sources like natural gas & coal,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, on Tuesday. In reality, failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as frozen wind turbines and solar panels, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, said in a press conference Tuesday. [ read more … ]

Big Freeze in Texas Is Becoming a Global Oil Market Crisis

By Alex Longley, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:50:02

What began as a power issue for a handful of U.S. states is rippling into a shock for the world’s oil market. More than 4 million barrels a day of output — almost 40% of the nation’s crude production — is now offline, according to traders and executives. One of the world’s biggest oil refining centers has seen output drastically cut back. The waterways that help U.S. oil flow to the rest of the world have been disrupted for much of the week. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

White House rebuts claims that green energy is to blame for Texas power outages

By David Knowles, Yahoo News  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:44:38

The White House pushed back Wednesday on claims made by conservative politicians and pundits blaming renewable energy sources for widespread power outages in Texas in the wake of this week’s unprecedented winter storms. Asked to comment on former Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s assessment that too much reliance on wind and solar power was at least partly responsible for the blackouts that have left millions of Texans in the dark, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the opposite was true. [ read more … ]

Biden scraps Trump plan to weaken environmental rules to build renewables in California

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:45:58

Nichola Groom Biden administration on Wednesday said it would scrap a Trump-era proposal to weaken environmental protections for millions of acres of California desert to ease development of wind and solar energy projects. The move is President Joe Biden’s latest effort to roll back his predecessor’s four-year legacy of energy and environmental deregulation. Former President Donald Trump’s administration made a last-minute push to accelerate energy development on public lands, including by amending the so-called Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan just days before leaving office. [ read more … ]

Democrats eye climate in big infrastructure push

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:48:09

President Biden and congressional Democrats are already bracing for the next big legislative fight — a major infrastructure package that may aim to bolster clean energy. But a cacophony of competing demands is already threatening to divide Democrats who have largely united behind the coronavirus relief bill currently being debated in Congress.  [ read more … ]

Commentary

No state is an island — Transmission keeps the lights on

By Rob Gramlich, Clean Energy Grid  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:51:06

To make our electricity system resilient we should be planning for the inevitable uncertainty. When DOE Secretary Perry sent over to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) a proposal to provide financial assistance to certain generation sources, grid planners generally said the same thing: generation of all types can fail, and it is large scale transmission that saves our bacon. [ read more … ]

A Plan to Future-Proof the Texas Power Grid

By Jesse Jenkins, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:50:45

Frozen wind turbines, unsubstantiated allegations of nefarious power plant outages, the state’s libertarian approach to electricity markets and its deliberately isolated power grid have all been targets of pundits and politicians quick on the takes but light on the facts. The truth is, there is plenty of blame to go around. That gives easy fodder for instant experts trying to confirm their priors. But the failure to prepare for this extreme cold is systemic, and the millions of Texans enduring deadly cold and extreme discomfort deserve a closer look at what went wrong, and what to do about it. The lessons can help Americans prepare for the range of extreme weather that a changing climate will bring. [ read more … ]

California Car Rule

Judge tosses Minnesota auto suit

BY ZACK COLMAN, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:50:20

 A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out a lawsuit brought by the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association seeking to stop the state from advancing a rulemaking to align with California’s clean car standards. The dealers argued the rulemaking was preempted since the Trump administration revoked California’s greenhouse gas waiver [ read more … ]

EVs

NJ Earmarks $100M for Electric Truck, Bus Fleets

By Mike Catalini, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:46:18

New Jersey is spending $100 million on reducing carbon emissions in garbage trucks, school buses and passenger buses, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday. Murphy announced the new round of spending in Newark and said the funds will come from proceeds the state realized from a greenhouse gas initiative it’s a member of, as well as from a settlement with Volkswagen.
[ read more … ]

When Is a Gas Station Not a Gas Station? When All the Cars Are EVs

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:46:43

I’ve been musing lately on what a much more electrified U.S. passenger vehicle landscape looks like—starting not with the vehicles themselves, but with the gas stations that serve them.
There are more than 106,000 gasoline stations in the U.S.—fewer than in 1990, more than in the years after the global financial crisis, and about the same as in 2005. [ read more … ]

Ford Going Almost Entirely Electric in Europe This Decade

By Craig Trudell, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-02-18 14:49:08

Ford Motor Co. will drastically overhaul its business in Europe, where it didn’t sell a single fully electric vehicle last year, vowing to go almost completely electric by the end of the decade. One of the first steps in the transformation announced Wednesday will be to plow $1 billion into a German assembly plant that will start making an all-electric model in two years. By mid-2026, Ford will offer plug-in hybrid or fully electric models across its entire lineup. [ read more … ]

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