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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

February 22, 2021

Top Story

Texas Blackouts Point to Coast-to-Coast Crises Waiting to Happen

By Christopher Flavelle, Brad Plumer and Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:49:30

The week’s continent-spanning winter storms triggered blackouts in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi and several other states. One-third of oil production in the nation was halted. Drinking-water systems in Ohio were knocked offline. Road networks nationwide were paralyzed and vaccination efforts in 20 states were disrupted. The crisis carries a profound warning. As climate change brings more frequent and intense storms, floods, heat waves, wildfires and other extreme events, it is placing growing stress on the foundations of the country’s economy: Its network of roads and railways, drinking-water systems, power plants, electrical grids, industrial waste sites and even homes. Failures in just one sector can set off a domino effect of breakdowns in hard-to-predict ways. [ read more … ]


Texas was “seconds and minutes” away from catastrophic monthslong blackouts, officials say

By Erin Douglas, Texas Tribune  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:52:01

Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, officials with the entity that operates the grid said Thursday.
As millions of customers throughout the state begin to have power restored after days of massive blackouts, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which operates the power grid that covers most of the state, said Texas was dangerously close to a worst-case scenario: uncontrolled blackouts across the state. [ read more … ]

How the Rich Can Escape America’s Unreliable Power Grid

By Dana Hull, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:52:22

When Wim Coekaerts bought a hillside lot to build his California dream house, there was an old horse barn, a grove of olive trees and lovely views of Silicon Valley. But there was no electricity, and the nearest utility pole to his bucolic acre was 550 feet away.  The town of Woodside requires new homes without utility service to pay for wires to be buried underground. Coekaerts faced a choice: pay PG&E Corp. roughly $100,000 for engineering work and foot the enormous additional cost of the trenching, or engineer a more personal fix. [ read more … ]


FERC ‘finally’ ends PJM MOPR proceeding, paving way for grid operator’s next capacity auction

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:51:12

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday voted 3-1 to vacate an “infamous” footnote added to a rehearing order on the PJM Interconnection’s broader minimum offer price rule (MOPR) proceeding. FERC’s order eliminates confusion over the footnote, which had suggested that New Jersey’s default service auction could be considered a state subsidy under the expanded MOPR. “I believe this, finally, is the end of the commission’s PJM MOPR proceeding,” said Chairman Richard Glick. “Although I disagreed with our various MOPR orders, I do believe it is time for PJM to move ahead with the capacity auction, which has unfortunately been delayed for several years.” [ read more … ]


Supreme Court loads up on environment cases

By Pamela King, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:50:52

When the Supreme Court returns from its winter recess, the justices will have an unusually heavy load of environmental cases to sift through — and potentially more to come. What began as a sleepy term on environmental issues — with only an interstate water fight and an EPA records dispute on deck — has blossomed into a term filled with prominent pipeline, climate and biofuels battles. And the Supreme Court could soon choose to weigh in on a number of other pending matters, including the high-stakes kids’ climate case, Juliana v. United States. [ read more … ]


Startup electric truck maker wants Ohio to OK direct sales

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:50:15

A new electric vehicle maker wants Ohio to allow the company to directly sell its trucks to customers as it looks to begin full production later this year. Lordstown Motors Corp. hopes state lawmakers will approve the change, which would allow it to get around a rule requiring vehicle sales go through auto dealerships. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced at the Statehouse within the next few weeks. [ read more … ]


Dark money group admits racketeering in Ohio bribery case

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-02-21 13:51:37

A political dark money group that authorities say was used as part of a $60 million bribery scheme to pass nuclear bailout legislation in Ohio pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge on Friday. Generation Now Inc. also agreed in federal court in Cincinnati to forfeit $1.5 million from two bank accounts. [ read more … ]


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