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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 2, 2021

Top Story

The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome

By Jack Ewing, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:33:59

Mr. Würzner’s goal is to reduce dependence on cars, no matter where they get their juice. Heidelberg is buying a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses, building a network of bicycle “superhighways” to the suburbs and designing neighborhoods to discourage all vehicles and encourage walking. Residents who give up their cars get to ride public transportation free for a year. “If you need a car, use car sharing,” Mr. Würzner said in an interview at Heidelberg’s Baroque-style City Hall, which was nearly deserted because of the pandemic. “If you can’t use car sharing because you’re living too far outside and there is no mass transportation, then use the car, but just to the train station and not to downtown.” [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biden’s ‘Buy America’ plan may hit a solar wall

By Miranda Willson, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:28:12

President Biden has pledged to make the United States a leader in clean energy manufacturing as part of his efforts to jump-start the economy and create “millions” of green jobs. But when it comes to boosting U.S. production of solar parts and modules — key technologies in Biden’s plans to zero out electricity-sector carbon emissions — the administration faces an uphill battle. Asia has maintained its status as the dominant solar manufacturing hub despite steep tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. What’s more, critics have said protectionist U.S. trade policies such as tariffs have backfired, hampering domestic solar deployment and increasing costs. [ read more … ]

Clean Energy Politics

What Dem troubles with COVID-19 bill say about climate push

By Geof Koss, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:30:58

In a blow to Democrats last week, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that including the $15 federal minimum wage increase in the pandemic bill would violate the “Byrd rule,” which prescribes the scope of what can pass under budget reconciliation. The process allows certain measures to pass by simple majority in the Senate. Progressive groups and lawmakers pounced and likened the minimum wage fight to a clean energy standard that may be in play in the second, broader reconciliation push. “Most Americans do not give a shit about and have never heard of the ‘Byrd rule,'” said Evan Weber, political director at the Sunrise Movement, in a statement.
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Something to talk about

BY KELSEY TAMBORRINO, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:33:37

Gina McCarthy, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese met virtually with airline executives Friday to discuss reducing carbon emissions and using biofuels, among other issues. White House officials were “grateful and optimistic to hear airline leaders share information about the industry’s ongoing and future efforts to address climate change, and they offered the Administration’s support to strengthen and advance the airlines’ climate goals,” according to a readout. [ read more … ]

States

N.M. attorney general eyes utility costs during freeze

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:27:28

The New Mexico attorney general’s office has opened an inquiry into utility costs during a recent winter blast that plunged New Mexico and other states into a deep freeze and upended the natural gas market. Attorney General Hector Balderas (D) said the weather emergency that spanned Texas and parts of New Mexico caused tremendous damage, and he wants to ensure customers won’t be further harmed by skyrocketing bills. [ read more … ]

Maryland legislation would charge companies for carbon emissions

By Madison Hunt, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:32:26

Maryland lawmakers would charge fees on fossil fuels and high-emissions vehicles to reduce pollution within the state — and send the first $350 million annually to fund schools — under a bill in the state’s General Assembly. L.B. 33, the “Climate Crisis and Education Act,” cross-filed with S.B. 76, would require the state to reduce its carbon emissions from 2006 by 60% by 2030 and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden raises key metric for greenhouse gases

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:31:32

Contributing to climate change is once again expensive — at least in the eyes of the federal government. That’s after the Biden administration on Friday raised the social cost of carbon to about $51 per ton. The figure factors into a wide variety of policy decisions including EPA regulations and government spending. [ read more … ]

EVs

How Europe Became the World’s Biggest Electric-Car Market—and Why It Might Not Last

By William Boston, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:27:47

European consumers are buying electric cars at a faster pace than ever, encouraged by government subsidies and the availability for the first time of models built by their favorite brands. The boom is so strong that Europe passed China as the world’s largest electric-vehicle market last year. Its share of new electric-car sales nearly doubled to 43%, while China and the U.S. lost market share. But Europe’s surge relies heavily on government incentives doled out during the pandemic, and analysts warn the momentum could be reversed if and when that support is withdrawn. Most government EV subsidies are limited in scope and due to expire by the end of this year. [ read more … ]

EV demand surges, but battery trouble looms — report

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-01 15:30:17

Battery makers are facing a deeply uncertain decade ahead, as automakers jostle for access to the cheapest and most suitable technologies for their increasingly electric-powered fleets, warned investment firm Moody’s last week. Even as the world’s biggest battery companies pour billions of dollars into new production facilities and pursue supply deals with carmakers, it’s far from clear which battery chemistry will emerge as the preferred energy source for tomorrow’s electric vehicles, Moody’s Investors Service wrote in a research note published Friday.
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Note: News clips provided do not necessarily reflect the views of coalition or its member governors.