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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 4, 2021

Top Story

Top Dems unveil sweeping climate, environmental justice bill

By Nick Sobczyk, Jeremy Dillon and E.A. Crunden, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:33:09

Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats yesterday rolled out an enhanced version of their climate bill, an ambitious effort to overhaul the power sector and decarbonize the economy. At the center of the new “CLEAN Future Act” is a clean electricity standard that would shoot for 80% clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2035. It’s paired with more than $500 billion in spending authorizations and a wide range of environmental justice, transmission and environmental cleanup provisions. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Senate confirms Gina Raimondo as Commerce secretary

By Rob Hotakainen, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:34:24

The Senate voted overwhelmingly this afternoon to sign off on President Biden’s nomination of Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and former chair of the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition to lead the Commerce Department. Senators backed Raimondo by a margin of 84 to 15. “Gina Raimondo will soon become the former governor of Rhode Island,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor, adding that the Senate “will continue to confirm more nominees as quickly as possible.” [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Reversing Trump, Interior Department Moves Swiftly on Climate Change

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:32:50

As the Interior Department awaits its new secretary, the agency is already moving to lock in key parts of President Biden’s environmental agenda, particularly on oil and gas restrictions, laying the groundwork to fulfill some of the administration’s most consequential climate change promises. Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico, Mr. Biden’s nominee to lead the department, faces a showdown vote in the Senate likely later this month, amid vocal Republican concern for her past positions against oil and gas drilling. But even without her, an agency that spent much of the past four years opening vast swaths of land to commercial exploitation has pulled an abrupt about-face. [ read more … ]

John Kerry warns Big Oil. Big Oil pushes back

By E&E News staff  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:35:10

White House climate envoy John Kerry starkly warned the oil and gas industry yesterday that it could be left behind if it doesn’t clean up its products and transition to cleaner forms of energy. The heads of the top three U.S. oil companies said the administration should tread carefully and argued that the world will rely on fossil fuels for decades. [ read more … ]

Clean Energy Politics & Policy

Power shift sparks clean energy lobbying frenzy

By Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:31:26

The rush to push the case for new policies to benefit wind, solar, nuclear or other low- or zero-emitting energy sources appears at least somewhat related to new optimism that federal officials are listening and sympathetic. Biden and Democrats in Congress have promised to make climate change a top-tier issue in how they govern, and significant new pro-clean-energy provisions and spending are likely to be part of any new policies they pass, like greenhouse gas regulations, new tax incentives or new mandates. [ read more … ]

Biden faces steep challenges to reach renewable energy goals

By Patrick Whittle and Cathy Bussewitz, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:32:00

President Joe Biden wants to change the way the U.S. uses energy by expanding renewables, but he will need to navigate a host of challenges — including the coronavirus pandemic and restoring hundreds of thousands of lost jobs — to get it done. The wind and solar industries have managed to grow despite a less-than-supportive Trump administration, which favored fossil fuels such as coal. They have a new ally in the White House in Biden, who has set a goal of 100% renewable energy in the power sector by 2035. Now comes the hard part — making it happen. [ read more … ]

Some Industries Leery of Biden’s Big-Economies Climate Talks

By Dean Scott, Bloomberg Law  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:36:36

President Joe Biden’s pledge to revive talks among the world’s biggest emitting nations has raised concern among some key U.S. industries that they could be on the losing end of any effort to set sector-specific limits on carbon emissions. Reconvening the Major Economies Forum—which the Bush and Obama administrations used in part to push nations to reach a United Nations climate deal in 2015—was tucked into a climate change executive order that Biden issued in January after reversing President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. [ read more … ]

FERC

FERC approves first-of-a-kind wave project

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:35:43

The PacWave South project, an Oregon State University proposal, would be located about 6 nautical miles off the coast of Newport, Ore., and able to test up to 20 megawatts of power from wave energy converters moored to the outer continental shelf. “This is huge,” Burke Hales, OSU professor and chief scientist on the project, told E&E News. “It’s the culmination of almost a decade of work.” [ read more … ]

EVs

How Green Are Electric Vehicles?

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Brad Plumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:32:16

Around the world, governments and automakers are promoting electric vehicles as a key technology to curb oil use and fight climate change. General Motors has said it aims to stop selling new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks by 2035 and will pivot to battery-powered models. This week, Volvo said it would move even faster and introduce an all-electric lineup by 2030. But as electric cars and trucks go mainstream, they have faced a persistent question: Are they really as green as advertised? [ read more … ]

No more ‘charging deserts’? Utilities launch EV coalition

By Kristi E. Swartz and David Ferris, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:34:43

Six major electric companies in the Southeast and Midwest have formed a coalition to boost electric vehicle charging stations throughout those regions. The Electric Highway Coalition’s goal is to build enough direct-current fast-charging units to connect the Atlantic coast, the Midwest and the South as well as the Gulf Coast and Central Plains regions. The news is a sign that electric vehicles, half of which are now sold in California, might be rolling toward a more national profile. It comes as top Biden administration officials met yesterday with leaders of EV charging infrastructure companies to discuss the White House’s clean energy agenda. [ read more … ]

VW and BMW’s car-charging venture plots Europe expansion

By Elisabeth Behrmann and William Wilkes, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-03 15:36:04

A venture formed by Volkswagen AG, BMW AG and other automakers is in talks to substantially expand its European electric-car charging network to keep pace with rising sales of battery-powered vehicles. The manufacturers are considering additional funding for their Ionity GmbH consortium, which has been building out fast-charging points along European highways since 2017, emulating Tesla Inc.’s Supercharger network. After EV sales tripled in the region last year, the companies fear long lines at charging points could put off potential buyers. [ read more … ]

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