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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 5, 2021

Top Story

Carbon County, Wyoming, Knows Which Way the Wind Is Blowing

By Dionne Searcey and photographs by Benjamin Rasmussen, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:13:59

The coal layered underground helped bring settlers to this scrubby, wind-whipped part of southern Wyoming, where generations found a steady paycheck in the mines and took pride in powering the nation. But now, it is energy from the region’s other abundant energy resource — the wind itself — that is creating jobs and much-needed tax revenues in Carbon County. Despite its historic ties to coal, as well as local denialism about climate change, the county is soon to be home to one of the biggest wind farms in the nation. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Ørsted Signs Long-Term Power Purchase Agreements with Target and Hormel Foods Corporation

By Carsten Birkeland Kjær, Ørsted  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:13:19

Energy will come from the Haystack Wind project in Nebraska, currently under construction and expected online later this year. In addition to PepsiCo, announced earlier this year, Target, a general merchandise retailer and Hormel Foods, a global branded food company, have signed long-term agreements with Ørsted to purchase energy from the 298 MW Haystack wind project in Nebraska. [ read more … ]

Offshore wind could be a big-dollar boon for N.C. — report

By Heather Richards, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:08:35

North Carolina may not be the biggest producer of offshore wind power when the first fleet of wind farms rises off the east coast, but the state could still capture a big share of the multibillion-dollar industry, a new study found. The state’s Commerce Department released a report yesterday arguing that North Carolina’s existing manufacturing footprint could be leveraged to secure more of the offshore wind market. [ read more … ]

Battery Storage

‘It’s gigantic’: Battery storage grows exponentially

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:10:33

The energy storage industry is shattering records for battery deployments, underscoring its growing role in decarbonizing the economy. In the last three months of 2020, nearly 2.2 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy storage systems were put into operation, according to the energy data firm Wood Mackenzie. That’s an increase of 182% from the previous record-setting quarter.
[ read more … ]

Biden Administration

McCarthy offers glimpse of 2030 climate goal

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:09:00

President Biden’s domestic climate adviser said yesterday that the United States will use the government’s buying power and natural carbon sinks to meet its 2030 climate goals, rather than relying just on tougher regulations. Speaking at the annual CERAWeek by IHS Markit industry conference, Gina McCarthy said “the big key levers” for the 2030 pledge will be the auto and utility sectors. [ read more … ]

5 takeaways from the CEQ, EPA nominees hearing

By Kevin Bogardus and Kelsey Brugger, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:09:37

Senators quizzed them for their thoughts on climate change, environmental justice and science as well as their prior service during the Obama administration. The lawmakers took issue with actions to block pipeline projects, measure the cost of carbon and potential regulations on the energy sector they argue will cost jobs back home. The nominees were conciliatory and promised to work with the committee if confirmed. They fared well under senators’ questioning and look to be on the path to being approved. [ read more … ]

Biden’s promise to unions: ‘I’m all for natural gas’

By Adam Aton, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:09:55

Union bosses gave Republicans a political gift during the run-up to President Biden’s Cabinet confirmation hearings: They blasted the White House for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline. Senators confronted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and EPA administrator-designate Michael Regan with the unions’ complaints during their hearings. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) read Buttigieg verbatim quotes from the plumbers and pipefitters union decrying “thousands of union workers out of work.”
[ read more … ]

Granholm vs. GOP on lost fossil fuel jobs. Who’s right?

By Lesley Clark, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:12:33

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm yesterday sought to dispel fears that a push for clean energy would jeopardize jobs as conservatives questioned the administration’s plan to tackle climate change. At both a virtual conference for oil and gas executives and on ABC’s show “The View,” Granholm insisted there will be opportunities for workers as a result of a transition to low-carbon energy. [ read more … ]

Blackouts

‘Where did the money go?’ Grid crisis sparks investigations

By Edward Klump, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:12:58

Texas regulators announced plans yesterday to launch an audit of the state’s main power market while moving to claw back some payments to generators, as questions linger over which groups profited when a cold blast last month led to price spikes and blackouts. In Washington, a congressional subcommittee also outlined a push to examine the actions of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s primary grid operator. [ read more … ]

Kansas lawmakers look to help cities with huge energy costs

By John Hanna, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:14:29

Driven by pleas from desperate local officials, Kansas legislators moved unusually quickly yesterday to create a state low-interest loan program to help cities cover spikes in costs associated with providing heat and electricity to their residents during last month’s intense cold snap. The House approved, 124-0, a bill that would allow the state to loan out $100 million of its idle funds immediately to cities that operate their own electric and natural gas utilities, to cover “extraordinary” energy costs last month. Cities would have up to 10 years to pay off the loans. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

Oil Refiner Valero to Disclose Climate Lobbying After Criticism

By Gerson Freitas Jr, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:15:01

Valero Energy Corp., one of the largest U.S. oil refiners, is planning to publish details of its climate lobbying activities after an investor pressed the company for more disclosure. Valero will release a report later this year, it said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The decision follows discussions with Mercy Investment Services Inc., which had filed a proposed shareholder resolution demanding to know how Valero’s lobbying aligns with global efforts to fight climate change. That resolution has now been withdrawn, Valero said. [ read more … ]

How the Oil Lobby Learned to Love Carbon Taxes

By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:15:25

Few saw the surprise disclosure earlier this week that the American Petroleum Institute is considering endorsing a price on carbon dioxide emissions and thought the fierce fossil fuel lobby was suddenly becoming climate-friendly. Rather, seasoned industry-watchers say it’s the clearest sign yet that fossil fuel companies see Washington’s shift on climate policy as a real and significant threat. [ read more … ]

EVs

EVs Could Make Dealerships a Thing of the Past, Too

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:10:55

In making this commitment, Volvo is betting on a trend: that as EVs are becoming cheaper and new conventional cars are being priced higher, consumers’ math on electric-versus-internal combustion will soon come out in electrics’ favor. But there’s more to Volvo’s position on EVs than just changing the powertrain. The carmaker says its pure electric models will only be available for sale online, and that its first fully electric car is now receiving over-the-air software updates. (Tesla has been doing this for years.) That first plan has implications for the built environment; the second, for emissions and the global climate. [ read more … ]

EV Battery Battle Has Carmakers Urging Peace Before Biden Acts

By Susan Decker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:11:44

Pressure is mounting on two South Korean companies that are the world’s largest manufacturers of electric-vehicle batteries to ensure their U.S. legal dispute — which has wound its way to the White House –doesn’t disrupt automaker plans to electrify their fleets. SK Innovation Co. is facing a 10-year ban on U.S. imports of its batteries, after losing a trade dispute with LG Chem Ltd.’s LG Energy Solution Co. last month. SK Innovation is lobbying the Biden administration to overturn the ban even as Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG — which both plan to buy SK Innovation batteries — urge the companies to settle the case quickly. [ read more … ]

Commentary

How Farmers Could Fight Climate Change (and Make a Profit)

By Editorial Board, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-04 16:12:06

Agriculture has never been a principal focus of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. But farm emissions — which make up about 10% of the U.S. total — are coming under increasing scrutiny as Democrats take the reins of agricultural policy and farmers themselves awaken to the threats of climate change. One strategy in particular is getting attention this year: encouraging farmers to view emissions reduction and carbon sequestration as potential sources of income. [ read more … ]

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