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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 11, 2021

Top Story

Air Pollution Kills Far More People Than Covid Ever Will

By Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:23:52

More than 10 million people die each year from air pollution, according to a new study — far more than the estimated 2.6 million people who have died from Covid-19 since it was detected more than a year ago. And while Covid is headline news, ordinary air pollution remains a side issue for policy wonks and technocrats. You might wonder whether the estimate of 10.2 million excess deaths from pollution is accurate. The study, which specifically examines global mortality from particulate matter generated by the combustion of fossil fuels, does deploy some complex measurement techniques. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

China leads world’s biggest increase in wind power capacity

By Jillian Ambrose, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:30:11

China built more new windfarm capacity in 2020 than the whole world combined in the year before, leading to an annual record for windfarm installations despite the Covid-19 pandemic. A study has revealed that China led the world’s biggest ever increase in wind power capacity as developers built almost 100GW worth of windfarms last year – enough to power almost three times the number of homes in the UK and a rise of nearly 60% on the previous year. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

California’s Solar Industry Is Getting Sunburned

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:29:46

Solar power in California just had a good decade. Thanks to strong policy and, yes, good sun, solar expanded to become a significant proportion of the state’s electricity mix and help substantially decarbonize its power generation fleet. It has been so successful, in fact, that its previous success imposes challenges on its future. Solar has become the snake that eats its own tail, reducing its own revenue and creating new imperatives for solar generators.
[ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Senate confirms Michael Regan to lead EPA

By Dino Grandonim, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:23:36

The Senate confirmed Michael Regan on Wednesday as the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator, a role that lies at the heart of President Biden’s promises to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and help poor and minority communities that have long borne the brunt of pollution. “He is immensely qualified for this position, not only in qualifications, but in his demeanor,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said on the Senate floor before voting for Regan. “Too often we overlook whether a nominee has the right character to lead an organization. In this case, there’s no question that Michael Regan has that character.”
[ read more … ]

Lawmakers debate agency’s future as new leader takes over

By Kevin Bogardus and E.A. Crunden, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:25:08

“Why do you think that the morale has dropped so low?” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) asked about EPA’s employees at yesterday’s hearing. Christine Todd Whitman, who led EPA from 2001 to 2003, credited the Trump administration for the workforce feeling frustrated at the agency. “I think a lot of it has been due to the attitude of the previous administration toward the environment in general and to science specifically,” Whitman said. She noted how the Trump EPA restricted science, removing climate change from websites or not allowing staff to go to conferences to discuss it. [ read more … ]

Biden hires carbon expert in race for climate plan

By Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:26:18

President Biden tapped a carbon tax champion this month for an influential White House position. Now, his administration just needs to figure out if carbon pricing will be a part of its climate policy. Noah Kaufman was named March 3 as a senior economist in the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Though Biden’s climate team so far has sent mixed signals on carbon pricing, Kaufman has been blunt that such a measure is one of the most important ways to address climate change. [ read more … ]

State Initiatives

Clean fuel proposal gets green light from New Mexico Senate panel

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:30:37

A New Mexico legislative panel yesterday advanced a measure that would set the stage for the creation of a clean fuel standard that environmentalists and Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham say would move the state closer to reaching its carbon reduction goals. Cars, trucks and commercial vehicles traveling throughout the expansive state amount to the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico. State environment officials say targeting the types of fuel that are offered and creating a voluntary credit program that monetizes emission reductions would put a dent in methane and other pollutants. [ read more … ]

Clean Energy Policy & Politics

Manchin skeptical of extending renewable tax credits

By Eric Wolff, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:31:00

“I’m not a big tax credit guy, so that’s where you gotta sell me now,” he said at a policy conference by the American Council on Renewable Energy, a clean energy business trade association. “Because my father used to say, ‘Your mother carried you for nine months. How long do you want me to carry you?'” [ read more … ]

Clean energy standards get boost in Congress

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:27:30

A clean energy standard paired with federal investment could help clear hurdles for utilities to decarbonize the power grid, Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday. It’s “right way to go” if the policy is designed to recognize the near-term need for natural gas generation and the value of nuclear, said Fowke, who is also chairman of the Edison Electric Institute. [ read more … ]

Senators strike early bipartisan tone on infrastructure

By George Cahlink and Emma Dumain, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:27:53

Senators are offering early optimism that they can find common ground and pass an infrastructure package later this year. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) yesterday reiterated that the foundation of the package will be a surface transportation bill he hopes to clear though his committee by the end of May. He expects it to then be combined with other infrastructure bills and become law by the end of September. “There are a lot of things we disagree on here in our nation’s capital, one of the things where there’s broad agreement is to get to work on surface transportation,” Carper told reporters today. [ read more … ]

Markets

Why $4-a-Gallon Gas May Be Coming Your Way This Summer

By Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:28:36

Even as oil and gasoline prices rise, industry executives are resisting their usual impulse to pump more oil out of the ground, which could keep energy prices moving up as the economy recovers. The oil industry is predictably cyclical: When oil prices climb, producers race to drill — until the world is swimming in petroleum and prices fall. Then, energy companies that overextended themselves tumble into bankruptcy. [ read more … ]

EVs

First U.S. gas station ban sparks battle

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:24:17

The nation’s first permanent ban on new gas stations was approved last week in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, opening another battlefront over fossil fuel infrastructure and spawning fresh questions about the transition to electric cars. Passed unanimously through a City Council resolution in Petaluma, the ban freezes the development of additional gas stations and prohibits expansion of existing ones. It also clarifies zoning rules around the installation of electric vehicle chargers and hydrogen fueling — a move that council members say will encourage gas station owners to build out the future of the town’s fuel sites. [ read more … ]

Electric Cars Are Coming. How Long Until They Rule the Road?

By Brad Plumer, Nadja Popovich and Blacki Migliozzi, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:26:55

Around the world, governments and automakers are focused on selling newer, cleaner electric vehicles as a key solution to climate change. Yet it could take years, if not decades, before the technology has a drastic effect on greenhouse gas emissions. One reason for that? It will take a long time for all the existing gasoline-powered vehicles on the road to reach the end of their life spans. [ read more … ]

Researcher warns of ‘big market delusion’ in EVs

By Justina Lee, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:28:10

The electric-vehicle craze is a classic sign of a “big market delusion” that has entrapped investors throughout history, according to quant pioneer Rob Arnott. The 600% rally in a year that sent the combined value of eight manufacturers to $1 trillion is pricing every firm as a major winner in the clean-energy boom. Yet just as the once-highly valued PalmPilot lost in the smartphone revolution, not all of them will succeed in the EV age, the Research Affiliates chairman co-wrote in a new paper. [ read more … ]

Are electric vehicles poised to kill the gasoline engine car? Welcome to the ‘golden age’ of EVs

By Nathan Bomey, USAToday  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:29:31

After years of sluggish adoption, electric vehicles are poised for a sharp increase in sales, new products and investments that could eventually make the gasoline engine a thing of the past.
Look no further than Wall Street, where investors are positively giddy about the prospect of established automakers offeringfull lineups of electric vehicles, like General Motors, and about the chances of startups like Lucid Motors and Rivian that are promising groundbreaking EVs to come. [ read more … ]

FirstEnergy

Ohio reverses course, repeals $1B in nuclear subsidies

By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-11 14:24:42

The Ohio House yesterday voted to repeal the bulk of a contentious energy law adopted two years ago that would send more than $1 billion in subsidies to the state’s two nuclear power plants. The 86-7 vote to pass H.B. 128 comes eight months after federal prosecutors charged former House Speaker Larry Householder (R) and four associates with running a $61 million racketeering scheme to pass the energy law known as H.B. 6 [ read more … ]

 

 

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