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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 15, 2021

Top Story

Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight the Rising Sea?

By Christopher Flavelle and photographs by Erin Schaff, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:07:30

Bobby Outten, a county manager in the Outer Banks, delivered two pieces of bad news at a recent public meeting. Avon, a town with a few hundred full-time residents, desperately needed at least $11 million to stop its main road from washing away. And to help pay for it, Dare County wanted to increase Avon’s property taxes, in some cases by almost 50 percent. Homeowners mostly agreed on the urgency of the first part. They were considerably less keen on the second. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Bids For Next Offshore Wind Project In Mass. Will Have Greater Focus on Equity

By Miriam Wasser, WBUR  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:02:52

As the Baker administration prepares to open the bidding process for a third offshore wind project, it’s announcing some big changes — and some new requirements — for companies that want to develop a wind farm off the Massachusetts coast: bigger projects and a greater focus on diversity and equity. Unlike the previous two rounds, where the state was soliciting projects up to 800 megawatts — enough to power about 400,000 homes — this third roundwill let companies bid on projects up to 1600 megawatts. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

So Big It’s Boring: The Rise of Utility-Scale Solar

By Colin Smith, Green Tech Media  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:03:13

In 2015, I was sitting with representatives of Strata Solar, Southern Company and the Arkansas Public Service Commission, waiting to go onstage. We were the last session of the last day of the conference in question — a tough time slot. The speakers were talking about that bit of bad luck and joking that utility solar doesn’t get any love. Then someone chimed in, “Demand response, EVs, flow batteries — those are cool subjects. But the four of us know utility solar makes the real impact. We are big, but boring.” [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden Vowed to Make Climate ‘Essential’ to Foreign Policy. The Reality Is Harder.

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:04:13

In late January, President Biden pledged to make combating climate change “an essential element of U.S. foreign policy and national security,” appointing a high-powered global climate envoy and salting the State Department with climate expertise. In the weeks that followed, the administration showed that more immediate demands, like bolstering military security and repairing strained friendships will provide stiff competition. [ read more … ]

Building bipartisanship

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:08:07

With the Covid stimulus legislation completed, Democrats’ next major legislative priority is its sweeping infrastructure package, and despite the fact that last week’s bill moved without any Republican support, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was optimistic on Sunday the new effort would be bipartisan. [ read more … ]

Vehicle Efficiency Standards

Auto industry urges emissions deal weaker than Obama’s

By HOPE YEN and TOM KRISHER, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:05:38

Asked Friday about the proposal, the White House said discussions with the auto industry on a fuel emissions standard were still early. It declined to comment on whether the administration would accept an agreement that falls below the California deal or Obama-era standards, stressing that tough requirements would be needed to get popular and less-efficient SUVs off the road. [ read more … ]

Automakers push for lower emissions standards

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:05:10

This may be only the industry’s opening bid, but Biden is going to have a tough time claiming he lived up to his campaign promise of aggressive fuel economy standards if he can’t even get the industry to agree to the 3.7 percent level in the California deal. Environmentalists argue Biden needs to go beyond Obama’s target, so anything less than California’s level is going to leave them screaming. Greens also are not thrilled about flexibilities like the multiplier since they tend to make the program ultimately less effective, though it’s the kind of thing that easily could end up in a final agreement. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

Companies’ Climate Risks Are Often Unknown. Here’s How One Opened Up.

By Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:06:47

After the floodwaters receded, Chief Executive Antonio Neri, then the company’s newly appointed president, toured the facility where diesel generators ran machinery drying out rooms to prevent mold. Two months later, HPE announced it was moving all manufacturing operations out of the Houston area to locations less exposed to extreme weather. HPE also did something few companies do: It disclosed what it said were climate-related risks to its investors. [ read more … ]

Wary US farmers weigh up joining Biden’s climate fight

By Jack Graham, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:07:07

Vilsack plans to give farmers incentives to make the cuts using subsidies from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), a $30-billion-a-year fund that President Trump tapped into to support farmers hit by trade wars he launched. Reductions could come from changes like farming more efficiently, using more renewable energy and better protecting soils so they store more carbon. But Biden’s team will need to persuade farmers, most of whom do not support him politically, of the benefits of making the shifts. [ read more … ]

Markets

U.S. Drivers Are Burning More Gas, a Trend Likely to Continue

By Jeffrey Bair, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:06:05

Retail gasoline sales rose last week to 1% of year-ago levels just before regional lockdowns brought fuel consumption to a crawl, Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy said on Twitter. With the rate of new coronavirus infections falling to a record low last week and the vaccination effort ramping up, this latest demand rebound comes with a lower threat of yet another wave of infections than before. [ read more … ]

Texas Blackouts

Everybody Is Going to End Up Paying for Texas’ Climate Crisis

By David R Baker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:08:43

Fallout from last month’s deadly deep freeze in Texas has quietly spread to people living hundreds of miles away. Minnesota utilities have warned that monthly heating bills could spike by $400, after the crisis jacked up natural gas prices across the country. Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers could face a $7.50 per month surcharge for the next two years. This is a subtle demonstration of the way Americans already share the collective financial burden of climate change, even if we don’t realize it. The national bill for global warming is here, and it’s rising. [ read more … ]

EVs

BMW’s Mini Brand Will Go All-Electric by the End of This Decade

By William Wilkes, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-15 16:03:45

BMW AG’s Mini brand will go all-electric from 2030 as the automaker intensifies its transition to battery-powered vehicles, according to people familiar with the matter. The iconic British brand will roll out its last combustion-engine variant in 2025, and around half of all Mini sales should be electric by 2027, one of the people said, declining to be named discussing confidential information. Mini will only produce battery-electric vehicles from 2030, the people said [ read more … ]

 

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