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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 17, 2021

Top Story

Biden EPA toughens smog curbs at power plants to protect ‘downwind’ states

By Richard Valdmanis, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:41:59

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday it will require power plants in a dozen states to cut their smog emissions starting this year as part of an effort to help areas of the country that are downwind of polluting industry. The move to finalize previously proposed changes to the U.S. Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is among the first actions by the EPA under its new administrator, Michael Regan, who was confirmed by the Senate last week and is expected to play a central role in President Joe Biden’s push to crack down on polluters and fight climate change.
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Wind Energy

A Wind Farm in Coal Country–The Daily, NYT

By Michael Barbaro, The New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 16:27:27

Wyoming has powered the nation with coal for generations. Many in the state consider the industry part of their identity. It is in this state, and against this cultural backdrop, that one of America’s largest wind farms will be built. Today, we look at how and why one local politician in Carbon County, Wyo. — a conservative who says he’s “not a true believer” in climate change — brought wind power to his community. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy Installation Breaks Records In Pandemic Year 2020

By Tsvetana Paraskova, OPIS  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:42:36

Analysts had largely expected an increase in wind capacity installations due to the change in policy incentives in major markets. Yet, the volume of additions in China, the United States, and globally exceeded even the most optimistic projections, signaling that the wind power industry shook off the COVID-19 shock in early 2020 and took full advantage of government policies to support renewable energy.    [ read more … ]

Renewables break records, but where are the jobs?

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:42:54

Renewable industries are championing record-setting growth, but at least one analysis suggests that many of their employees are still out of a job, underscoring the head winds facing the Biden administration’s clean energy ambitions. This morning, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) published a report showing record-setting industry growth in 2020. Solar developers brought a record 19.2 gigawatts of power online, 43% more than in 2019. Solar also added more new capacity than any other power source for the second year in a row, the group said. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Biden’s Solar Dreams Collide With Scorn for China ‘Genocide’

By Jenny Leonard and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:40:02

President Joe Biden’s White House is trying to reconcile his desire to ratchet up U.S. renewable power generation with his outrage over alleged Chinese human-rights abuses in Xinjiang, a major supplier of a key component in solar panels. Factories in Xinjiang, a western region of China that’s home to the oppressed Uyghur minority, produce half the global supply of polysilicon, a metal critical for the panels that turn sunlight into electricity. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

New EPA Chief Michael Regan Vows Assault on Environmental Injustice

By Jennifer A Dlouhy and Stephen Lee, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:41:38

Michael Regan vowed to put environmental justice at the center of the EPA’s decision making during his first formal public appearance as the administrator of the agency. “Every person in the United States has the right to clean air, clean water and a healthier life no matter how much money they have in their pockets, the color of their skin or their zip code,” Regan said in an address to a conference of state regulators. “Yet too many Black, indigenous, Latinx and other people of color bear the highest burden of pollution.” [ read more … ]

Clean Energy Policy & Politics

Senate’s No. 2 Dem runs a tricky double act under Biden

By MARIANNE LEVINE and BURGESS EVERETT, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:44:37

Durbin never ascended to lead the Democratic caucus but is now one of the party’s most important members in Washington under President Joe Biden. He’s also got two of its toughest jobs, counting votes in a 50-50 Senate while running the committee that considers some of the White House’s top priorities. If Durbin stumbles in either of his dual roles, the success of Biden’s agenda is almost instantly on the line, especially as the president prepares to roll out nominees as soon as this week to the judiciary and Justice Department. [ read more … ]

House Energy Committee talks clean future

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:45:13

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet Thursday to discuss the CLEAN Future Act — Democrats’ first major emissions reduction legislation since President Joe Biden took office. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture Is Key to Companies’ Net Zero Pledges

By Rochelle Toplensky, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:45:29

Planting trees is a popular choice. Forests absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and certification is well established. But there are drawbacks. The gas is released if they are cut or burned down. Land also is a limited resource, making many goals unrealistic. Another widespread technique is carbon capture and storage, or CCS, where CO2 is removed from factory chimneys and pumped underground or stored in a solid form. The method has been around for decades, but until recently wasn’t widespread. The economics didn’t add up, partly because the carbon prices charged in Europe and the carbon-capture tax credit paid in the U.S. were too low. [ read more … ]


Taking Charge: Commissioner Clements on FERC’s ‘make or break’ role amid the energy transition

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:40:44

In a comprehensive interview with Utility Dive, Clements laid out her vision for that office, as well as her thoughts on FERC’s role in ensuring climate resilience following the mass outages in Texas, the need for transmission reform, some of FERC’s more controversial rulings under the Trump administration, and more. [ read more … ]

Texas Blackout

Last Remaining Texas Utility Commissioner Resigns Following Freeze

By Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:45:54

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked for and accepted the resignation of Public Utility Commission Chairman Arthur C. D’Andrea on Tuesday evening, leaving the state without anyone on the electricity oversight board as it grapples with the financial consequences of last month’s devastating blackouts. Since a weeklong power shortage following a winter storm last month blanketed the state and roiled its politics, all three members of the commission have resigned. [ read more … ]


Volkswagen Aims to Use Its Size to Head Off Tesla

By Jack Ewing, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:41:17

Volkswagen is going all in on electric cars, with plans to build battery factories in Europe, install a network of charging stations and slash the cost of emission-free travel. That was the message Monday as the German carmaker staged a so-called Power Day to showcase its latest electric car technology. The event was Volkswagen’s answer to Tesla’s Battery Day presentations, which draw intense attention from investors and electric car buffs. [ read more … ]

Manchin questions electric vehicle dependence in bid to clean up transportation

By James Osborne, Houston Chroncile  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:43:15

Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday urged the adoption of not just electric vehicles but also hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the United States moves to clean up its transportation sector. In a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Manchin chairs, the West Virginia Democrat questioned the  the logic of depending too heavily of electric vehicles when the United States is so reliant on China and other nations for critical minerals used to make the lithium-ion batteries that power those vehicles.
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Ford asks Congress for tax incentives to support electric vehicle development

By Riley Beggin, The Detroit News  •    •  Posted 2021-03-17 15:44:54

Leaders at Ford Motor Co. urged Congress Tuesday to increase tax incentives and other federal funding for electric vehicle technology. Additional federal help will be critical as the U.S. auto industry faces ongoing competition with Europe and China for the future EV market, said Jonathan Jennings, vice president for Global Commodity Purchasing and Supplier Technical Assistance at Ford. [ read more … ]




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