Please add the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 28, 2021

Top Story

Underground Midwest transmission project is hung up in PJM’s generation queue

By Kari Lydersen and Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:50:37

As advocates highlight the urgency of expanding interstate transmission capacity in the wake of last month’s energy crisis in Texas, a novel Midwest project is facing delays, but not for the reasons that typically dog overhead power lines. The Direct Connect Development Company is betting that the higher cost of burying its proposed transmission line along railroad corridors will be offset by the lack of expenses from dealing with legal and legislative challenges. So far, despite a handful of objections from neighbors, that bet appears to be paying off.  Instead, it’s another innovation that has led to the project’s delay. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Plan to limit turbines riles growing Kansas wind industry

By John Hanna, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:51:15

A Kansas legislative committee’s leader lit a political prairie fire with a proposal that critics say would end investments in a wind energy industry that has grown into the state’s largest supplier of electricity. State Senate Utilities Committee Chairman Mike Thompson said Wednesday that he is trying to protect landowners who fear that a proliferation of large turbines in their rural areas will drop property values and harm their quality of life. Thompson, a conservative Shawnee Republican, is pursuing a bill that would impose statewide regulations limiting turbines to one per square mile and keeping them 1.5 miles from any home or public building. [ read more … ]

California could lead the nation in offshore wind energy

By Jeff Hunerlach, CalMatters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:48:50

Standing on the beach, the giant blades of an offshore wind turbine 20 miles off the coast appear miniscule – a white pinprick floating on the blue horizon. But up close, the turbines are massive – taller, sometimes, than the Washington Monument and with blades that can span the length of a football field.  The impact of these turbines in transitioning California to 100% clean energy could be massive – in just seven seconds, the powerful rotation of a single offshore wind turbine can generate enough renewable electricity to power a home for an entire day. [ read more … ]

Offshore galore! Wind farms go on the block as valuations spike

By Arno Schuetze, Christoph Steitz, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:51:32

European utilities are offering a slew of offshore wind farms, eager to cash in on high valuations as investors hungry for stable returns increasingly flock to the sector, people close to the matter said.Demand for such assets has surged as environmentally-conscious investors and industries such as oil and gas seek green power in order to meet goals to achieve net zero emissions in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
[ read more … ]

States

New Mexico finalizes rules on gas flaring, venting

By Theresa Davis, Albuquerque Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:50:55

The skies above New Mexico’s oil and gas fields are often lit up by hundreds of flares burning off natural gas. But not for long. Routine venting and flaring of natural gas in New Mexico’s oil fields is now restricted, under new methane regulations adopted unanimously by the state Oil Conservation Commission on Thursday. [ read more … ]

Charlie Baker to sign sweeping climate change bill

By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:50:06

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that he plans to sign a sweeping climate change bill, ending months of shuttling the legislation back and forth between the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the Republican governor. Asked at the end of an unrelated press conference whether he was planning to sign the bill, Baker replied “yes” without additional comment.
[ read more … ]

Clean Energy Policy & Politics

Partisan divides intensify over ‘just transition,’ grid

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:52:31

Republicans blasted “just transition” policies during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing yesterday, as the parties dug deeper into the partisan trenches that have defined the panel’s efforts to tackle climate change. At issue in the Energy Subcommittee was the “Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act,” H.R. 1512, the wide-ranging climate and clean energy bill introduced by full committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and other Democrats. [ read more … ]

Climate Change

Addicted to Cheap Fuel, Emerging Markets Face a Climate Dilemma

By Peter Millard, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:52:59

Rising oil prices are testing the developing world’s resolve to quit fossil fuels. The president of Brazil has fired the chief of the country’s largest oil producer — inadvertently sending its currency, bonds and stocks plunging — in a bid to keep diesel prices from spiking. Nigeria’s dependence on low-cost gasoline threatens to scupper a year-long effort to phase out fuel subsidies. Peru and Mexico are reversing fossil fuel taxes as oil prices rise and families struggle to make ends meet, and India is under pressure to do so. [ read more … ]

Trudeau’s Carbon Tax Upheld by Top Court, Cementing Green Agenda

By Danielle Bochove, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:53:16

Canada’s efforts to combat climate change scored a major victory after the country’s top court ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national carbon tax is constitutional. “Parliament has jurisdiction to enact this law as a matter of national concern,” the Supreme Court of Canada said in its ruling Thursday, which was supported by six of nine judges. “This matter is critical to our response to an existential threat to human life in Canada and around the world.” The decision means the country’s most ambitious environmental policy to date, which would see the baseline price on carbon rise to C$170 ($135) per metric ton by 2030, will stand. [ read more … ]

Texas Blackouts

Berkshire Hathaway Offers to Spend $8.3 Billion on Emergency Power Plants in Texas

By Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:49:51

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is pitching Texas lawmakers on a plan to spend $8.3 billion to build power plants that would run during electricity emergencies, a month after the state suffered devastating blackouts. Chris Brown, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Infrastructure, said it could build 10 large natural-gas plants that would only operate during times of extreme need, and not otherwise compete in the state’s power market. He said the plants could be operational by November 2023. [ read more … ]

EVs

Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand electric vehicle charging tax credit

By Zack Budry, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:49:21

The bill, called the Securing America’s Clean Fuels Infrastructure Act, would expand the 30C tax credit to clearly establish that it can be applied to individual units such as chargers rather than per recharging location. It would also broaden the 30C ITC maximum for business activists from $30,000 to $200,000 per item and lengthen it for a further eight years. Under this expansion, it would apply to any property that enters service by the end of 2029. [ read more … ]

Commentary

Why There’s So Much Investigative Journalism About Utility Companies

By Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica  •    •  Posted 2021-03-28 14:51:58

I have a confession to make. I love stories about utility companies. Always have. Always will. There are several reasons. First, and perhaps foremost, they check the most important box for being the focus of investigative reporting: The services they deliver – electricity and water – touch the lives of nearly everyone. And, they are almost always monopolies. When the grid fails in Texas, or the water system becomes toxic in Flint, Michigan, it’s not like customers can take their business elsewhere. [ read more … ]

 

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