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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 31, 2021

Top Story

Biden Details $2 Trillion Plan to Rebuild Infrastructure and Reshape the Economy

By Jim Tankersley, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:16:26

The president’s focus on climate change is centered, however, on modernizing and transforming the United States’ two largest sources of planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution: cars and electric power plants. The plan proposes spending $174 billion to encourage the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles by granting tax credits and other incentives to companies that make electric vehicle batteries in the United States instead of China. The goal is to reduce vehicle price tags. The money would also fund the construction of about a half-million electric vehicle charging stations — although experts say that number is but a tiny fraction of what is needed to make electric vehicles a mainstream option. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

White House unveils $2 trillion infrastructure and climate plan, setting up giant battle over size and cost of government

By Jeff Stein, Juliet Eilperin and Michael Laris, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:19:22

Biden’s plan lays out a large investment in clean-energy and environmental priorities. The programs include $100 billion to bolster the country’s electric grid and phase out fossil fuels, in part by extending a production tax credit for 10 years that supports renewable energy. Biden, who has pledged to make the power sector carbon-free by 2035, will also ask Congress to adopt an “Energy Efficiency and Clean Electricity Standard” that would set specific targets to cut how much coal- and gas-fired electricity power companies use over time. [ read more … ]

Auto negotiations test Biden’s vow to create a climate-friendly future

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:20:50

The immediate question the Biden administration faces is what sort of mileage and greenhouse-gas standards to set for cars and SUVs between now and the 2026 model year, after the Trump administration weakened targets set under President Barack Obama. A year ago, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized a rule to improve average fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent per year, compared with a nearly 5 percent annual increase set to take effect under the Obama rules. But five automakers — Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW North America and Volvo — have struck a deal with California that raises it about 3.7 percent annually. [ read more … ]

Clean Energy Standard

Reagan says Clean Energy Standard wouldn’t tie up EPA

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:21:08

 The potential passage of a federal Clean Energy Standard won’t handcuff EPA’s oversight of smokestack pollution that mostly harms environmental justice communities, Administrator Michael Regan told a gathering of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council on Tuesday. Investing in clean energy and infrastructure is meant to “complement, but not replace” environmental regulations, he said [ read more … ]

Biden’s opening bid for a clean energy standard

By Josh Siegel and Abby Smith, Washington Examiner  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:17:51

Whether President Joe Biden can deliver on his goal to eliminate carbon emissions from the power sector will likely hinge on one of the most politically tricky pieces of his new infrastructure plan: a clean electricity standard. The policy, which would require power companies to purchase an increasing amount of clean electricity until they reach 100%, has emerged as a preferred option among Democratic leaders. Biden, in the more than $2 trillion infrastructure plan he’ll unveil in Pittsburgh this afternoon, is proposing to establish an “energy efficiency and clean electricity standard” to move toward 100% carbon-free power by 2035. [ read more … ]

Climate

U.S. Climate Groups Call on Kerry to Shut Off Wall Street Funds

By Alastair Marsh, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:19:40

Climate groups are calling on John Kerry to shut off the flow of money from Wall Street to the fossil-fuel industry and acknowledge the role of U.S. finance firms in warming the planet. A total of 145 organizations, including the U.S. divisions of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, wrote to Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, requesting his support in addressing the contribution that banks and investors make to climate change by financing companies involved in fossil-fuel extraction and deforestation. If the U.S. is to be a global leader on climate issues, it must take action to cut off the money pipeline to polluters, the groups said. [ read more … ]

Duke Energy Says It Can’t Reach Carbon-Cutting Targets Without Nuclear

By Josh Saul, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:19:55

Duke Energy, one of the biggest U.S. power companies, isn’t going to reach its carbon-cutting goals without the help of a controversial source: nuclear power. That’s according to Chief Executive Officer Lynn Good, who spoke Tuesday at panel called the Future of Energy. Nuclear power is relatively expensive and some environmental groups worry about accidents and the storing of spent fuel, which is dangerous. Still, it’s the only source of carbon-free power that can run around the clock. [ read more … ]

Transmission

Lawyers clash over $1b hydropower transmission corridor

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:18:36

Attorneys for conservation organizations and an electric utility clashed Tuesday before a federal appeals court over the adequacy of environmental reviews of a key portion of a power transmission project in western Maine. An attorney for three conservation groups disputed the thoroughness of the US Army Corps of Engineers and suggested its review was handled differently from those of other projects. But Central Maine Power said the federal agency properly found there was no significant impact. [ read more … ]

EVs

Automakers Vow to Spend $250 Billion on U.S. Electric Vehicles

By Keith Laing, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:20:18

Automakers and parts suppliers are prepared to spend $250 billion on boosting the use of electric vehicles in the U.S., and called on the Biden administration to urge Congress to extend tax credits to buyers. The funding is intended to spur adoption of alternative-fuel cars like plug-in hybrid vehicles, battery-powered EVs and fuel-cell EVs, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, United Auto Workers International Union and Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association said in a letter to President Joe Biden released Tuesday.
[ read more … ]

Electric vehicles to dominate line up at Toyota’s Lexus by 2025

By Eimi Yamamitsu, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:21:34

Lexus, a luxury auto brand owned by Toyota Motor Corp, said on Tuesday it plans to introduce 20 new or improved models by 2025, of which more than 10 will be electric. Electrified models such as battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrids and hybrid electric cars will be introduced, the company said in a statement. [ read more … ]

Off Topic

Business groups rethinking value of in-person lobbying

By Alex Gangitano, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2021-03-31 16:22:12

The upheaval in business travel prompted by the pandemic is expected to have long-term effects on how company executives lobby lawmakers and administration officials in Washington. 
Before the pandemic, business groups in almost every sector regularly held fly-ins that allowed for in-person meetings with members of Congress and agency officials. But over the past year, virtual fly-ins have become the norm.   [ read more … ]

 

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