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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 28, 2021

Top Story

Senate to Reinstate Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane

By Coral Davenport, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:01:39

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to effectively reinstate an Obama-era regulation that sought to clamp down on the release of methane, a powerful, climate-warming pollutant that will have to be controlled to meet President Biden’s ambitious climate change promises. Taking a page from congressional Republicans who in 2017 made liberal use of a once-obscure law to roll back Obama-era regulations, Democrats will invoke the law to turn back a Trump methane rule enacted late last summer. That rule had eliminated Obama-era controls on leaks of methane, which seeps from oil and gas wells. [ read more … ]

Senate to Start Undoing Trump’s Rollbacks Using Once Obscure Law

By Ari Natter, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:01:55

Senate Democrats will begin using a special procedure to undo parts of Donald Trump’s regulatory agenda Wednesday, starting by rescinding a measure that made it harder for the Environmental Protection Agency to limit leaks of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas wells. The vote on the methane rule is the first of several that Democrats plan to use under the Congressional Review Act. That 1996 law allows lawmakers to rescind federal regulations passed in the waning days of a presidential administration as long as they act within a few months of a new Congress. [ read more … ]

Earmarks

Lawmakers Unveiling ‘Earmark’ Requests for Infrastructure Bill

By Billy House, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:02:56

After Democrats said they would revive member directed spending, House Republicans last month lifted their own ban on earmarks. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said GOP lawmakers want to have a say where money is directed in their own districts. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said Monday the Senate would restore earmarks following disclosure rules similar to those in the House. Senate Republicans have kept in place their ban on requesting earmarks, though it’s not binding and GOP senators will be able to ask for projects. [ read more … ]

Why Congressional Earmarks Are Staging a Comeback

By Erik Wasson, Bloomnberg  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:02:38

Now with narrow majorities in the House and the Senate, Democrats are moving to resurrect earmarks with a preferred new name — “community project funding requests” — and a renewed commitment to the rules that were supposed to make the process more transparent. In a surprise move, House Republicans voted narrowly to go along. Senate Republicans may follow suit ahead of congressional consideration of a plan to spend $1 trillion or more on infrastructure improvements. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Looming Offshore Boom in Baltic Sea Draws Top Turbine Maker

  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 09:47:48

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA sees huge potential for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea as the world’s largest producer of turbines at sea looks to take advantage of a jump in global demand. The company estimates the capacity potential of the Baltic Sea at several dozen gigawatts by 2040, Pawel Przybylski, a regional head of offshore sales, said in an interview. Coal-reliant Poland, with the most ambitious targets in the Baltics, plans to install as much as 11 gigawatts by then amid rising pressure to cut carbon emissions.
[ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Johnson County landowners consider trading ethanol crop for fields of solar in $4.7M project

By Zachary Oren Smith, Iowa City Press-Citizen  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:03:54

A year ago, Dane was offered an alternative use for his land. Sean Kennedy of Megawatt Photovoltaic Development Inc., a utility-scale solar developer, approached him about a project that would continue generating energy but at a much larger scale. Kennedy envisions a $4.7 million initial outlay for a project called the Johnson County Solar Triangle. It would require 1,500 acres, allowing for the photovoltaic infrastructure to provide up to 150 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 30,000 homes. By comparison, a recent MidAmerican Energy utility-scale solar project in Hills would generate two megawatts of electricity, or enough to power roughly 400 homes. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan meets power system needs, but leaves room for political dealing

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:01:02

Most Capitol Hill analysts expect three Biden provisions to be approved, said Norton Rose Fulbright Law Firm Co-Head of Projects Keith Martin, a veteran renewables finance consultant: a new tax credit for energy storage; a 10-year extension of current renewables tax credits; and a “direct pay” revision that would allow tax credits to be used like cash by utilities and others without any tax liability, such as public power utilities. [ read more … ]

Biden administration offers $8.25 bln in loans for power grid

By Timothy Gardner, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:04:30

The U.S. Energy Department said on Tuesday it is offering up to $8.25 billion in loans for companies to boost the power grid as part of the Biden administration’s goal to set the country on a path to 100% clean energy by 2035. The department is making financing available for projects that improve resilience and expand transmission capacity across the grid, “so we can reliably move clean energy from places where it’s produced to places where it’s needed most,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. [ read more … ]

Markets

In shift to renewables, BP seeks FERC approval to sell power

By Miranda Willson and Carlos Anchondo, E&E News reporters  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:00:34

BP PLC applied last week to sell power to customers in five U.S. states in the latest sign of the oil and gas giant’s shift toward clean energy. The British company aims to sell electricity from wind, solar and natural gas to customers in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and California through a newly formed subsidiary, BP Energy Retail LLC, according to an April 20 filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The move would follow BP’s ongoing expansion into renewable energy production, including investments in several wind and solar farms. [ read more … ]

EVs

New York State lawmakers pass bill mandating only electric cars sold by 2035

By Rick Karlin, The Times-Union  •    •  Posted 2021-04-28 16:03:28

The state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would essentially mandate that all new passenger cars sold in the state run on electric power by 2035. The measure, which had earlier passed in the Assembly, would also have trucks and other heavy duty vehicles run on electricity by 2045. The measure was sponsored by two Democrats, Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright from Long Island and Westchester Senator Pete Harckham. [ read more … ]

 

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