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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 3, 2021

Top Story

Biden administration to propose first rule requiring cut in climate pollutants

By Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:45:43

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose a rule Monday aimed at sharply cutting the use and production of a class of powerful greenhouse gases used widely in refrigeration and air conditioning. The proposal marks the first time President Biden’s administration has used the power of the federal government to mandate a cut in climate pollution. Unlike many of the administration’s other climate initiatives, there’s broad bipartisan support for curbing hydrofluorocarbons, pollutants thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the planet. Congress agreed at the end of last year to slash the super-pollutants by 85 percent over the next 15 years as part of a broader omnibus bill. [ read more … ]


Warren Buffett Says Bad Leaders Pose Biggest Risk to Companies

By Chip Cutter, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:45:06

“You get a guy or a woman in charge of it—they’re personable, the directors like ’em—they don’t know what they’re doing. But they know how to put on an appearance. That’s the biggest single danger,” Mr. Buffett said. “I would rather throw a viper down my shirtfront than hire a compensation consultant,” Mr. Munger once said. [ read more … ]

Greg Abel, Warren Buffett’s Heir Apparent, Led Berkshire Hathaway’s Renewable-Energy Push

By Andrew Bary, Barron’s  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:42:17

Buffett has called Berkshire Hathaway Energy one of the company’s “jewels” with annual earnings rising from $122 million in the 21 years that Berkshire has owned it. Before becoming CEO of the unit, Abel was president from 1998 to 2008, having joined the company in 1992. Berkshire Hathaway Energy has substantial wherewithal to make investments because unlike public electric utilities, which often pay out half of their profits to shareholders, it pays no dividends to Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway Energy has become one of the largest owners of renewable energy, with a portfolio of wind and solar electric generation capacity of nearly 12,000 megawatts at year-end 2020. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Wyoming’s window to capitalize on wind energy is closing, experts warn

By Camille Erickson, Billings Gazette  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:44:28

To Jonathan Naughton, a University of Wyoming engineer specializing in wind energy, the key to future growth of wind energy in Wyoming is whether the state can maintain a stable business environment for developers, especially in the competitive Mountain West region. “We really need to figure out how much we want to develop and then come up with policy that supports that,” he explained. “We need to decide, and then we need to go for it. Because if we don’t, it’s just going to be built elsewhere.” [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Tucson Electric turns on its biggest renewable-energy plants to date

By David Wichner, Arizona Daily Star  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:42:54

The electricity powering most of Tucson, including the University of Arizona, will get a little cleaner this week, as Tucson Electric switches on its biggest solar and wind power plants to date. Over the weekend Tucson Electric Power Co. planned to turn on its biggest solar generating resource, the 100-megawatt Wilmot Energy Center on the city’s southern fringe. The massive, 1,130-acre project, built and owned by NextEra Energy, includes 30MW of linked battery storage to bank solar power for use when the sun goes down. And within the next week or two, TEP’s biggest renewable energy resource, the 250MW Oso Grande Wind Project in New Mexico is expected to go online and start providing power to TEP customers. [ read more … ]

The Biden Administration

Biden Open to Options on Spending as Congress Takes Over

By Nancy Cook, Laura Davison and Erik Wasson, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:44:09

President Joe Biden’s $4 trillion vision of remaking the federal government’s role in the U.S. economy is now in the hands of Congress, where both parties see a higher chance of at least some compromise than for the administration’s pandemic-relief bill. The president at this point is open to various possibilities to pass his proposals, including breaking them into multiple bills, according to a White House official speaking on condition of anonymity. While the “American Families Plan” that twins social spending with individual tax hikes is a non-starter for Republicans, parts of the infrastructure-focused “American Jobs Plan” have been embraced by the GOP. [ read more … ]

Dems weigh legislative approaches to advance Biden infrastructure plan, see room for bipartisan action

By Jason Plautzm, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:43:41

While President Joe Biden is pushing Congress to pass a sweeping $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan laden with clean energy and climate provisions, Democrats are considering a reconciliation process without Republican support as well as smaller-scale actions that could advance in a bipartisan manner. [ read more … ]

Biden faces pressure to drive gasoline and diesel cars out of the US

By Oliver Milman, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:45:20

“I would love to see President Biden set a goal of 60% of sales to be electric cars by 2030, before all electric sales in 2035,” said Margo Oge, a former director of transportation air quality at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “We can’t wait any longer, we have run out of time with climate change and we need car companies to start making that transformation now.” Oge said the phase-outs by California and Washington state are “very powerful” but that a national mandate was crucial if the US is to meet its emissions goals and help stave off disastrous climate change. Transportation is the largest source of emissions in the US and the increasing longevity of modern vehicles means it would take at least 15 years to phase out polluting cars once sales of them are halted. [ read more … ]

State Initiatives

Wyoming backs coal with $1.2M threat to sue Colorado, other states

By Mead Gruver, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:43:20

While most states pursue ways to boost renewable energy, Wyoming is doing the opposite with a new program aimed at propping up the dwindling coal industry by suing other states that block exports of Wyoming coal and cause Wyoming coal-fired power plants to shut down. The law signed April 6 by Republican Gov. Mark Gordon creates a $1.2 million fund for an initiative that marks the latest attempt by state leaders to help coal in the state that accounts for the bulk of U.S. coal production, which is down by half since 2008. [ read more … ]

Texas Blackouts

Berkshire defends $8 bln Texas power proposal to combat blackouts

By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:47:10

“When you look at the power sector (in Texas), it fundamentally let the citizens down,” Greg Abel, a Berkshire vice chairman and previously chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, said at the conglomerate’s annual shareholder meeting. “We’ve gone to Texas with what we believe is a good solution,” he added. “The health and welfare of Texas was at risk, and we needed to effectively have an insurance policy in place for them.” [ read more … ]


GM Spending on Mexico Electric Vehicle Plant Angers US Union

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-05-03 15:44:54

An announcement by General Motors that it would invest more than $1 billion at a Mexican factory that will build electric vehicles has angered the United Auto Workers union. GM said Thursday in Spanish on its Mexican website that it would make the investment at its Ramos Arizpe plant, which will become its fifth factory to make battery-powered vehicles. Three others are in the U.S., with another in Canada. [ read more … ]

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