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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 18, 2021

Top Story

Nations Must Drop Fossil Fuels, Fast, World Energy Body Warns

By Brad Plumer, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:10:01

Nations around the world would need to immediately stop approving new coal-fired power plants and new oil and gas fields and quickly phase out gasoline-powered vehicles if they want to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change, the world’s leading energy agency said Tuesday. In a sweeping new report, the International Energy Agency issued a detailed road map of what it would take for the world’s nations to slash carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050. That would very likely keep the average global temperature from increasing 1.5 Celsius above preindustrial levels — the threshold beyond which scientists say the Earth faces irreversible damage. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

How New Wind Turbines Produce Far More Energy

By Kevin Hand, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:09:42

Wind turbines have become bigger, more powerful, and more cost-efficient to operate in recent decades. A key improvement has been modern blades that are far more sophisticated in design, from aerodynamic properties to materials. This has enabled a variety of other improvements to the turbine, including greater size and more height (which means the turbine can tap higher wind speeds), with less noise. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:10:36

The White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council expressed opposition to nuclear and carbon capture projects as well as projects that expand capacity for fossil fuel production in a report issued Friday. The volunteer advisory council listed such projects as among “examples of the types of projects that will not benefit a community,” in a set of recommendations issued to the White House.  [ read more … ]

States

Inslee signs ambitious environmental protection laws

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:08:47

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed a series of bills Monday designed to strengthen the environment in Washington state. Inslee signed the Climate Commitment Act, environmental justice legislation, a clean fuels standard and bills related to reducing Washington’s single-use plastic waste and hydrofluorocarbon pollution. “Our climate commitment, made by our legislature in 2020, is to cut climate pollution by over 50% in the next nine years, on our pathway to net-zero climate pollution by 2050,” Inslee said. “These bills go a long ways to getting us there.” [ read more … ]

Inslee signs climate bills, but vetoes parts that tie them to passage of a transportation package

By Joseph O’Sullivan and Hal Bernton, Seattle Times  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:10:19

Kicking up cheers and protests, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Monday signed into law a carbon-cap program and a bill on clean-fuels standards but vetoed parts of those bills that require a new statewide transportation-funding package for the ambitious climate legislation to take effect. Inslee’s move — capping a big win on climate legislation while once again testing the bounds of his executive powers — essentially scrapped the “grand bargain” that was struck in the Senate to make sure those two bills passed the Legislature last month. [ read more … ]

California’s next climate challenge: Replacing its last nuclear power plant

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:09:05

The twin reactors along California’s Central Coast were nearing completion, and tens of thousands of people had gathered to protest. It was 1979, just months after a partial nuclear meltdown at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island, and a young Jerry Brown — serving his first stint as California governor — earned a standing ovation when he declared, “No on Diablo Canyon.” Four decades later, Pacific Gas & Electric is finally preparing to shut the nuclear power plant. It sits near several seismic fault lines and has long stirred fears that an earthquake-driven meltdown could spread deadly radiation across the state. But if Diablo Canyon is the devil Californians know, the devil they don’t know is what happens when it closes. [ read more … ]

Climate Litigation

Supreme Court Gives Big Oil a Win in Climate Fight With Cities

By John Schwartz, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:09:26

While the companies won the day, “it was a bullet dodged” for Baltimore, said Patrick Parenteau, an expert on environmental law at Vermont Law School. “The oil companies were looking for a kill shot,” he said, in which the justices would vote to throw the Baltimore case and the rest out, or at least use language in the decision that would send a message to the lower court that the cases would get a skeptical hearing at the Supreme Court level. Instead, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s opinion focused on the narrow procedural issues. In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor brought her argument back to the city and its problems. The Court, she said, is opening new avenues for appeal and delay. “Meanwhile,” she wrote, “Baltimore, which has already waited nearly three years to begin litigation on the merits, is consigned to waiting once more.” [ read more … ]

Markets

Brent Oil Tops $70 With Bullish Demand Outlook Spurring Rally

By Alex Longley, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-05-18 16:10:56

Brent oil topped $70 a barrel with optimism building about the demand outlook in key regions such as the U.S. and Europe. The global benchmark added as much as 1.1%, reaching its highest level since March 8, but eased slightly later. Brent hasn’t closed above $70 since May 2019. [ read more … ]

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