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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

July 5, 2021

Top Story

Climate scientists take swipe at Exxon Mobil, industry in leaked report

By ZACK COLMAN and KARL MATHIESEN, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:27:43

A recently leaked draft report written by some of the world’s top climate scientists blamed disinformation and lobbying campaigns — including by Exxon Mobil — for undermining government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the dangers of global warming to society. The draft IPCC report blamed think tanks, foundations, trade associations and other third-party groups that represent fossil fuel companies for promoting “contrarian” science that misleads the public and disrupts efforts to implement climate policies needed to address the rising threats,
[ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Maine looks for offshore wind compromise with fishermen

By The Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:24:27

The Maine Legislature approved a compromise about offshore wind power in Maine that would put a moratorium on projects close to the Maine coast. Maine’s lobster fishing industry has expressed concerns about the effect development of offshore wind power could have on its business. The state is working with New England Aqua Ventus on a project that would be the first floating offshore wind research array in the country. The Maine Legislature unanimously approved its compromise on Wednesday and sent it to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who is a supporter of wind power. Mills introduced  the compromise proposal earlier this year. She said at the time that it was an attempt to “protect Maine’s maritime heritage and coastal economy while being out front in this new competitive industry.” [ read more … ]

Virginia’s offshore turn

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:22:14

The Biden administration will launch an environmental review into the planned Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial project, which could be the biggest offshore wind farm in the country. The project would be Virginia’s first and operate up to 205 turbines. It comes after the administration announced an environmental review for the Vineyard Wind South project off the coast of New England earlier this week. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Ossoff Unveils Plan To Install Clean-Energy Projects Along Interstate Highways

By Dave Williams, Capitol Beat News Service  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:27:13

Undeveloped interstate highway rights of way could be used to house solar panels, broadband projects and electric-vehicle charging stations under legislation being introduced by U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff. The Sustainable Highways Innovation Act is modeled after The Ray, an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 in LaGrange used to test clean energy technologies, Ossoff, D-Ga., said Wednesday during a news conference held beside a solar array at the site. The Ray, a nonprofit named in memory Ray Anderson, an environmentalist and founder of the flooring company Interface Inc., also features a drive-over tire safety inspection station. [ read more … ]


Schwarzenegger: Climate activists should focus on pollution

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:24:11

Arnold Schwarzenegger last week urged climate activists to offer a focused, hopeful message that targets pollution rather than turning off the public with “constant alarm which cannot be sustained.” The former California governor raised his past as the star of the “Terminator” films in an address to the Austrian World Summit in Vienna, an event he helps organize. Those movies, he said, portrayed a frightening, dystopian world but “focused on human will and on human hope.” “No one is going to invest huge sums of money in a movie where there is no hope,” Schwarzenegger said. “Yet frequently I hear environmentalists talking about the existential threat of climate change … we are going to be eliminated.” [ read more … ]

Summer Is Already Off to a Wild Start

By Brian K Sullivan, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:25:05

Extreme temperatures in China coupled with a lack of hydro-power forced blackouts in some of its largest industrial cities last month. A rare and short-lived subtropical storm popped up in the South Atlantic off Argentina and Uruguay. And record heat continues to sear Canada and the Pacific Northwest, while drought crackled the entire western U.S., leaving it primed to burn.  Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is just days old, but the extremes keep piling up. The conditions driving these events—heat, ocean warming, changes in longstanding weather patterns—aren’t going away anytime soon, meaning the worst may be yet to come. [ read more … ]

Drilling for the truth

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:25:21

A draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is pinning disinformation and lobbying campaigns — including by Exxon Mobil — as major culprits in slowing governments from adopting climate measures to mitigate global warming.  “Rhetoric on climate change and the undermining of science have contributed to misperceptions of the scientific consensus, uncertainty, unduly discounted risk and urgency, dissent, and, most importantly, polarized public support delaying mitigation and adaptation action, particularly in the US,” the report said. [ read more … ]

Inside the Exxon sting: Aliases, fake oil funds, a payday

By Corbin Hiar, E&E News reporter  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:25:43

It was a tantalizing opportunity, even for a highly paid energy lobbyist. A man claiming to be a Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based executive recruiter was looking to hire someone to set up a Washington influence operation for a Middle East fund planning to make “a big, long-term bet on U.S. oil and gas.” The job would be to represent the fund and “make sure their investments are protected from any sort of risk that’s coming down the line,” said the man, who went by Tom James and claimed to be a principal at the firm Harrington Rowe. Potential climate and environmental regulations were the fund’s top concerns, he said.
[ read more … ]

Off Topic

Can the Senate Be Saved? Ben Nelson, the Manchin of Yesteryear, Has Doubts

By Carl Hulse, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:22:38

The senator adamantly insisted on bipartisanship. As his fellow Democrats enthusiastically embraced major priorities of the new president, he threatened to withhold his crucial vote unless changes were made and Republicans brought on board. He was statistically the Democrat most likely to break with his party. His name was Ben Nelson, and he was the Joe Manchin of his day in 2009, when the incoming administration of Barack Obama was being tested by Republicans and could not succeed without the vote of the Democratic centrist from Nebraska. “In a way, I think I was,” said Mr. Nelson, accepting the comparison with Mr. Manchin, the high-profile but hard-to-nail-down senator from West Virginia whose vote is pivotal to advancing the agenda of President Biden and congressional Democrats. “Though probably not with quite as much publicity about it.”
[ read more … ]


Lessons from inside the heat dome about the future of the electric grid

By Sarah Golden, Energy Weekly  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:28:35

I’ve spent the last five days living through an unprecedented heat dome in Oregon. The temperatures are suffocating. It’s a reminder of how our systems are limping towards climate chaos, and we — and our infrastructure — are not prepared. Our infrastructure was built for a different climate. We saw this in cities in the Pacific Northwest and Canada that melted under record-breaking temperatures this week. The cables on Portland’s streetcar (which is 20 years young) stretched and melted. Streets buckled in Oregon and Washington. Hundreds of people have died.  [ read more … ]


Rumors of the Demise of Cars Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

By Emily Cadman, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2021-07-05 15:23:48

Just a few years ago, obituaries were being written for the motor car — Millennials and Gen-Zers, so the argument went, were going to swerve away from car ownership as more of them moved to cities with myriad public transport options and ride hailing services like Uber. Besides, concern about the adverse impact on the environment would deter young people from making purchases. Then the pandemic hit. Now, as the world recovers, used car prices are going through the roof. Waiting times for driving tests have blown out. And online requests for driving directions are soaring, while public transit route inquiries have plunged. Turns out the appeal of cars — despite taking a few hits over the years — is as resilient as the “Fast and the Furious” films, the latest of which debuted in cinemas recently after prior installments grossed billions of dollars worldwide over the past two decades. [ read more … ]

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