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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 14, 2021

Top Story

Climate change has destabilized the Earth’s poles, putting the rest of the planet in peril

By Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-12-15 15:56:44

The ice shelf was cracking up. Surveys showed warm ocean water eroding its underbelly. Satellite imagery revealed long, parallel fissures in the frozen expanse, like scratches from some clawed monster. One fracture grew so big, so fast, scientists took to calling it “the dagger.” It was hugely surprising to see things changing that fast,” said Erin Pettit. The Oregon State University glaciologist had chosen this spot for her Antarctic field research precisely because of its stability. While other parts of the infamous Thwaites Glacier crumbled, this wedge of floating ice acted as a brace, slowing the melt. It was supposed to be boring, durable, safe. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Solar supply, trade woes

BY MATTHEW CHOI AND JOSH SIEGEL  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:45:58

The U.S. solar industry saw a record-breaking third quarter this year, but supply chain constraints and uncertainty surrounding trade policy continue to plague the industry, according to a report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie. Trade and supply chain headwinds “will cause a significant decrease in installations next year at a time when more solar adoption is critical to addressing the climate crisis,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a statement. According to the report, year-over-year price increases in every segment except residential were the highest they’ve been since 2014, when Wood Mackenzie began tracking pricing data. [ read more … ]

Reconciliation Bill

Manchin huddle with Biden fails to break impasse

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:47:06

Manchin, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, spoke with President Biden yesterday in a phone call that offered Democrats little immediate assurance that the West Virginia Democrat is on board with the $1.7 trillion “Build Back Better Act.” He later told reporters that he remained “engaged” on negotiations. “We’re still talking about different iterations,” he said, according to CNN. A spokesman for Manchin called it a “productive conversation.” [ read more … ]

EVs face a Byrd bath

BY MATTHEW CHOI AND JOSH SIEGEL, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:46:26

Democrats’ proposed tax credits favoring union-built electric vehicles have been criticized by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and foreign governments alike. And as Senators enter discussions with the parliamentarian on Democrats’ reconciliation package, procedural experts tell ME that the credits could face additional challenges comporting with the “Byrd rule” that prohibits “extraneous matters” unrelated to the budget from being considered in reconciliation. The proposal offers a tax credit of $7,500 for purchasers of electric vehicles made in the U.S., with another $4,500 of tax credits available for those made with union labor. [ read more … ]

Emissions

Vehicle emission declines decreased deaths, study finds

BY DREW COSTLEY, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:45:27

Researchers say that thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars have been saved in the United States by recent reductions in emissions from vehicles. Harvard University researchers who study the environment and public health examined the impact of declines in emissions from vehicles over a decade. They found deaths dropped from 27,700 in 2008 to 19,800 in 2017 and that the economic benefits of the reduction in emissions totaled $270 billion. [ read more … ]

Coal

Coal interests press Supreme Court to limit EPA reach

By Niina H. Farah, Lesley Clark, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:46:41

Coal companies and Republican-led states yesterday called on the Supreme Court to constrain EPA from going as far as the Obama administration did when it crafted a systemwide approach to curb carbon emissions from existing power plants. The challengers laid out their opening arguments in the landmark climate case West Virginia v. EPA, which could reshape the Biden administration’s plans to address energy-sector emissions [ read more … ]

Markets

Omicron Will Slow Oil Demand Recovery but Not Destroy It, IEA Says

By David Hodari, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:45:05

The Omicron variant’s emergence will allow the supply of oil to overtake the rate at which the world is consuming it, easing the supply tightness of recent months, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. The IEA trimmed its 2022 supply forecast from non-OPEC producers by 100,000 barrels a day and cut its demand forecast by the same amount, saying it expects the surge in coronavirus cases to stymie the recovery in global demand.
[ read more … ]

EVs

Toyota to invest $35 billion into battery-powered EVs and roll out 30 models by 2030

By Saheli Roy Choudhury, CNBC  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:44:48

Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, is planning to invest 4 trillion yen ($35 billion) to build a full lineup of 30 battery-powered electric vehicles by 2030. It aims to also increase global sales of battery electric vehicles by 3.5 million units a year by the end of the decade, CEO Akio Toyoda said Tuesday. Most of Toyota’s current electric vehicle sales are hybrid electric cars that are powered by a combination of an internal combustion engine and battery-operated electric motors. Battery-only EVs make up only a fraction of its current sales. [ read more … ]

White House rolls out $7.5B electric vehicle charging plan

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2021-12-14 15:47:24

The Biden administration today released a road map for building out a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations as part of its plan to combat climate change. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package President Biden signed into law last month authorized the charging network, allocating $5 billion for state Transportation Departments to support the expansion. An additional $2.5 billion is also available in grant opportunities to help connect rural and marginalized communities to electric vehicles. “The science is clear. Climate change has become a climate crisis, and it demands urgent action,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at an event today in Brandywine, Md., announcing the blueprint. [ read more … ]

 

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