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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 12, 2022

Top Story

U.S. to hold record offshore wind auction next month in clean energy push

By Nichola Groom, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:46:49

President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday said it would hold the U.S. government’s biggest ever offshore wind auction next month for areas in waters off the coast of New York and New Jersey, part of a range of measures it unveiled to speed growth of clean energy. “We’re at an inflection point for domestic offshore wind energy development,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said on a call with reporters. “We must seize this moment.” The announcement, which seeks to advance Biden’s ambitious climate change agenda, comes as sweeping legislation to support those goals is stalled in Congress. Biden has pledged an “all-of-government” approach to fight global warming and decarbonize the U.S. electricity grid by 2035. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

How much should offshore wind cost? Look to Massachusetts

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:48:07

A proposal to revamp Massachusetts’ offshore wind programs is pitting cost-wary Democratic lawmakers against the state’s Republican governor, who wants to make ocean turbines a centerpiece of climate goals. Gov. Charlie Baker appeared yesterday before a joint energy committee controlled by state Democrats, to promote what he called a “game-changing” bill for Massachusetts’ offshore wind industry. Sponsored by Baker himself, the bill aims to bolster the industry and would eliminate an existing requirement that each new offshore wind project be cheaper than the last. [ read more … ]

Biden admin advances Gulf and Calif. offshore wind reviews

By Heather Richards, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:49:03

The Interior Department Tuesday advanced reviews of how offshore wind farms could affect the Gulf of Mexico and the northern Pacific Ocean, paving the way for the burgeoning industry to extend to the major coastal regions. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it will study roughly 30 million acres of ocean, extending from Louisiana along the Texas coast to the Mexican border, for potential wind energy development. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Fla. eyes rooftop solar clampdown

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:48:25

The Florida Legislature is considering a plan that would crack down on rooftop solar credits in one of the largest battleground states. The bill has a chance of passage, considering its support from Florida Power & Light Co., the state’s largest electric company, setting up a dynamic that could shift the trajectory of the solar industry in the state. A state Senate committee passed the bill despite opposition from local solar companies, homeowners and clean energy advocates. If enacted, it would chill rooftop solar adoption and lead to job losses at homegrown businesses, they argued. Solar customers could see a lower return for excess solar and possibly new fixed charges under the plan. [ read more … ]

States

Pennsylvania governor vetoes Senate move to block state from joining RGGI

By Kassia Micek, S&P Global  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:47:51

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a Senate resolution that would have hindered the state from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and prevented “effectively achieve climate goals and reduce carbon emissions,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. Wolf has made joining RGGI a focus of his climate change plans. In 2019, he set Pennsylvania’s first statewide climate goals, aiming to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. [ read more … ]

Emissions

‘Wicked hard’: Biden, Congress struggle to curb U.S. emissions

By Adam Aton, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:48:46

President Biden took office by declaring he would answer the “cry for survival [that] comes from the planet itself.” After delivering that line during his inauguration, Biden unleashed a blizzard of climate-focused executive orders. He rejoined the Paris climate agreement with the goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030. And he embedded climate teams across federal agencies, promising to marshal the entire government against a threat he called “existential.” But Biden — and Congress — still are struggling to bend the trajectory of U.S. climate pollution. Greenhouse gas emissions ticked upward during Biden’s first year in the White House. [ read more … ]

Commentary

These Carbon-Spewing Vehicles Must Be Stopped

By Margo Oge and Drew Kodjak, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:47:04

State governments also have zero-emission ambitions. California, 14 other states and the District of Columbia — which together account for more than one-third of truck registrations in the U.S. — plus the Canadian province of Quebec, share the goal of having 30 percent of new sales of emission-free heavy-duty vehicles within their borders by 2030. But we still need national leadership. Without spelling out targets, Mr. Biden’s executive order calling for emission standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses leaves a big hole in his climate change plans. To fulfill his ambitions on climate change, he must work with vehicle manufacturers, utility companies, urban communities and labor unions to ensure that all new truck and bus sales are emission-free by 2040. [ read more … ]

BBB Bill

Democrats cite NOAA report to push reconciliation bill

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:49:38

House Democrats are continuing to cross their fingers and push for passage of the “Build Back Better Act” after a NOAA report this week spelled out the massive cost of climate-driven disasters last year. Last year was the fourth-warmest in history, and the United States saw 20 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that killed 688 people, NOAA said. The last five years alone have seen a record $742 billion in disaster damage, as temperatures warm and development expands into more climate-vulnerable areas. [ read more … ]

Tina Smith isn’t giving up on her clean electricity program

By Scott Waldman, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:49:56

A Senate climate hawk isn’t ready to break environmental policy out of the “Build Back Better” bill to secure climate action and she’s bullish on the prospects of her own plan to address rising temperatures. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) told E&E News that she wants the Senate to vote on the $1.7 trillion social spending and climate bill rather than try to pass key provisions individually.
[ read more … ]

Hydro

Hydro flow needs to speed up

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-01-12 14:47:27

Members of both parties on the Senate Energy Committee appeared to agree on a common point Tuesday: building new hydropower has too many barriers. Chair Joe Manchin said it’s a “shame we don’t have more” hydropower capacity, citing as an advantage its potential to complement more weather-variable generation such as wind and solar. The difficulties largely stem from lengthy permitting timelines, with few punitive measures for federal regulators to enforce deadlines, experts told the committee at a hearing Tuesday. Malcolm Woolf, president and CEO of the National Hydropower Association, said roughly 30 percent of licenses expire in 2030 and the average relicensing duration is 7.6 years. Local authorities also often make authorization contingent on support for other, irrelevant local priorities, such as recreation, Woolf added. [ read more … ]

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