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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 20, 2022

Top Story

There’s a Messaging Battle Right Now Over America’s Energy Future

By David Gelles and Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:15:31

Climate scientists, oil executives, progressives and conservatives all agree on one thing these days: The energy transition is upon us. The uninhibited burning of fossil fuels for more than a century has already warmed the planet significantly, and cleaner and more sustainable sources of power are urgently needed in order to avoid further catastrophic changes to the environment.
But even as longtime adversaries use the same terminology, calling in unison for an “energy transition,” they are often talking about starkly different scenarios. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Kansas impasse shows green energy opposition has lost steam

By John Hanna, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:16:23

Efforts to propel Kansas’ renewable energy future are at a standstill, mired in legislative stalemate. At its center is a former TV weather personality who is using his chairmanship of a key committee to promote questionable claims about green energy and to spotlight complaints from opponents of wind and solar energy projects. Republican state Sen. Mike Thompson’s pushback against renewable energy is pitting him not only against environmentalists, whose bills can’t get a vote in his committee, but also against big utilities and GOP colleagues, who say his measures to restrict new wind turbines and solar farms go too far.
[ read more … ]

RI plans to buy more offshore wind power to help meet goal of 100% renewable energy

By Alex Kuffner. The Providence Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:14:32

Gov. Dan McKee is moving ahead with a plan to ramp up Rhode Island’s supply of power from offshore wind farms that would be developed off the coast of Southern New England.  Legislation introduced in the General Assembly at the request of the McKee administration would require that a request for proposals be issued this summer for another 600 megawatts of offshore wind energy. [ read more … ]

Japan to speed up wind farm projects in wake of Ukraine crisis

By Ritsuko Shimizu, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:15:18

Japan will accelerate its efforts to develop offshore wind power projects, its industry minister said on Friday. Officials in the resource-poor Japan are concerned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing surge in oil prices could hit economic growth, although they say there has been no immediate major disruption to energy supply.
[ read more … ]

Solar Energy

How U.S. crackdown on China’s human rights record hits solar

By David Iaconangelo, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:18:18

The federal crackdown on China’s alleged forced labor abuses is spurring starkly different views of the dangers facing the U.S. solar industry, with one renewable group warning that almost 70 percent of utility projects are at risk while others say the challenges are manageable. The views were laid out this month by solar trade representatives, labor unions, watchdogs, photovoltaic panel producers and other policymakers in response to a request for information from the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agency has been assessing how to enforce Congress’ ban on goods made in the region of Xinjiang — a center of China’s reported abuses and a production hub for the solar industry’s materials. [ read more … ]

Target looks to massive solar panels in a California parking lot as a green model to power its stores

By Melissa Repko, CNBC  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:17:11

Target has rolled out one of the most visible displays of its efforts to become a greener company: Massive carports topped with solar panels that will power a big-box store in California. The panels, high above the parking lot, will produce enough renewable energy to power the entire store, from its refrigeration to its heating and air conditioning, the retail chain says. And the towering structures outside offer a striking visual clue into the environmentally conscious efforts going on inside the store. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Largest Federal Utility Chooses Gas, Undermining Biden’s Climate Goals

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:18:55

The nation’s largest federally owned utility plans to invest more than $3.5 billion in new gas-burning electric plants, despite President Biden’s commitment to swiftly move away from fossil fuels and eliminate greenhouse gases from the power sector in a little more than a decade. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides electricity to nearly 10 million people across the Southeast, is replacing aging power plants that run on coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. But critics say substituting gas for coal would lock in decades of additional carbon dioxide emissions that are heating the planet and could be avoided by generating more electricity from solar, wind or another renewable source. [ read more … ]

What Manchin’s fossil fuel kick means for climate legislation

By Emma Dumain, Nick Sobczyk, Jeremy Dillon, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:19:12

Sen. Joe Manchin has been burning hot when it comes to fossil fuels. In the last week alone, the West Virginia Democrat has derailed a nominee for the Federal Reserve and indefinitely stalled another at the Interior Department, both over their climate politics. He has disparaged electric vehicles, saying he is “very reluctant” to promote them due to concerns about foreign supply chains. And he’s continued to talk up increased domestic fossil fuel production amid the Russian war against Ukraine, most recently at a hearing he convened last week. [ read more … ]

States

Virginia report lays groundwork for state’s exit from regional emissions trading group

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:14:56

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R, says a new report from the state’s Department of Environmental Quality proves that participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is “a bad deal” for residents and is considering emergency regulations to withdraw from the 11-state carbon trading network. The report concludes RGGI is “a direct tax on households and businesses” and is raising the state’s electricity prices. Clean energy advocates, however, counter that the report illustrates the regional carbon trading network helps states reduce emissions and can help Virginia meet its clean energy targets. [ read more … ]

EVs

Electric Vehicles Are Out of Reach for Most U.S. Consumers

By David Welch, Bloo9mberg  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:17:59

In a recent conversation with a car dealer in the Dallas area, I was asked who will afford all the electric vehicles that are coming to market in the next several years. Despite all the hype for EVs, the dealer told me, many of his customers live paycheck to paycheck and bargain for every dollar of their monthly car payment. A $60,000 Tesla isn’t happening. He brings up a great point. The electric vehicles on the market are well beyond the means of most consumers and get more expensive all the time. Tesla and Rivian both hiked their prices this month. The cheapest Tesla, a Model 3, now costs $47,000 to start. Ford’s Mach-E has a similar base price if you include the delivery charge and taxes. Cadillac’s Lyriq will start at around $60,000 when it goes into production next week. [ read more … ]

Off-Topic

Senator Pruitt?

BY MATTHEW CHOI AND JOSH SIEGEL, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-03-20 16:16:52

Trump-era EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is mulling a run for the Senate. Pruitt led the agency for the first year and half of the Trump administration, and his time in office was riddled with scandals and ethics concerns. He was previously attorney general for Oklahoma. [ read more … ]

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