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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 24, 2022

Top Story

Oil Trade Group Drafts Carbon-Tax Proposal That Could Raise Prices at the Pump

By Timothy Puko and Ted Mann, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:09:37

The draft proposal was approved by the American Petroleum Institute’s climate committee last month, according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The measure must still be approved by the group’s executive committee. A carbon tax would raise gasoline prices and other energy costs for consumers. Some API members want to delay action on the proposal amid near-record prices at the pump, contending it could alienate not only voters but Republican lawmakers friendly to the oil industry ahead of midterm elections, according to people involved in the discussions or who were briefed on them. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

‘The sound of money’: Wind energy is booming in deep-red Republican states

By Ella Nilsen, CNN  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:10:21

Wind turbines are an icon for the energy transition and the subject of heated debate in Washington. They’ve been mocked by prominent members of the GOP, including former President Donald Trump, who recently called wind the “worst form of energy.” But Weatherford Mayor Mike Brown told CNN that for the landowners in Western Oklahoma, the sound of a huge metal blade cutting through the atmosphere is “the sound of money.” For people who have long lived with wind whipping across their flat land, using it to make electricity is common sense. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

University of Maryland Medical System goes in on a solar energy farm in Baltimore

By Meredith Cohn, Baltimore Sun  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:11:38

The University of Maryland Medical System announced Thursday that it is partnering with a local firm to build a solar energy farm in Baltimore to provide power to its hospital system, employees and residents. Billed as an environmental and equity effort, the project with Baltimore-based WeSolar Inc. would produce 8 megawatts of power from a community solar farm. The energy would be generated by a solar panel array at a central location rather than from individual rooftop panels and would be available to under-resourced communities. [ read more … ]

NextEra warns of ‘outrageous’ downside of Biden solar probe

By Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:13:06

NextEra Energy Inc.’s chief executive blasted the Commerce Department yesterday over its probe into solar panel imports and called on Congress to pass “Build Back Better” legislation to combat high energy prices. CEO John Ketchum described Commerce’s investigation as “silly,” arguing that the look at whether Chinese panel makers set up factories in Southeast Asia to avoid tariffs could lead to “outrageous outcomes” such as U.S. solar developers buying panels from China instead.
[ read more … ]

Power Plants

U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry Puts Natural Gas on Notice

By Janet Wu, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:14:58

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday put natural gas on notice, saying the world’s reliance on the fossil fuel should be limited to potentially a decade, unless its greenhouse gas emissions are fully captured.  Though natural gas burns cleaner than coal when used to generate electricity, it should not be part of a long-term climate strategy without emission-control technology, Kerry said in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg Television. [ read more … ]

EPA floats options to curb gas plant carbon emissions

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:15:19

EPA tipped its hand today on the kinds of control options it is considering for a future rule to meaningfully curb carbon pollution from new natural gas power plants. The agency released a white paper seeking public comment for efficiency measures and carbon control technologies that could form the basis of the rule, which is expected to be proposed later this year. [ read more … ]

FERC

Utah declares new drought emergency

By Jennifer Yachnin, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:12:34

Lacking a divine intervention to fix persistent drought across nearly all of Utah, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox today declared a new state of emergency, urging residences and business alike to conserve or reduce water use heading into the summer months. The declaration marks the second time in two years Cox has issued such a mandate in an effort to lessen the impacts of likely water restrictions or even restrictions to drinking water in some areas of the state. [ read more … ]

FERC proposes expanded state role in effort to spur transmission development

By Ethan Howland, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:09:57

State utility regulators would have a major role in regional transmission planning and determining how to share the costs of new transmission facilities under a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposal released Thursday. “States are going to be at the heart of the planning,” FERC Commissioner Mark Christie said during the agency’s monthly meeting Thursday. “States are going to get the opportunity to agree to the criteria, and they’re going to get the opportunity to agree to the cost allocation.”
[ read more … ]

FERC’s rule hits a balance

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:11:56

FERC’s much talked about proposed rule Thursday requiring future generation considerations in transmission planning and giving states more say in cost assignments garnered widespread praise from industry, clean energy and environmental groups alike. There was widespread agreement throughout the comment period that the status quo is not working with transmission reform, but utility transmission owners in particular feared upending the planning process could hurt their incumbent status allowing them to be first in line on the transmission investments that make up a significant portion of their bottom line. [ read more … ]

Carbon Tax

So close, yet so far

BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:11:09

Though nothing is final yet, the group feels that an easy-to-digest publicly known carbon price would serve the industry better than a price set by Interior and other government agencies that could fluctuate with every new administration, the person said. “The idea that consumers aren’t already paying for climate policy is a false status quo,” the representative said. “They are already paying through regulation and hidden taxation.” [ read more … ]

States

Utah declares new drought emergency

By Jennifer Yachnin, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:12:34

Lacking a divine intervention to fix persistent drought across nearly all of Utah, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox today declared a new state of emergency, urging residences and business alike to conserve or reduce water use heading into the summer months. The declaration marks the second time in two years Cox has issued such a mandate in an effort to lessen the impacts of likely water restrictions or even restrictions to drinking water in some areas of the state. [ read more … ]

EPA

EPA Employees Want To Put Protections Against Attacks On Science Into Their Union Contract

By Zahra Hirji, BuzzFeed News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:10:50

The EPA’s largest employee unions want a new kind of environmental protection: a contract that insulates agency science from political interference after enduring four years of attacks under former president Donald Trump. “We are looking to be the first union in the nation to have a scientific integrity article in our contract,” Nicole Cantello, an EPA lawyer and union leader, told BuzzFeed News. The American Federation of Government Employees Council 238 is a collection of 14 local unions representing 7,500 scientists, engineers, and other employees at the leading federal agency responsible for protecting the environment and human health. [ read more … ]

EVs

Are EV tax credits back on the table? Maybe

By Arianna Skibell, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-04-24 10:13:57

President Joe Biden last year scored record funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, but his proposal to lower the sticker price for zero-emission cars and trucks all but died on the vine — threatening the pace of consumer adoption. Now, as Democrats seek to revive the president’s climate and spending bill and the cost of oil threatens fuel stability, a new window of opportunity may open for EV incentives. But securing full Democratic Party support may require abandoning a provision to boost EVs made by unionized labor, analysts say. [ read more … ]

 

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