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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

May 31, 2022

Top Story

Biden wants to rebuild the EPA. He doesn’t have the money to do it.

By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:18:52

After years of neglect, President Biden promised to reinvigorate the EPA as part of his push to tackle climate change and ease the pollution burden placed on poor and minority communities. But the agency’s budgetary woes are preventing the nation’s top pollution regulator from doing its job, in ways large and small. The agency’s funding has remained stagnant since his inauguration. Its work is hamstrung by low staffing levels not seen since Ronald Reagan left office. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Giant Deep Ocean Turbine Trial Offers Hope of Endless Green Power

By Erica Yokoyama, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:18:31

Power-hungry, fossil-fuel dependent Japan has successfully tested a system that could provide a constant, steady form of renewable energy, regardless of the wind or the sun.  For more than a decade, Japanese heavy machinery maker IHI Corp. has been developing a subsea turbine that harnesses the energy in deep ocean currents and converts it into a steady and reliable source of electricity. The giant machine resembles an airplane, with two counter-rotating turbine fans in place of jets, and a central ‘fuselage’ housing a buoyancy adjustment system. Called Kairyu, the 330-ton prototype is designed to be anchored to the sea floor at a depth of 30-50 meters (100-160 feet). [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Hit Hard by High Energy Costs, Hawaii Looks to the Sun

By Ivan Penn, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:17:44

Toddi Nakagawa, who lives in a suburb of Honolulu, has spent years battling her family’s high electricity bills, which once topped $500 a month, by gradually buying more solar panels. After accumulating more than 70 panels and three stacks of batteries, she has gotten her family’s monthly bill down to just $26. Ms. Nakagawa is not alone. Nearly a third of Hawaii’s single-family houses have rooftop solar panels — more than twice the percentage in California — and officials expect many more homes to add panels and batteries in the coming years. [ read more … ]

States

How a Florida Power Project Flew Under the Regulatory Radar

By Ivan Penn, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:19:11

The shortcut that Florida Power & Light took was to limit the voltage on the line — to 161 kilovolts rather than 230 — putting it under a threshold that would have required extensive regulatory scrutiny. Instead, approval and funding for the line were tucked into the utility’s case for a rate increase, an outcome that a state official installed by the Legislature to represent consumer interests — a longtime lobbyist whose clients included an organization backed by utilities — was involved in negotiating. [ read more … ]

California, New Zealand announce climate change partnership

By Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:18:02

Top officials from California and New Zealand signed a pledge Friday agreeing to help fight climate change by sharing ideas and best practices, including how to put millions more electric vehicles on the road. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about the agreement at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The agreement doesn’t commit either government to specific policies but outlines broad areas for cooperation. [ read more … ]

Energy experts sound alarm about US electric grid: ‘Not designed to withstand the impacts of climate change’

By René Marsh, CNN  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:17:27

Power operators in the Central US, in their summer readiness report, have already predicted “insufficient firm resources to cover summer peak forecasts.” That assessment accounted for historical weather and the latest NOAA outlook that projects for more extreme weather this summer.  But energy experts tell CNN that some power grid operators are not considering how the climate crisis is changing our weather — including more frequent extreme events — and that is a problem if the intent is to build a reliable power grid. [ read more … ]

Climate

Trump Policies Sent U.S. Tumbling in a Climate Ranking

By Maggie Astor, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:16:15

For four years under President Donald J. Trump, the United States all but stopped trying to combat climate change at the federal level. Mr. Trump is no longer in office, but his presidency left the country far behind in a race that was already difficult to win. A new report from researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities shows that the United States’ environmental performance has tumbled in relation to other countries — a reflection of the fact that, while the United States squandered nearly half a decade, many of its peers moved deliberately. [ read more … ]

Climate Court Wins Are Hard. Don’t Let That Put You Off

By Jeremy Hodges, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:19:37

A year ago, a Dutch judge ordered Shell to slash its emissions harder and faster than planned. Victorious campaigners and lawyers declared the win would straighten up the biggest polluters and serve as a warning to others.  But that hasn’t happened yet. Climate litigation like the kind successfully brought against Shell is a crucial part of the toolkit needed to hold companies and governments accountable for their climate promises and slow global warming. So what’s taking so long? [ read more … ]

What’s next for climate-minded investing?

By Adam Aton, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:19:57

Climate-minded investing is taking a political thrashing. As inflation bites, Republican complaints about green-branded investing are reaching a new intensity. Democratic regulators, meanwhile, are heaping new scrutiny on the practice of screening investments for environmental, social and governance factors, known as ESG. And the finance sector is flaring with internal dissent over the green trend, which some skeptics consider misguided and others deride as mere greenwashing.
[ read more … ]

Biden Administration

Inside a Biden White House adrift

By Carol E. Lee, Peter Nicholas, Kristen Welker and Courtney Kube, NBC News  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:16:42

Any assessment of Biden’s performance needs to take into account the epic challenges he faced from the start.  “They came in with the most daunting set of challenges arguably since Franklin D. Roosevelt, only to then be hit by a perfect storm of crises, from Ukraine to inflation to the supply chain to baby formula,” said Chris Whipple, the author of a book about White House chiefs of staff who is now writing a book about the Biden presidency. “What’s next? Locusts?” [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

Greenhouse gas removal ‘not a silver bullet to achieve net zero’

By Helena Horton, The Guardian  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:17:06

Many of the UK’s top scientists working on carbon capture technologies do not believe they will be developed and scaled up in time to reach net zero and limit global heating to 1.5C. Experts speaking at a Greenhouse Gas Removal Hub event in London warned that these techniques, including direct air capture, biofuels, biochar, afforestation and enhanced weathering, are not a silver bullet and should make up just a fraction of the efforts to decarbonise. [ read more … ]

Markets

War surges Norway’s oil, gas profit. Now, it’s urged to help

By MARK LEWIS, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2022-05-31 14:20:34

Europe’s frantic search for alternatives to Russian energy has dramatically increased the demand — and price — for Norway’s oil and gas. As the money pours in, Europe’s second-biggest natural gas supplier is fending off accusations that it’s profiting from the war in Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who is looking to the Scandinavian country to replace some of the gas Poland used to get from Russia, said Norway’s “gigantic” oil and gas profits are “indirectly preying on the war.” He urged Norway to use that windfall to support the hardest-hit countries, mainly Ukraine. [ read more … ]

 

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