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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

July 4, 2022

Top Story

EPA Isn’t ‘Knocked Out,’ But Doing Its Job Just Got Much Harder

By Leslie Kaufman, Mark Chediak, and Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:25:09

The Supreme Court ruling Thursday that curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s flexibility to curb power-plant emissions on a systematic basis is setting the stage for a piecemeal approach to the issue. But the decision didn’t erase the agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse-gas pollutants more broadly, nor did it leave it entirely toothless in the fight against climate change. Now it seems likely that the narrow approach will be the clearest path forward after the Supreme Court stripped the agency of broader oversight. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

The Race to Build Wind Farms That Float on the Open Sea

By Chris Baraniuk, WIRED  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:22:46

In their endless quest to capture the most reliably energetic winds, engineers are now moving further out into the ocean, to areas of deeper water where especially strong winds are known to blow. For offshore wind turbines—whose fixed-bottom foundations can only extend down 60 meters—such areas have long been off-limits. But a new generation of floating machines looks set to change that. The potential bounty is huge. According to industry body Wind Europe, 80 percent of the offshore wind resource in European waters is in places too deep to make today’s fixed-bottom turbines an economically sensible choice. Deep water has also prevented the installation of large offshore wind farms off the western coast of the US, for example. [ read more … ]


High court hinders climate action but ‘clears the way’ for EPA

By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:24:45

The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday does not strip EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. It is unlikely to change how the Biden administration regulates power plant emissions and will do little to boost the fortunes of a coal industry hamstrung by mounting competition from renewables. But the court’s 6-3 decision in favor of coal interests in West Virginia v. EPA could cast a long shadow over the administration’s wider attempts to combat climate change. The reason lies largely with how the court came to its decision rather than with its specific findings in the case, which focus on EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act, experts said. [ read more … ]

How the high court ruling changes EPA and clean electricity

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:24:25

The ruling, which confirmed EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants but rejected the approach of 2015 rule that never went into effect, may have little practical impact on the power sector in the short-term, legal experts and clean energy advocates said. However, the decision is still not good news for those looking for EPA to push stricter controls on heat-trapping emissions from the power sector as quickly as possible, they said. [ read more … ]

Supreme Court restricts EPA’s ability to go big on climate

By Lesley Clark, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:26:13

The ruling is a “major setback” for EPA’s ability to address climate change, said Harvard University environmental law professor Richard Lazarus, who noted it “could hardly have come at a worse time.” “Fortunately, the Clean Air Act statutory provision at issue in this case is not the only basis upon which the agency may rely to address climate change,” he added. “But the court’s ruling is plainly a deliberate shot across the bow over EPA’s most ambitious plan.” [ read more … ]


Opinion The Supreme Court just upended environmental law at the worst possible moment

By Richard Lazarus, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:23:04

As Justice Robert Jackson warned more than 70 years ago, “There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.” The same is clearly true now for the court majority’s unbendingly doctrinaire view of the Constitution’s demands for separation of powers in limiting how Congress can permissibly authorize the most important agency rules. Nothing in the Constitution remotely compels such a misbegotten ruling. [ read more … ]

Opinion The EPA decision is the biggest one of all, and the court got it right

By George F. Will, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:23:23

Roberts, joined by Justices Alito, Barrett, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Thomas, invokes the “major questions” doctrine. It holds that when an executive agency claims a power to order changes of vast economic and political significance — e.g., the EPA’s proposed multi-billion-dollar restructuring (mandatory capital investments, higher energy prices) of a huge sector of the economy — courts should be skeptical of such claims unless legislation clearly and explicitly authorizes it. Otherwise, the agency is illegitimately lunging beyond its law enforcement function. [ read more … ]


Anger, praise, hope on Hill after Supreme Court EPA ruling

By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:25:41

A paralyzed Congress was left with little recourse yesterday after the Supreme Court scaled back EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, with climate legislation stalled and lawmakers unlikely to set a new course for the agency in the near future. But the court’s 6-3 ruling in West Virginia v. EPA could shape Republican oversight efforts if the GOP takes over one or both chambers next year, and it’s prompting Democrats to redouble their efforts to pass their party-line reconciliation bill. [ read more … ]


As Federal Climate-Fighting Tools Are Taken Away, Cities and States Step Up

By Maggie Astor, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:26:33

Across the country, communities and states are accelerating their efforts to fight climate change as action stalls on the national level. This week, the Supreme Court curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, one of the biggest sources of planet-warming pollution — the latest example of how the Biden administration’s climate tools are getting chipped away. During the Trump administration, which aggressively weakened environmental and climate protections, local efforts gained importance. Now, experts say, local action is even more critical for the United States — which is second only to China in emissions — to have a chance at helping the world avert the worst effects of global warming. [ read more … ]

Calif. gives ‘new life’ to gas plants in emergency overhaul

By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-07-04 09:24:04

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a controversial measure last week that would delay the closure of natural gas plants and expedite energy generation projects in an effort to avoid blackouts over the next five summers. The legislation aims to beef up supply on the state’s electrical grid, as it faces a potential shortfall in times of extreme heat. The language came as part of a raft of late bills attached to the $308 billion state budget. [ read more … ]

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