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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 22, 2022

Top Story

Expansion of Clean Energy Loans Is ‘Sleeping Giant’ of Climate Bill

By Ivan Penn, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:20:56

The Energy Department’s loan programs began in 2005 under the George W. Bush administration but expanded significantly in the Obama era. The department provided a crucial loan that helped Tesla expand when it sold only expensive two-door electric sports cars; the company is now the world’s most valuable automaker. Some researchers and developers are exploring conversion of old fossil fuel plants into clean energy facilities. That could mean using old oil and gas wells for geothermal power, old coal power plants as sites for large batteries, and old coal mines for solar farms. Such conversions could reduce the need to build projects on undeveloped land, which often takes longer because they require extensive environmental review and can face significant local opposition. [ read more … ]

Inflation Reduction Act

Christmas In August: Electric Utilities Hit Renewable Pay Dirt With IRA Passage

By Llewellyn King, Forbes  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:20:32

The great prizes are the extension to not-for-profit utilities of the investment tax credits and production tax credits normally associated with tax-paying entities. These will be recovered by the not-for-profit utilities through “direct pay,” which means just that: a check. As not-for-profit utilities don’t have an income tax liability, they have had in the past to collaborate with for-profit companies to reap any of the tax credit benefits. Now they will get a direct payment from the Treasury Department. [ read more … ]

Carbon Capture

New climate deal spurs hopes of more carbon storage projects

By Mead Gruver, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:21:37

The rolling prairie lands of northeastern Wyoming have been a paradise of lush, knee-deep grass for sheep, cattle and pronghorn antelope this summer. But it’s a different green — greener energy — that geologist Fred McLaughlin seeks as he drills nearly two miles (3.2 kilometers) into the ground, far deeper than the thick coal seams that make this the top coal-mining region in the United States. McLaughlin and his University of Wyoming colleagues are studying whether tiny spaces in rock deep underground can permanently store vast volumes of greenhouse gas emitted by a coal-fired power plant. [ read more … ]

Markets

Berkshire Hathaway cleared to buy up to 50% of Occidental Petroleum.

By Clifford Krauss, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:19:38

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway on Friday received authorization from federal energy regulators to acquire up to 50 percent of Occidental Petroleum, one of country’s largest oil and natural gas producers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in its order authorizing the partial acquisition that Berkshire said in its July request that the share purchase “would not have an adverse effect” on utility rates and would not hurt competition. [ read more … ]

Green Energy Clouds Future for Some Farmers

By Pamela Smith, Progressive Farmer  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:21:14

Luke Garrabrant wishes he had an agricultural crystal ball. While it would be nice to see into the future on uncertainties such as weather and commodity prices, few things cause him more consternation than the surge of green energy projects and other pressures for land where he farms in central Ohio. Only 26 years old, Garrabrant can’t help but wonder what the agricultural landscape will look like and what opportunities will remain for someone like him in the decades to come — someone who prefers to make a living harvesting the sun through crops, not solar panels. [ read more … ]

SCOTUS

Supreme Court climate ruling leaves EJ communities at risk

By Lesley Clark, Jean Chemnick, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:21:58

“If EPA is constrained from taking action, that delay and exacerbation of the climate crisis will have the greatest effect on environmental justice communities, on fenceline communities,” said Amy Laura Cahn, legal director of Taproot Earth and former director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at Vermont Law and Graduate School. She added, “Any risk that is not reduced will be more deeply felt by communities of color, people with disabilities, low-income people, migrant communities.” [ read more … ]

Grid

Transformer shortage hits utilities in storm season

By Peter Behr, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:22:36

As the peak time for U.S. hurricanes arrives, utilities along the nation’s coastlines are facing unprecedented delays in obtaining new power transformers, the critical grid equipment that moves electricity over wires. A lack of replacements could delay recovery from major storms, although the dimensions of that risk are not clear, according to electric industry officials. [ read more … ]

EVs

Big hurdles on the road to moving millions of U.S. drivers into EVs

By Evan Halper, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:19:54

The California program is under stress amid the EV shortage. Only a few years ago, there was a flood of used EVs available for less than $14,000. Now, even some of the cheapest used models sell for more than $20,000. California officials acknowledge their subsidies are more than most states can afford. But the state sees itself as a bellwether in the energy transition, using its regulations and the power of a 30-million-vehicle market to push automakers to scale up production, which will ultimately lower prices nationwide.
[ read more … ]

Climate law leaves out EV chargers for federal fleet

By ANDRES PICON, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:20:10

The IRA was scaled down from its failed predecessor, the “Build Back Better Act,” lawmakers dropped a $690 million allocation to the General Services Administration that would have funded EV infrastructure for the 600,000 vehicles in the federal fleet. Such investment is needed to meet Biden’s executive order calling for zero-emission vehicles to make up 100 percent of light-duty government vehicle purchases by 2027. The omission stands out as a “huge missed opportunity,” said Dorothy Robyn, a senior fellow at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s Center for Clean Energy Innovation. [ read more … ]

Navigating the New Electric-Vehicle Tax Credits to Get More Money Back

By Ashlea Ebeling, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2022-08-22 15:22:16

For electric-vehicle shoppers, the decision to buy now or wait a few months could cost thousands of dollars.  Last week, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a broad climate, healthcare and tax law. As part of the pact, the rules as to which vehicles qualify for an electric-vehicle tax credit have changed, including a new rule that requires final assembly in the U.S. for purchases on or after Aug. 16.  More changes come as of Jan. 1, when vehicle price limits and household-income limits kick in. [ read more … ]

 

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