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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

November 1, 2022

Top Story

EPA closed a refinery that rained oil. Now it’s a ‘ticking time bomb.’

By Maxine Joselow, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:09:14

An oil refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands that the Environmental Protection Agency shut down in spring 2021 now poses the risk of a fire, explosion or other “catastrophic” releases of “extremely hazardous substances,” the agency found in a report released this week. The idled plant on St. Croix, formerly known as the Limetree Bay refinery, experienced a series of accidents over the course of last year that spewed noxious fumes and showered oil droplets onto nearby homes, sending some residents to emergency rooms. Now deteriorating conditions at the massive facility, which was sold in a bankruptcy auction in December, pose a major test of the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Energy prices threaten Mass. offshore wind project

By Heather Richards, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:07:35

A Massachusetts offshore wind farm says it may not be viable without changes to a power contract with the state, citing escalating global energy costs and a supply chain crisis that could chill the fledgling market as it prepares to raise turbines in the U.S. Avangrid Renewables said its proposed Commonwealth Wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard “would not be able to move forward” without changes to a power purchase agreement filed earlier this year that locks in how much Massachusetts’ utilities will pay the wind developer for the electricity it generates, a critical detail in securing financing for the wind farm. [ read more … ]

Biden Administration

SCOTUS race-in-admissions case could dim Biden EJ ambitions

By Pamela King, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:08:27

Legal observers note that a ruling endorsing race-neutral approaches could dilute efforts to admit students from underrepresented groups. Depending how broadly the opinion is written, it could also undermine one of Biden’s marquee campaign promises to address disproportionate pollution and climate impacts in Black neighborhoods. Biden’s White House Council on Environmental Quality drew backlash after it unveiled a new screening tool to identify disadvantaged communities for extra federal investment and left out race as a factor. The tool instead focused on factors like pollution-linked health issues and low income. Biden’s White House Council on Environmental Quality drew backlash after it unveiled a new screening tool to identify disadvantaged communities for extra federal investment and left out race as a factor. The tool instead focused on factors like pollution-linked health issues and low income. [ read more … ]


In Court, the Maryland Public Service Commission Quotes Climate Deniers and Claims There’s No Such Thing as ‘Clean’ Energy

By Aman Azhar, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:04:46

Maryland’s Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) has asked a state circuit court to order the Maryland Public Service Commission to investigate a gas utility company for deceiving its customers by falsely claiming that natural gas is cleaner than electric power and undermining the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The disagreement emerged when OPC, an independent state agency that represents the interests of utility ratepayers before the PSC, filed a complaint with the commission, saying that Washington Gas customers received bills last fall that included deceptive marketing statements about the “environmental benefits” of natural gas. [ read more … ]


Huge gap remains in curbing climate pollution, UN finds

By Sara Schonhardt, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:08:57

The world is not moving nearly fast enough to curb emissions of the gases superheating the planet, according to the latest assessment from the U.N. climate program. It shows that while new pledges from countries have made a small dent in projected greenhouse gas emissions, current commitments will lead to warming of roughly 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the century’s end. That’s well beyond the goal countries committed to in the Paris Agreement of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. Above that threshold, the likelihood of more extreme climate calamities, including storms, heat waves, drought and sea-level rise, greatly increases. [ read more … ]

Why these climate talks are different than other COPs

By Jean Chemnick, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:08:10

The global climate summit that begins next week in Egypt won’t hinge on backroom discussions among negotiators. The spotlight instead will be trained on the avalanche of climate disasters that the world has experienced in recent years, and whether wealthy nations will commit to offering financial aid to poor countries that are reeling from those perils. [ read more … ]


How a Republican Congress could imperil Biden’s climate agend

By Rebecca Leber, Vox  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:06:03

Republicans can’t scrap any part of the law as long as President Joe Biden remains in office; any attempt would face a presidential veto, even if it managed to pass the Senate filibuster threshold. What Republicans can do is gum up the works of the bill’s massive climate programs. In the majority, they would have additional powers to call in agency officials for hearings and issue subpoenas — all tools that could be used to disrupt the implementation of both the IRA and the bipartisan infrastructure law passed a year ago. Some of this should sound familiar. Twelve years ago, Republicans swept the House in the midterms and applied the same strategy to the stimulus law meant to help recovery from the late-2000s Great Recession. [ read more … ]

GOP Hill control could spark budget fights on Biden climate priorities

By Inside EPA  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:05:31

The prospect that Republicans will control both chamber of Congress next year could create new budget challenges for the Biden administration’s climate agenda — including possible bids to offset the new climate law’s spending with EPA and other agency funding cuts or enact restrictive policy riders in spending bills, observers say. [ read more … ]


GOP seizes on voter hesitancy to attack EVs as costly to US

By HOPE YEN and MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2022-11-01 16:05:16

Heading into next week’s midterm elections, many Republican candidates are seeking to capitalize on voters’ concerns about inflation by vilifying a key component of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda: electric vehicles. On social media, in political ads and at campaign rallies, Republicans say Democrats’ push for battery-powered transportation will leave Americans broke, stranded on the road and even in the dark. Many of the attack lines are not true — the auto industry itself has largely embraced a shift to EVs, for instance, and some Republican lawmakers are quick to cheer the opening of EV battery plants in the U.S. that promise new jobs. [ read more … ]

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