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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 8, 2022

Top Story

Finally, Some Good Climate News: The Biggest Wins in Clean Energy in 2022

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:11:36

You can forgive people who work on U.S. energy policy for being tired this month. They have just sprinted, and sometimes slogged, through an extraordinary year of action and progress at the federal, state and local levels. “It’s been a big one, for sure,” said Autumn Proudlove, associate director for policy and markets at the N.C. Clean Technology Center at North Carolina State University. Not just a big one, but maybe the biggest one ever in terms of the number and scope of new laws and rules, she said. Here are some of the key developments. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

First West Coast offshore wind lease auction generates $757 million, lagging East Coast result

By Elizabeth McCarthy, Utility Dive  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:11:00

Five companies are the provisional winners of the offshore wind leasesavailable for up to 4.6 GW from floating turbines off of California’s central and northern coasts, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, announced Dec. 7. While the auction is a significant first step, many more are needed to bring California’s floating wind turbine industry to fruition, including a U.S.-based supply chain, new transmission and offtake agreements. [ read more … ]

Solar Energy

Wildfire Smoke Can Slash California Solar Power Output by Nearly a Third

By David R Baker, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:12:31

The wildfire smoke that’s often seen blanketing California skies is more than just a problem for breathing — it can also drastically slash electricity generated by solar panels in a state that’s been struggling to meet all its power needs.  A new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research shows that smoke can cut solar power production by nearly a third. [ read more … ]

Grid

Investigators are zeroing in on two possible motives centered around extremist behavior in NC power stations attacks, sources say

By John Miller, Jason Hanna and Whitney Wild, CNN  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:09:10

Investigators – who have found nearly two dozen shell casings from a high-powered rifle – are zeroing in on two threads of possible motives centered around extremist behavior for the weekend assault on two North Carolina electric substations, according to law-enforcement sources briefed on the investigation. The news comes as the primary utility company in Moore County restored electricity to the final customers of the 45,000 homes and businesses that initially lost power. [ read more … ]

Congress

What’s next for Manchin’s permitting bill

By Nick Sobczyk, Jeremy Dillon, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:13:34

Sen. Joe Manchin isn’t giving up on trying to pass his overhaul of federal environmental rules, but the changes he’s made to the bill may have further alienated Democrats while doing little to assuage skeptical Republicans. It leaves Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, with slim chances of getting the bill — and the Mountain Valley pipeline — over the finish line before the end of the year. “It looks pretty grim,” said Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a climate hawk who was supportive of Manchin’s draft permitting legislation in September. [ read more … ]

New powers, flexibility await Senate Democrats next year

By Timothy Cama, Marc Heller, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:13:55

After winning an outright majority in the Senate on Tuesday, Democrats are delighted at the prospect of being able to move legislation and confirm nominees more easily. Many of President Joe Biden’s nominees have been stuck in limbo for months due to the current 50-50 partisan split in the Senate. A number of them are crucial to agencies such as EPA, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy and even an obscure mine safety and health commission. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D-Ga.) runoff win Tuesday will give Democrats 51 seats in the new Congress next month, ending two years in which committees frequently deadlocked on key votes, necessitating a long process to bring measures to the full Senate for passage. [ read more … ]

Climate

White House unveils federal efficiency, climate plans

By Kelsey Brugger, E&E  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:10:35

The White House on Wednesday announced a new suite of climate actions to compel the federal government’s antiquated building stock to electrify — soon. On a press call, White House officials laid out actions to decarbonize the federal government — a major energy consumer — in the coming years and decades. The White House officials struck a familiar tone, selling their policies as ways to create jobs and save taxpayers money. “We are focused on what we can get done in this decisive decade,” said Ali Zaidi, the White House climate adviser. “As with every sector, when we look at the opportunity, what we see is jobs and opportunity for U.S. industry.” [ read more … ]

5th Circuit may back Biden social cost of carbon

By Niina H. Farah, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:12:49

A federal appeals court appeared poised Tuesday to uphold the Biden administration’s use of an interim climate metric to estimate the costs of rising greenhouse gas emissions. In oral arguments, a three-judge panel on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seemed skeptical that Republican-led states challenging the federal government had suffered any direct harm from agencies using the interim social cost of greenhouse gases. The court had blocked an order from a lower bench earlier this year that briefly halted agencies’ use of the interim estimates, but until yesterday, the 5th Circuit had not ruled on the substance of the arguments raised by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and a coalition of other states. [ read more … ]

Biden wants industry to fix the climate mess it helped create

By Corbin Hiar, Kelsey Brugger, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:13:09

Over the last century, the American economy has been a major driver of climate change. Now President Joe Biden wants to redirect the nation’s industrial strength towards addressing the problem. Aided by historic climate spending legislation, the Biden administration is attempting to use the federal government’s immense purchasing power to catalyze an economic transformation that would boost domestic industries while effectively eliminating the nation’s planet-warming emissions by 2050. [ read more … ]

Markets

U.S. Gas Prices Are Now Lower Than a Year Ago

By Isabella Simonetti, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-12-08 15:11:16

After months in which gasoline prices in the United States have been one of the most visible symbols of inflation, they have a new distinction: Prices at the pump are now lower than they were a year ago. The reversal of the price escalation that accompanied Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will ease pressure on American consumers dealing with the high cost of other essentials. [ read more … ]

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