Please add the Governors' Wind Energy Coalition to your address book for uninterrupted delivery
View this email in a web browser.
Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

December 12, 2022

Top Story

Major Fusion Energy Breakthrough to Be Announced by Scientists

By Kenneth Chang, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:12:25

Scientists at a federal nuclear weapons facility have made a potentially significant advance in fusion research that could lead to a source of bountiful energy in the future, according to a government official. The advance is expected to be announced Tuesday by the Department of Energy, which said a “major scientific breakthrough” was made at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, and White House and other Energy Department officials are expected to be in attendance. The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the scientific advance involves the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, which uses giant lasers to create conditions that briefly mimic the explosions of nuclear weapons. [ read more … ]

States

Tesla to create ‘statewide market design pilot’ virtual power plant in Texas

By Fred Lambert, Electrek  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:13:41

A virtual power plant consists of distributed energy storage systems – like Tesla Powerwalls – used in concert to provide grid services and avoid the use of polluting and expensive peaker power plants. Last year, Tesla launched a VPP pilot program in California, where Powerwall owners would join voluntarily without compensation to let the VPP pull power from their battery packs when the grid needed it. It helped Tesla prove the usefulness of such a system. [ read more … ]

Texas grid proposals tee up new natural gas fight

By Jason Plautz, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:14:40

As the U.S. government prepares to usher in an avalanche of renewable energy investments, Texas officials are signaling they’d like to head in a different direction. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and state lawmakers are pitching a plan to mandate new natural gas generation to avoid future power crises in Texas. Patrick — who presides over the state Senate — suggested economic incentives for gas-fueled plants at the expense of wind and solar, similar to an unsuccessful bill he backed last year. “We can’t leave here next spring unless we have a plan for more natural gas power,” Patrick told reporters recently.
[ read more … ]

Oil Spill

Oil Spill in Kansas Prompts Shutdown of Keystone Pipeline System

By Derrick Bryson Taylor, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:14:04

The Keystone pipeline system was shut down Wednesday night after its operator, TC Energy, said it had detected an oil spill in northern Kansas. Federal environmental officials said the public was not at risk. An estimated 14,000 barrels of oil spilled into a creek in Washington County, Kan., south of the Nebraska border, TC Energy said in a statement on Thursday. Washington County has a population of about 5,500, according to government data.
[ read more … ]

Federal data: Kansas oil spill biggest in Keystone history

By John Hanna, Associated Press  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:14:20

A ruptured pipe dumped enough oil this week into a northeastern Kansas creek to nearly fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, becoming the largest onshore crude pipeline spill in nine years and surpassing all the previous ones on the same pipeline system combined, according to federal data.
[ read more … ]

Congress

The biggest missed opportunity of the lame-duck Congress so far

By Colin Mortimer, Vox  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:12:51

The current Democratic trifecta is coming to a close, and Republicans will be taking back power in the House this January. The lame-duck Congress looks to be productive, but one item that has been dropped from its to-do list may come back to haunt Democrats. Permitting reform — a push by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to change the way big infrastructure projects that involve federal dollars are approved — was a notably divisive proposal that supporters had hoped would pass in the lame duck. But after progressives who opposed the bill, along with top Republicans, united to torpedo it, Democrats decided to pull the proposal out of a must-pass defense bill, essentially killing it. [ read more … ]

Congress enters pivotal week on spending, other priorities

By Nico Portuondo, Emma Dumain, Jeremy Dillon,. E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:14:57

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who extracted a promise from Democratic leaders on permitting earlier this year, wants the chamber to vote on an amendment to the NDAA this week. It’s unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will facilitate such a vote or whether the issue would delay final passage of the defense bill. Permitting talks could also bleed into the omnibus spending bill discussions. [ read more … ]

Takeaways from the Democrats’ Big Oil investigation

By Corbin Hiar, Nick Sobczyk, Lesley Clark, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2022-12-12 16:15:19

The industry files showed oil majors are concerned about their “license to operate” — a phrase referring to the need for social acceptance, which appeared numerous times in the cache. By publicly advocating a limited suite of climate policies and deploying a climate-friendly public relations strategy, industry officials believe they can secure a future for oil and gas But the latest document dump also reveals how Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory altered the oil industry’s energy policy strategy, divisions over the value of the environment, social and governance investment trend, and an aggressive embrace of corporate secrecy. [ read more … ]

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