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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

January 23, 2023

Top Story

Depleted Under Trump, a ‘Traumatized’ E.P.A. Struggles With Its Mission

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:17:41

The nation’s top environmental agency is still reeling from the exodus of more than 1,200 scientists and policy experts during the Trump administration. The chemicals chief said her staff can’t keep up with a mounting workload. The enforcement unit is prosecuting fewer polluters than at any time in the past two decades. And now this: the stressed-out, stretched-thin Environmental Protection Agency is scrambling to write about a half dozen highly complex rules and regulations that are central to President Biden’s climate goals. [ read more … ]

Wind Energy

Investors Plow Into Renewables, but Projects Aren’t Getting Built

By Jennifer Hiller, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:20:11

Even as developers plan an unprecedented number of grid-scale wind and solar installations, project construction is plummeting across the U.S. Despite billions of dollars in federal tax credits up for grabs and investors eager to fund clean energy projects, the pace of development has ground to a crawl and many renewables plans face an uncertain path to completion. Supply-chain snags, long waits to connect to the grid and challenging regulatory and political environments across the country are contributing to the slowdown, analysts and companies say. [ read more … ]

Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over

By Josh Saul, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:19:18

On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene. The steel tower, which once stood hundreds of feet tall, was buckled in half, and the turbine blades, whose rotation took the machine higher than the Statue of Liberty, were splayed across the wheat field below. The turbine, made by General Electric Co., had been in operation less than a year. “It fell pretty much right on top of itself,” Willey says. [ read more … ]

Inflation Reduction Act

Fine Print on Labor in US Climate Bill Complicates Rush for Tax Credits

By Ari Natter, Bloomberg  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:18:07

The  historic US climate bill boosted tax credits for clean energy sources ranging from hydrogen to nuclear power, offering subsidies worth hundreds of billions of dollars. But there’s a catch buried in the law: Projects that don’t meet certain new wage and labor requirements only get a fraction of the credit.  In order to get the full value of a 30% investment tax credit for the construction of solar power, fuel cell and other clean energy projects, developers must pay workers at least a wage level set by the US Department of Labor and use a minimum share of labor from workers who are in registered apprenticeship programs.  [ read more … ]

States

How Texas’ electricity plan could change the grid

By Jason Plautz, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:19:46

After a boom in wind and solar generation, regulators in the nation’s top energy-producing state are pushing ahead with a plan that would incentivize more natural gas plants on the power grid.
The new framework could remake Texas’ electricity mix for years to come, clouding the outlook for renewable energy even as federal incentives are pushing those sources onto the grid. The plan won approval from the state Public Utility Commission last week, setting terms for how the electricity market may change. The structure — which passed the PUC unanimously almost two years after winter blackouts crippled the state — is designed to aid reliability while retaining some of Texas’ unusual electricity system. [ read more … ]

Congress

These 6 GOP leaders will shift Congress on climate

By Vanessa Montalbano, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:18:40

After advancing his climate agenda for the past two years with a slim congressional majority, President Biden now faces a Republican-controlled House of Representatives hostile to his policies and determined to slow the country’s shift away from fossil fuels. The following six GOP leaders will have an outsize influence on these decisions. [ read more … ]

EVs

Calif. zero-emission vehicle sales hit record high

BY: ANNE C. MULKERN, E&E News  •    •  Posted 2023-01-23 15:18:56

Sales of zero-emission vehicles hit a record high in California last year, making up nearly 19 percent of new car purchases, according to state data released on Friday. That is a significant jump from 2021, when the same California Energy Commission data shows that 12 percent of cars sold in the Golden State were zero-emission vehicles. Forty percent of ZEVs in the United States are now in California, state officials said. [ read more … ]

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