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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

March 11, 2014

Senate Dems stay up all night to talk warming — but moderates are notably absent

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-03-11 06:45:13

Thirty members of the Senate Democratic caucus sacrificed sleep last night to make the case to supporters outside the Beltway that momentum is building again for climate change legislation — if only they will help stoke it. Senators took turns throughout the evening and into this morning addressing an often-empty Senate chamber on the cost of man-made warming to their home states, the state of the science, and the ability of the American economy to decarbonize without fulfilling opponents’ predictions that it will shed jobs. The debate, which began at about 6:30 p.m., is set to conclude after 8 a.m. today. [ read more … ]

FERC orders new standards to enhance grid security

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-03-11 06:45:26

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered grid overseers Friday to develop new rules to guard against physical threats, responding to growing calls on Capitol Hill for stepped-up action following an attack by gunmen on a California power substation last year. FERC’s acting chairwoman and three commissioners unanimously ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), an industry group that oversees the grid, to craft one or more new security standards that electric utilities must implement to protect major substations and other critical infrastructure from physical threats. [ read more … ]

How Texas Made Wind Energy a Real Player

Mike Jacobs, senior energy analyst, Climate & Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists  •    •  Posted 2014-03-11 06:45:48

Press reports of Texas completing new transmission lines for wind describe an energy boom with a difference — this is carbon-free wind energy. The grid operator in Texas, ERCOT, says agreements are already done for 7,500 MW of new wind power, most of which will be using the new transmission lines by 2016. That will put installed Texas wind around 20,000 MW. There are 15 U.S. states with 1,000 MW or more, but Texas wind is already twice as big as the next largest wind states, California and Iowa. [ read more … ]

Drought Hastens End of a Region’s Hydropower Era

By JIM MALEWITZ, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2014-03-11 06:46:07

The years long drought in Central Texas could eventually snuff out a renewable power source that fueled the region’s early growth: hydropower. Faced with dwindling water supplies, the Lower Colorado River Authority, which supplies water and energy to much of Central Texas, is limiting downstream water releases for activities like rice farming. Aside from stirring controversy among water users, the changes have shrunk the amount of electricity the agency generates from its six Colorado River dams. [ read more … ]

Kerry directs State Dept. to make climate change a top priority

Lisa Friedman, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-03-11 06:46:26

Secretary of State John Kerry doubled down Friday on comments that climate change is “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” and instructed the agency’s nearly 50,000 employees globally to make the issue a “top tier” diplomatic priority. In a policy directive — Kerry’s first since taking the helm of the State Department last year — he told all bureaus to put climate change at the center of their daily work and set establishing a new global climate deal in 2015 as a top priority. [ read more … ]

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