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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

April 14, 2014

Wind rush

BY JAMES OSBORNE | ENERGY WRITER, Dallas Morning News  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:08:30

Ranch land has been leased. Roads are being laid under the shadows of seabirds. And the $4 million wind turbines are on order. Wind developers from around the globe have rushed into the Texas Panhandle and Gulf Coast at a pace not seen since the industry’s early days in the mid-2000s. More than 7,000 megawatts of new wind turbines are scheduled to be built by the end of next year, potentially increasing Texas’ wind power capacity by almost 60 percent. Whether developers will be able to carry through as advertised remains to be seen. But the volume of projects underway represents a dramatic acceleration for a Texas wind industry that has seen relatively modest growth since 2010. [ read more … ]

Efficiency bill, tax extenders on tap when Senate returns — Reid

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:08:51

Also on tap for the next work period, which goes until Memorial Day weekend, is the “tax extenders” bill that was voted out of the Finance Committee last week. The bill includes a two-year extension of the production tax credit, which primarily supports wind electricity; a suite of biofuels tax credits; and several incentives designed to make homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient (Greenwire, April 3). Reid said he had discussed the bill with Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) this week and was optimistic the Senate would be able to get it done. [ read more … ]

U.N. Climate Panel Warns Speedier Action Is Needed to Avert Disaster

By JUSTIN GILLIS, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:09:16

The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century. It remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, according to areport unveiled here. But even in parts of the world like Europe that have tried hardest, governments are still a long way from taking the steps that are sufficient to do the job, the experts found. [ read more … ]

AWEA annual report focuses on new construction rather than installation decline

Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:09:32

While federal regulatory uncertainty took a predictable toll on the U.S. wind industry in 2013, the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual report takes a rosy view of the year ahead, pointing out the record number of new wind farms in the pipeline at the close of 2013, rather than facility closures and job losses. According to the report, released yesterday, more than 12,000 megawatts of new wind capacity was under construction by last December with an additional 5,200 MW on the way thanks to a record 60 power purchase agreements signed last year. [ read more … ]

White House official questions FERC’s ‘next to impossible’ grid assault scenario

Peter Behr, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:09:52

A senior White House security official yesterday downplayed conclusions of a confidential study last year by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission warning that attacks on a handful of high-voltage substations could cause cascading power outages across the United States.
Rand Beers, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security, said at a conference on cybersecurity that a headline finding in the FERC analysis — which was obtained and published by The Wall Street Journal in March — was built on “extraordinarily narrow” assumptions. The likelihood of such an event happening was “of such a low probability as to be next to impossible,” Beers said. [ read more … ]

Triumvirate of world leaders says carbon pricing can spur economies

Lisa Friedman, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:10:12

International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde told finance ministers today that solving climate change can improve their countries’ bottom lines. Joined by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as they prepared to speak to a gathering of 46 finance ministers on the economics of fighting global warming, Lagarde advocated both a tax on carbon and the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. “The protection of ecology is an imperative,” she said. “Everybody says it’s mostly physical … [but] dealing with the protection of ecology can be mostly fiscal.” By getting prices right and spurring investment in low-carbon technology, she said, “you can do well for the economy.” [ read more … ]

Peabody Energy pitches coal as the cure for Third World poverty

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-04-14 07:10:27

Faced with uncertain domestic markets and mounting regulatory pressures over pollution at home, the U.S. coal industry is shifting its focus to some of the poorest nations of the world, where it argues coal should be a primary antidote to global energy poverty. In a sophisticated public relations campaign launched in late February, Peabody Energy Corp., the world’s largest private coal company, argues that policymakers, along with anti-poverty nongovernmental organizations and global investment banks, have overlooked the positive role that coal can play in meeting economic development and even environmental goals throughout the developing world. [ read more … ]

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