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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 10, 2014

Political clout tempers utilities’ fears of power plant rule to be implemented by states

Nick Juliano, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-10 06:54:40

The relatively sanguine reaction from most utilities to U.S. EPA’s landmark climate change rule reflects the extent to which power companies are confident in their ability to influence the state governments that will be crafting plans to hit required carbon dioxide emissions reductions. EPA’s proposal was greeted with predictable outrage from coal miners, heavy industry and ideologically motivated interest groups that warned of higher energy prices, lost jobs and a less reliable energy supply. But utilities were generally more likely to welcome — or at least begrudgingly accept — the regulation on existing power plants as something they were already on the way to achieving by switching from coal to natural gas-fired power, promoting energy efficiency and relying more on renewables. [ read more … ]

Some states push back against proposed EPA carbon rule

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-10 06:55:04

Legal challenges to U.S. EPA’s proposed rule on power plant carbon won’t be possible until a final version is released next year, but that hasn’t stopped a number of states from laying foundations for resistance. Nineteen states — nearly all of which either produce or consumer significant quantities of coal — have introduced resolutions targeting the proposed rule. Eleven states have introduced legislation related to the rule with six bills enacted so far. While the language of the resolutions and bills runs the gamut from tentative support to outright opposition to EPA’s authority, a common refrain among them is the desire for state primacy in developing and implementing plans, said Melanie Condon, a policy associate for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is tracking state reactions to the proposed EPA rule. [ read more … ]

Harry Reid Shapes Energy Regulator With an Eye to Nevada Industry

By AMY HARDER, Wall Street Journal  •    •  Posted 2014-06-10 06:55:26

“Oh really? No kidding,” Mr. Reid said. “Wow, that is amazing—that a majority leader who has a responsibility of selecting people would have some opinion as to who he suggests to the White House.” Mr. Reid’s interest stems from his expressed intent to develop his state’s renewable-energy industry. In 2013, Nevada ranked second in the nation for geothermal energy production and third for solar production, and 18% of its total electricity generation came from renewable, above the national average of 13%. Nevada and the West in general, however, need more power lines to deliver renewable energy to customers. While FERC, which can have as many as five members, doesn’t generally approve construction of interstate power lines, it does approve wholesale electric transmission sales and tariffs, which influence where power companies decide to build transmission lines [ read more … ]

Is this odd-looking wind turbine the most efficient you can buy?

By TUAN C. NGUYEN, Washington Post  •    •  Posted 2014-06-10 06:56:16

When it comes to producing wind energy, three-blade propeller turbine systems have been the gold standard for so long, they’ve become boring. Sure, engineers have put forth their fair share of alternate designs, but nothing has proven to be quite as efficient. They aren’t perfect either, however. Despite unmatched rotational speeds upwards of up to 200 mph, taking full advantage of the elements requires that the turbines be positioned directly into the face of the current. So while such systems generally make sense for offshore wind farms, they’re not as practical in surroundings where winds are far less predictable. [ read more … ]

Multistate project near missile range could be months away from approval

Scott Streater, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-10 06:56:34

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said today that the Defense Department has sent her as promised a formal mitigation plan that proposes to bury sections of a New Mexico-to-Arizona transmission line near an Army missile testing range and that the project’s proponents have indicated the proposal is acceptable. But Neil Kornze, director of the Bureau of Land Management, said the agency needs to conduct additional evaluation on the proposal to bury up to 5 miles of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project line near New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range. Kornze conceded a new environmental asse [ read more … ]

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