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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

June 12, 2014

Talks on FERC nominees continue as Senate panel plans confirmation vote

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-12 07:05:37

Jockeying over Federal Energy Regulatory Commission posts continued yesterday as the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee announced plans to vote next week on nominees to lead the agency. The committee will vote on President Obama’s pick to lead FERC, Norman Bay, and acting Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur for another five-year term, an aide said. But the committee hasn’t set a date for the vote. The committee of 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans is trying to break a confirmation logjam, with some senators wary of Bay’s lack of experience as a regulator and others keen on seeing LaFleur holding onto the gavel. [ read more … ]

What do renewable portfolio standards cost states? Not a lot, national labs say

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-12 07:05:53

For over a decade, state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) have been a major driver of clean energy in the United States. They’ve fed the growth of solar and wind power even in the absence of federal climate policy and laid some of the foundations on which U.S. EPA’s proposed carbon rule for existing power plants builds. At the same time, they’ve been subject to attacks in several GOP-led states, inevitably along the lines that they curb economic growth. So what are the costs of state standards for renewable energy? The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently crunched the numbers, and their answer is: only about 1 percent of retail electricity rates. [ read more … ]

Kan. regulators raise questions about Southwest Power Pool expansion

Jeffrey Tomich, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-12 07:06:16

Kansas utility regulators want the Southwest Power Pool to demonstrate how consumers in the state would benefit from the grid operator more than doubling the size of its footprint with the addition of the Upper Great Plains Region of the Western Area Power Administration. The three-member Kansas Corporation Commission ordered the investigation on the request of the commission staff, which in a Monday memo raised concerns about SPP membership terms for WAPA-Upper Great Plains and two other entities that jointly operate a regional transmission system known as the Integrated System. [ read more … ]

MIT study finds Obama’s power plant rule more costly than putting a price on carbon

Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-12 07:06:36

It turns out that cap and trade might not be so bad after all. New research shows that reducing carbon emissions through regulations like the administration’s recent rules on power plants cuts less carbon at a higher price than the embattled climate policy Congress failed to pass in 2010. Cap and trade, or an equivalent carbon tax, would be economically easier on families, fairer to lower-income people and more flexible for emitters, according to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [ read more … ]

FERC seeks rehearing of high-profile energy case

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2014-06-12 07:06:52

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision to throw out a high-profile ruling that scrapped a critical agency order providing incentives for electricity users to consume less power, a practice dubbed demand response. The commission today said it will ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reconsider the case en banc, meaning before all the circuit court’s judges. [ read more … ]

Commentary: Wind power can help reduce carbon pollution

By Tom Kiernan, American Wind Energy Association, The Wichita Eagle  •    •  Posted 2014-06-12 07:07:09

Power plants are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and with the Environmental Protection Agency unveiling new rules regulating the amount of carbon pollution released by existing power plants, many Americans should know what can be done to meet these standards – including ways we can do so without significantly raising electricity rates or hurting the economy. Fortunately, there’s good news. We don’t have to give up economic growth in exchange for keeping our air clean. Wind power is already working to achieve these goals, as it is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways to help us reduce carbon emissions within the electric power sector while also driving significant economic development. [ read more … ]

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