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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 3, 2015

Today’s Wind Energy News includes important stories that were published while News was on hiatus.  Those stories are at the end of today’s News.

Obama to Unveil Tougher Climate Plan With His Legacy in Mind

By CORAL DAVENPORT and GARDINER HARRIS, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:44:54

In the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change, President Obama will unveil today a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants and ultimately transform America’s electricity industry. The rules are the final, tougher versions of proposed regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2012 and 2014. If they withstand the expected legal challenges, the regulations will set in motion sweeping policy changes that could shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants, freeze construction of new coal plants and create a boom in the production of wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources.
[ read more … ]

Obama to Mandate Steeper Emissions Cuts From US Power Plants

By Reuters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:45:09

President Barack Obama will impose even steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants than previously expected, senior administration officials said Sunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming. A year after proposing unprecedented carbon dioxide limits, Obama was poised to finalize the rule at a White House event on Monday. In a video posted to Facebook, Obama said the limits were backed up by decades of data showing that without tough action, the world will face more extreme weather and escalating health problems like asthma. [ read more … ]

What Changes to Expect From Obama’s Final Clean Power Plan  

By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:45:32

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil as soon as Monday the final version of a sweeping – and controversial – regulation to cut carbon emissions from the electricity sector. In its initial version, the Clean Power Plan called for cutting the country’s power plant emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, setting different targets for each state. The proposal is the signature piece of President Barack Obama’s climate changepolicy. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said this week that the final rule will be “stronger in many ways than the proposed rule.” [ read more … ]

14 states ask for rehearing of Clean Power Plan case

Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:48:26

More than a dozen states today asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision allowing U.S. EPA to move ahead with its landmark greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants. The 14 states requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rehear its June decision in favor of the agency en banc, meaning before all of the circuit’s judges. They claim that the proposed Clean Power Plan, which would cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, has forced states to take action — and spend money — to prepare for the final rule, which is due to be released sometime this summer. [ read more … ]

Winds Of Change? Rhode Island Hopes For First Offshore Wind Farm

By AMBAR ESPINOZA, NPR  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:46:21

Aboard a ferry off the coast of Rhode Island, state and federal officials take a close look at a steel structure poking out of the ocean. It’s the first foundation affixed to the seafloor for a five-turbine wind farm off the state’s coast. It’s a contrast to what’s happening off the coast of Massachusetts. Developer Cape Wind has spent more than 10 years and millions of dollars there on a massive wind farm that it may never build. Rhode Island’s project, Deepwater Wind, has sailed through by comparison, in part because of its great location, explains Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski. The wind farm will sit three miles off the coast of Block Island, about 12 miles away from the mainland. [ read more … ]

Offshore Wind Power Gets Foothold in U.S. With Rhode Island Project

By Reuters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:46:46

Rhode Island’s Deepwater Wind will start installing the foundations for North America’s first offshore wind farm on Monday, a milestone the company says could pave the way for an industry long established in Europe but that is still struggling with opposition in the United States. [ read more … ]

Letter: Kudos to Brownback for ending attack on wind energy

By MARK RICHARDSON, Topeka Capital-Journal  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:47:11

Kudos to Gov. Sam Brownback for brokering a deal ending the attack on the wind energy industry by Americans For Prosperity, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries, and their lobbyists. Brownback, a Governor’s Wind Coalition founding member, touts Kansas as the “Saudi Arabia of Wind” and supports policies like a national Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Production Tax Credit, while noting other energy sources receive similar incentives. [ read more … ]

Gov. Jay Inslee sets carbon cap

By Nicholas Deshais, Spokane Spokesman  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:47:33

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) directed state regulators to tighten carbon emissions restrictions yesterday, avoiding a provision in the state budget that could have cut funding to other priorities. Inslee had pushed for broader changes, but state lawmakers declined to enact them.
[ read more … ]

Gov. Brown’s support of pope raises questions about religion’s role in politics

By David Siders, Sacramento Bee  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:47:59

“We’re not talking about an election next year, we’re talking about getting more people on the side of de-carbonizing the economy,” Brown said. “It’s like turning a ship in the ocean. It turns slowly, and the pope is another gust of influence here turning us in the right direction” [ read more … ]

Berkshire Hathaway joins major renewable-energy effort

By Nancy Gaarder 
and Steve Jordon, Omaha World-Herald staff writers  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:48:58

Warren Buffett is lending his name and deep pockets to the battle against climate change. Berkshire Hathaway Energy on Monday joined a dozen major U.S. businesses at the White House in calling for robust action on global warming.
Berkshire joined Apple, Walmart, General Motors, Cargill, Bank of America and others to announce more than $140 billion in investments in low-carbon projects and other actions as they shift toward greater reliance on renewable energy.
[ read more … ]

MidAmerican aiming for 57 percent of energy from wind

By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:49:24

Bill Fehrman, CEO of MidAmerican Energy, said Monday the company could get up to 57 percent of its energy from wind with its latest renewable energy project. And while wind’s growing presence in MidAmerican’s portfolio is encouraging, so is news that the Des Moines-based utility is looking to invest in solar projects in Iowa, with community solar gardens and utility-sized solar leading the possible options. “We’re not ready to announce a direction yet, but we’re in discussions with a variety of interested stakeholders around doing some sort of solar pilot project in the state,” Fehrman said. [ read more … ]

Wind industry sees strong Q2 growth but remains wary of boom-and-bust incentives

Camille von Kaenel, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:49:53

The U.S. wind industry is entering cautiously optimistic ground after a slow start to the year with its best second quarter ever and Senate approval of an on-again, off-again tax credit. Wind companies added about 1,660 megawatts of new power to the U.S. grid this quarter, according to the latest quarterly report released Wednesday by the trade group American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In the first half of 2015, new installations of wind energy projects represented nearly 2,000 MW. That more than doubled the capacity installed in the same period last year, but still fell short of record 2012 growth. [ read more … ]

Fuel sippers are out and big, muscular and rugged vehicles are in with low gas prices

Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:50:15

“Even when gas prices are high, there’s a strong correlation between truck purchases and economic activity,” Cooke said. Asked about separating the economic impacts of low gas prices and an improving national economy on car purchases, he said, “It’s hard to disentangle those effects a little bit,” adding that “certainly hybrids have been very well correlated to high gas prices.” From January through June, dealers have sold one-third fewer Chevrolet Volts compared to the same period of 2014. Sales for all Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius hybrid models were down across the board in the first half of 2015. The company has sold about 15 percent fewer Priuses than it did in the same period last year. [ read more … ]

Hillary Clinton Lays Out Climate Change Plan

By TRIP GABRIEL and CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:50:38

Setting ambitious goals for producing energy from the sun, wind and other renewable sources, Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on an issue Monday that increasingly resonates with Democratic voters and sets up a stark contrast with the Republican presidential field. [ read more … ]

Hillary Clinton Sets Renewable Energy Goals to Spur More Wind, Solar Powe

By John Whitesides, Reuters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-03 06:50:56

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called on Sunday for a dramatic national shift to energy sources such as solar and wind, setting a goal of generating enough clean renewable energy to power every U.S. home within a decade after she takes office. Clinton, the front-runner for her party’s 2016 presidential nomination, also pledged to have more than half a billion solar panels installed nationwide within four years of taking office. [ read more … ]

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