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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

August 5, 2015

Final Clean Power Plan shifts toward renewables and away from natural gas

Scott Detrow and Elizabeth Harball, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-05 06:50:31

“Over the past decade, even as our economy has continued to grow, the United States has cut our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth,” Obama said. But absent from Obama’s remarks was one key reason for that carbon reduction: the broad, economically driven shift from coal to natural gas-fired power plants. The omission wasn’t an accident: While Obama and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy have long embraced natural gas as a “bridge fuel,” the administration kept the focus on renewable power sources like wind and solar during the Clean Power Plan rollout. [ read more … ]

EPA proposes carbon trading to deal with reluctant states

Emily Holden and Evan Lehmann, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-05 06:50:56

In addition to the Clean Power Plan released yesterday, EPA also publicized a proposal revealing how it will handle states that refuse to submit their own plans for emission reductions from the power sector. The agency plans to impose a federally enforced carbon trading program. It would fall predominantly on conservative states. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has encouraged Republican governors to defy EPA’s rules, and a handful have vowed to decline to submit proposals. “I think it’s very questionable whether it’s legal to do backdoor cap and trade,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said yesterday. “It’s 1,600 pages of legislating through a regulatory agency. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.” [ read more … ]

Can wind energy in the Midwest blow through a tangle of state and county laws?

Daniel Cusick, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-05 06:51:27

Nebraska, while having one of the top four wind energy resources in the nation, remains hampered by rules governing the state’s power generation assets, which are 100 percent publicly owned, according to the analysis. “Consequently, Nebraska’s public power system creates these burdensome regulations that discourage wind energy development in the state, making it less competitive in the wind industry than neighboring states,” the analysis found. [ read more … ]

Q&A: A Look at Climate Change Plan and Its Impact on States

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  •    •  Posted 2015-08-05 06:51:52

President Barack Obama unveiled the final regulations in his plan to cut nationwide carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent by 2030. Obama touted it as a bold step to slow climate change, while opponents said it was federal overreach that will raise prices for electricity consumers. Here’s what you need to know about the impact of the new plan on the states: [ read more … ]

EPA toughens targets, stokes political fire in Appalachia

Jean Chemnick and Manuel QuiƱones, E&E reporters  •    •  Posted 2015-08-05 06:52:14

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin — both Democrats — are being urged by their states’ congressional delegations, attorneys general and coal companies to not submit plans for complying with the rule for existing power plants. The governors have resisted, saying their states would fare better with their own emissions plans. This stance was eased by the fact that EPA’s 2014 draft assigned both states light targets. But that changed yesterday when EPA finalized a rule with significantly different state targets under which both Kentucky and West Virginia ended up with much heavier lifts. [ read more … ]

Senate Democrats revive effort to target oil, gas subsidies

Hannah Northey, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-08-06 06:49:37

Senate Democrats today renewed their attempt to curb oil and gas subsidies and raise billions of dollars as lawmakers search for revenue streams for a host of measures on Capitol Hill, including a transportation extension and a tax extenders package. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), along with 18 Democratic co-sponsors, reintroduced the “Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act,” a bill that would target a variety of deductions for the five largest oil companies — BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips Co. — and use the revenue for deficit reduction. [ read more … ]

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