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Governors' Wind Energy Coalition

September 11, 2015

Brown, lawmakers bow to political pressure, remove petroleum mandate in climate bill

Debra Kahn, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-09-11 06:36:12

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and state lawmakers are giving up their plans to reduce petroleum use by 50 percent by 2030. The mandate was included in S.B. 350, a bill being shepherded through the Legislature by Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D) in the waning days of the state’s legislative session. The goal was perhaps the most ambitious of the three that Brown announced upon taking office in January for his fourth term. The other two — to increase the state’s share of renewable energy to 50 percent and to double the efficiency of existing buildings by 2030 — still remain in the bill, which must pass the Legislature by today. [ read more … ]

Comment: Another smear by Big Oil on wind power

By Michael Goggin, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2015-09-11 06:44:43

Koch-funded Kathleen Hartnett White’s Aug. 31 commentary on the Clean Power Plan ignores how low-cost wind energy helps states cost-effectively and reliably cut carbon pollution.
Unable to criticize American wind energy, among the lowest-cost and most productive in the world, White instead focuses on Germany. Her argument has little relevance as U.S. wind plants are nearly twice as productive as those in Germany, allowing the cost of wind in the U.S. to be a fraction of what it is in Europe. [ read more … ]

What Washington state’s wildfires tell us about climate change

By Michael Sainato, contributor, The Hill  •    •  Posted 2015-09-11 06:36:35

Wildfires are increasing and wildfire season is getting longer in the Western United States. As the global climate warms, dry areas are becoming drier due to higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier snowmelts facilitating drought. These conditions have increased the intensity and long-burning wildfires currently occurring throughout Washington state. This disaster should serve as a wake-up call to everyone who refutes the existence of climate change. [ read more … ]

Reid takes the long view on clean energy — and Nev. prospers

Geof Koss, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-09-11 06:36:59

Heading south on U.S. Route 95 from Las Vegas, drivers gradually become aware of a vast, shimmering presence far off in the distance. Continue on a few miles farther down into the valley, and the source of the shiny apparition becomes apparent. Tucked between the highway and the peaks of the McCullough Range is the Copper Mountain Solar complex, a sprawling collection of panels stretching across 3,000 acres of this high-desert valley. By catching the sun’s rays — and it’s almost always sunny here — the facility generates enough electricity to power 142,000 homes in nearby Southern California. [ read more … ]

Advocates say Texas is squandering its sunshine

Edward Klump, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-09-11 06:37:29

Texas earned a top 10 ranking in cumulative U.S. solar power capacity through 2014, but the state didn’t crack the top 20 in a per-capita calculation, according to a new study. The report, written by representatives of the Frontier Group and Environment America Research and Policy Center, was released last week and touted in the Lone Star State by Environment Texas. [ read more … ]

BLM strategy aims to spark development in Ariz. desert

Scott Streater, E&E reporter  •    •  Posted 2015-09-11 06:37:49

The Bureau of Land Management has released a draft regional mitigation strategy designed to help solar power developers offset environmental damage caused by building commercial-scale projects across western Arizona. The focus of the draft mitigation strategy centers on three federally designated solar energy zones (SEZs) on the state’s west side. The goal is to reduce industry uncertainty by identifying mitigation strategies upfront, thus enticing energy developers to build utility-scale solar projects inside the three zones. [ read more … ]

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