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Blog posts October 2013

Energy Update, September 20

In the States

CA – Governor Jerry Brown recently joined corporate executives to highlight the State’s enthusiasm and commitment to electric vehicles. Organized by the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative and held in San Francisco, the event drew companies ranging from Google and Honda to Coca-Cola and Walgreens. Several new models of electric cars and plug-in hybrids were on display, including Tesla’s Model S sedan and BMW’s i3. Several companies also announced their plans to expand charging stations for electric cars on their corporate campuses. Google, for example, already has more than 700 charging stations at its dozen campuses and has almost 60 plug-in vehicles as part of its car-sharing program for employees. Governor Brown also announced he would sign two bills focused on electric vehicles: the first, AB 8, provides at least $2 billion in funding for rebates to consumers who buy electric cars through 2013 and the second, SB 359, provides funding to State programs to promote low-emission vehicles. Gov. Jerry Brown, corporate leaders tout electric vehiclesThe San Jose Mercury News

 OK – Governor Mary Fallin announced that her third annual Governor’s Energy Conference will take place in Tulsa next month. The conference will features state and industry officials, including leaders from the Oklahoma Department of Energy and Environment, the Department of Commerce, and the State Chamber. Additionally, several large corporations will take part in panel discussions and keynotes, including General Electric, Phillips 66, and Spartan, LLC. The conference will include several presentations on energy education, research, and workforce development issues in Oklahoma. Governor Fallin said “this conference is a great opportunity to bring together industry leaders and policy makers to discuss how we can support Oklahoma energy production and energy jobs.” Governor Fallin to host energy conference in TulsaThe Collinsville News

 WY – Governor Matt Mead and Chesapeake Energy reached a deal that would allow the company to drill for oil in an area designated as sage grouse habitat in east-central Wyoming. The agreement, which potentially allows for the construction of hundreds of new oil wells, divides the habitat area into three zones with drilling allowed year-round in one 65 square mile area classified as unsuitable for the sage grouse. Drilling could occur in the other areas only under special terms and conditions included in the agreement.  Wyo. Governor, Chesapeake Energy unveil deal to allow hundreds of oil wells in grouse habitatThe Daily Journal

National and Federal

The Obama administration has approved a permit for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping terminal in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. It is the fourth LNG terminal approved this year by the administration. Named Cove Point and operated by Dominion Resource LNG, the new terminal will be able to move up to 0.77 billion cubic feet of LNG daily, meaning that the national overall amount of gas exports will rise to a potential 6.37 billion cubic feet per day. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, cautioned the Department of Energy on any more approvals, asking that DOE should make sure exports will not have “a significant impact on domestic prices.” U.S. picks up steam on natural gas export projectsReuters

 According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the national trade association for solar energy and related businesses, the demand for solar panels in homes will jump 56% nationwide this year. Further, at least 6 of the 10 largest homebuilders include photovoltaic devises in new constructions while some towns are beginning to mandate solar panel installations. In 2012, for example, almost 500 megawatts of panels were installed on new and existing American homes, and it is expected that this figure will reach 770 megawatts this year due to lower photovoltaic panel costs. “In the next six months, homebuilders in California and the expensive-energy states will be going solar as a standard, and just incorporating it into the cost of the house like any other feature,” said Jim Petersen, chief executive officer of the PetersenDean Inc., the largest closely held U.S. roofing and solar contractor. Solar panel is next granite countertop for homebuildersBloomberg

 The 37th Annual Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers took place earlier this month in La Malbaie, Quebec. The conference focused on energy efficiency and climate change and also included discussions on the energy future of the region and energy transportation and safety issues. All of the Northeastern governors attended the meeting. Next year’s meeting will be chaired by Governor Maggie Hassan and will take place in New Hampshire. Energy issues debated at meeting of Premiers, N.E. governorsThe Montreal Gazette

 The National Governors Association (NGA) recently hosted a conference in Broomfield, Colorado on the development of shale energy. The conference brought together state policymakers to examine state policies, how States are working with the private sector, and to discuss emerging issues arising from shale energy. “I know there are wide varieties of viewpoints on carbon emissions and climate change and challenges around air quality and rapid growth we’ve seen in asthma, but there is a tremendous opportunity in shale energy development, for our environment, economy and our future,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said. Governors meeting in Colorado want to speak national conversation on energy developmentThe Greeley Tribune

 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new draft rule that limits the carbon dioxide released by new coal-burning plants. In essence, the new rule would require coal-fired plants to capture and store a segment of the carbon dioxide they produce. The release of the draft rule follows a deadline set by the Obama administration and puts the EPA on track to release final rules on emissions from existing power plants by June 2014. New coal plants must capture carbon dioxide output: EPABloomberg

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