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Blog posts July 2019

Energy Update: July 12, 2019

In the States

 
MN – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the completion of the largest solar project in a Minnesota city, Brooklyn Park. The solar project was funded through a public-private partnership and, according to Governor Walz, will not cost taxpayers any money. Brooklyn Park officials say the solar energy project will save taxpayers
$60,000 in electricity costs in 2020 and $5.5 million over a 25-year span. City officials hope the project will serve as a blueprint for other Minnesota cities to expand their own solar energy activities. Brooklyn Park Completes Minnesota's Largest City Solar ProjectConnected Community Experience Media
 
NY – The State of New York is planning to construct new battery storage projects worth $55 million on Long Island. These storage projects hope to advance the state towards its goal of 3,000 megawatts of energy storage deployed by 2030. The announcement goes toward supporting Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, which puts New York on a path to carbon neutrality. “These incentives for energy storage will help Long Islanders grow their clean energy economy and create jobs”, according to Governor Cuomo. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has committed an initial $15 million in incentives for the rollout of the project. State officials call Long Island “a mature solar market,” and has contributed to “generating a self-sustaining model for residential solar” in New York. Governor Cuomo Announces $55 Million for Energy Storage Projects on Long IslandTransmission and Distribution World
 
PA – Governor Tom Wolf does not support using public funds to keep the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex open, and has instead directed the Commonwealth’s efforts towards helping employees find new jobs. The complex, which suffered from a massive fire earlier this year, was producing 335,000 barrels per day and
currently employs approximately 1,000 individuals. According to J.J. Abbott, a spokesperson for the Wolf administration, the refinery would need significant new investment to re-open. The head of the refinery’s employee union, Ryan O’Callaghan, expressed concern that looking at alternatives is an insufficient response by the administration. Governor Wolf’s administration has, however, has dedicated state resources and manpower to help employees seek new opportunities, and provided them with job-training and employment related services. Pennsylvania governor opposes tax dollars for refinery restartReuters
 
NH – Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill to study whether New Hampshire would benefit from creating a state department of energy. Energy policy is currently administered by several state agencies and departments. The bill creates a state commission, made up of state legislators, private sector stakeholders, and state agency officials, to asses and determine next steps. The commission will also study how other states handle energy programs and how New Hampshire can ensure its residents derive the maximum benefit from utility companies operating in the state. The commission is required by law to submit an interim report by November 1, 2019, and its complete findings and recommendations by November 1, 2020. Should N.H. Establish A State Department of Energy? Governor Signs Study BillNew Hampshire Public Radio
 

National

For the first time since 1953, the United States is poised to become a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), thanks to an increase in the production of natural gas and petroleum from the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico. According to a plan released by the EIA, the U.S. is expected to pump 12.4 million barrels of crude oil per day this year and approximately 13.2 million barrels of crude per day in 2020. The development and use of hydraulic fracturing technology, commonly known as fracking, has allowed the U.S. to become the world’s largest crude producer, mostly thanks to production in West Texas. The EIA also states Texas is the largest crude oil producing state in the nation, noting the state produced an average of 4.97 million barrels per day in April 2019. While crude oil production is declining in other states, the EIA expects additional growth in the Gulf of Mexico and in the states that border the Gulf. Report: U.S. leads world in crude export with Texas as largest producing stateThe Center Square
 
Twenty-three Governors, following California Governor Gavin Newsom’s lead, signed a pledge urging the Trump administration not to relax vehicle mileage standards. States have promised to sue the Trump administration over any reductions to standards, should the administration release regulations to that effect. Energy experts believe the Trump administration will release final rules on mileage changes later this year. The current standards were established under the Obama administration as an attempt to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The Trump administration, however, maintains that Americans prefer to drive larger cars and trucks and the old standards unnecessarily drive up costs and reduce vehicle safety. The Governors’ pledge commits their states to retaining the Obama-era standards. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware is urging automakers to work with the states in the interests of cutting carbon emissions and advancing cleaner-burning vehicles. A spokesperson for Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said “it is untenable to face a marketplace with different standards in different states, but it is also untenable to face standards that rise so high that only a handful of electric vehicles

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