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Energy Update: April 9, 2021

In the States

ME: Governor Janet Mills signed an executive order directing the Governor’s Energy Office, the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, the Department of Transportation, the Efficiency Maine Trust, the Department of Environmental Protection and “other agencies engaged in electric vehicle advancement” to develop a “Clean Transportation Roadmap” by 2030. The roadmap will lay out recommendations to boost the electric vehicle (EV) market in Maine in an effort to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which currently accounts for more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Governor Mills tasked the agencies creating the roadmap with developing recommendations to expand EV charging infrastructure, assess the effects of an expanded EV market on electric utilities and the grid, and ensuring an equitable and affordable expansion of the EV market. The roadmap will be a key component of Governor Mills’ climate plan, called “Maine Won’t Wait,” which aims to put at least 219,000 light-duty EVs on the road by 2030 to meet emissions targets. “Growing the number of clean vehicles in Maine to reduce GHG emissions related to transportation is a key opportunity to address climate change in the state,” said Hannah Pingree, director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future and co-chair of the Maine Climate Council. “The clean transportation roadmap will make recommendations to ensure Maine consumers have affordable options for EVs and access to charging infrastructure that meets the needs of rural and urban drivers alike.” With Executive Order, Governor Mills Aims to Accelerate Maine’s EV TransitionNGT News

 

NC: Governor Roy Cooper unveiled his budget plan, which includes millions of dollars for developing clean transportation and energy and for addressing climate change. Governor Cooper’s budget proposes allocating $10 million to help communities advance bike and pedestrian transportation projects and $30 million to expand and improve commuter rail service. The budget also proposes allocating an additional $100 million to equitably expand access to clean energy and create clean energy jobs, and $23 million to be invested in energy-saving improvements and weatherization for low-income households. Finally, the budget proposes a $300 million allocation for preserving the local environment and ensuring access to clean air and water. “With the right priorities, we will not only beat this pandemic but build lasting success for North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “The most important recommendations today will invest in North Carolina’s people so they can learn, get healthier, and get the right kind of training for great jobs.” Governor Cooper’s full budget proposal can be found here. N.C. gov’s proposed budget invests in healthy air and water, clean energy jobsSouthern Environmental Law Center; Gov. Cooper proposes budget to invest in a 'strong, resilient and ready North Carolina'WCNC Charlotte

PA: Governor Tom Wolf announced the Pennsylvania Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy (PULSE), a 191-megawatt solar energy project sited across six counties in the Commonwealth. The new solar energy sites are expected to produce 361,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to supply about half of all electricity used by Pennsylvania’s state government. This new project builds on Governor Wolf’s GreenGov initiative, which aims to strengthen the renewable energy market in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania PULSE will help the state exceed GreenGov’s goal of obtaining at least 40 percent of electricity required to run the state government from in-state clean energy sources. The new solar sites will be located in Columbia, Juniata, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and York Counties. Pennsylvania Governor Seeks Nation’s Largest Government Commitment to Solar EnergyThe National Law Review

 

WY: The Wyoming legislature sent three bills to Governor Mark Gordon’s desk aimed at prolonging the closure of coal-fired power plants by requiring an in-depth economic analysis of proposed plant closures and creating a $1.2 million fund to litigate coal-related legislation in other states. The Governor’s energy advisor, Randall Luthi, says he will recommend that Governor Gordon sign the bills. Mr. Luthi said he does not believe the bills will stop the decline of coal-fired energy in Wyoming, but that he hopes the legislation will minimize the economic impacts of coal’s decline on the state. A critic of the legislation, Connie Wilbert, director of the Sierra Club’s Wyoming chapter, argued that the bills could worsen the state’s economic outlook by making it more expensive for out-of-state buyers to pull out of coal, thereby raising the cost per unit of electricity. Four other states, including Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia have passed or are pursuing similar legislation. Wyoming bills to slow coal plant closures sent to governor as 4 other states pursue similar stepsUtility Drive

 

National

President Joe Biden unveiled a $2.25 trillion eight-year infrastructure plan that includes large investments in electric vehicles, renewable power, and the electric grid; it aims to help the American economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic while fighting climate change. The plan proposes a 10-year extension to tax credits for wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects, an allocation of $174 billion in government funding to electric vehicle initiatives, and sustaining tax incentives for purchasing electric vehicles. The plan also seeks to create a Civilian Climate Corps for the conservation of public lands and waters, proposes expanding a tax credit for underground sequestration of carbon dioxide, and the creation of a new investment tax credit for electrical grid expansion and modernization. The full details of President Biden’s plan will be left up to Congress, so some provisions may change as President Biden’s vision is converted into a bill. Biden Infrastructure Plan Targets Electric Cars, Clean PowerBloomberg Green

 

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