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Energy Update: August 26, 2022

In the States

CAGovernor Gavin Newsom proposed legislation to extend the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by 5-10 years. The proposal to maintain operation of the Diablo Canyon plantlocated midway between San Francisco and Los Angelesincludes the potential for a $1.4 billion loan for PG&E, the utility that operates the plant. The Governor believes the plant’s continued operation is important to maintaining the electric grid’s reliability, particularly as the state continues its transition away from fossil fuels. “The governor has been clear for months about the potential need to extend the life of Diablo Canyon,” Governor Newsom’s spokesman Anthony York said. The plant produces roughly 9% of the state’s energy and had been slated to close by 2025 under a deal brokered by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2016. California Governor Proposes Extending Nuclear Plant’s Life – AP News

FL: Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida cabinet unanimously approved a proposal to bring a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to Jacksonville. Eagle LNG Partners plans to construct the facility along the St. Johns River. The company needed approval from the Florida Cabinet (composed of statewide elected officials) for an easement to use underwater state land. The LNG will be transported by a local utility through existing pipelines, liquified, and then loaded on to vessels for export. Governor and Cabinet Approve LNG Facility in Jacksonville WJCT News

MEGovernor Janet Mills directed the state’s energy office to file for intervenor status in the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s rate hike deliberations. The company, which provides power to southern and central Maine, proposed a rate hike averaging $10 per month per household by the year 2026. Governor Mills said that the rate hike was “outrageous” and “adds insult to injury” for families struggling with high inflation. The company said that it needed to raise rates to further efforts to convert generation to renewable power and make its system more resilient to storms.State officials to oppose Central Maine Power rate hike Press Harold

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VA: Virginia’s energy plan, which is updated every four years, is getting a rewrite as Governor Youngkin and the Department of Energy (DOE) seek the public’s input. The document, which provides a framework for energy infrastructure policies in the state, was last revised in 2018. The 2018 version included recommendations for increased adoption of renewable energy. The DOE lists affordability, reliability, capacity, competition, environmental stewardship and innovation as their guiding principles for this year’s version. “We believe energy policy isn’t about things, it’s about people,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said. “How energy is generated and delivered to Virginians and Virginia businesses should accommodate the current and future needs of all Virginians.” As of August 22, over 50 Virginians had submitted comments. Comments are accepted through September 16th. Governor, Agency seek Public Input on Development of Virginia Energy Plan— Richmond Times Dispatch

National

After signing expansive climate legislation, President Biden plans a series of executive actions to further reduce carbon emissions and transition the energy grid to renewables. The moves come after the Supreme Court sharply limited, but did not end, the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon. The EPA is currently crafting a new rule for coal-fired power and gas plants that conforms to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act. The EPA is also currently drafting regulations on soot pollution, as well as tailpipe and methane emissions. The new “Inflation Reduction Act” includes large subsidies for energy producers, making compliance with President Biden’s climate goals and rules significantly less expensive. However, it’s likely that many of these rules will be challenged by state attorneys general who believe the Biden administration has exceeded its authority to address climate change. After Signing Climate Bill, Biden Prepares More Actions to Cut Emissions NYTimes

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