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Energy Update: August 5, 2022

In the States

 

AK: Governor Mike Dunleavy signed legislation intended to reduce energy costs for rural Alaskans by expanding the maximum kilowatt-hour usage cap for energy assistance provided under the state’s Power Cost Equalization (PCE) program. The program was established in 1985 and helps make energy more affordable for rural residents. Rural Alaskans were experiencing electricity bills three to five times higher than non-rural residents and, according to a statement released by the Governor, raising the maximum kilowatt hour available for PCE relief will help lessen the burden on our rural residents.” Gov. Dunleavy signs bill to help alleviate electric bill cost to rural Alaskans Alaska News Source

CO: Governor Jared Polis the new chair of the Western Governors Association (WGA), announced his new initiative, Heat Beneath Our Feet (HBOF), at the bipartisan organization’s annual conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The initiative seeks to accelerate the development of geothermal energy generation in Colorado and other western states. During his announcement of the initiative, Governor Polis said, “I am excited to establish the Heat Beneath Our Feet as my initiative because geothermal energy is an opportunity to save people money, boost local economies, and help us achieve 100% renewable energy in Colorado by 2040.” Through the imitative, the WGA will evaluate geothermal energy technology in western states and catalogue the benefits it can offer. Bipartisan initiative seeks to jumpstart geothermal for Colorado and Western U. SThink Geoenergy

KS: Governor Laura Kelly announced that Japan-based Panasonic Corporation has committed to build an electric vehicle battery plant in eastern Kansas. Governor Kelly described the partnership as a “once in a generation opportunity” that will transform the state’s economy by creating thousands of jobs and a multi-billion-dollar business stream for the state. The deal was facilitated through a bipartisan $829 million state government incentive package developed jointly by Governor Kelly and the Kansas legislature. With the expansion, Kansas is estimated to gain

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$2.5 billion of annual economic benefit. Construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2022 and completion is scheduled for 2024. The Panasonic battery plant will generate an estimated 4,000 new jobs with an average wage of $30 per hour and an additional 3,800 supplementary jobs in the surrounding area. Kansas wins Panasonic Manufacturing Kansas Reflector

MA: The Massachusetts legislature has approved a new climate bill which includes mandating all new vehicle purchases be zero emission (starting in 2035) as well as establishing a Charging Infrastructure Deployment Fund aimed at developing a strategy for deployment of EV charging stations across the state. Also included in the legislation is a $3,500 rebate on purchased or leased zero-emission vehicles. In acknowledging the bipartisan nature of the final legislation, Senator Mike Barrett (D) issued a statement in which he said that he and other lawmakers agreed to a common disposition of several amendments proposed by Gov. Baker to a groundbreaking new climate bill for Massachusetts.” One of these removed a cap on prices developers of offshore wind farms can charge for electric power they produce. Massachusetts climate bill heads to Gov. Baker’s desk after last-minute Senate Utility Dive

National

The proposed Inflation Reduction Act, introduced by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) could provide billions of dollars to communities with the goal of mitigating the effects of climate change and improve environmental health. Two such communities, the cities of Houston and New Orleans, are major ports and home to fossil fuel companies, and have experienced extreme weather in recent years. Kim Gaddy, who serves as a port commissioner for the City of Newark, a similarly impacted locality, said “we get so much diesel pollution in our communities because some of the oldest trucks are still allowed to come in and out of the port.” These and other port cities experiencing rising sea levels will benefit from $45 billion of new investment directed towards projects that will help achieve environmental and climate justice.” While the bill also provides $27 billion for investments in clean energy projects through a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, it also seeks to balance expanded leasing of federal lands for solar and wind energy generation with new leases for oil and gas extraction. Senate Bill Means Environmental Health US News

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