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Energy Update: December 1, 2023

In the States

AZ: In a joint announcement, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm unveiled the Southline Transmission Project, a 280-mile energy transmission line from New Mexico to Tucson, designed to improve Arizona's energy grid and support the state's growing power needs. This project, which has been in the planning stages for over a decade, aims to replace outdated infrastructure, enhance grid reliability, and expand the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Governor Hobbs also announced an additional $13 million in funding from the Department of Energy to strengthen Arizona's grid. “Arizona has been the beneficiary of the Inflation Reduction Act and has gotten huge amounts of companies coming here. So what does that mean? It means all of them are going to require more energy. So we need to add capacity to the grid,” Governor Hobbs said. Construction on the transmission line is set to begin in 2025, with completion expected by 2027. Governor Hobbs joins U.S. Secretary of Energy to announce energy transmission projects—KOLD


IL: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is aggressively pursuing federal funding to transform Illinois into a technological hub, competing with other states for a share of over $2 trillion from various federal initiatives. Having already secured $14 billion for infrastructure and $1 billion for a hydrogen hub, Illinois is now aiming to host the $11 billion National Semiconductor Technology Center and is seeking another $1 billion from the EPA for clean energy projects. This effort is spearheaded by a public-private partnership called Innovate Illinois, in collaboration with the the Chicago-based non-profit National Community Investment Fund (NCIF). “We literally are going after every dollar that’s available. We should get better than our fair share,” Governor Pritzker said. The state's focus is on converting industrial areas, particularly in low-income communities impacted by diesel pollution, to green energy zones, funding net-zero emissions transportation, building retrofits, and solar power. Despite a smaller $400 million state economic development fund compared to rivals like Michigan and Texas, Pritzker emphasizes talent over money in attracting companies. He is confident in Illinois' future prospects in the clean energy and electric vehicle sectors, expecting upcoming announcements to validate the state's strategy for attracting diverse manufacturers. Illinois Governor Seeking $1 Billion EPA Clean Energy Bid—Transport Topics News


LA: Aurelia Skipwith Giacometto, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, has been named by Governor-elect Jeff Landry to lead Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality. Giacometto, who has a background in biology and law, served under President Donald Trump from 2019 to 2021 and has experience in both government and private sectors, including roles at Monsanto and AllTech, Inc. This appointment marks her as the first Black woman to head the DEQ. Giacometto expressed her commitment to utilizing her scientific and conservation knowledge for the benefit of Louisiana's unique natural resources. Landry's administration, with Giacometto at the helm of DEQ, aims to strike a balance between preserving environmental quality and supporting job creation, especially in the oil and gas industry, which is central to Landry's political agenda. With Giacometto helming the environmental quality agency, Landry said his administration will seek to protect access to "good water and air quality," but it is "equally important that we protect jobs here in Louisiana.”  Giacometto's previous role as the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service involved managing extensive land and water resources and expanding public access to these areas. After her federal tenure, she advised companies on developing coal-based products and has been involved with various organizations advocating for conservative policies and the rights of farmers and ranchers. Giacometto is set to start her position at the DEQ when Landry's administration takes office on January 8. Jeff Landry names former Trump wildlife official as Louisiana's top environmental regulator—


MS: Alden Group Renewable Energy is set to open a new $12.5 million facility in Smith County, Mississippi, creating 30 jobs in the region. This investment by Alden Group, which specializes in converting poultry waste products into material for biodiesel production, is a strategic move to locate closer to its suppliers. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves welcomed the company as a valuable corporate partner, emphasizing the project's contribution to the state's economy and job market. “I’m proud to welcome Alden Group Renewable Energy as Mississippi’s newest corporate partner. The company’s investment in Raleigh will bring 30 good job opportunities to the citizens of Smith County,” Governor Tate Reeves stated. Richard Thayer, President of Alden Group, expressed enthusiasm for investing in Raleigh and utilizing Smith County's diverse talent pool. The project is supported by local assistance and additional aid from the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) for road improvements. MDA Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp highlighted the benefits of such investments, noting the positive impact on local economies and job creation, including indirect employment opportunities. The company plans to gradually fill the job vacancies as the facility progresses towards full operation by the end of 2024. Renewable energy company announces plans to construct $12M facility in Smith County—Super Talk MS


National: The U.S. Senate passed a Republican-led resolution, S.J. Res. 38, with a narrow 50-48 vote, aimed at excluding Beijing from the supply chain for electric vehicle (EV) chargers. This measure, however, faces opposition from the White House, which has promised a veto. The resolution seeks to overturn a rule that waives certain domestic content requirements for federally funded EV charging stations. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the resolution's sponsor, argued on the Senate floor for the necessity of using American-made products for these stations, which are funded by taxpayer money. However, several Democrats, including Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and others, contended that revoking the rule would lead to a return to a 1983 waiver, effectively reducing restrictions against foreign-made products and potentially increasing the use of chargers made in countries like China. The United Steelworkers union and the White House share this perspective, emphasizing that the resolution could weaken Buy America requirements and allow federal spending, including funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, on chargers manufactured in competitor nations. Senate passes GOP measure to overturn EV charger rule—Politico 

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