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Energy Update: December 13, 2019

In the States

NH: Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order creating four advisory boards that will pave the way for future offshore wind energy development in New Hampshire. The advisory boards will focus on issue areas that include fisheries and endangered species, workforce and economic development, offshore industries and infrastructure, and power transmission. The advisory boards will report to a task force within the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The order also directs several government agencies to study and report on the effect of future offshore wind developments on reducing greenhouse gasses and opportunities to attract offshore wind supply chain operations. “New Hampshire recognizes the tremendous potential that offshore wind power has to offer. With today’s executive order, New Hampshire will ensure that this is an open and transparent process involving diverse stakeholders to balance existing offshore uses with a new source of clean energy,” Governor Sununu said in a statement. New Hampshire governor signs order to prepare for offshore wind development— Portland Press Herald

 

NM: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling upon the New Mexico Supreme Court to intervene in a legal battle between her administration and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) over the implementation of Governor Grisham’s newly passed keystone environmental legislation, the Energy Transition Act (ETA). The Grisham administration argues that the ETA—which phases out nonrenewable energy by offering millions in financial assistance to shut down nonrenewable power generation sites-- must be applied to finance the immediate closure of a coal-fired power plant in San Juan. The PRC, however, wishes to delay implementation of the ETA by closely analyzing every aspect of the plan and delaying the shutdown of the San Juan plant until the complex financing mechanisms in the ETA can be further reviewed. “The ETA is the law of the land. The Legislature passed it, I signed it, and it should be applied to all PRC filings made since the effective date. Unwarranted delays are hurting New Mexico workers and communities,” Governor Grisham argued in a press release. More than 30 witnesses and experts will be called to testify at hearings in the case, and a recommendation by hearing examiners to the full commission is expected in the spring. Dysfunction at the PRC puts New Mexico’s clean energy plan at risk— The New Mexico Political Report

 

NV: Governor Steve Sisolak signed an executive order requiring state agencies to create plans for reducing greenhouse gases across multiple sectors of the economy. State agencies will be required to submit a climate strategy report to the Governor’s office by December 1, 2020. The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is also directed to study and annually report on greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies to reach the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. These efforts will contribute to the state’s commitment to have 50% of its total energy needs met by renewable sources by the year 2030. “The goals we’ve set are high and it will take aggressive steps to address the issue,” Governor Sisolak said at a press conference. “Under my administration, we’re taking the urgent action that climate change truly demands.” Nevada governor orders plans for economy-wide carbon reductionsUtility Drive

 

WY: The administration of Governor Mark Gordon, the University Of Wyoming School Of Energy Resources, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Rocky Mountain Power will partner to conduct a joint study exploring the implementation of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCSU) technologies in Wyoming’s coal-fired power plants. For the study, data will be collected at two coal power plants in Wyoming – the Naughton plant in Kemmerer and the Dave Johnston power plant near Glenrock. “Wyoming is serious about using carbon capture technologies to keep our vital coal plants contributing to the economy into the future,” Governor Gordon said in a press release. “This is an all hands-on-deck effort. The coal industry, utility companies, the Legislature, the University Of Wyoming, county commissioners and my office will continue to find ways to keep Wyoming a major supplier of energy.” Wyoming Ramps Up Carbon Capture Research EffortsCounty 17 News

 

National

The United States Senate confirmed Dan Brouillette as the next U.S. Secretary of Energy in a 70-15 vote. Brouillette served as the Department of Energy’s deputy secretary since 2017, and has worked under the administration of former President George W. Bush. Between the Bush and Trump administrations, Brouillette worked as an executive at the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and the Ford Motor Company. Some controversy already surrounds Brouillette as he enters his new role; he has faced criticism from Democrats who argued that Brouillette did not give sufficiently complete answers about his knowledge of former Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s dealings with Ukraine. Dan Brouillette confirmed as next secretary of the U.S. Department of EnergyCBS News

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