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Energy Update: December 30, 2020

In the States

ME: Governor Janet Mills and the United Kingdom’s Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategies, Kwasi Kwarteng, MP, announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding that will foster collaboration between Maine and the UK to promote clean energy technologies and work towards carbon neutrality. The MOU commits Maine and the UK to share data and resources to reduce emissions from heating and transportation. Maine and the UK will also cooperate to advance clean technologies including offshore wind and green hydrogen. “With this MOU, Maine is continuing to lead in the development of clean energy. By working with our colleagues in the UK to develop these industries, Maine can achieve its energy goals, create jobs, and preserve and protect our state for future generations as we fight climate change,” said Governor Mills in her press release. The MOU will remain valid for a period of five years. – Maine, U.K. Sign Agreement to Advance Offshore Wind Cooperation - CompositesWorld


WA: As part of his latest budget, Governor Jay Inslee announced a new climate change package that proposes a clean fuels standard, promotes a cap on some greenhouse gas emissions, and allocates funding to further electrify Washington’s ferry fleet and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. Governor Inslee’s low-carbon fuel standard, a centerpiece of his budget package, calls for a 10% reduction in the amount of carbon in fuels by 2028 and a 20% reduction by 2035. This standard received some pushback from Republican lawmakers in the state, who expressed their concerns that it could raise fuel prices for consumers. Still, Governor Inslee expressed his hopes that his budget proposal could help continue to fight climate change and promote economic growth in clean energy; “This plan will help create jobs, reduce pollution, increase investment in critical infrastructure and help families through these troubled times,” said the Governor. Inslee Proposes his Latest Climate-Change Package as Part of Washington BudgetThe Seattle Times


WV: Governor Jim Justice announced that West Virginia will become home to DST Innovations’ new American manufacturing base. DST Innovations, a British energy technology and manufacturing company based in Wales, recently signed a contract with West Virginia-based Blue Rock Manufacturing to establish the new facility for the purpose of developing advanced energy storage cells. The facility is expected to create up to 1,000 new jobs for the state in the manufacturing and technology sectors, and will be located in Morgantown, with a Phase 2 expansion planned for the Southern Coalfields region of the state. “This is a gigantic announcement for West Virginia and I could not be happier. It’s wonderful to be able to announce a new international partnership for business in West Virginia. The development is a great example of the special relationship we have with the UK, and, now, specifically, with Wales,” said Governor Justice. Gov. Justice: Agreement between UK Company DST and Blue Rock Manufacturing to bring new manufacturing facility, up to 1,000 new jobs to West VirginiaMy Buckhannon



Governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Ned Lamont of Connecticut and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, and Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. announced the launch of the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P), a multi-state “cap-and-invest” program that aims to reduce emissions and promote clean transportation. The program will require large fossil fuel suppliers to purchase “allowances” for the pollution caused by the use of those fuels, which will generate revenues that will be invested in clean transportation. According to a report from the TCI-P’s architects, the program is expected to reduce pollution from motor vehicles in the region by an estimated 26% from 2022 to 2032 and generate a total of $3 billion for investments in clean energy. “By partnering with our neighbor states with which we share tightly connected economies and transportation systems, we can make a more significant impact on climate change while creating jobs and growing the economy as a result,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who helped spearhead the initiative. While TCI-P’s memorandum of understanding was only signed by four of the 12 Northeastern states and jurisdictions initially expected to participate, Governors from Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia expressed their support for the program and their desire to continue to collaborate. Many of these governors refrained from signing the MOU over concerns about how the TCI-P could affect transportation and energy costs. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, D.C. are First to Launch Groundbreaking Program to Cut Transportation Pollution, Invest in CommunitiesTransportation and Climate Initiative Press Release; Charlie Baker signs Transportation Climate Initiative, businesses concerned over growing cost of gasBoston Herald



President-Elect Joe Biden nominated former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for Secretary of Energy. Governor Granholm, currently an adjunct professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, is a long-time proponent of zero-emissions vehicles and has publicly argued that the United States risks being left behind by other countries if it does not develop alternative energy technologies. According to political commentators, her nomination could reflect the incoming Biden administration’s commitment to fight climate change through energy regulation. Senate Republicans, including Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, suggested that the President-Elect could face a sustained confirmation fight over Governor Granholm’s nomination, as well as the President-Elect’s other climate change-focused cabinet nominees. “If the Republicans are in the majority, these nominees are going to have to run the gauntlet,” said Senator Barrasso in a Fox News interview. Biden to name Granholm as Energy SecretaryThe Washington Post; Barrasso: Biden nominees will have to 'run the gauntlet' if GOP controls SenateThe Hill

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