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Energy Update: June 29, 2018

In the States

NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo released the state’s Energy Storage Roadmap for speeding up the deployment of advanced energy storage projects, making New York State a national leader in promoting renewable energy and fighting climate change. The roadmap is intended to reduce the impacts of weather-related outages and maximize the benefits of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind by ensuring their availability during periods of peak demand. The plan sets a target of 1,500 megawatts of energy storage by 2025, an amount equivalent to the electricity demand of one-fifth of New York’s homes. According to Governor Cuomo, “This roadmap is the next step to not only grow our clean energy economy and create jobs, but to improve the resiliency of the grid to keep our power running in the face of extreme weather and other emergency situations.“ The New York Power Authority already has several projects underway, including a partnership with the State University of New York, to make it easier for the university system to utilize solar power during emergencies and times of peak demand through solar energy and battery storage systems at multiple campuses. State officials estimate that New York’s growing clean tech industry may potentially yield 30,000 new, well-paying jobs.  Governor Cuomo Announces New York Energy Storage Roadmap To Achieve Nation-Leading Target of 1,500 Megawatts By 2025 – LongIsland.com

 

PA – Governor Tom Wolf signed into law new legislation that provides low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements at commercial and industrial locations. Senate Bill 234, which had bipartisan support, created the Pennsylvania Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, similar to programs in over 30 other states and the District of Columbia. Under this law, local governments choosing to participate in the program allow private lenders to providing financing for energy efficiency and clean energy improvements, which will be paid back through local assessments collected by these localities over a period of years and remitted back to the lenders. In a statement, Governor Wolf said, “This innovative financing mechanism will support the creation of new clean energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the commonwealth, while also enhancing property values and employments opportunities, while also lowering the cost of business.”  Governor Wolf Signs New Legislation to Support Low-Cost, Clean Energy Technology in Pennsylvania  – MyChesCo

 

National and Regional

Under a proposal being considered by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, states that don’t allow offshore oil and gas drilling in at least 50 percent of lease blocks designated for such activity along the Outer Continental Shelf would be required to pay the federal government for the lost production. Such payments would be calculated based on proven mineral potential, oil prices and lease-sale demand over the past five years. Conversely, states that agree to allow drilling in at least 50 percent or more of available lease blocks would receive some portion of bonus bids, rentals and royalties. This legislation follows an earlier decision by the Trump administration to open up most of the U.S. coastline to potential offshore oil and gas development. Five governors – Roy Cooper of North Carolina, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Ralph Northam of Virginia, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island – sent a letter to House leadership opposing the measure. In stating their case, the Governors said, “We ask that Congress recognize and respect the rights of states to protect our waters without being held hostage by the combined effects of the Interior Department’s dangerous proposal and this misguided legislation.” Steep penalty for passing on drilling? House Panel considers idea Daily Press, Northam joins coastal governors in urging Congress to reject offshore drilling legislation  – Augusta Free Press

 

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by two California cities against a number of fossil fuel companies over the costs of climate change. In rejecting the suit, the judge, William Alsup of the Federal District Court of San Francisco, acknowledged the seriousness of the health risks that were raised, but deferred to the executive and legislative branches of government in finding solutions. In his decision, Judge Alsup wrote, “The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case.” In bringing this action, the cities of Oakland and San Francisco had alleged that the energy companies’ activities had posed a public nuisance under state common law and must be required to pay for mitigation and abatements. A group of 15 state attorneys general, led by Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, had filed a friend of the court brief urging the dismissal of the lawsuit on the basis that Congress alone had authority to regulate interstate commerce. Judge Dismisses Suit Against Oil Companies Over Climate Change Costs  – The New York Times, State AGs Urge Court To Dismiss California Climate Lawsuit  – The Heartland Institute

 

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