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Energy Update: March 24, 2023

In the States


AK: Governor Mike Dunleavy applauded the Biden administration’s approval of ConocoPhilips’ proposed Willow project on federal land, while bemoaning restrictions placed on drilling. Willow, which is located on Alaska’s North Slope, has a footprint of about 500 acres. ConocoPhilips estimates that the project will provide between $8 and $17 billion in new tax revenue to the federal, state and local governments. The project will create over 2,500 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs and yield 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The Biden administration restricted the site to three drill sites instead of the five initially sought by ConocoPhilips, a move that Governor Dunleavy called “disgraceful” and said will “shift the market and give leverage to producers in countries that don’t have our high standards for the environment and human rights." "In the end, every American pays the price when President Biden restricts our ability to develop our own energy resources,” Governor Dunleavy said. Willow Project to deliver jobs, billions in government revenue—Fox Business


MD: Governor Wes Moore announced that by 2035, only electric vehicles will be sold in Maryland. Joined at a Montgomery County announcement by Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain, Governor Moore said “car exhaust is the largest source of greenhouse gas in the state of Maryland. [It’s] bigger than homes and businesses, bigger than factories, bigger than power plants. It's car emissions.” The state’s Department of the Environment will begin implementing a regulation to take effect by September, formally imposing the rules. The Maryland League of Conservation Voters applauded Governor Moore in a statement, saying “Maryland LCV applauds Governor Moore and Secretary McIlwain for taking consequential and bold action to ensure Maryland is a national leader in fighting the impacts of climate change.” Moore: Maryland must sell only electric vehicles by 2035—WYPR


NM: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham quickly signed a bill passed by the Legislature prohibiting the sale of high level nuclear waste without state consent and a national permanent repository in place. This bill comes as a company, Holtec International, is seeking to build a temporary storage location for nuclear waste from power plants. Currently, the waste is stored at the power plants. Texas passed a similar law in 2021. State Rep. Matthew McQueen, the bill’s sponsor, noted that New Mexico’s history of nuclear research has had unintended consequences. These include unremedied uranium mines on Navajo territory. Governor wastes no time, signs bill limiting storage of high-level nuclear waste—NM Political Report


NV: Amid the national transition to renewable energy, Governor Joe Lombardo sees Nevada as capitalizing on energy for economic development. Under a new, five-year strategic plan, Governor Lombardo’s economic development office called for expanding EV production and building new infrastructure. Additionally, the plan proposed a push to make Nevada the “lithium capital of North America.” Lithium is a critical component of EV batteries. Nevada is positioned to be ground zero for the energy transition and to play a key role in securing the energy independence and security of the United States,” the report authors wrote. In his State of the State address, Governor Lombardo said that he wanted to make Nevada the “most entrepreneurial-friendly state” in the United States. In an interview, Governor Lombardo’s economic development chief Tom Burns said that the strategic plan “aligns with what the governor said about being aggressive about courting businesses.” Lombardo plans ‘aggressive’ economic development approach—Nevada Appeal


House Republicans released a major energy package and numbered it H.R.1, signifying it as the party’s top priority. The bill, called the Lower Energy Costs Act, includes proposals aimed at speeding up the approval process for energy projects, removing restrictions on gas exports and imports, and repealing funding passed by the previous Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act intended to address climate change. “I am proud to announce that I will be introducing our H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to cut red tape and increase energy production here at home to lower energy costs and stop our reliance on hostile foreign dictators for our energy and minerals,” Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said. While not expected to be enacted given Democratic control of the Presidency and Senate, the bill represents a statement of energy priorities by House Republicans. Sweeping GOP energy bill would sweep away Biden’s energy agenda—Roll Call


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