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Energy Update: November 16, 2018

In the States

LA – During a trade mission to Israel, Governor John Bel Edwards met with several energy companies, including officials from Houston-based Noble Energy and Delek Drilling, to explore partnership opportunities with Louisiana companies. The Governor, who also met with government leaders during his trip, hopes there are ways to involve Louisiana businesses in Noble’s supply chain and operations in Israel, as well as in the lucrative natural gas exploration taking place in eastern Mediterranean Sea. “From the outset, my goal for this economic development mission has been to explore trade, investment and partnership prospects between the State of Louisiana and Israel,” Governor Edwards said. “One of the key areas for us is our energy sector. Louisiana is an energy state and a global leader in oil and gas exploration and production. We have a long-established track record of exporting our technology and expertise to international oil and gas markets.” Louisiana trade mission to Israel explore energy industry collaborationThe Weekly Citizen

 

WA – Voters in Washington State rejected Initiative 1631, which would have imposed a carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions, with almost 60% against the proposed measure out of more than 1.9 million votes cast. If it had passed, it would have created the first-in-the-nation tax on carbon and the projected $1B in revenue generated would have been slated for water quality, forest health, and energy programs and investments related to communities. A comparable initiative was defeated two years ago by a similar margin as was a legislative effort by Governor Jay Inslee to pass a carbon tax in the state’s Democratic-controlled legislature earlier this year. Governor Inslee, after the initiative failed, said “Obviously we would liked [it to] pass, but we were up against about $31 million of big oil company money that obfuscated some of the complexities of the initiative.” Washington state voters rejected carbon-free initiativeThe Seattle Times

 

 

National and Regional

The Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, a bipartisan group of 18 Governors, sent a letter to the members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), urging them to consider unifying and connecting the nation’s power grids. In its letter, the Coalition, which includes states from Massachusetts to Iowa and South Dakota to Maryland, noted it’s “nearly impossible to transmit electricity among the nation’s three major grids,” thereby “weakening the reliability of the nation’s overall transmission system.” The Governors hope the FERC will convene several discussions, in coordination with the Department of Energy and states, “to identify the nation’s transmissions needs … as well as multi-state and inter-regional transmission challenges.” Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who also serves as the chair of the National Governors Association, is the Coalition’s chair along with Delaware Governor John Carney, who is the vice chair. Governors cite benefits of single national power gridThe Daily News

 

Seven Governors-elect, including Janet Mills of Maine and Steve Sisolak of Nevada, have pledged to set strong renewable energy goals for their states, including deriving 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. The other Governors-elect who made the pledge to follow Hawaii and California’s lead include Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, and Jared Polis of Colorado. Governor-elect Polis, for example, set a goal of 100% of renewable energy by 2040, or five years earlier than Hawaii and California. "It was a great night for clean energy, it was a great night for candidates that had chosen to embrace clean energy," said J.R. Tolbert, vice president of state policy at Advanced Energy Economy. “And that's easy to see when you see that every candidate who ran on 100% clean, or 100% renewable energy was elected as chief executives in their state." Seven new Governors may be the biggest election boon for climate and clean energyForbes

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