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Energy Update: November 5, 2021

In the States

MA: Gov. Charlie Baker announced legislation to spend $750 million from the state’s budget and American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds on a “Clean Energy Management fund”, which would bolster innovation, research, development, and job training for the private clean energy sector. “This legislation includes a historic, once-in-a-generation $750 million investment to spur the next phase of clean energy innovation and will help advance critical priorities in the offshore wind industry by making key policy changes to the procurement process, lifting the price cap on project proposals and transferring authority for selecting bids to DOER,” Governor Baker said. The law will reform the state’s offshore wind approval process to make it easier to install offshore wind projects, while providing equity investments, loans and other financing for innovative clean energy projects. Additional workforce investments in the state’s colleges and trade schools are to be made using the fund. Democratic House Speaker Ronald Mariano has also filed legislation to reform the offshore wind development process, and said the House is working on its own bill. Massachusetts governor to file legislation to invest in clean energy innovation, workforce development - Washington Examiner

 

ME: Gov. Janet Mills announced that she voted “no” on Question 1, a proposal on the Maine ballot that aims to block construction of a high voltage transmission line through Maine. The transmission line, which would carry hydropower to Massachusetts from Quebec, is owned by Central Maine Power. More than $80 million has been spent by both sides of the debate, with Central Main Power warning of a chilling effect on future energy development. Opponents say the line would not result in reduced emissions and have attacked Central Maine Power. Early election results showed “yes” on Question 1 passing with over 60% of the vote, a major setback to energy infrastructure efforts in New England and a victory for environmentalists who backed the measure. Governor Mills votes ‘no’ on Question 1. She said her vote was about climate change - Maine Public Radio

 

ND: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm met with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Sen. John Hoeven at the University Of North Dakota in Bismarck for a roundtable on energy issues. Both North Dakota Senators voted for Granholm’s nomination, and the roundtable focused on ways to reduce emissions and expand green technologies, while also safeguarding the jobs of North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. “For the coal and power plant communities across this country, I get the importance both from the workers’ point of view as well as for the economic opportunity for a state to be able to clean the technology” said Granholm. Burgum stressed the importance of “innovation over regulation” to maintain U.S. energy independence, as well as “investment into solutions that will allow for a continued all-of-the-above energy approach that includes coal, oil and gas.” Burgum also sought to highlight his plan to capture and store billions of tons of carbon underground, as North Dakota has been listed as the “first state to achieve primacy from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Class VI injection wells for carbon dioxide,” offering a regulatory framework for potential carbon capture. -Biden Cabinet member meets with ND state leaders over energy policy - KFYR West Dakota Fox

 

NY: Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration announced it had rejected permits for two natural gas fired plants seeking to repower. NRG’s Astoria plant and Danskammer’s plant in suburban Orange County had faced opposition from climate activists and local elected officials opposed to the return of previously decommissioned fossil fuel plants. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which has statutory control over the approvals, said in a statement that both plants would be “inconsistent with New York’s nation-leading climate law, and are not justified or needed for grid reliability.” The plants’ developers had argued that the plants would be cleaner than their previous iterations, burning natural gas that results in substantially lower carbon emissions. New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates emissions reductions of 40% from 1990 levels by the year 2030, and was heavily cited by the DEC in the rejection. Gov. Hochul said she applauded the decision by the DEC, “in the context of our state’s clean energy transition.” The state’s climate law subjects permit renewals (which had been sought by NRG and Danskammer) to lessened scrutiny than new permit applications, which makes the denials more notable. “This is a real wake up call to the whole energy industry… that we’re very serious about this transition,” environmental activist Hayley Carlock of Scenic Hudson told Politico NY. - New York denies gas plant permits in first-ever decision citing climate law - Politico NY

 

National

President Biden criticized OPEC, the cartel of oil exporting countries, for their refusal to boost production. OPEC’s decision to limit output increases has had a profound impact on American families, the President said at a news conference in Rome while attending the G20. The President also acknowledged the “irony” of asking OPEC to boost production while heading to the COP26 climate conference to ask world leaders to scale back oil consumption, but said “everyone knows that idea that we're going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight ... it's just not rational." Biden: OPEC And Russia Must Pump More Oil To Help America's Working Class - OilPrice.com/Yahoo News

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