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Energy Update: October 13, 2017

In the States

CA – Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 546, which encourages the siting of energy storage projects. The bill, which was passed unanimously by both state legislative chambers, requires cities with more than 200,000 residents to publish online application documents related to the siting for certain energy storage projects by 2019. It also standardizes process and permit fees across multiple local jurisdictions. In addition, the legislation allows the Governor’s office to “provide guidance on energy storage permitting and best practices,” as well as provide localities potential factors to consider when establishing such projects. California energy storage siting bill signed into law -- UtilityDIVE

 

ID – Governor Butch Otter presented the State of Idaho Awards for Excellence in Industrial and Commercial Energy Efficiency to nine organizations, including the Idaho branch of Brigham Young University. The winning organizations, nine in total, were recognized for their “actions in implementing energy efficiency measures and reducing their environmental impact.” According to the Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Projects implemented by these nine recipients in 2016 would save enough energy to power more than 1,200 Idaho homes for a year.” Other awardees include the City of Idaho Falls and Ketchum as well as Boise Towne Square Mall, among several other private companies and local agencies. BYU-Idaho receive Governor’s energy efficiency awardThe Rexburg Standard Journal

 

NV – The state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as well as the Governor’s Committee on Energy Choice is reviewing Ballot Question 3, which will allow Nevada residents, businesses, and other entities to choose the provider of its electric utility service, potentially restructuring the entire energy industry in the state. The PUC, specifically, is examining possible impacts related to the potential implementation timeline, changes required to state law, policies, or programs, and options to construct the new energy system, should Question 3 be approved by voters. Question 3, which is supported by an organization called Nevadans for Affordable, Clean Energy Sources and is opposed by the state’s AFL-CIO union, while the state’s dominant utility, NV Energy, has not taken a position. Nevada utility regulators investigating energy choice ballot measureThe Las Vegas Review-Journal

OR – A major priority for the next legislative session, according to state officials, will be to pass Governor Kate Brown’s “cap and invest” proposal, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions and charge fees for certain corporations depending on their carbon dioxide emissions. Some officials believe the Governor’s proposal could raise close to $1.4 billion per biennium, but lawmakers have yet to specify, if the proposal is taken up, how the funds would be expended or whether requirements to reduce carbon would be tied to the use of these proceeds. According to the state legislature’s nonpartisan legal office, any proposal to “cap and invest” would not require a legislative three-fifths supermajority since it was determined to be an energy policy issue. Under the state’s constitution, any proposal to raise taxes requires a supermajority. "This isn't about me, this is about my grandkids and their kids," said Senator Lee Beyer, who supports the proposal. "There does become a point where the scientists tell us there'd be a point of no return. I don't think we're there, but we're going up the hill pretty fast." Oregon Democrats’ $1.4B carbon pricing plan looms over 2018 sessionThe Oregonian

 

Regional and National

Governors Steve Bullock of Montana, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, and Matt Mead of Wyoming will headline the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium on October 30-31 at Colorado State University. The moderator of their discussion and the events keynote speaker will be Bill Ritter, a former Colorado Governor and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy. According to the invitation, the Governors will “discuss how they can inspire nonpartisan collaborations and regional cooperation in a complex world of energy innovations, demands and challenges.”

 

At a recent multi-state meeting hosted by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), seven states are planning to collaborate to create an electric vehicle (EV) corridor. The meeting was the first of several conferences centered on Governor Sandoval’s NGA chair initiative, called “Ahead of the Curve: Innovation Governors.” The states, including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to construct a regional electric vehicle plan (REV) that traverses more than 5,000 miles of highway. The MOU additionally calls for the states to create best practices and procedures for EVs, create minimum standards for EV charging stations, and incorporate EV charging stations within local planning and development processes. “As chair of the NGA, I am pleased to announce the REV plan in the West with governors from both sides of the political spectrum,” Governor Sandoval said. “The plan shines a spotlight on how governors across the country are implementing innovative policies for the people of their states.” Governors to invest in EV charging network across seven statesThe Denver Post

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