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Energy Update: October 20, 2023

In the States

CA: California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he will sign a groundbreaking climate bill requiring about 5,000 companies to disclose their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. The law will apply to both public and private businesses with annual revenues over $1 billion operating in California. Newsom confirmed his commitment to the bill, with a "modest caveat" for some language adjustments. The law will go into effect in 2027 and complements another new law requiring companies with revenue over $500 million to report climate-related risks. The move has been praised by climate advocates.  California Governor to Sign Landmark Climate Disclosure Bill—NYTimes 


MT: NorthWestern Energy has added 80 megawatts of solar power with a new facility in Dillon, Montana, making it one of the state's largest solar projects. The 600-acre Apex Solar facility went online in August. Governor Greg Gianforte celebrated the project as "American-made energy in Montana," emphasizing the state's diversified approach to energy production. The project received bipartisan support and was facilitated by a tax break under House Bill 346. NorthWestern Energy has a 20-year contract with Apex Solar, a joint venture between Enlight Renewable Energy and Clēnera. The utility company has added 160 megawatts of solar power since 2022 and aims to diversify its energy sources. Gianforte Administration touts solar project in Dillon—Daily Montanan


NM: Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued an Executive Order mandating that New Mexico's state vehicle fleet go fully electric by 2035. Announced at a transportation symposium in Albuquerque, the order instructs departments to opt for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) for new acquisitions where possible. The Governor stated that this move demonstrates New Mexico's commitment to transitioning away from fossil fuels. She also highlighted that the state is among the top ten in the U.S. for electric vehicle adoption. Exceptions to the order include law enforcement and firefighting vehicles. Additionally, the Governor is proposing new tax credits for both new and used electric vehicles. Funding for the transition will partly come from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure law, allocating an estimated $38.6 million to the state for electric vehicle use.  Gov. Lujan Grisham Orders All State Vehicles To Be Electric By 2035—KSFR 


NV, UT: Seventeen Republican governors, led by Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo and Utah Governor Spencer Cox, have penned a letter to Brenda Mallory, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), criticizing proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The governors argue that the changes, aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of NEPA processes, fail to achieve these goals. Instead, they claim the proposed rule lacks clarity, reduces efficiency, and increases the likelihood of litigation related to NEPA decisions. The letter also takes issue with changes to accepted rules on public comments, which could slow down the process. The governors from the states of Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming also signed the letter. Lombardo leads Republican challenge to NEPA changes—KLAS 


National: The Biden administration plans to invest up to $7 billion to create seven regional hydrogen hubs across the U.S. to accelerate the development of hydrogen as a clean energy source. President Biden called the funding "transformational," aiming to produce clean hydrogen using renewable resources like wind and solar. The hubs will be in various regions, including the Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, Appalachia, Midwest, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest. Each hub will adopt different approaches to hydrogen production and usage. The funding comes from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which also offers tax credits for low-emissions hydrogen production. The Department of Energy estimates that cleaner hydrogen could grow to 10 million tons per year by 2030. Biden Administration Awards $7 Billion for 7 Hydrogen Hubs Across the U.S.—NY Times


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