Blog posts : "siting"
In the States
IL – Governor Pat Quinn has signed a bill into law that paves the way for a coal gasification facility to be built in southern Illinois just miles from where coal will be mined for its operation. The facility will convert coal into synthetic natural gas and remove and store more than 90% of carbon emissions. At the bill signing, Governor Quinn said that the plant will “help revive the coal industry in southern Illinois while ensuring that Illinois remains a leader in the development of state-of-the-art clean energy facilities.” The new law should also help to stabilize the price of the resulting natural gas, provide other consumer protections, and create over 1,600 jobs, 550 of which will be permanent. Governor Quinn also recently signed other energy legislation, including a bill to study the potential for offshore wind energy in Lake Michigan, and another bill to allow counties to establish districts for wind farms. Governor Quinn signs law to advance clean energy project – Decatur Tribune and Southern Illinois coal-gasification plant will bring hundreds of jobs – Evansville Courier-Press and Quinn signs bill to study offshore wind energy – Chicago Tribune
NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law that will change the way power plants are built, the oversight of smaller energy development projects, and the manner by which energy efficiency projects are paid for by homeowners and businesses. The new law reinstates a process for approving new power plants that had expired in 2003. Governor Cuomo said this streamlined process will provide a “faster, easier, more expeditious, and more predictable” way to approve new plants. This approval process will apply to all fuel types, traditional as well as renewable. The new law also creates a seven-person board to oversee development of all power plants over 25 megawatts in size; a previous law only required State oversight of plants over 60 megawatts in size, leaving local communities to oversee those projects, which can include wind farms and battery storage facilities. Under the new law, homeowners and businesses will also be able to finance energy-efficiency projects through additional payments on utility bills. The law has the support of the power industry, environmental groups, and consumer groups. Gov. Cuomo approves power plant siting bill – Ithaca Journal
PA – As the debate over whether to impose a tax or fee on gas retrieved from the Marcellus shale continues, Governor Tom Corbett has offered a potential solution to the question of what to do with the potential revenues, which may impact lawmakers’ decisions on the matter. Governor Corbett has suggested using some of the revenues to cap the more than 100,000 abandoned shallow wells, some of which date back to the mid-1800s, and which can lead to a range of consequences, including the leaking of new wells the explosion of nearby buildings. Currently no funding exists to properly cap the aging wells, many of which do not currently have a known or fiscally solvent owner. The proposal has been endorsed by both drilling companies and the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Corbett: Shale gas fee could cap wells – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Obama administration has unveiled new rules that will, for the first time, require heavy-duty trucks and buses, including tractor trailers, to comply with fuel efficiency and emissions control guidelines that will cut fuel use 23% below 2010 levels by 2018. U.S. officials estimate that the new regulations will increase the cost of a new tractor trailer by over $6,000, but will save the owner an estimated $73,000 over the life of the vehicle in reduced fuel costs. The new regulations were issued jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and were welcomed by engine manufacturers, the trucking industry, and environmental groups, who all appear to agree that the rules allow sufficient time for full compliance while effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions and save money on fuel. Fuel efficiency rules set for heavy-duty trucks and buses – Washington Post
The U.S. Army is aiming for a target of 25% of its electricity use to come from renewable sources by 2025. In an effort to achieve this goal, the Army will spend as much as $7.1 billion through a task force that will work with developers to build renewable energy power plants that will produce about 10 megawatts each at bases in the U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh said that the renewable energy goal is “the right thing to do for the environment in this era of diminishing resources and the right thing to do for federal taxpayers.” Army forms unit to manage development of renewable power plants – Bloomberg