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Energy Update, June 29, 2012

In the States

AK – Governor Sean Parnell has signed a bill into law that creates a new fund within the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) that will provide loans, both directly and through banks and credit unions, to finance energy projects in the State.  The authority will also be able to offer loan or bond guarantees.  The new energy fund will help finance small to medium-sized energy projects, such as improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings or developing new renewable energy, and will begin operations this year with $125 million.  Governor Parnell said the new law “will bring the state closer to achieving its goal of 50 percent electricity generated by renewable energy by 2025.”  Gov. Parnell signs bills expanding AIDEA finance abilityAlaska Journal of Commerce

NH – Governor John Lynch has signed a bill into law that fully incorporates thermal renewable energy into the State’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program.  The legislation also gives incentives to biomass, solar, and geothermal project developers equivalent to those provide to renewable electricity projects.  Under the new law, projects such as wood pellet-burning boilers and solar hot water systems must be used to meet a portion of the state’s current RPS standard, which mandates that 23.8 of percent of every utility’s energy portfolio come from renewable energy sources by 2025.  The legislation sets specific percentage requirements that increase over time.  Qualifying thermal projects will also receive the same $29 per megawatt-hour renewable energy credits as other renewable energy sources.  New Hampshire sets thermal renewable energy carve-outRenewable Energy World and N.H. grants full RPS credit to biomass thermalBiomass Magazine

ND – Governor Jack Dalrymple joined Senator John Hoeven in speaking to the Renewable Energy Action Summit, in which they and other government and business officials said that the State’s approach to energy is a model for the country.  Governor Dalrymple said that the State’s goal of doubling energy production between 2007 and 2025 is “almost laughable now” because the State is ahead of schedule to meet that goal.  North Dakota has experienced a sevenfold increase in oil production in the last decade to more than 600,000 barrels, making it the No. 2 oil producer after Texas.  Wind power generation has also increased over the same period of time from less than a half a megawatt to 1,400 megawatts, ranking North Dakota 9th among all states.  Credit for the growth in energy production was mostly given to the State’s comprehensive energy policy, which includes goals for developing each type of energy resource and allows the State to work with the energy industry to ensure that those goals are achieved.  Officials: ND energy policy is model for countryGrand Forks Herald

Federal News

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has upheld a finding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that greenhouse gases pose a public health risk and must be regulated.  A panel of three judges ruled unanimously that the agency’s decision to impose restrictions was “unambiguously correct.” under requirements set forth in the Clean Air Act.  The court also upheld rules that limit emissions from both cars and stationary sources.  Fourteen states joined together in a lawsuit to block the EPA from imposing new restrictions, while 15 other states were part of earlier litigation that forced the EPA to take action.  Virginia’s attorney general said that he will appeal the ruling.  Court backs EPA over emissions limits intended to reduce global warmingNew York Times

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