Energy Policy Update

A blog about energy resources, energy policy, and their effects on society and the environment. From fossil fuels to renewable energy, electricity to natural gas and oil, traditional technologies to innovations, this blog presents an unbiased look at the past, present, and future of energy.

This blog site is published by and reflects the personal views of Todd Griset, in his individual capacity. It does not necessarily represent the views of his law firm or clients, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them. The purpose of this blog site is to assist in dissemination of information about energy policy and related issues, but no representation is made about the accuracy of the information. The information contained in this blog site is provided only as general information for education purposes, and blog topics may or may not be updated subsequent to their initial posting.

By using this blog site you understand that this information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This blog site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. This blog site is not intended to be advertising and Todd Griset does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this blog site in a state where this blog site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Maine Governor Janet Mills has signed an Executive Order terminating a moratorium imposed by the previous governor on state permitting of wind energy projects.On January 24, 2018, then-Governor Paul LePage issued an Executive Order prohibiting state agencies from issuing permits related to wind turbines proposed for siting in Western Maine, the Maine coast, and certain avian migratory pathways. Governor LePage's executive order established the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission. He charged the Commission with studying and reporting on the economic... More
  • The municipal utility serving the town that hosts the headquarters for the operator of the regional electric grid has informed its customers that the utility “is unable to accommodate new natural gas service requests due to the lack of natural gas availability in the region.” Holyoke Gas & Electric adds, “Recent proposals that would increase natural gas capacity in the region have been met with opposition, and the current pipeline constraints are causing significant adverse environmental and economic impacts on... More
  • Two members of Congress have introduced a resolution framing the "Green New Deal," a suite of programs aimed at addressing both global climate change and domestic economic challenges.The Green New Deal resolution is offered by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. A copy of the 14-page document posted by NPR bears the formal title, "Resolution Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal." In a blog post on her House website,... More
  • Federal energy regulators have declined to act on an emergency petition by an offshore wind energy developer in time to allow the company to participate in a regional capacity auction, prompting two commissioners to issue a statement that "by failing to act, the Commission has introduced significant uncertainty into this auction."The petition was filed by Vineyard Wind LLC, a joint venture of Avangrid Renewables, LLC and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners that is developing an offshore wind energy project in federal waters... More
  • The Maine State Legislature is considering several measures that could create new incentives for purchasing or leasing electric vehicles.At least two bills proposing new incentives for electric vehicles have been printed so far:LD 604, An Act To Create an Electric Vehicle Tax Credit: Sponsored by Senator Chenette, this bill would provide an income tax credit for the purchase of a new plug-in electric-drive motor vehicle that is eligible for a federal income tax credit. The credit would... More
  • New England power plants with over 5,200 megawatts of electric generation capacity have retired or announced plans to retire since 2013, according to the region's electric grid operator. Most of this capacity comes from facilities powered by coal, oil, and nuclear fuels -- and most of these retiring facilities are located in Massachusetts.Regional transmission organization ISO New England Inc. operates the wholesale electricity markets covering all six New England states (except northernmost Maine.) But changes in technology and the prices of... More
  • Federal energy analysts project that the United States will export more energy than it imports by 2020, making the nation a net energy exporter for the first time since the 1950s. Fossil fuels represent the largest volumes of this international trade.Source: U.S. Energy Information AdministrationThe United States both exports and imports energy in a variety of forms, including natural gas, coal and coke, petroleum and other liquids, and electricity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States has... More
  • According to the most recent data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2016, U.S. energy expenditures declined for the fifth consecutive year, reaching $1.0 trillion in 2016. This represents a 9% decrease in real terms from 2015.Adjusted for inflation, total energy expenditures in 2016 were the lowest since 2003. Expressed as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP), total energy expenditures were 5.6% in 2016, the lowest share of GDP since at least 1970. According to EIA, contributing... More
  • An interstate natural gas pipeline system bringing gas from eastern Canada into Maine has asked U.S. regulators for approvals necessary for a project that would marginally increase the system's capacity to bring gas to Maine and the New England market.At issue is Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), a pipeline that spans New England from the Canadian border to pipeline connections in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Its facilities include 142 miles of wholly-owned mainline from an interconnection... More
  • Several pieces of proposed Maine legislation could affect the state's version of net metering. Here's a quick look at Maine's net energy billing policy, how it could change, and what that might mean for consumers.Maine's electricity rules allow consumers with certain distributed generation facilities (like solar panels) to elect "net energy billing." Like other forms of net metering, the basic concept is that consumers can use their on-site generation to offset their purchases of electricity from the grid, both in... More
  • Will 2019 bring a "Green New Deal" for the U.S. or individual states?President Franklin D. Roosevelt championed the original "New Deal" in the 1930s, as a series of federal reforms and measures designed to lift the U.S. economy out of the Great Depression. The First New Deal included banking and securities law reforms, funding for emergency relief operations by states and cities, and a Civil Works Administration. Later in the Roosevelt administration, a Second New Deal included labor law reforms,... More
  • With the 129th Maine Legislature convened for its first regular session, the Office of the Revisor of Statutes has released a list of the titles of proposed legislation timely submitted by legislators. While the text of most of these legislative requests has not yet been publicly released, the preliminary list of working titles of over 2,000 precloture legislator bills suggests the scope of issues that will come before the Maine State Legislature in 2019. On energy matters, themes emerging from... More
  • Could Maine unlock the potential of local energy grids through legislative action? As the 129th Maine Legislature begins its first regular session, legislators will consider at least one bill designed to encourage "microgrids." As an alternative or complement to traditional central electric utility development, microgrids are considered to be one key component of the "smart grid," capable of improving power reliability and quality, increasing system energy efficiency, and providing the possibility of grid-independence to individual end-user sites. While the U.S.... More
  • According to Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center, corporate renewable energy procurement set a new single-year record for new capacity of announced wind and solar deals in 2018.The Center reports that as of mid-December 2018, publicly announced corporate procurements of renewable energy reached 6.43 gigawatts. Procurement approaches counted toward this total include power purchase agreements, green power purchases, green tariffs, and outright project ownership in the United States.Facebook, AT&T, Walmart, ExxonMobil and Microsoft had the five highest total volumes of... More
  • A group of 95 investors organized as the “Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change” has issued an open letter to European power companies on December 19, 2018, asking firms to demonstrate they are implementing business strategies aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.The investors participating in the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change collectively have $11.5 trillion in assets under management or advise; 20 of the 95 signatories each have over $200 billion in assets under management, including Aberdeen... More