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 regulators approve long-term contract Maine utility regulators have approved a long-term contract to purchase the output of a 72.6-megawatt wind power project under development by Weaver Wind, LLC in Hancock County, Maine. The 20-year contract bears a price of 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, escalating at 2.5 percent per year.A Maine statute enacted in 2006 authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to direct investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to enter into long-term contracts, to the degree necessary to ensure reliability, meet energy efficiency program requirements, or... More
- 2019 Maine energy legislation The First Regular Session of the 129th Maine State Legislature adjourned on June 20, 2019, after having enacted 530 new public laws. Here's a look at some of the significant energy legislation enacted this year:An Act to Promote Clean Energy Jobs and To Establish the Maine Climate Council, P.L. 2019, c. 476: This bill establishes the Maine Climate Council to advise the Governor and state Legislature on ways to mitigate the causes of, prepare for and adapt to the consequences... More
- US energy-related CO2 emissions projected to decline Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. are projected to decrease by 2.2 percent in 2019 relative to the previous year, according to the latest forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.EIA tracks energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Petroleum made up nearly half of energy-related CO2 emissions in 2018, at 45 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Transportation, heating, and electric power generation sectors consume significant amounts of petroleum. EIA projects petroleum CO2... More
- Maine Climate Council legislation enacted Newly enacted Maine legislation establishes the Maine Climate Council to advise the Governor and state Legislature on ways to mitigate the causes of, prepare for and adapt to the consequences of climate change, and calls for significant reductions in the state's overall greenhouse gas emissions.On June 26, 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law An Act to Promote Clean Energy Jobs and To Establish the Maine Climate Council. One set of provisions in the new law establishes a requirement... More
- ISO-NE expects competitive Boston transmission solicitation The operator of New England's electricity system has announced an upcoming competitive solicitation for transmission proposals to address the expected retirement of a large power plant outside Boston. The solicitation would be significant, as the region's first competitive transmission procurement since a 2011 order by federal regulators created a competitive selection process for certain transmission upgrades.In 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its landmark Order No. 1000, reforming how public utilities plan and pay for transmission upgrades. In issuing... More
- Vermont PUC report on electric vehicles Vermont utility regulators have recommended steps Vermont could take to accelerate the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state, including creating state incentives for EV purchases as well as encouraging electric utilities to adopt new rate structures.Like most other states, Vermont's transportation sector contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector of the state's economy. Due in large part to emissions from cars and trucks powered by fossil fuels, the transportation sector is responsible for about 47% of... More
- US ocean energy regulators consider NY-NJ offshore transmission line After receiving a request from a developer of offshore electricity transmission lines for a right-of-way in ocean waters offshore New York and New Jersey, U.S. ocean energy regulators have asked whether any other developers are interested in the same area.On April 30, 2018, Anbaric Development Partners, LLC (ADP) applied to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a right-of-way grant for a proposed project called the New York/New Jersey Ocean Grid. As envisioned by ADP, the project would... More
- U.S. consumes more petroleum than any other energy source Petroleum was the largest source of energy consumed in the United States in 2018, as it has been every year since it surpassed coal in 1950.According to data maintained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2018 the U.S. used 101 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of overall energy -- for transportation, heating, electric power generation, and all other uses. This was a record high level of overall energy consumption.Of this amount, about 81 quadrillion Btu (about 80% of the... More
- US renewables outproduced coal in April 2019 Renewable resources generated more electricity than coal did in the United States in April 2019, for the first time in history, according on federal data.The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that in April 2019, renewable sources including utility-scale hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass provided 23% of total domestic electricity generation. By comparison, coal provided 20%. This represents a reversal of over 100 years of history during which more U.S. electricity generation came from coal than from renewable resources.Source: U.S.... More
- US EPA adopts ACE carbon rule On June 19, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized its Affordable Clean Energy rule, designed as a replacement for the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.The rule, also known as the ACE rule, gives states 3 years to submit plans to limit carbon dioxide emissions from their coal-fired power plants, and sets guidelines for states to use when developing these plans. It identifies heat rate improvements at individual facilities as the best system of emission reduction (BSER)... More
- Maine PUC considers ag fair program Maine utility regulators have opened an inquiry to examine issues for agricultural fairs, seasonal festivals, and other electricity customers that have seasonal, limited-duration, concentrated load profiles. The proceeding follows recently enacted legislation calling for support for agricultural fairs, who under utility rates pay significant charges for electricity year-round despite only consuming power seasonally.During its 2019 session, the Maine state legislature enacted An Act to Address Electricity Costs of Agricultural Fairs, P.L. 2019, c. 169. Section 1 of the Act directs... More
- New Jersey rejoins RGGI carbon market New Jersey has adopted regulations restricting the emission of carbon dioxide from electricity-generating power plants, allowing the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative effective January 1, 2020.The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is the first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI was formed in 2007 by agreement of participating states. At present, nine states participate in RGGI: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New... More
- Hydropower development in the wilderness Can you build a hydroelectric project in a federally designated wilderness area? No, except where authorized by the President, according to federal law and a recent ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.Under federal law, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over the construction, operation and maintenance of most hydropower projects in the U.S. On May 3, 2019, Premium Energy Holdings, LLC applied to the Commission for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of the proposed 1,200- to... More
- FERC testifies to House subcommittee A panel of federal energy regulators testified yesterday before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy. In written testimony and oral remarks, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee and Commissioners Cheryl A. LaFleur, Richard Glick, and Bernard L. McNamee addressed the Commission's work and priorities.Chairman Chatterjee's testimony focused on three issues: integrating storage resources into wholesale electric markets, protecting the bulk power system against cyber and physical threats, and reforming the Commission's regulations under the Public... More
- Ludington pumped storage relicensed U.S. hydropower regulators have issued a new license for a large pumped storage project in Michigan.On June 6, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a new license to utilities Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company to continue operation and maintenance of the Ludington Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project. The project was originally licensed by the Federal Power Commission on July 30, 1969, for a fifty-year term running through June 30, 2019. The new license follows a 2017 settlement... More