Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Energy Tax Policy Reforms

On September 17, 2014, the Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing titled “Reforming America’s Outdated Energy Tax Code” to discuss possible reforms to the U.S. energy tax policy. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) underscored the need for predictable, level playing-field tax policy that puts renewables on the same footing as other...

NY Governor Announces First BuildSmart NY Awards

NY Governor Cuomo has announced nine awards to recognize leadership and excellence in building energy performance under the 2012 BuildSmart NY Initiative. On September 15, 2014, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the first BuildSmart NY Awards for outstanding energy efficiency solutions in public buildings to bring down operating expenses, save taxpayer money, and...

RGGI Releases Results of 25th Carbon Auction

The 25th RGGI carbon auction, which marks RGGI’s sixth full year, sold allowances at $4.88 each, generating approximately $87.83M. On September 5, 2014, the nine member states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) released results of their 25th carbon auction (Auction 25) held on September 3.  Auction 25 offered 17,998,687 allowances at a reserve...

[Report] NY REV Straw Proposal Recommends Utility-Owned Distributed Energy Resources

The New York Department of Public Service (DPS) staff has issued a Straw Proposal on achieving the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Track One goals. The straw proposal reaffirms the initial April 24 proceeding which identified utilities’ role in managing a distributed system platform (DSP) and growing the state’s existing Distributed Energy Resource (DER) assets. Despite...

State Coalition Defends EPA’s Commitment to Address Power Plant Emissions

An 11-state coalition led by NY Attorney General has filed a motion to dispute a lawsuit by a 12-state coalition challenging EPA’s commitments to address power plant emissions. On September 2, 2014, a coalition of 11 states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia –...

California’s Eighth Carbon Allowance Auction Results Released

California’s eighth quarterly carbon allowance auction signals a positive trend, with Advance allowance sales at 70 percent compared to 44 percent in the previous auction. On August 21, 2014, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released results of its eighth quarterly carbon allowance auction held on August 18.  CARB offered allowances under Current Auction (2014...

[Report] Oil and Gas Production from Federal Lands Faces Permitting Challenges

Federal lands contain significant oil and gas reserves, however federal staffing resource challenges have led to decreases in resource development and delayed state and federal revenue. The proposed BLM Permit Processing Improvement Act of 2014 (S. 2440) has significant bipartisan support, and its passage would expand and extend upon the current federal land permitting program...

Resilient Rhode Island Act Signed into Law

Rhode Island’s climate law prioritizes climate adaptation, emissions reduction, and institutional design to address climate change. The Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 (H 7904) is the state’s first climate bill and aims to make the state economy and society resilient to the effects of a changing climate.  Signed into law on July 2, and ceremonially signed on August 1,...

California and Mexico Sign Climate and Energy Agreements

During a Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico, California Governor Brown signed agreements with Mexico to enhance cooperation on environmental issues and encourage cross-border clean energy investments. On July 28, 2014, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Rodolfo Lacy, and Mexican National Forestry Commission Director General Jorge Rescala...

New Initiative to Promote Efficient Wood-Heating Technologies

Renewable Heat NY will facilitate a sustainable, high-efficiency, and low-emissions wood heating sector across New York. On July 29, 2014, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched Renewable Heat NY, a $27M initiative aimed to build market for high-efficiency, low-emissions wood-fired heating systems across state.  The initiative will offer incentives to replace highly polluting outdoor and indoor...

DOT Announces Rulemaking for Crude Oil and Ethanol Transportation

DOT has released a rulemaking proposal for safe rail transportation of flammable material based on new Bakken crude oil data. On July 23, 2014, the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a rulemaking proposal to improve rail transportation safety for crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable materials.  The proposal includes a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)...

NASA Launches First Spacecraft Dedicated to CO2 Tracking

NASA has launched a new mission to measure global distribution of carbon dioxide sources and sinks. On July 2, 2014, the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) dedicated to study the Earth’s carbon dioxide (CO2) sources and sinks.  The observatory, launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from...