FOSSIL FUELS

[Report] Weather Events and Fuel Economics Challenge GHG Emissions Reduction Goals

2013 Year-over-year GHG emissions rose 2.5 percent and are projected to rise an additional 1.1 percent over the course of 2014, mainly due to harsh 2014 winter conditions. If energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable resources are not increasingly developed, the U.S. power sector will be challenged to affordably meet emissions goals if extreme weather…...

Court Lifts Stay of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

A federal appeals court has lifted the stay of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule which addresses interstate transport of air pollution that affects downwind states’ ability to meet air quality standards. On October 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) motion to lift…...

New York Launches Energy Management Network Operations Center

New York’s first energy management network operations center will provide statewide public facilities with real-time energy use data to improve building performance. On October 21, 2014, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of NY Energy Manager (NYEM), the state’s first energy management network operations center, at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and…...

DOE Finalizes Standards for Green Building Certification Systems

The DOE has issued a final rule establishing standards for green building rating systems that provide certification for federal buildings. On October 10, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule establishing standards for green building certification systems to strengthen federal buildings’ energy management through enhanced energy use measurement and energy efficient design…....

Share of Imports in U.S. Energy Consumption Reaches Record-Low Levels

According to EIA, the share of imports in U.S. energy consumption for the first half of 2014 reached the lowest level in 29 years. On October 10, 2014, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report showing that net U.S. energy imports as a share of consumption for the January-June 2014 period reached the lowest…...

EPA Report: MY 2013 Vehicles Achieve All-Time High Fuel Economy

The EIA’s annual fuel economy report shows that MY 2013 vehicles achieved an all-time high fuel economy and record low emissions levels. On October 8, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2014” report which tracks average fuel economy, emissions,…...

[Report] New England’s Eighth Forward Capacity Auction Draws Market Design Concerns

ISO-NE’s eighth Forward Capacity Market Auction (FCA-8) rates became effective September 16, 2014, despite FERC being unable to reach agreement on whether the filing was “just and reasonable.” The final price for existing sources was set at the administrative price of $7.025/kW-month, a 123 percent increase from the FCA-7 clearing price. The Northeast Massachusetts (NEMA)/Boston…...

Massachusetts Attorney General Seeks DPU Investigation to Mitigate Winter Rate Spikes

The Massachusetts Attorney General has sought DPU action to mitigate spikes in winter rates and extend the state’s Winter Moratorium by one month. On October 2, 2014, Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley wrote to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) requesting an investigation into ways to mitigate National Grid’s winter rate spikes that will…...

[Report] Lawmakers Consider Energy Tax Reform as December Deadline Nears for Extending Expired Provisions

On September 17, 2014, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing entitled “Reforming America’s Outdated Energy Tax Code.” Retroactively extending tax provisions has significant impact on financial accounting for multiple energy industries, including wind and solar, and also small and mid-sized businesses such as commercial building owners, architects, engineers, contractors, and design-construction companies…....

[Report] Northeast Programs Aim to Ensure Winter Electricity Reliability amidst Pipeline Constraints

On September 9, 2014, FERC accepted ISO-NE’s Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff revisions to aid its 2014/2015 Winter Reliability Program (Docket No. ER14-2407-000). ISO-New England’s Winter Reliability Programs offer incentives to oil-fired generators to hold increased inventory to meet peak winter demand, as much of natural gas pipeline capacity is dedicated to firm service contract…...