Visual Primer: Natural Gas Planning Being Reshaped by Policies Centered on Climate-Focused Energy Future

Ongoing state initiatives to transition to a low-carbon future and new actions from the federal level are impacting natural gas utilities’ long-term planning strategies. The challenge for utilities is to adapt to the changing policy landscape, evolving in ways that contribute to decarbonization.

Washington Lawmakers Pass Bill to Adopt Clean Fuel Standard

Washington state lawmakers on April 8 passed legislation to establish a clean fuels standard aimed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuel to 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035. The program is expected to facilitate the shift to lower carbon fuels, including expanding the market for renewable natural gas as a transportation fuel…....

Visual Primer: State Decarbonization Goals Spur Innovative Resource Planning Measures

Innovations in energy planning continue to emerge as state regulators devise programs and explore solutions that effectively meet customer needs and support policy goals. Recent state initiatives range from New York’s efforts to align gas planning with climate goals, to Maine’s investigation into the future design of the grid to accommodate growing renewables, and California’s transmission planning guidance to achieve ambitious decarbonization goals.

New England Capacity Auction Prices Rebound from Record Lows

ISO New England Inc.’s fifteenth annual forward capacity auction concluded with preliminary clearing prices ranging from $2.48 to $3.98 per kilowatt-month across different pricing zones, up from last year’s record low, according to the results released on Feb. 11. Clearing prices declined since peaking at $9.55 per kilowatt-month in 2015 and hit an all-time low…...

Biden Issues Order to Double Offshore Wind, Pause Federal Drilling Leases

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 27 that calls for a review of siting and permitting process on public lands and waters to increase renewable energy production with a goal of doubling offshore wind energy by 2030. The order also directs the U.S. Interior Department to pause new oil and gas…...

President Biden Takes Action to Rejoin Paris Climate Accord, Review Environmental Rollbacks

U.S. President Joe Biden issued a series of executive actions on Jan. 20 reflecting his energy agenda that prioritizes clean energy and climate action. Biden took action to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement and issued an executive order revoking a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline and temporarily halting oil…...

U.S. Interior Issues Final Review for Wyoming’s Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Initiative

The Bureau of Land Management released its final environmental assessment of the Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative, which seeks to designate nearly 2,000 miles of pipeline corridor network for projects associated with carbon capture, utilization and storage, as well as enhanced oil recovery, or EOR, by developing infrastructure connecting to existing oil fields within the State…...

U.S. EPA Finalizes Repeal of 1995 ‘Once In, Always In’ Policy for Major Air Pollution Sources

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 1 finalized a rule allowing a major source of hazardous air pollutants to reclassify as an “area source,” a less stringent category under the Clean Air Act, any time it implements measures to limit emissions. The action implements the agency’s 2018 guidance that withdrew the 1995 “Once In,…...

Fossil Fuels Account for 80 Percent of U.S. Energy Production, Consumption: EIA

The share of U.S. energy production from fossil fuels peaked in 1966 at 93 percent, but production from nuclear power and renewables have also risen. Fossil fuels have accounted for about 80 percent of U.S. energy production in the past decade, according to a Sept. 14 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2019,…...

Pennsylvania Board Approves Draft Regulation to Participate in Regional Carbon Market

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board on Sept. 15 voted in favor of a proposed regulation that would allow the state to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a cooperative effort among 10 states to cap and reduce emissions from the power sector. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf applauded the move, which stems from…...

States Challenge Trump Administration’s Plan to Open Alaska Wildlife Refuge to Oil, Gas Drilling

A coalition of 15 states on Sept. 9 filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for approving oil and gas leasing activities in the 1.56 million-acre Coastal Plain area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, argues that the approval is based on…...

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Legislative Approval to Join Regional Carbon Market

The Pennsylvania Senate on Sept. 9 voted in favor of a bill that would require legislative approval before the state can impose a carbon tax or join a multi-state carbon-trading program. The House of Representatives approved the legislation in July. The move comes ahead of a Sept. 15 meeting of the state’s Environmental Quality Board…