New Mexico Enacts Trio of Bills Supporting Renewable Energy Expansion

Democratic Governor Michelle Grisham signed a suite of bills on March 3 including legislation that reinstates the solar tax incentive that expired in 2016, helping the state move toward its goal achieving 50 percent renewable energy 2030. A second bill provides that transmission line projects qualify for industrial revenue bonds available through cities and municipalities,...

U.S. Energy Department Announces Sale of Up To 12 Million Barrels of Crude From Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The U.S. Energy Department on Feb. 28 issued a notice of sale of crude oil from three Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, sites – Bryan Mound and Big Hill in Texas, and West Hackberry in Louisiana. In fiscal year 2020, the Energy Secretary is authorized to sell up to $450 million worth of oil from...

Arizona Law Prevents Local Restrictions on Natural Gas Use in Buildings

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed legislation on Feb. 21 that bars a municipality or county from imposing requirements that restrict a utility provider’s authority to operate and serve customers. Under the law, municipalities may not deny building permits based on the utility provider that will serve the project. The measure comes at a...

PJM Board Approves $234 Million for Transmission System Expansion

The PJM Interconnection LLC’s Board of Managers authorized an investment of nearly $234 million in projects aimed to upgrade the transmission system and enhance the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, or RTEP, to ensure economical and reliable power supply in the grid operator’s 13-state region and the District of Columbia, according to a Feb. 20 news release.…

U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Advance Innovative Energy Technologies

Senators Lisa Murkowski, a Republican representing Alaska, and Joe Manchin, a Democrat representing West Virginia, unveiled a bipartisan legislative package on Feb. 27 that compiles more than 50 energy-related measures reported by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last year. The comprehensive bill supports innovative energy technologies covering a range of topics including energy efficiency,…

Trump Administration Set to Resume Federal Coal Leasing With Favorable Environmental Review

The Bureau of Land Management on Feb. 26 concluded that lifting an Obama-era moratorium on federal coal leasing will not have significant impact on cumulative greenhouse gas emissions compared to waiting for the pause to expire. The move responds to a court decision issued last April, finding that former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s order, which…

California Carbon Auction Clears at Record High Prices

The twenty-second quarterly carbon auction held by California and Quebec sold all of the nearly 57.1 million carbon permits offered for current emissions at a price of $17.87 per allowance, above the floor price of $16.68, according to the results released on Feb. 26 by the California Air Resources Board. The current allowance price is…

Michigan Regulator Asks DTE Electric to Submit Revised Resource Plan

The Michigan Public Service Commission on Feb. 20 sent DTE Electric Company back to the drawing board on its long-term resource plan, citing fundamental flaws including lack of competitive bidding for supply-side resource additions. The agency recommended that DTE issue a request for proposals for new generation, and raise the proposed energy efficiency targets. Considering…

FERC Orders Could Hinder Renewables, Electric Storage in New York Power Markets

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Feb. 20 issued a series of orders to narrow the resources exempt from the New York grid operator’s buyer-side market power mitigation rules. The agency dismissed a complaint from the Public Service Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority seeking an exemption for electric storage…

U.S. Agriculture Department Announces 30 Percent Biofuel Target for 2050

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Feb. 20 announced a goal to boost biofuel production efficiency and competitiveness to achieve market-driven blend rates of 30 percent of transportation fuels by 2050. The goal is part of a department-wide initiative, which aims to increase farm production by 40 percent, while cutting the sector’s environmental footprint by 50…

Utility-Scale Wind Accounted for 70 Percent of Michigan’s Renewable Energy in 2019: Report

Utility-scale wind generators accounted for 70 percent of the 3.1 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in Michigan last year, according to a Feb. 18 report by the state’s Public Service Commission. Across the state, new wind and solar projects are expected to add more than one gigawatt of new, utility-scale electricity generation in 2020 and…