New York Legislature Passes Offshore Drilling Ban to Thwart Trump’s Expansion Plan

New York lawmakers approved a bill on Feb. 5 that would block oil and gas development off the state’s coastline. The legislation would put New York in line with California, New Jersey, and Oregon that have enacted similar measures following the Trump administration’s plan to open up vast amounts of coastal waters to drilling activities. The measure...

Oregon Bill Seeks Stronger Emissions Targets, Economy-Wide Carbon Pricing

The Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction unveiled legislation on Feb. 4 that would establish the Oregon Climate Action Program to place a cap on greenhouse gas emissions for entities whose annual emissions exceed 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The bill would set an annually declining emissions budget, starting in 2021 to put the...

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Continue to Grow as U.S. Ramps Up LNG Capacity

The Department of Energy’s Natural Gas Imports and Exports Third Quarter Report 2018 highlights all the important transactions of the precious fossil fuel from July through September last year. Total U.S. exports were 918.7 Bfc, about 13 percent higher than the previous quarter and about 24 percent higher compared to 2017. Total imports decreased by 0.1…

Con Edison Emphasizes Customer-Side Solutions in Brooklyn Queens Demand Management Program

Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc. outlined a strategy to continue procurement of demand reduction beyond the 41 megawatts initially planned for 2019 through 2021 under its Brooklyn/Queens Demand Management, or BQDM, program, according to a Jan. 29 filing with the New York Public Service Commission. The company said the strategy, which details the program’s budget…

Avista and Hydro One Abandon $5.3 Billion Merger Following Regulator Rejection

Hydro One Ltd. and Avista Corp. have decided to terminate plans to merge after regulators in Washington and Idaho refused to approve the deal, according to a Jan. 23 press release. After weighing the chances of getting those decisions reversed, both companies have decided to kill the plan, with Hydro One having to pay Avista a $103 million termination…

U.S. Nuclear Regulator’s Post-Fukushima Safety Rule Weakens Seismic, Flooding Protections

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced a final rule addressing nuclear plant safety to incorporate lessons learned from the 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, according to a Jan. 24 news release. The rule removes the requirement in the final draft presented by the commission staff in 2016 requiring nuclear plants to take additional…...

U.S. Energy Department Announces $38 Million to Modernize Existing Coal Fleet

The U.S. Energy Department announced funding for cost-shared research and development projects aimed to develop advanced technologies that enhance the performance, reliability, and flexibility of existing coal power plants, according to a Jan. 23 press release. The research effort is intended to lower emissions and foster new technologies that benefit the grid. Projects will support…...

Montana State Lawmaker Proposes Bill Allowing State to Buy Troubled Coal Plant

Montana House lawmaker Rodney Garcia, a Republican, introduced legislation on Jan. 15 that would allow the state to sell bonds for up to $500 million to purchase coal-fired generation facilities whose acquisition would be in the public interest. The bill aims at saving the Colstrip plant, which is facing a bleak future as climate change…...

Eversource, United Illuminating File Amended Eight-Year Plan for Renewable Energy Credit Purchases

Connecticut Light & Power Co., an affiliate of Eversource Energy, and The United Illuminating Co. filed amended plans on January 22 for the purchase of renewable energy credits to comply with Connecticut’s Low and Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program.  The annual LREC target for years 6-8 remains approximately $3.2 million for Eversource and approximately…

U.S. Coal Production to Hit 40-Year Low as Exports, Consumption Plummet: EIA

U.S. coal production is projected to decline by 3 percent to about 729 million short tons in 2019 compared to 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s short-term outlook released on Jan. 15. The agency forecasts 2020 production to reach 680 million tons, the first time that annual production will fall below 700 million…

Oregon Regulator Suspends Action on $5.3 Billion Avista-Hydro One Merger

The Oregon Public Utilities Commission on Jan. 15 determined that there is no “justiciable controversy” to resolve in the proposed acquisition of Avista Corporation by Hydro One Limited, following denials in Washington and Idaho. The agency issued an order suspending the proceeding indefinitely until the companies notify of a reversal of the denials, providing an…

Montana State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Establish Carbon Tax

Montana House Lawmaker Mary Dunwell, a Democrat, introduced legislation on Jan. 14 that would impose a carbon tax of $10 per metric ton on large emissions sources from 2020, increasing annually by $1, plus the rate of inflation. The bill would set an emissions reduction goal of 25 percent by 2035, and 50 percent by…...