Pennsylvania Sets Emissions Reduction Goals in Line With Paris Climate Accord

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf issued an executive order on Jan. 8 requiring the state to work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. By setting goals in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement, Pennsylvania joins a growing number of states reacting to President...

Avista, Hydro One’s $5.3 Billion Merger Faces Setback as Washington Regulator Denies Rehearing

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission declined a request to rehear the agency’s rejection of Canada-based Hydro One Limited’s proposed takeover of Washington-based Avista Corporation, according to a Jan. 8 press release. Last month, the agency rejected the merger over concerns of political interference from the Province of Ontario, Hydro One’s largest shareholder. Idaho regulators…

New York State Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Establish Carbon Tax

New York State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Democrat, introduced legislation on Jan. 2 that would impose a carbon tax of no less than $35 per ton on the distribution or sale of carbon-based fuels, increasing annually by $15 to a maximum of $185. Under the bill, 60 percent of the proceeds from the tax would be…...

Connecticut Climate Change Recommendation Includes Carbon Pricing to Achieve 45 Percent Emission Cuts by 2030

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy on Dec. 18 released a report detailing strategies from the  Governor’s Council on Climate Change to help the state achieve its long-term vision for decarbonizing the economy. The recommendations center on three fundamental objectives of the vision – zero-carbon electricity, clean transportation, and building efficiency. Legislation enacted last year set a…

Washington Moves to Keep Stricter Vehicle Emission Standards Amid Trump’s Rollback Efforts

The Washington Department of Ecology adopted rules requiring new vehicles licensed in the state to continue meeting California’s standards, steadily reducing the release of greenhouse gases through 2025, according to a Jan. 2 news release. Democratic Governor Jay Inslee underscored the need for “collective actions of states” even as the Trump administration tries to relax…

U.S. Natural Gas Exports Surpass Imports for Second Consecutive Year in 2018, Production Booming to Record Highs: EIA

The U.S. natural gas export trend continues thanks to increases in liquefied natural gas export capacity and expansion of the cross-border pipeline network into Mexico, according to a Jan. 7 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2017, the U.S. became a net exporter of natural for the first time since 1958. The agency…...

New Jersey Unveils Rules to Rejoin Regional Carbon Market

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection proposed to set an initial carbon dioxide cap at 18 million tons in 2020 for the electricity generation sector when the state officially becomes a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first mandatory cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Dec. 17…...

California Examines Rules for Proactive De-energization of Power Lines During Wildfire Threats

The California Public Utilities Commission launched a proceeding to explore how de-energization has affected the state and examine ways to refine the practice to ensure safety and minimize unintended consequences, according to a Dec. 13 press release. The agency aims to study the conditions in which proactive and planned de-energization takes place and also examine whether…

UN Climate Conference Produces Rulebook for Paris Agreement Following Heated Negotiations

The United Nations twenty-fourth annual climate conference concluded on Dec. 15, following a week of intense discussions culminating in the adoption of rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which aims to prevent the worst impacts of climate change by keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. The deal establishes uniform standards that will be used by…

New York Unveils Plan to Incorporate Carbon Price into Wholesale Power Markets

The New York Independent System Operator Inc. on Dec. 7 released a plan outlining a design to internalize the social cost of carbon dioxide emissions in the wholesale electricity markets. The plan would use a carbon price in dollars per ton of emissions, proposing a net cost of $40.74 per ton in 2020. The proposal would require suppliers to include the charges in their energy offers, allowing the price to…

California Utilities Face Investigation Following Massive Wildfires

The California Public Utilities Commission is launching a probe into the corporate governance, structure, and operation of Pacific Gas and Electric Company to determine the best course of action for safe electric and gas service in the wake of wildfires that caused widespread destruction in Northern and Southern California, according to a Nov. 15 statement…

FERC Enforcement Actions in FY 2018 Result in Over $330 Million in Fines, Refunds

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved settlements of over $83 million in civil penalties and disgorgement of over $66 million in unjust profits during fiscal year 2018, according to the Office of Enforcement’s twelfth annual report issued on Nov. 15. The report underscores agency action in the areas of fraud and market manipulation, violations of…