EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: Northwest Utilities Prepare for Impending Coal Phase-Outs

Carbon reduction is becoming ingrained in the planning strategies of utilities across the Northwest in response to state-level decarbonization policies and market changes. As coal plants are no longer cost-competitive, utilities are taking advantage of new technologies and favorable economics of natural gas and renewables.

Connecticut Governor Calls for Plan to Decarbonize Power Sector by 2040

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont on sept. 3 signed an executive order directing the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to evaluate pathways and recommend strategies to transition to 100 percent carbon-free power by 2040. The order expands the responsibility of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, or GC3, which was tasked with developing strategies…

EnerKnol’s State Policy Playbook: California’s Quest for Clean Energy

California’s energy landscape is evolving rapidly driven by its ambitious clean energy and carbon reduction goals. Recent actions range from enhancing renewable integration to reforming carbon market rules, strengthening auto-emission standards, and revising energy efficiency policies.

U.S. EPA Proposes to Repeal Obama-Era Methane Limits on Oil, Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 29 proposed to reverse regulations put into place in 2016 to limit the emissions of methane, a potent global warming pollutant, during oil and natural gas drilling operations. The move follows a sweeping executive order that President Trump issued in 2017 to undo the prior administration’s climate regulations…

California’s Climate Spending Surpassed $900 Million in First Half of 2019: CARB

California’s Climate Investments initiative has grown to include over 20 state agencies involved in the development and implementation of 60 programs focused on reducing climate pollution, according to an Aug. 26 press release from the Air Resource Board. The program funded $914 million in projects during the first six months of this year, compared to…

California-Quebec Carbon Auction Signals Steady Market With Permits Sold Out

The twentieth quarterly carbon auction held by California and Quebec sold all of the nearly 66.3 million carbon permits offered for current emissions at a price of $17.16 per credit, above the floor price of $15.62, according to the results released on Aug. 27 by the California Air Resources Board. This is slightly below the…

U.S. Court Rejects Industry Challenges to Obama-Era Smog Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Aug. 23 dismissed claims from industry groups that the Obama administration failed to provide a reasoned explanation for setting more stringent ozone standards in 2015. While upholding the primary standard that protects public health, the court directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to…

U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil, Gas Lease Sale Yields $160 Million in Bids

The U.S. Interior Department announced that its Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale held on Aug. 21 generated $159.4 million in high bids for 151 tracts covering about 835,000 acres, down from the previous sale, which drew about $244.3 million. The region-wide lease sale offered 77.8 million acres, including all available unleased areas…

U.S. EPA’s Haze Rule Guidance Gives States More Flexibility

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Aug. 20 released recommendations to help states in developing air-quality plans to address visibility-impairing pollution under the Regional Haze Rule’s second implementation period ending in 2028. The guidance provides more leeway for states, highlighting the discretion and flexibilities available for state implementation plans. The agency said the guidelines aim…

U.S. Achieves Oil and Natural Gas Production World Record in 2018

U.S. petroleum and natural gas production increased by 16% and by 12%, respectively, in 2018, and these totals combined established a new production record, according to the Energy Information Administration. In 2011, the country overtook Russia to become the world’s largest producer of natural gas and just last year surpassed Saudi Arabia in the production…

Heatwave Pushes Texas Grid Operator to the Limit Prompting Emergency Conservation Measures

The Public Utility Commission of Texas issued a news release on August 13 urging Texans to conserve electricity as record demand met temperatures in the triple digits. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. saw its operating reserves dip below their 2.3 gigawatt threshold and push power prices to the market cap of $9,000/MWh. High temperatures…