Illinois Regulators Force NRG Subsidiary to Retire 2 Gigawatts of Coal Following Stricter Pollution Controls

The Illinois Pollution Control Board issued an amended decision directing Vistra Energy to retire 2 gigawatts of coal generation by the end of the year to comply with new emission caps, according to a June 20 order. Democratic Governor Jay Pritzker’s administration made changes to the Multi-Pollutant Standard or MPS, the state’s signature air pollution regulation,…

Minnesota Agencies Delay Permits for Enbridge’s $2.9 Billion Oil Pipeline, Await Revised Environmental Review

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources said they may not take final action on Enbridge Inc.’s permit applications for its Line 3 replacement project until the deficiency in the environmental review of the proposed oil pipeline is addressed, according to a June 18 news release. The announcement follows a recent ruling…

EPA Finalizes Rollback of Obama-Era Power Plant Emission Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 19 finalized its long-awaited carbon emission rules for the nation’s power sector, replacing more stringent Obama-era restrictions. The agency described the “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” as an effort to provide existing coal power plants with “achievable and realistic standards” to cut emissions. The rule allows states the flexibility to…

FERC’s McNamee Highlights Agency’s Role in Ramping Up Gas Project Approvals

FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee said the agency approved four LNG export projects in the span of three months, following a two-year drought of facility authorizations, FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee said the agency approved four LNG export projects in the span of three months, following a two-year drought of facility authorizations, according to testimony filed June 12…

Court Finalizes $2.2 Billion SCE&G Ratepayer Settlement

The Court of Common Pleas in Hampton County on June 11 finalized a settlement in a class action lawsuit over the costs that South Carolina Electric & Gas Company’s electric ratepayers have incurred towards the abandoned VC Summer nuclear power project. The settlement includes a $115 million cash component, an estimated $60 million to $85…

Progressive Cap-and-Trade Climate Policy Moves Closer to Final Vote in Oregon

Legislation creating an ambitious cap-and-trade program in Oregon cleared a key committee on June 12 and is scheduled for a House vote on Monday. If passed, the bill would make Oregon the second state after California to adopt the market-based approach to slashing greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Democrats currently hold a trifecta in…

Maine Governor Signs Bill Forming Post to Investigate Alternatives to Building Power Lines

Democratic Governor Janet Mills signed legislation on June 14 establishing the position of a “nonwires alternative coordinator” to investigate and identify alternatives to proposed transmission projects, and evaluate the costs and benefits of nonwire alternatives compared to utility capital investments in the transmission and distribution system. Nonwire alternatives refer to infrastructure, technology, or application that…

Magnolia LNG Project Seeks Production Boost from FERC as Demand for Supercooled Gas Grows

Magnolia LNG LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LNGL, submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to boost liquefied natural gas production capacity at its proposed Magnolia LNG export terminal in Louisiana, according to a June 7 notice. The company wants to expand the production capacity of the project from the currently approved 8 million…

Maine’s Green New Deal Passes With a Focus on Workforce Training and Small Scale Solar

The Maine legislature has passed a bill on June 11 which was set to mandate an 80 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2040, but the goal was removed to focus instead on workforce initiatives and solar installations in schools. The final version of the bill, which was introduced by Democratic Representative Chloe Maxmin, centers instead on workforce…

New Jersey Unveils Draft Plan for 100 Percent Clean Energy by 2050

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has released the draft version of the 2019 Energy Master Plan, which provides a blueprint made up of seven strategies for achieving the state’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emission by at least 80 percent compared to 2006 levels,…

Oregon State Lawmakers Pass Five-Year Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

The Oregon legislature on June 7 approved a measure that seeks to prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration and production. The ban is set to expire on Jan. 2, 2025. (HB 2623) The bill exempts the use of fracturing for natural gas storage wells, geothermal activities, and existing coal bed…