The Maryland General Assemblywill evaluate two very different proposals for the future of energy and climate policy in our state. One, The 100% Clean Renewable Energy and Equity Act, will fundamentally change the trajectory for wind and solar development, strengthen our economy and build a solid pathway to using only clean renewable electricity by 2035. The other, The Clean Energy and Jobs Act (CEJA), will accelerate the current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mechanisms to reach a target of 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
Canada's National Energy Board has approved Hydro-Quebec's application to construct an international transmission line to New Hampshire as part of the disputed Northern Pass transmission project. In January, Massachusetts selected Northern Pass to help the state meet its clean energy goals, but the project was rejected unanimously by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee the following month. Massachusetts has since indicated that it will select Central Maine Power's New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line to replace Northern Pass if it doesn't secure a permit from New Hampshire in the next three weeks. Both projects involve partnerships with Hydro-Quebec to deliver clean energy from Canada to the U.S.
If you live in a city or county that sues oil companies over climate change, prepare for a blowback. ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel giants are taking legal action against such local governments, seeking to undermine a key part of their finances — their relationship with lenders. Exxon’s target is several California cities and counties that have filed state lawsuits, claiming the oil and coal industries worked for decades to cover up their role in climate change and the consequences. The local governments want the industries to pay for damage and adaptation costs resulting from climate change, including sea-level rise and more extreme storms.Exxon responded last month by petitioning a state court in Tarrant County, Texas — near the company’s headquarters in Irving — to subpoena California officials and lawyers involved with the lawsuits. In a novel legal tactic, Exxon alleges the local government officials are defrauding buyers of municipal bonds by not disclosing to lenders the climate risks they have claimed in their lawsuits.
A tax credit that’s helped motivate many fiscally conscious Iowa farmers to install solar panels would see an early demise under a sweeping tax reform bill that cleared a major legislative hurdle. Iowa is the only state in the Midwest and one of just a dozen nationally that still offers a state solar tax credit. The Iowa Legislature created the 15 percent tax credit in 2012. Since then it’s provided a total of $21.6 million in incentives for nearly 4,000 projects.
Nearly 50,000 Iowa jobs are supported by biofuels production. In addition, the biofuels industry boosts household income for Iowans by more than $2.4 billion and accounted for $5.0 billion, or 3.4%, of Iowa GDP.
On Sunday, March 4, the California Independent System Operator saw an all-time peak percentage of demand served by solar, hitting a record 49.95 percent.
American solar company SunPower will lay off about 3 percent of its workforce in March, a decision that comes after President Trump began imposing new tariffs on imported solar materials earlier this month. SunPower has already started the process of laying off between 150 and 250 workers, largely from its research and development and marketing positions, CEO Tom Werner told The Hill. The cuts will amount to about a 10 decrease in operational expenses.
A judge in Louisiana who halted development of a section of Energy Transfer Partners’ Bayou Bridge oil pipeline last week said on Tuesday that her decision was designed to prevent “further irreparable harm” to wetlands. U.S. district judge Shelly Dick on Friday issued a temporary injunction preventing work on an extension to the Bayou Bridge system, revoking a permit and siding with environmentalists and fishermen who have expressed concerns about its potential effect on the local economy and wildlife.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill joining a coalition of states committed to cutting emissions of carbon dioxide to fulfill the United States' pledge under the Paris international climate change agreement. Murphy’s action requires New Jersey to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 15 other states and Puerto Rico vowing to uphold the Paris Agreement. Both chambers of the state legislature passed a bill to put New Jersey in the alliance. The alliance, which includes California, represents at least $7 trillion of economic activity and about 40 percent of the nation's population.
Federal officials must go back and review documents related to the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, under a Wednesday court ruling that came after environmentalists accused President Donald Trump's administration of withholding details on the project's approval.U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said the government must provide any relevant documents by March 21 or explain why they should be withheld.The ruling came in a lawsuit pending in federal court in Montana from environmentalists seeking to stop the 1,179-mile (1,897-kilometer) pipeline. It would carry crude from Canada's oil sands region to U.S. refineries.