Cambridge, Massachusetts is the latest city to require the benchmarking and disclosure of building energy performance for large commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings, joining Boston, along with eight other major U.S. cities-- Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.-- as well as two states and one county.
National Grid is asking the House Ways and Means Committee to quickly release consensus language on House Bill 4185-- a landmark compromise that provides a stable and cost-effective policy solution to support solar energy in Massachusetts. HB 4185 extends Massachusetts' net metering program, removing the caps that have been reached and making changes to both the net metering and renewable energy incentive programs.
Idaho Power has filed contracts with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for two solar projects proposed by private developers who will sell their output to the utility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA)-- a federal law which requires utilities such as Idaho Power to purchase the electricity generated by certain renewable-energy projects.
The City of San Bruno is demanding that CPUC President Michael Peevey be removed, in part, due to alleged inappropriate communication with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The City also wants significant penalties ($2.45 billion in after-tax dollars) levied against PG&E due to an exposure that top CPUC and PG&E staff engaged in repeated and illegal private (ex parte) conversations in the ongoing CPUC penalty proceeding related to the deadly 2010 PG&E gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) a new 50-year license for the continued operation of the Upper American River Project (UARP)-- a 688 MW hydroelectric project. The UARP consists of 11 reservoirs and eight powerhouses spanning an area from the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the foothill communities of the Sacramento valley and provides about 15 percent of SMUD's customers' yearly power needs.
The Auditor General's Office has released the Special Audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Performance in Monitoring Potential Impact to Water Quality from Shale Gas Development for 2009 through 2012.
June was a busy month for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) regulation. On June 2, the EPA proposed regulations-- the "Clean Power Plan" (CPP)-- to govern GHG emissions from existing Electric Generating Units (EGU). If and when promulgated, these regulations would have a far wider impact than any of the EPA's other stationary source GHG rules to date, in no small part because they would not just affect EGUs.
A shortage of inspectors, declining budgets, and a record number of wells on public lands highlight the importance of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) budget request for a fee system to increase the agency's oil and gas inspection capacity.
New legislation would require electric utilities to obtain a minimum of 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Electric and natural gas utilities will also need to implement energy efficiency programs in order to save the equivalent of 15 percent and 10 percent of sales, respectively, by 2025.
Australia has become the first developed nation to repeal its carbon tax, which Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said was "useless and destructive [and] damaged jobs-- which hurt families' cost of living and which didn't actually help the environment." The Australian government has estimated that the repeal would save families $550 per year.