On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Clean Power Plan, a proposed regulation to achieve a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030. For those in high carbon-emission industries, or whose revenue streams depend in some part thereon, the proposed Plan is likely to affect both current and long term costs and operations.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois have filed an "Open Data Access Framework" with state regulators that would, for the first time, give customers the right to automatically receive detailed information about their own energy usage, empowering customers control their own energy usage, conserve energy, and reduce carbon pollution.
"Sue and settle" continues to be an attractive vehicle for regulation, because it is difficult for states and industries to intervene in these lawsuits and plaintiffs are often compensated for their attorneys' fees, incentivizing litigation, but the use of this type of litigation can be abused.
The Gold Shovel Standard was developed by PG&E in accordance with California Government Code 4216, which governs excavation work in the state. Among other requirements, contractors must demonstrate that they call 811 before any excavation work begins to have underground lines located and marked by utility owners.
On June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court handed down the latest decision in its line of climate change rulings. In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, a group of utilities and other large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) challenged the EPA's program for regulating GHG emissions from stationary sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) provisions of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA).
Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation authorizing $31.5 million in state financing through the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust Fund to raise New Jersey American Water's largest water treatment plant's existing floodwall to withstand even a 500-year flood.
A group of environmental and citizen advocates are expressing concerns over indications that PSEG Long Island (PSEG-LI) and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) could delay a clean energy purchasing commitment on which a decision to build more renewable energy for Long Island was to be made by the end of 2014. It now appears the decision could be as much as 18 months out.
By the end of 2014, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will have replaced all 2,243 miles of its cast iron gas distribution pipe, which can be prone to leaks, with new modern materials-- making PG&E one of the first utilities of comparable size and age to complete such an action.
After being defeated in its challenge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) requirements for environmental compliance, Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) has exhausted its legal options for bringing its coal plants in line with federal environmental mandates and modernizing its natural gas units.
The Massachusetts Legislature has passed legislation that will establish a task force to review net metering in the commonwealth and develop recommendations on incentives and programs supporting renewable energy.