Environmental Energy & Utilities Elections & Politics

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Under the Dome Special Edition: 2016 Summary of New Maine Laws

We are pleased to share our 2016 Summary of New Maine Laws enacted during the Second Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature, which adjourned sine die April 29, 2016. We provide you this summary to help you stay...more

New Hampshire Doubles Solar Net Metering Cap

New Hampshire has doubled the caps on energy that both residential and commercial customer-generators of rooftop solar can sell back to the grid, raising the cap from 50 MW to 100 MW. The governor signed H.B. 1116, which was...more

New Final EPA Methane Emission Standards for the Oil and Gas Standard are Stricter Than Proposed

The Obama administration today issued its highly anticipated limits on methane emissions from oil and gas wells that are even tougher than those it proposed last year. It is estimated that the costs to comply will be at least...more

Obama methane regulations come into focus: EPA finalizes methane standards for new O&G sources; requests information for existing...

On Thursday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a significant step toward meeting the Obama administration's pledge to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by...more

EPA Poised To Make Sweeping Changes to the Risk Management Program Rule

Chemical manufacturers and petroleum refiners are closely tracking the latest activities of a high-level agency working group formed pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Order (13,650) responding to the West, Texas,...more

News from Second & State

Weekly Wrap: - Though only the House of Representatives was in Harrisburg for voting session, and only for two days, we’ve still got a few noteworthy items to report from this week. On Monday, the House Rules Committee...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015

Renewable Energy Focus - U.S. proposes giving wind farms 30-year "incidental take" permits - Reuters - May 4 - U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday again proposed granting 30-year permits to wind farms that...more

Colorado Court Strikes Down Local Fracking Bans that Conflict with State Law

On May 2, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued opinions in two separate cases challenging local bans on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). A win for the oil and gas industry in the state, the Supreme Court held that the...more

Better Late Than Never: Massachusetts Moves to Obtain NPDES Delegation

Like most federal environmental programs, NPDES program authority is largely delegated to the states. Only four states aren’t delegated: Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. How is it that progressive...more

Competing Budgets

Lengthy floor sessions ensued this week as House and Senate lawmakers took up supplemental budget bills in their respective chambers. The Republican House had three bills to debate over the course of the week. The DFL Senate...more

Attention Home Improvement Contractors: CA Bill Singles Out Solar Contractors

California Assembly Bill 2699 (Gonzalez) is a bill to watch if you are a home improvement contractor that solarinstalls solar energy systems or, for that matter, a contractor in California. AB 2699 would, among other things,...more

Global Energy Game Changers

The global energy sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Advanced technologies, distributed networks and new regulations in nearly every subsector have strangled yesterday's business models. Foundational elements...more

Climate change Regulation Starts to Take Shape in Washington State

In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as...more

I Wish for a Happy Earth Day

April 22nd marked Earth Day, an annual celebration of environmentalism. The headline event of Earth Day 2016 was having 175 countries sign the Paris Agreement, which represents a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas...more

Effect of Energy Policy Bills on Natural Gas Exports

Legislative Update. On April 20, the U.S. Senate passed broad legislation that covers many different aspects of the energy and environmental sectors, including changes to streamline the approval process for the export of...more

The Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act

The 2016 Florida Legislature adopted SB 552, a long-awaited, comprehensive water bill that tackled issues from Everglades restoration to water supply and created the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act (the Springs...more

The Senate Acts to Modernize Energy Policy and Increase U.S. Exports of Liquefied Natural Gas

For the first time in almost a decade, the Senate passed by a vote of 85-12 a bipartisan, broad based energy bill. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S. 2012) focuses on all forms of energy production and policies,...more

Virginia 2016 General Assembly Update for Water Utilities

The 2016 General Assembly regular session ended March 11, a day earlier than its scheduled end date of March 12. Although it ended early, it was a busy session. The legislators considered 3,286 bills and resolutions, and...more

New Laws Reform California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act

True to his word, Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills, AB 1142 and SB 209, into law on Monday to reform California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA). Now, before getting too excited, keep in mind that the new...more

US Senate Passes Bipartisan Energy Bill

The first broad energy bill passed in nearly a decade was passed by the Senate on April 20, 2016 with an 85-12 vote margin. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, S. 2012, responds to major changes to the energy...more

Maine enacts biomass energy support

Maine has adopted a new law to support the state's biomass energy industry. Governor Paul LePage has signed LD 1676, An Act To Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources, as emergency legislation. As a...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2016 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar thermal legislation advances in California - Solar Industry Magazine - Apr 14 - In a 10-2 vote this Wednesday, the California Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee passed...more

ADEQ Director Testifies before Congress in Opposition to EPA Ozone Standard

On Thursday, April 14th, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Misael Cabrera testified before Congress regarding naturally occurring ozone levels in parts of Arizona making it impossible to comply with...more

News from Second and State

It was a busy week in Harrisburg this week, and for a change, the singular focus of the General Assembly was not the state budget. The biggest thing to happen this week—and maybe so far this year—was the final passage of S.B....more

ML Strategies Alert Governor Baker Signs Controversial Solar Legislation Lifting Solar Energy Caps

On Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a solar energy bill into law that increases the statewide limits on the amount of solar capacity that will qualify for net metering, but also lowers the value of net...more

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