renewable portfolio standards

New York’s Big Move

The Empire State has jumped into the first tier of state climate action.

Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a breakthrough climate change law, the “New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.” What every state does to address climate change is worthwhile, of course, but New York is particularly significant in terms of the national picture. It’s the nation’s third-most populous state and also …

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California’s New Energy Law (SB 100) Is a Piece in a Larger Puzzle

Rooftop solar,storage and energy efficiency still play critical roles

California’s new landmark energy law should be a matter of pride for the whole state. It calls for electricity providers to rely on renewable sources for at least 60% of their delivered power by 2030 and on zero greenhouse gas-emitted sources for the remaining 40% by 2045. People refer to this as the 100% clean …

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Defanging FERC’s Challenge to Renewables

The gird operator subject to the order has a plan to reduce its impact.

At the end of June, in a party-line vote, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a sweeping order that seems designed to prop up coal. The order will impact electricity markets in a wide swath of the country. There’s been a lot of concern that the order might seriously impact renewables. But PJM, which operates the …

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A Victory for Renewables

The Second Circuit has carved out some safe space for state renewable energy programs.

An important Second Circuit ruling in June should help clarify some of the lingering legal issues about state efforts to expand renewable energy. Judge Calabresi’s opinion in Allco Finance v. Dykes rejected claims that Connecticut’s policies interfered with interstate commerce and invaded an area of exclusive federal regulation. This will be a useful precedent for …

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Renewable Energy and Political Geography

The Washington Post had a story over the weekend about the concerted campaign by the fossil fuel industry to rollback state laws favoring renewable energy.  This effort was also the subject of an editorial in the Sunday Times. So far, this effort hasn’t gained real legislative traction.  The story attributes this failure to the growth …

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Constitutional Issues in Cap and Trade: New Light from an Unexpected Source

At the end of April, the Supreme Court decided an obscure case called McBurney v. Young about state public records law.  Quite unexpectedly, the court’s opinion turns out to be good news for state environmental regulators.  In particular, it clarifies how cap and trade relates to what lawyers call the dormant commerce clause — a …

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Court Doesn’t Cast Much Doubt on the Constitutionality of Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

Thanks to Ann Carlson for pointing out the significant decision recently issued by 7th Circuit Court of Appeals related to allocating the cost for new electric transmission lines and for so concisely describing its complicated fact pattern. But I have to respectfully disagree with Ann’s suggestion that this decision has cast any meaningful doubt on …

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Court Casts Doubt on Constitutionality of Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, Upholds Cost Sharing for Transmission Lines

In an important victory for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — and in my view for renewable energy more generally — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has upheld a FERC order that helps finance transmission lines to carry renewable energy from rural areas to urban centers in the midwest and …

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Debunking Myths About Energy Security and Independence

The phrases “energy security” and “energy independence” get thrown around a lot in debates about clean energy, climate change, oil drilling and any policy having to do with our energy supply.  And they get used in at least two highly misleading ways by groups that are often diametrically opposed to each other. First,  supporters of …

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Sometimes People Really ARE Out to Get You

The Guardian has a rather startling story about organized efforts to stamp out wind and solar energy.  (I suppose the fact that I find it startling is an indication of my naiveté.)   Not too surprisingly, the Koch oil interests are a major funding sources. The Guardian lists some of the efforts to eliminate clean energy, …

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