A proposed program will help streamline transmission permits.
A week ago, the Biden Administration proposed a new program called CITAP to accelerate permitting from transmission lines. If properly implemented, the program will do much more for permitting reform than the recent NEPA amendments in the debt ceiling law. The reason? CITAP implements a statute that is much more ambitious in its overhaul of …CONTINUE READING
Will the new NEPA provisions speed approval of urgently needed projects?
In terms of the energy transition, the most important question about the recent NEPA amendments is whether they streamline permitting for transmission projects. The answer is complicated. We can divide transmission projects into two groups. The first group consists of transmission projects where federal involvement is limited to specific segments, such as stream crossings requiring …CONTINUE READING
Earlier this month, Minnesota adopted a bold new clean energy plan.
The headline news is that Minnesota has adopted a 2040 deadline for a carbon-free grid. The headline is accurate, but the law in question contains a lot of other interesting features that deserve attention. Despite the law’s extremely unglamorous name (“Senate File 4”), this is a big step forward for the state, as well as …CONTINUE READING
Here are the top ten environment and energy developments to watch for.
Here we are, starting another year. Last year turned out to have some major environmental developments. The most notable were the Supreme Court’s ruling in West Virginia case, striking down the Clean Power Plan, and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, with its huge economic incentives for clean energy. Here’s quick rundown of what …CONTINUE READING
The year-end law gives a boost to climate-related spending
The omnibus spending bill is by no means a “climate law.” Because it spans the entire government, though, it has many provisions relating to climate change. They aren’t dramatic step forward. But the fact that they can pass as part of a bipartisan spending law is a sign of how climate change is slowly becoming …CONTINUE READING
Texas has the most wind power in the country and is rapidly building solar. How did that happen?
People are often surprised to learn that Texas is the national leader in wind power, with the twice the generating capacity of any other state. On one notable night in December of 2015, the state got 45% of its power from wind, though the year-round average was only about 10%. In July of this year, the …CONTINUE READING
It turns out, electric transmission is not as cheap as we thought it was.
Economists detest externalities – those nasty hidden costs that businesses don’t face when they sell polluting or dangerous products and services, but that are instead imposed on the public or the environment. And economists are right to be concerned. A polluter that does not pay the cost for its pollution is likely to keep polluting. …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
Steve, you write: This is not just about ceiling insulation and more heat-reflective roofs. It also has to do with the ability of electric generators to convert heat to power, the elimination of line losses from the transmission grid, and the improvement of fuel delivery systems to avoid leakage. It has to do with strategic …CONTINUE READING