Meter_Solar_Panel.jpgThe debate over the future of net metering and the proper valuation of distributed energy resources has reached Congress. In the wake of a debacle over retroactive changes to net metering rules in his home state of Nevada, Senator Harry Reid (with Senator Angus King of Maine) recently proposed legislation on the subject. The proposal, known as Amendment 3120 would add language to Section 111(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ( PURPA) aimed at protecting net metering customers from retroactive changes to net metering rules and requiring any such changes to consider the benefits of distributed energy resources.
Continue Reading Concerns Over Retroactive Changes to Net Metering Lead to Proposed Federal Regulation

EM-2009-01-energy_globe_business.jpgThe U.S. EPA greenhouse gas regulations provided biomass facilities with an important incentive – a unique “deferral” from having to achieve established CO2 emission limits. For certain biomass facilities not being regulated for CO2 emissions had significant benefits from both a capital and operational cost perspective.  There likely are a number of biomass facilities which currently owe their financial viability to the deferral.
Continue Reading Biomass Facilities Lose CO2 “Deferral”

While New York’s natural gas resources remain locked down between perpetual regulatory limbo and extreme polarization among interest groups, recent events have proven that compromise is possible.

Last month, a coalition of environmentalists, industry representatives and lawmakers in Illinois reached a tentative agreement that would allow development of that state’s shale resources, ironically named the New Albany formation, to move forward.  The negotiations were led by Illinois State Representative John Bradley, a democrat who lives in the area prospective for natural gas development.
Continue Reading Unconventional Compromises on Natural Gas Regulation

The D.C. Circuit delivered a mixed decision recently regarding an American Petroleum Institute (“API”) challenge to the 2012 EPA Rule (“2012 Rule”) outlining blending requirements for cellulosic biofuels.  Cellulosic biofuel is an advanced biofuel that comes from sources such as switchgrass and agricultural wastes.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Issues Mixed Ruling on Biofuels Targets

By Susan Marriott

The U.S. Senate’s recent vote to repeal $5.4 billion worth of ethanol subsidies indicates an uncertain future for many renewable energy incentives.  In fact, the current climate in Congress appears generally hostile towards subsidies for any energy sector, with Democrats calling on Republicans to cut oil and gas subsidies and Republicans calling for the elimination of renewable energy subsidies.  With renewable energy subsidies on the table as part of ongoing deficit-reduction negotiations, Congress will need to consider other policy options and tools if, after losing significant subsidy support, renewable energy is going to be able to compete economically with fossil fuels.
Continue Reading A Post-Tax Credit “Incentive” for Renewable Energy Development

On January 18, 2011 President Obama signed an Executive Order to improve federal regulation as well as review existing regulations that may be outmoded or ineffective.

The Order, among other things, looks to coordinate regulation across agencies, reduce duplicative or overlapping regulations, and to foster increased participation by industry, experts and other stakeholders in the regulatory process.
Continue Reading Will Obama’s Regulatory Review Order Help Renewables?