Energy Technology Matters

The Latest Legal, Financing, and Policy Developments in Energy and Clean Tech

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Considers State Perspectives on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Events, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates

On Tuesday, September 9, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule at a hearing titled “State Perspectives: Questions Concerning EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan.” The Clean Power Plan, proposed by the EPA in early June of this year, implements a series of measures aimed to cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent from 2005 levels.

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ML Strategies Energy & Environment Update: Week of 9/15/2014

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, Water, Wind

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

Congress is in Washington this week for an intense few days before recessing until after the November elections.

The House will vote September 17 on the continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 124). Currently, the measure continues a policy provision that overrides Administration guidance limiting the Export-Import Bank from financing overseas coal-fired power projects. The continuing resolution, which would fund the government through December 11, extends the bank’s charter, which expires September 30, until the end of next June. The House had planned to pass the continuing resolution last week, but postponed the vote after President Obama requested approval of authority for aid to Syrian rebels. The chamber is still weighing whether to attach the president’s request to the continuing resolution or to take it up separately. The measure also includes funds to address the Ebola virus and would extend to December 11 a moratorium on taxing Internet access that is scheduled to expire November 1. The Senate will take up the measure shortly thereafter.

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Renewable Thermal Energy Technologies Gain Eligibility for Incentives under New Massachusetts Legislation

Posted in Articles, Biofuels, Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Geothermal, Massachusetts Renewable Energy, State Happenings, Waste to Value

With the passage of HB 4385/SB 2214 early last month, Massachusetts has joined New Hampshire and Wisconsin as the only states to provide incentives for the use of clean, renewable fuels to heat and cool buildings. Signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in early August, the landmark energy legislation extends eligibility for the state’s ‘alternative energy credits’ to biomass, biogas, liquid biofuels, and other renewable thermal technologies. These credits, which will now be awarded to producers of renewable thermal energy, must be purchased by retail electricity providers in fulfillment of the state’s existing Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS).

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 9/8/2014

Posted in Defense, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, Water, Wind

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

Congress returns to Washington this week for a two-week session before leaving again to campaign in advance of the November elections. The House will vote on a fairly clean continuing resolution on Thursday, with the Senate to debate the funding measure shortly thereafter. The continuing resolution will likely fund the government through December 11. The measure could serve as a vehicle for two other September priorities: reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, the charter of which is set to expire September 30, and passage of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. Following the November 4 election, Congress will return for an intense lame duck session that could include debate on a lengthy and wide range of issues, including a host of expired tax provisions such as the production tax credit.

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 9/2/2014

Posted in Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

With Congress preparing to return to Washington, efforts are underway to fill the two-week session with negotiations on a continuing resolution and votes on several pre-election issue favorites.

In the meantime, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will hold his seventh annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas September 4. Hillary Clinton will serve as keynote speaker. Other speakers include White House adviser John Podesta, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, among others.

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 8/25/2014

Posted in Energy Financing, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates

This week, ML Strategies’s Director of Government Relations, Bryan Stockton, provides an update on the clean energy provisions in the Senate’s tax-extenders package and details scenarios for their extension as the midterm elections approach.

Now that summer is drawing to a close, let’s check in on one important bill that lost momentum just as the summer was beginning. Remember the Senate Finance Committee’s tax extenders package (S. 2260), which the committee marked up on a bipartisan basis in mid-May? The one that was poised to pass the Senate but that surprisingly failed to reach cloture after Senate leadership blocked Republican amendments on the bill? At the time, congressional staff and lobbyists—and even Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) —suggested that the extenders package would come up again in the lame duck session after the November election. The House was not expected to vote on an extenders package before then anyway, so the Senate delay would not really impact the timing of final passage of this two-year extension of more than 50 tax provisions.

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 8/18/2014

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, Wind

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE

Congress is in recess for the remainder of August, but when it returns for just over two weeks in September, much of the focus will turn to crafting a continuing resolution to keep the government open while senators and representatives continue to negotiate a budget.

In addition to negotiating a continuing resolution, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and Department of Defense programs, and addressing internet taxation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has identified several bills for debate prior to the November elections. Majority Leader Reid plans to hold votes on measures to raise the minimum wage, address pay equity issues and student loan rates, and guarantee access to contraception, as well as a constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions and spending.

On the House side, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told the House Republican conference August 8 that he plans to bring up two packages of jobs and energy legislation and an Obamacare bill in September. Though not finalized, the energy package would approve the Keystone XL pipeline (H.R. 3), limit environmental regulations (H.R. 1582), and open federal lands to energy extraction (H.R. 4899).

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IRS Relaxes and Clarifies Renewable Energy Tax Credit Eligibility Requirements for Projects Under Construction

Posted in Energy Financing, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Wind

On August 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2014-46 in response to continued industry requests for clarification on several aspects of the renewable electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) under section 45, or the energy Investment Tax Credit under section 48 in lieu of the PTC (ITC election).

The biggest policy development in the recent guidance is a reduction in the level of investment taxpayers must have committed before the end of 2013 from five percent to three percent of total project costs for a qualifying facility to remain eligible for the PTC/ITC under the IRS “Safe Harbor” test.

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ML Strategies’ Energy & Environment Update: Week of 8/11/2014

Posted in Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates

This week, ML Strategies’ Manager of Government Relations, Sarah Litke, highlights the Environmental Protection Agency’s 111(d) Proposed Rule:

The Environmental Protection Agency held public hearings in Atlanta, Denver, Washington, and Pittsburg the last week of July to consider the Clean Power Plan.

The June 2 proposed rule would require the nation’s fleet of existing power plants to reduce CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2030 from a 2005 baseline. Instead of establishing uniform targets for specific types of electric generating units, the Section 111(d) rule establishes state-specific targets for CO2 reductions based on a formula that takes into account the degree of emission reductions the agency has determined is achievable through the implementation of Best System of Emission Reduction at each of the states’ fossil-fueled power plants. The formula considers four potential carbon reduction building blocks:

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