Energy Exchange

Gas utility planning is behind the times. Rhode Island has a plan to fix it.

When it comes to how utilities plan for future gas needs and use, challenges abound: Pipelines are built before state regulators have an opportunity to assess whether it is prudent for a gas utility to take service from that pipeline; decisions are made behind closed doors with little opportunity for stakeholder input; and planning efforts do not appropriately consider options other than traditional infrastructure such as energy efficiency, gas demand response, or renewable alternatives to natural gas.

Pending before the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RI PUC) is a proposal that would meaningfully resolve many of these issues. The utility in the state and the PUC staff crafted a joint memo proposing a more robust planning framework and rigorous oversight of utility decisions. As EDF recently explained in its comments to the RI PUC, this framework will serve the public interest and can be used as an important model for other states.

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Also posted in Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Equity, innovation can be part of Illinois’ efforts to electrify transportation

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau 

As Illinoisans consider ways to drive down pollution and the costs of energy, one place to look is what they drive.

The transportation sector has now overtaken the power sector as the leading source of carbon pollution in Illinois, responsible for nearly one-third of all carbon emissions. Any state-level climate action must address transportation emissions.

That is why electrification of the transportation sector is one of the four key pillars of the newly-introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). By incentivizing electric vehicles (EVs), mass transit and other transportation alternatives, we can remove the equivalent of a million gas and diesel-powered vehicles from the road. Doing so will have immediate air quality benefits, especially in low-income communities and communities of color that bear the biggest burden of this pollution.

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Also posted in CEJA, Electric Vehicles, Illinois / Comments are closed

Jobs, equity and economic justice are at the core of new Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau 

Illinois has once again put itself at the forefront of the movement to promote a clean energy economy. In March, we wrote about the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), a groundbreaking bill that Environmental Defense Fund was proud to play a central role in developing.

Like its predecessor, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), CEJA recognizes that growing the clean energy economy is not just a core solution for climate change. It can also be a vehicle for expanding equitable access to quality jobs, economic opportunity and wealth creation — especially in economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color that have borne the heaviest burden of dirty fossil fuel pollution.

Simply put: jobs, equity and economic justice are at the core of this legislation.

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Also posted in CEJA, Illinois / Comments are closed

This new bill is the next step on Illinois’ path to becoming a clean energy leader

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau

It’s been just over two years since Illinois enacted the groundbreaking Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which set bold new goals for solar, wind and energy efficiency. Already, substantial gains from FEJA are being seen across the state.

But, a just-completed lottery for renewable energy credits demonstrates that there is a voracious demand for solar and wind energy in Illinois that far exceeds current capacity. Meanwhile, other states are poised to act on clean energy, threatening to catch up with – or pass – Illinois in the race for jobs and investments. This is the precise moment for Illinois to redouble its commitment to renewable energy and claim its spot as an undisputed clean energy leader.

The next important step for Illinois is passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), which will create more clean energy jobs, enhance equity and achieve more reductions in climate and air pollution. CEJA recognizes and addresses many of the challenges workers, customers and members of the community face as we transition away from old, dirty electricity.

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Also posted in CEJA, Illinois / Comments are closed

Opponents of FirstEnergy bailout outnumber supporters 73-2. Here’s what they’re saying.

FirstEnergy’s bailout bill (H.B. 6) – which would subsidize its uneconomic power plants and destroy state programs that encourage energy efficiency and clean energy – received a hearing in the Ohio House of Representatives last week. Two supporters testified (including FirstEnergy). Seventy three opponents testified.

You can find full transcripts of the testimony here.

But if you don’t want to wade through all of the testimony, we’ve pulled some of the best comments from the diverse opponents consisting of conservatives, manufacturers and environmentalists.

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Also posted in Ohio / Comments are closed

Nightmare on Capitol Square: New coal and nuclear bailout bill is a huge blow to Ohio’s clean energy economy

Ohio’s electric industry is thriving and our energy supply is getting cleaner, with average power costs well below the national average. This dreamy scenario is the envy of other states – but Ohio’s legislators are plotting in the Capitol Square statehouse to turn this dream into a nightmare.

This nightmare is a new bill that not only subsidizes uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, but also guts the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards that have led to more than $1 billion in savings and thousands of new jobs for Ohioans. In an Orwellian twist, the legislators are trying to sneak this bailout through by calling it a “clean air resource” bill.

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Also posted in Ohio / Read 2 Responses