Energy Exchange

A stronger CEJA will help combat dirty fuel and dirty money

We have written on many occasions about the need for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB3624/SB2132). This legislation — widely considered to be the boldest climate bill currently pending in any state — empowers communities and protects the environment and consumers’ pocketbooks.

The bill was worthy of passage the moment it was introduced in February 2019. Since then, it has become even more evident that the bill should be adopted, especially in the wake of COVID-19. CEJA would have an enormous impact on the job market at a time of high unemployment, and it will generate billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue at a time when these dollars are desperately needed.

With this much going for it, promoters of CEJA would have been easily justified in leaving the bill as is. This is especially true given that it enjoys overwhelming public support, with 82% of Illinoisans backing the bill in a recent poll.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

The energy job market is in trouble. Here’s how we fix it.

The coronavirus is inflicting a heavy toll on America: Over 100,000 dead, almost two million infected, and more than 40 million unemployed. Beating the virus is the top priority. But we also need to put people back to work as fast as safety allows. How we go about that now will determine our nation’s economic future for decades.

To achieve lasting prosperity, we need to rebuild better by investing in jobs that restart the economy, improve the environment and move us to a cleaner future.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy / Comments are closed

ERCOT forecast and new analysis show the Texas grid moving away from fossil fuels

A duo of recent announcements underscore the clear direction the Texas grid is headed: toward more renewable energy, storage, energy efficiency and sophisticated demand-side management resources and away from coal.

That means less climate and local air pollution, of course. But it also means more local jobs, less volatile energy costs, a more stable and reliable grid and yet another opportunity for Texas to reap the economic benefits that come with being an energy pioneer.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Demand Response, Energy Storage, Grid Modernization, Market resilience, Solar Energy, Texas / Comments are closed

California implements revolutionary new utility model for gas leaks

It is widely expected that the Environmental Protection Agency will soon release a proposal to weaken methane standards from oil and gas production. Such a blunder would result in increased climate pollution, energy waste and regulatory uncertainty. So, while the federal government looks to take another step backwards on oil and gas climate pollution, California just took another big leap forward.

Last week, California’s Public Utilities Commission adopted a rule that not only implements a new way to look at methane emissions from utility systems, it fundamentally alters the utility business model for leak control and sets an approach for the rest of the nation to follow.

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Also posted in California, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

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 Clean Energy, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act taps power of energy efficiency

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau

This post is the fourth in our CEJA series.

The rollout of Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) has focused attention on the bill’s four main pillars: a 100% renewable energy target by 2050, the decarbonization of the state’s power sector by 2030, the electrification of the transportation sector and a focus on equity and economic justice.

But there’s a hidden gem of an opportunity in the bill that is just as promising as solar panels and electric cars: energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency programs and technology are among the most cost-effective routes to lower climate emissions and energy bills. And just like solar, wind and other clean energy tools, it’s a job creator. CEJA recognizes and capitalizes on that potential.

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Also posted in CEJA, Ohio / Comments are closed