Northeast Energy News

Massachusetts high court upholds carbon rules for power plants

CLIMATE: Massachusetts’ highest court upholds the state’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, ruling this week against a group of electric utilities that wanted immunity from state limits imposed last year. (InsideClimate News, Boston Business Journal)

ALSO: An environmental nonprofit representing Rhode Island youth files a petition asking the state environmental department to draft a rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Providence Journal)

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SOLAR:
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office awards more than $133,000 to South Jersey for solar energy projects. (SNJ Today)
• Massachusetts-based Conti Solar will build five solar projects totalling 35 MW in Rhode Island. (PV Magazine)

RENEWABLES: New York’s Southern Tier could become a hub for cleantech startups thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to rebuild the region. (E&E News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: New York will use $127.7 million from the 2016 Volkswagen settlement to increase the number of electric and clean vehicles in the state. (news release)

PIPELINES:
• New York City’s comptroller slams plans for a 23-mile offshore gas pipeline stretching from New Jersey to the Rockaways, calling it “a monumental step backwards.” (AM New York)
• A new podcast on energy issues in Pennsylvania explores Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline project and its controversies. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)
• A Pennsylvania environmental group loses a legal challenge seeking to review a Clean Water Act certification awarded to the developers of a 198-mile natural gas pipeline. (Natural Gas Intelligence)
• A group of nuns who have failed to stop a natural gas pipeline from crossing their rural Pennsylvania property are taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Lancaster Online)

EFFICIENCY: Delaware adopts Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, which allows energy improvements funded by private lenders to be paid back through property tax assessments. (Delaware Business Times)

UTILITIES: Eversource reaches a settlement with Connecticut’s Office of Consumer Counsel to reduce its proposed distribution rate increase for natural gas customers from 9.2 percent to just 0.3 percent next year. (New Haven Register)

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ADVOCACY: Activists will rally at the New Hampshire statehouse today to urge state lawmakers to override Gov. Sununu’s vetoes of two energy bills. (news release)

COMMENTARY:
• Maryland is subsidizing dirty energy sources and failing to invest in renewable energy facilities like offshore wind, says the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. (The Frederick News-Post)
• Pennsylvania lawmakers should help provide funding for new natural gas infrastructure by approving legislation that lets utilities implement a distribution system extension charge, says a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. (PennLive)
• The New England wholesale electricity market is in crisis and needs a structural overhaul that provides competitively-priced reliability, says the president of the New England Power Generators Association. (Utility Dive)

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