The Department of Energy has just published a new series of protocols for calculating the savings from energy efficiency upgrades in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. Although voluntary, the new protocols, issued on May 15, are designed to create a common approach for calculating energy savings based on common residential and commercial efficiency measures used in utility-based energy efficiency programs.
This week’s Energy & Environment Update provides news on the progress of current bills as well as the status of the nominations of Dr. Ernest Moniz and Gina McCarthy. In the House, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on LNG and other US energy exports, while the Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on hydraulic fracturing. Continue Reading
As Congress returns after a week-long recess, energy-related issues and legislation are at the top of the agenda for many members and committees. This week’s Energy & Environment Update covers what’s happening at the federal, state, and international levels as well as ongoing debates on President Obama’s 2014 budget, Gina McCarthy’s nomination to be EPA Administrator, climate change, fracking, new energy funding, and sustainability. Continue Reading
This week’s Energy & Environment Update recaps the very busy past week for energy and environmental issues both on and off Capitol Hill. Senator Coons introduced the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act on Wednesday. The following day, members of the Senate Finance Committee had their weekly, bipartisan meeting on tax reform; this past week’s meeting focused on energy policy. While no details of the discussion have been released, the Committee put out an options paper outlining measures it could potentially consider. The same day, several senators circulated a discussion draft of a bill on nuclear waste management. Off the Hill, the IRS released, as anticipated, updated guidance on Thursday on the definition of under construction for energy production and investment tax credits. Continue Reading
Last week on Capitol Hill, Congress reviewed President Obama’s proposed FY14 budget and nominees for several cabinet positions. This past week also saw the introduction of the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, which many feel could be enacted in the 113th Congress. Another bipartisan proposal gaining traction, the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act, is expected to be introduced in the Senate and House on Wednesday. Continue Reading
When Congress extended renewable energy tax credits several months ago, it significantly altered the tax credits’ eligibility criteria. Specifically, qualified facilities no longer have to be in service by January 2014—they are only required to begin construction before that date. Continue Reading
Last week was busy on Capitol Hill: Dr. Ernest Moniz’s nomination hearing for Secretary of Energy was on April 9th, and Gina McCarthy’s nomination hearing for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator took place on April 11th; President Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 (FY14), which begins on October 1, 2013; and Assistant Energy Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) David Danielson reported on EERE’s FY14 budget.
For more on the latest energy and clean technology regulatory and legislative developments, including a more detailed discussion of how the budget impacts energy and environment efforts, please see ML Strategies’ most recent Energy and Environmental Update.
After two months of delay, the Obama Administration released its proposed 2014 budget on April 10. The 244-page document outlines the President’s spending priorities for the coming fiscal year. The proposal calls for $1 trillion in government-wide savings, while also proposing $580 billion in new taxes. While the President supports revenue-neutral corporate tax reform, he said such reform should be done separately from the effort his budget makes toward reducing the deficit with new tax revenues. For further analysis of the President’s budget as it relates to clean energy, please see the full article, “In Time of Austerity, President’s 2014 Budget Prioritizes Clean Energy Funding.”
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched an initiative to build an open-source database of real-world performance from solar facilities across the country. As part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative, the Open Solar Performance and Reliability Clearinghouse (O-SPaRC) goal is to provide the private market tools to develop investment vehicles to tap low-cost public capital. Continue Reading
The nominees for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy leadership positions are going to the Hill this week for their confirmation hearings. Today Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s pick for energy secretary, will appear before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. It is expected that the Committee will probe Moniz’s views on shale oil and gas. Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator nominee, will sit before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday, and will likely face tough questioning from Republicans on the Committee. Continue Reading