Monthly Archives: March 2021

Is a New Electricity Grid in Our Future? President Biden Thinks So.

The White House this morning released a fact sheet on “The American Jobs Plan,” also known as President Biden’s infrastructure plan.  There’s a lot in here (as there should be for a couple of trillion dollars!), so today I’ll focus on energy infrastructure.  Here are the highlights: 

  • $100B to “build a more resilient electric transmission system.”  This includes “the creation of a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of at least 200 gigawatts of high-voltage capacity power lines.”
  • Creation of a “Grid Deployment Authority” within DOE to facilitate transmission line siting.…
  • More

States Really, Really, Must Act on Water Quality Certification Applications Within One Year

The saga of judicial efforts to enforce the one-year limit on state review of applications for water quality certifications under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act shows no sign of reaching a conclusion.

First, in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC, the D.C. Circuit held that an agreement between the applicant and the state pursuant to which the applicant repeatedly withdrew and resubmitted its 401 application could not escape the statutory time limit on state review.… More

The Massachusetts Climate Bill is Very Much “Not Dead”

In January, when Governor Baker vetoed the Legislature’s effort to go big on climate, my colleague Zach Gerson made clear that the bill was not even “mostly dead.”  I am pleased to say that Zach’s diagnosis was correct.  The climate bill is very much alive.

Last week, the Legislature passed a new version of the bill, which adopted most of the Governor’s technical suggestions and almost none of his substantive changes. … More

FERC Considers GHG Emissions in a Gas Pipeline Review — Everyone Is Unhappy

According to E&E News (subscription required), FERC yesterday, for the first time, assessed the impacts of a gas pipeline’s downstream GHG emissions.  (As of this writing, the decision is not yet available on FERC’s web site.)

Former chair James Danly was unhappy, calling the decision “legally infirm.”  I question Commissioner’s judgment on this one.

Neil Chatterjee provided the Republican vote in favor, saying that he made a pragmatic decision,… More

The Transportation Climate Initiative Marches Forward; It’s Not Going to Be Easy.

On March 1, the Transportation Climate Initiative jurisdictions released a draft “model rule” that would provide a template for individual state rules governing the operation of the TCI Program.  Although only three states and the District of Columbia committed in December 2020 to implement TCI-P, the announcement on Monday indicated that the model rule “was developed by twelve” TCI jurisdictions.”  I guess that eight states like the model rule – just not enough at this point to commit to implementing it.… More