As the West deals with a record-setting heat wave that is fueling catastrophic droughts and wildfires and is testing the limits of America's aging power grid, our team at AEE is focused on how we can improve grid resilience and connect more clean energy by establishing a regional transmission organization (RTO) to operate the power grid for Western states. Now, we can say with certainty just what the West would gain in savings, jobs, and economic growth - and it’s a lot.
Despite contentious political circumstances in legislatures across the country, fiscally responsible legislation to support advanced energy technologies can draw bipartisan support. An example of this came in Arizona this summer, where both sides of the aisle came together to pass smart legislation that gives schools and students access to cleaner transportation. The Arizona bill also shows another way to open up opportunities for electric school buses in states of every political stripe.
Since the start of this year’s legislative sessions, Advanced Energy Economy has been tracking energy legislation across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Congress through its online PowerSuite platform. PowerSuite provides policy tracking by policy professionals. In the process, we have identified several trends in how states are contemplating the future of their energy, transportation, and building sectors. The bills described in this post, which range from simply introduced to fully signed into law, by no means represent every bill in the country filed this year, but are rather indicative of the attention being devoted to each topic by lawmakers. What follows represents the top 10 state energy legislative issues of 2022.
Topics: State Policy, Advanced Transportation, Virginia, Arizona, Legislative, Pennsylvania, Indiana, California, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Maine, Nebraska, Tennessee, Maryland, Wyoming, Connecticut, New Jersey, West Virginia, Idaho, Washington, Hawaii, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, New York, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Illinois
On May 6, the clean energy train slid off the tracks in Arizona, taking with it the hope for the timely passage of the proposed Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Energy Rules to reach 100% clean energy by 2050. More than three years after the rulemaking train left the station, the ACC rejected the proposed rules in a surprise 3-to-2 vote. That decision came after nearly three years of official stakeholder engagement, bipartisan cooperation, and extensive participation of utilities, consumer advocates, and communities of faith in the robust process, with all of those groups ultimately supporting the proposed rules package. But it turns out this was not the end of the line for the proposed rules. They are now back on track, in a new form, although the journey is far from over.
This post was updated Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:31 PM to reflect updated action on another bill, HB2737, that intends to add duplicative ACC oversight. See last section.
Arizona Legislators have the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) in the crosshairs this legislative session with a series of bills aimed directly at stripping commission authority. HB2248 and SB1175 revoke the authority of the ACC to adopt or enforce policy related to electrical generation resources made after June 30, 2020. The bills purport to clarify the constitutional authority of the commission to regulate utilities, in the process stripping the commission of its authority to create and enforce energy policy. Indeed the real purpose of these bills seems to be squashing the 100% clean energy rules the ACC gave initial approval to last fall and are now in the process of finalizing.