EPA Proposes Major Biofuels Regulation

On December 1, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a sweeping new rule for the Renewable Fuel Standards (“RFS”) Program, the federal government’s flagship program for facilitating the production of renewable transportation fuels to offset fossil fuels. Administered correctly, the Program could be a critical tool to combat climate change, including by incentivizing needed low-carbon fuels for air travel and other difficult-to-electrify sectors.

The proposed rule is significant in many ways.… More

IRS Issues Guidance on IRA Tax Credit Labor Requirements; Starts Clock for Compliance

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance on the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) by publishing Notice 2022-61 (the Notice) in the federal register today. Meeting the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements will allow projects to qualify for the higher base credit rates for tax credits under various IRA provisions, including the full 30% renewable energy investment tax credit (ITC), the $26 per megawatt-hour production tax credit (PTC),… More

Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap Expected in Early 2023; Here’s Why the OSW Industry Should Take Note

The State of Maine is expected to release the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap in early 2023, and the global offshore wind industry should be watching. Preliminary details from the state’s roadmap—the focus of this post—clearly indicate that Maine is preparing to seize the significant opportunity presented by the Gulf of Maine offshore wind resource.

Maine’s offshore wind energy potential is ranked seventh in the nation, with more than 411 TWh/yr of offshore resource-generating potential.… More

Electric Buses Are On the Move

On October 26, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced the award of nearly $1 Billion from EPA’s Clean School Bus program for 389 school districts nationwide, through a program established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  The money will purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric.  These awards are the first of the five-year program that will eventually provide $5 billion for the purchase of electric school buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,… More

Some “Big Lifts” For Boston to Achieve Its Climate Goals

Earlier this Month, The Boston Foundation released its “Inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report.”  Suffice it to say, there’s a lot to do.  The Report identifies four “Big Lifts” necessary to attaining our climate goals.  It defines a Big Lift as:

a multidecade mega-project that seeks to improve the city to align with its climate and equity goals.

The four Big Lifts are:

  • Retrofitting the small building stock
  • Local energy planning for an electrified city
  • Building a resilient coastline through improved governance
  • Prioritizing reparative planning for Boston’s frontline neighborhoods

All of these are important and each is worth its own post. … More

FERC Rulemaking State of Play

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-watchers have their eyes squarely on recent reports that Senator Joe Manchin, Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, won’t schedule a hearing on Chairman Richard Glick’s re-appointment this year, meaning that Glick will leave FERC when his term expires in January 2023.  Glick has led FERC in pressing reforms to modernize the country’s transmission system and help bring more renewable and energy storage resources online. … More

Biden Announces New Initiative on “Game-Changing” Technologies for Achieving Net-Zero Emissions

On November 4, 2022, the White House announced a new initiative to support research and development projects on 37 “game-changing” technologies to advance the Biden Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Led by an interagency working group, the “Net-Zero Game Changers Initiative” will direct billions of dollars under the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act,… More

Amendments to Massachusetts’ Clean Energy Standard Finalized, Accelerating Progress Towards Decarbonization of the State’s Electricity Sector

Boston skyscrapers skyline with famous Custom House Clock Tower and Faneuil Hall in the evening with visible sunbeam. Financial district of Boston city, Massachusetts.The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that proposed amendments to the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) were finalized earlier this month without substantive changes from draft language initially proposed by the agencies in April 2022.

The amendments are intended to accelerate progress towards decarbonization of the electricity sector and further ensure the state meets its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.… More

BOEM and NOAA Fisheries Release Draft Right Whale and Offshore Wind Strategy, Request Public Comment

Late last week, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries division released a draft joint strategy that addresses North Atlantic Right Whales and offshore wind. The deadline to submit public comment on the draft strategy is December 2, 2022.

According to the notice for public comment, the draft strategy:

“does not define new policy or regulatory actions;… More

DOER Issues an Updated Stretch Code – Are Net-Zero Energy Buildings Really Coming Soon?

Massachusetts will soon see significant updates to the energy codes that govern the construction and alteration of buildings throughout the Commonwealth.   As required by the 2021 climate bill,

the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has recently finalized regulations updating the current Stretch Energy Code, previously promulgated by the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS), and establishing a new Specialized Code geared toward achieving net-zero building energy performance.… More