Wide bipartisan support for bill promoting renewables

E&E News | Nick Sobczyk, Wide bipartisan support for bill promoting renewables A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced legislation yesterday to ease the path for renewable energy development on public lands. H.R. 3794, the “Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act,” would speed permitting for projects in certain areas deemed ripe for renewable energy development. It would also set up a revenue-sharing system for renewable energy similar to how the federal government manages royalties from oil and gas and other energy development, with significant chunks going to states and conservation. Lawmakers have been trying to pass versions of the legislation for nearly 10 years. The current iteration, led by Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Mike Levin (D-Calif.), has more than 20 co-sponsors and the support of a variety of environmental and industry groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Wind Energy Association. The Natural Resources Committee will consider it at a hearing next week. […] Fee revenue from wind and solar development on public lands currently goes to the federal government. The “Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act” would give 25% of that revenue to states, 25% to counties and 25% to a new Renewable Energy Resource Conservation Fund. An additional 15% would go to the federal government to help streamline renewable permitting, while the remaining 10% would get deposited in the general Treasury.

New York’s climate plan will drive big changes, if it works Associated Press | Mary Esch. Solar panels on every roof. Parking meters that double as car chargers. Wind turbines towering above farm fields and ocean waves. A new law signed Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets the nation’s most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and is intended to drive dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for all the state’s electricity to come from renewable, carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Transportation and building heating systems would also run on clean electricity rather than oil and gas. […] The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 85% below 1990 levels by 2050 and offset the remaining 15% with measures such as planting forests and capturing carbon for storage underground. A new 22-member New York State Climate Action Council will have three years to recommend mandates, regulations, incentives and other measures. The law will require utilities to get 70% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Last year, 26.4% came from renewables, according to a report by New York Independent System Operator, the nonprofit corporation that runs the state’s power grid.