Energy and Environment Committee

Committee Chairs:

Mark Kalpin, Partner, WilmerHale

Dan Weekley, Vice President, Government Affairs, Dominion

NEC Staff liaisons:

David O’Donnell, dodonnell@newenglandcouncil.com

Peter Phipps, pphipps@newenglandcouncil.com

Recent Email Updates:

December 14, 2015- Conference Call with EPA’s Gina McCarthy

December 9, 2015- FERC Requires Reports on Price Formation in Regional Electric Markets

November 18, 2015- Secretary of State John Kerry Conference Call – TODAY

November 16, 2015- FERC Asked to Examine Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act Implementation

November 13, 2015- Requested Changes relating to Demand Response Resources in New England Wholesale Markets

November 10, 2015- Technical Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection Reliability Standards

November 6, 2015- FERC v. Electric Power Supply Association

October 27, 2015- Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services

October 14, 2015- House Votes to End Ban on Crude Oil Exports

October 6, 2015-  Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power

Generating Point Source Category

October 2, 2015- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Settlement Intervals and Shortage Pricing

September 23, 2015- Collection of Connected Entity Data from RTOs and ISOs

September 15, 2015- New FERC General Counsel and Deputy Chief AIJ

September 14, 2015- Massachusetts Energy Recovery Policy Forum

September 9, 2015- Oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

September 8, 2015- Additional Funding for DOE Loan Program

September 2, 2015- Methane and VOC Emissions Reductions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

August 7, 2015- House and Senate Energy Legislation

August 6, 2015- Clean Power Plan

August 4, 2015- Recent FERC Publications

July 16, 2015- Development of Supply Chain Cyber Controls in New Reliability Standards

July 10, 2015 –  The Fair Ratepayer Accountability, Transparency, and Efficiency

July 6, 2015 – Draft EPA Study of Fracking’s Potential Impacts on Drinking Water

June 25, 2015- Meeting Notice for July 15 2015

June 10, 2015- NERCs State of Reliability 2015 Report

June 5, 2015- Invite to Conference Call with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

June 5, 2015- FERC to EPA on Clean Power Plan Proposal

June 4, 2015- Here and There with Hydraulic Fracturing

June 4, 2015- Meeting Notice for June 24 2015

May 29, 2015- Clean Water Rule

May 11, 2015- Hearing on Energy Infrastructure Legislation

May 6, 2015- NERC’s Review of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

April 30, 2015- Final Rule on Pipeline and Electricity Coordination

April 28, 2015- Regional Cooperation on Energy Infrastructure

April 21, 2015- Energy Excise Tax Legislation

April 14, 2015- EPAs Proposed 111(d) Rule for Existing Power Plants and the Ratepayer Protection Act

April 8, 2015- FERC Approves Algonquin’s AIM Pipeline Project

April 6, 2015- The Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015

April 2, 2015- Federal Agencies Required to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

March 30, 2015- Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer Interconnection Facilities

March 11, 2015- FERC Approves NERC’s Risk-Based Approach to Electric Reliability Compliance

March 5, 2015- Reminder: Meeting with FERC Commissioner in March

March 5, 2015- Committee Meeting with EPA Acting Assistant Administrator

March 3, 2015- House Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Energy Policy Framework

March 2, 2015-  Natural Gas Transmission Systems Projects

Constitution Pipeline  Iroquois Gas  Kinder Morgan  PNGTS  Spectra Energy

February 25, 2015- Request for Comments on NEC Letter to NY Department of Environmental Conservation  NEC Letter to NY Department of Environmental Conservation

February 11, 2015- Price Formation in Energy and Ancillary Services Markets

February 4, 2015- Committee Meeting with FERC Commissioner in Washington DC

February 4, 2015- Administration’s FY 2016 Budget Proposal

February 4, 2015- Committee Meeting Postponed to February 24

February 3, 2015- Northeast Natural Gas Pipeline Systems Planned Enhancements

February 2, 2015- Committee Meeting Postponed

January 28, 2015- Committee Hearing on LNG Export Legislation

January 27, 2015- Committee Meeting Rescheduled 

January 26, 2015- Committee Meeting Postponed

January 21, 2015- Committee Meeting Notice for January 27, 2015

January 21, 2015- Administration Actions to Cut Methane Emissions

January 8, 2015- Environmental Provisions in the “Cromnibus”

January 6, 2015 – National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead

December 23, 2014 – New York Issues Statewide Fracking Ban

December 10,2014 – Constitution Gas Pipeline Project Approved

December 4, 2014 – National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone

December 3, 2014 – Energy Department Authorizes Freeport to Export Liquefied Natural Gas

November 25, 2014 – Cost Recovery for Natural Gas Facilities Modernization

November 25, 2014 – FERC Approves Physical Security Grid Reliability Standards

October 29, 2014 – Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

October 27, 2014 – Committee Meeting Notice for December 1, 2014

October 23, 2014 – Draft Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation

October 20, 2014 – Final Rule for Cooling Water Intake Structures at Power Plants

October 17, 2014 – FERC Reviews Actions to Improve Cold-Weather Grid Performance

October 10, 2014 – Report on Energy Tax Incentives

October 8, 2014 – New England Senators Call for Release of LIHEAP Funds

October 7, 2014 – Review of Electric Industry Recovery and Restoration Plans

October 1, 2014 – FERC Lacks Jurisdiction Over Proposed CNG Export Facility – (Emera CNG LLC Declaratory Order)

September 29, 2014 – Proposed New Efficiency Standards Would Impact Commercial Facilities

September 26, 2014 – ISO-NE 2014-2015 Winter Reliability Program

September 23, 2014 – ISO-New England Forward Capacity Market Auction Results

September 19, 2014 – Energy Sector Cybersecurity Framework Implementation Guidance

September 17, 2014 – Energy and Power Subcommittee Hearing on the EPAs Proposed Clean Power Plan

September 12, 2014 – Court Upholds Significant Portions of FERC Order No 1000

September 8, 2014 – Committee Hearing on the EPAs Proposed Clean Power Plan

September 3, 2014- State Regulators to Testify on Clean Power Plan

September 2, 2014 – FERC Proposes Changes to Market-Based Rate Policies

August 25, 2014 – Illinois Commerce Commission v FERC

August 18, 2014 – Commerce Secretary Pritzker To Lead Trade Mission to Japan and Korea

July 29, 2014 – FERC NOPR for Physical Security Reliability Standard

July 28, 2014 – Hearing on the EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan

June 9, 2014 – Carbon Emissions Limits for Power Plants

June 4, 2014 – New Procedures Proposed for LNG Export Decisions

May 30, 2014 – Streamlined Open-Access Requirements for Certain Interconnection Facilities

May 29, 2014 – EPA Cooling Water Intake Structures Final Rule

May 13, 2014 – Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines and Public Utilities

May 7, 2014 – Technical Conference on Reliability of the Bulk-Power System

April 16, 2014 – Summary of Committee Meeting with Sen. Ed Markey

March 27, 2014 – Summary of Meeting with Department of Energy

March 20, 2014 – FERC Orders Reliability Standards for Physical Security

March 3, 2014 – Electric Grid Cybersecurity Body Proposed

January 28, 2014 – Request for ISO-NE Technical Support and Assistance with Tariff Filings related to Electric and Natural Gas Infrastructure in New England

December 11, 2013- Regional Energy Infrastructure Initiative for New England

December 2, 2013- DOE Ordered to Stop Collecting Fees for Disposal of Nuclear Waste

November 22, 2013- President Obama Nominates Chairman for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

October 29, 2013-  NIST Seeks Public Input on Updated Smart Grid Cybersecurity Guidelines

October 10, 2013- Electric Energy Storage Regulations

September 20, 2013- EPA Stakeholder Briefing on Proposed Clean Air Act Regulations

September 11, 2013- Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

September 4, 2013- Federal Hydropower Legislation Signed

August 28, 2013- Nuclear Regulatory Commission Ordered to Resume Yucca Mountain Process

July 1, 2013 – Cybersecurity Forum

Upcoming Event

Tackling New England’s Energy Challenges: NEC Regional Energy Forum

On June 30, 2014, The New England Council and The New Hampshire Institute of Politics will host a Regional Energy Forum on New England’s Energy Challenges.   The forum will be held at The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anslem College in Manchester, NH.  The program will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and lunch will be provided.

The New England region faces a unique set of energy challenges, from high electricity prices, to a lack of native energy resources, to insufficient pipeline and transmission infrastructure.

As public and private stakeholders in New England work to address these challenges, the forum will feature an interactive conversation with key leaders from throughout the region to discuss the short-term and long-term solutions to meet the region’s energy needs.  This forum will allow attendees to engage with those involved in the states’ efforts through questions and further discussion.

Gordon Van Welie, President & CEO of ISO New England, will give keynote remarks providing an overview of the region’s current energy situation and the challenges the New England states face in the coming months and years.  Following van Welie’s remarks, a panel of senior energy officials will discuss the short-term and long-term solutions to these challenges. Panelists confirmed to date include:

  • Katie Dykes, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
  • Birud Jhaveri, Deputy Commissioner, Energy Policy & Assurance, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
  • Chris Recchia, Commissioner,Vermont Public Service Department
  • Robert R. Scott, Commissioner, New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
  • Nicholas S. Ucci, Chief of Staff, Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources
  • Patrick C. Woodcock, Director, Maine Governor’s Energy Office

Thanks to the generous support of The New Hampshire Institute of Politics, there is no cost to attend the forum, but registration is required.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. 

Recent Committee Work

Renomination of FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur

In June 2014, FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur’s term as a FERC Commissioner expires.  Acting Chairman LaFleur was first appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, and confirmed by the Senate in July of that year.  A Massachusetts native, she is currently the lone FERC Commissioner who hails from east of the Mississippi River, and therefore the only member of the panel with a deep understanding of the New England region’s unique energy challenges.  Prior to joining FERC, Acting Chairman LaFleur had more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in the electric and natural gas industry. She served as executive vice president and acting CEO of National Grid USA, responsible for the delivery of electricity to 3.4 million customers in the Northeast.

The New England Council wrote to President Obama in April 2014 urging him to re-nominate Acting Chairman LaFleur to the panel for a second year term as Commissioner.  In its letter, the Council stressed her extensive experience in the energy industry in New England and her record of support for policies and regulation that promote economic growth in the region.

In addition to The New England Council, many members of the New England Congressional delegation also expressed their support for Commissioner LaFleur’s re-nomination.  Led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), seven New England Senators signed on to a March 2014 letter to the President.  In April 2014, a group of 13 New England House members, led by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA), sent a similar letter to President Obama supporting LaFleur’s nomination to a second term.

In May 2014, President Obama nominated Commissioner LaFleur to a second term on FERC, and later that month, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to consider her nomination.  Prior to the hearing, the NEC wrote to Senator Mary Landrieu, the Committee Chair, and Senator Lisa Murkowski, the Committee’s Ranking Member, expressing its support for LaFleur’s confirmation.

Natural Gas Pipeline Expansion in New England

In 2014, natural gas represents 30 percent of the primary energy used in New England, with some 2.6 million customers. The region is also one of the most natural gas dependent areas in the United States for electric power generation, with natural gas used to produce 52 percent of its electric power in 2011. Although a substantial amount of production occurs fairly close to New England, there are no indigenous sources, making the region dependent on pipelines to deliver it.  Unfortunately, there is not currently sufficient pipeline capacity to meet with the growing demand in the region.

NEC member Spectra Energy has proposed a pipeline expansion project that would help address the shortage of pipeline capacity in New England.  The Algonquin Incremental Market (“AIM”) Project will provide New England with a domestically produced source of natural gas to support both its current and future demand. It is an infrastructure investment that expands the pipeline capacity of the existing Algonquin Gas Transmission system, and will allow for the transport of gas produced in the Marcellus shale formation into the Northeast, helping to meet the increasing demand while lowering energy costs.

In March 2014, The New England Council submitted formal comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which must approve the AIM Project.  It it’s letter, the Council outlined the demand for natural gas in New England and the many economic benefits of expanded pipeline capacity.  Accordingly, the Council urged FERC to approve the project.

 Energy Efficiency

In spring 2013,the New England Council endorsed comprehensive bipartisan energy efficiency legislation reintroduced in the Senate by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).  The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 761) would create a national strategy to increase the use of energy efficiency technologies through a national model building energy code; create a financing program for commercial building energy efficiency projects; promote the development of energy efficient supply-chains for companies; and require the federal government to adopt and implement energy saving policies and programs.  The bill was quickly approved by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, and by late May 2013, was poised to be introduced on the Senate floor.

The bill is designed to be deficit-neutral.  According to Senator Shaheen, an analysis of similar legislation considered last year would have netted energy savings for consumers of “$4 billion by 2020 and helped businesses add 80,000 jobs to the economy.”

Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.  Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WV) have introduced a companion measure (H.R. 1616) to the Shaheen-Portman bill in the House of Representatives.

In a letter to the New England Senate delegation in May 2013, the Council noted that the bill would not only promote greater efficiency, but it would also help lower energy costs and create jobs.  The Council urged New England Senators to support the bill.

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