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FERC rejects changes to PJM's MOPR; Pruitt appears to opt for CPP replacement

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Essential Energy Insights - September 2021


FERC rejects changes to PJM's MOPR; Pruitt appears to opt for CPP replacement

On remand, FERC rejects revisions to PJM's minimum offer price rule

Responding to a federal appeals court's finding that it overstepped its jurisdiction by conditioning approval of revisions to the PJM Interconnection's buyer-side mitigation rules on the grid operator adopting substantial changes, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Dec. 8 rejected those revisions outright.

DOE's Perry reluctantly gives FERC more time to act on pricing proposal

Insisting that FERC already has had a "reasonable" amount of time to do so, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry nevertheless agreed to give the commission another 30 days to take final action on his agency's proposal for shoring up financially struggling nuclear and coal-fired generating units.

District court finds CPUC feed-in tariff violates PURPA, FERC's regulations

A federal district court on Dec. 6 found that a California feed-in tariff program designed to facilitate investment and deployment of renewable energy in the state violates the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act and FERC's rules implementing that statute.

GAO: FERC needs to do more to gauge, improve capacity market performance

FERC needs to do more to evaluate the performance of electricity capacity markets and the risks they face, and then to use that information to pursue any needed changes.

Think tank highlights policy conundrums as EPA works to replace Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's attempt to replace the Clean Power Plan will bring up a myriad of complex issues that will need to be resolved if a replacement rule is to withstand legal scrutiny.

EPA will soon seek information on Clean Power Plan replacement

The U.S. EPA plans to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in "the upcoming weeks" seeking information on systems of emission reduction that could replace the Clean Power Plan.

Pruitt appears to opt for Clean Power Plan replacement — for now

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt caused a flurry of confusion during a Dec. 7 U.S. House hearing when he said that he would be replacing the Clean Power Plan.

EPA adopts DTE Energy argument on NSR as Supreme Court declines further review

Mere days after a U.S. EPA memorandum brought the case back into the spotlight, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a legal challenge related to modifications made to DTE Energy Co.'s Monroe power plant.

EPA clarifies current status of new source review program as reforms are studied

The U.S. EPA has clarified its stance on the new source review program, a complex provision of the Clean Air Act that sets the threshold under which projects trigger the need to install more stringent, state-of-the-art emissions controls.

EPA administrator supports lighter reviews of air quality standards

U.S. EPA Chief Scott Pruitt's afternoon testimony before the U.S. House seemed more like a job interview or introduction than a congressional hearing, as lawmaker after lawmaker on both sides of the aisle asked for commitments from the administrator to support one initiative after another.

Corporate opposition tanks effort to have EPA review greenhouse gas authority

Opposition from major electric utility groups, Exxon Mobil Corp., Pfizer Inc., UPS Inc., Chevron Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. ultimately defeated a motion before the American Legislative Exchange Council calling on the U.S. EPA to review its "flawed" finding that carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases threaten the public health and welfare.

Lawmakers zero in on science, transparency as EPA chief takes center stage

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's first appearance before Congress since his confirmation in February started off with a groan-inducing joke from Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., who quipped that he would have thought a proud Oklahoman would have been there "sooner."

Ala. pick for US Senate backs climate action, may help fuel Senate takeover

Doug Jones, the Democratic victor in Alabama's special U.S. Senate election, has criticized President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change and wants job retraining for miners as the state's coal industry shrinks.

US House passes more bills to aid hydropower development EXTRA

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills by voice vote Dec. 12 to speed licensing of hydroelectric facilities at nonpowered dams and promote closed-loop pumped storage hydropower.

Democrats: Tax bill uncertainty putting $20B in clean energy projects on hold

A group of U.S. Senate Democrats is urging a bicameral conference committee to protect existing wind and solar tax credits and not include provisions in the GOP tax reform legislation that would "cripple" financing for renewable energy projects.

Chatterjee hopes FERC can reach 'consensus' on interim action for at-risk plants

Neil Chatterjee no longer chairs FERC but hopes that he and his fellow commissioners can agree on interim help for economically struggling coal and nuclear power plants until the agency takes longer-term action.

Upton: No easy fixes to power markets, little money for infrastructure

Fred Upton is leading the U.S. House of Representatives' review of U.S. power markets at a pivotal time for the industry, but the Michigan lawmaker is being careful not to rush legislative action on the sector's complex set of challenges.

NRC staff favors operating license for NextEra's Fla. nuclear plant expansion

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff supports the issuing of a combined operating license for two proposed reactors at Florida Power & Light Co.'s Turkey Point nuclear power plant near Homestead, Fla.

GAO: Trump administration illegally withheld $91 million in ARPA-E funds

The U.S. Department of Energy withheld $91 million in funding for advanced research energy projects in violation of the law. Congress had not gutted the program for the prior fiscal year ending in September.