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FERC considers PURPA changes; DOE to launch new energy security office

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Metals & Mining Insights May 2021

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FERC considers PURPA changes; DOE to launch new energy security office

FERC chair: Possible PURPA changes on agency to-do list

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is tackling a wide range of big policy issues, including possible changes to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, Chairman Kevin McIntyre said.

DOE to launch new cybersecurity, energy security, emergency response office

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced that his agency is establishing a new office that will "elevate the department's focus on energy infrastructure protection and will enable more coordinated preparedness and response to natural and man-made threats."

White House again targets EPA for spending cuts, staff reductions

The White House's proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 again targets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for steep reductions, but to a lesser extent than was requested for 2018.

Trump budget would offer more to fossil fuels, less to renewables, nukes

The Trump administration's latest budget request repeated calls to cut funding for many U.S. Department of Energy research programs but provide more money for certain other energy-related areas, including for fossil fuel energy.

Trump softens permitting proposals in new infrastructure plan

The White House released a 55-page legislative outline for infrastructure development that includes plans to streamline the federal permitting process for energy projects and other infrastructure.

US Congress extends production tax credits for 6,000 MW of new nuclear power

The nuclear energy industry is praising Congress for lifting a 2020 in-service deadline for securing production tax credits that some see as vital to finishing America's only new nuclear reactors now under construction and the first small modular reactor design.

Top DOE official seeks state input on cyber, infrastructure issues

As states' energy officials met in Washington D.C., the DOE affirmed President Donald Trump's effort to end "Washington's punishment of coal and nuclear" and collaborate with states on energy security and modernizing infrastructure.

Regulatory changes raise uncertainty for energy projects in Canada

Backers of energy projects in Canada applauded changes aimed at reducing redundancies and timelines in a proposed revamp of the nation's federal regulatory system, but they expressed concern about broader reviews that could include climate change and many other issues.

US Senate adds energy tax extenders to budget bill

The U.S. Senate inserted tax credit extensions for new nuclear plants, carbon capture and sequestration and other energy technologies into a broad budget bill Congress must pass before Feb. 9 to avoid another government shutdown.

GAO: Utilities are managing electromagnetic risks, but more needs to be done

A report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that U.S. and Canadian electricity suppliers have taken some steps to address the risks to the power grid posed by naturally occurring and potentially intentional electromagnetic events.

Resilience debate pushes regulators to be open to new ways of thinking

With grid resilience emerging as the latest hot topic in the energy sector, regulators and industry must be open to a new way of thinking to meet customers' needs, panelists told state utility commissioners at a conference.

EPA strategic plan zeros in on air quality

The EPA is aiming to reduce the number of areas in the country that are not meeting national air quality standards, according to the newly released Strategic Plan for 2018 through 2022.

LaFleur says FERC waiting for study results before taking up pulse mandates

FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur said the agency is awaiting the results of a study on the damage an electromagnetic pulse could do to the power grid before it can move forward with reliability mandates.

NY bid to end tax exemption of retail energy sales brews debate

New York energy retailers are protesting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to eliminate their exemption from paying taxes on energy sales in a bid to raise state and local government revenues.

EEI, NRDC find 'common ground' in new plan for clean energy development

Utility trade group the Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council issued a joint statement calling for increased grid efficiency and heavier reliance on renewable energy "to accelerate America's transition to a clean energy future."

Oklahoma breaks new ground as EPA examines coal ash program

The EPA is proposing to approve the first state plan for the clean-up of coal ash, one submitted by Administrator Scott Pruitt's home state of Oklahoma.

FERC's Powelson cautions against inciting 'fuel wars' in grid resilience debate

The focus on grid resilience does not appear to be dying down, even though a contentious rulemaking on the topic was nixed in January. So the conversation must move beyond coal and nuclear to recognize the value that newer technologies bring to the grid, FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson said at the Energy Storage Policy Forum.