Capitol Comments

The rapid growth in rooftop solar and the popularity of net metering programs has gained significant interest with residential customers across the country. However, several rate challenges in 2013 over the most appropriate way to continue incentivizing this program garnered significant national attention and may soon be coming to your state this year. Be sure to join the next edition of CSG's webinar series entitled, "Challenges and Future Opportunities for States in Net Metering." The event will take place on February 4th at 2pm Eastern and you may register by clicking here.

Below is an expanded version of the Top Five Energy and Environment issues to watch in 2014. 

According to an article in the Bismarck Tribune, the North Dakota Department of Health plans to launch a website this week for the public to monitor reported leaks and oil spills. Department officials were quoted saying that the new site will have data on current incidents and information on spills as far back as 1975.

Today the EPA announced the first potential reduction in renewable fuel requirements since Congress expanded the mandate in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.  The agency is seeking comment on a proposal that would require refiners to use 15.21 billion gallons of biofuels in gasoline and diesel fuel blends in 2014; of that target, 13.01 billion gallons must come from conventional ethanol and the remainder would be composed of advanced renewable fuels that are not corn-based. By contrast, the 2007 bill's biofuels target for 2014 was 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuel.

According to an article in the San Jose Mercury-News, the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is close to approving a requirement for the state's largest utilities to buy 1.3 megawatts of energy storage by 2020 to help improve upon the intermittent nature of renewable energy resources like solar and wind. The directive would be the first of its kind in the country and would provide enough storage capacity to power nearly 1 million homes.