Capitol Comments

A decision last week by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a cost allocation plan backed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for siting electric transmission lines, which would bring wind from the Midwest into the Great Lakes region, may have major implications for state renewable power mandates that have provisions giving preferential treatment to renewable energy sourced within its borders. In the decision, the federal appeals court ruled against utilities and officials form Illinois and it declared Michigan's state renewable portfolio standard was unconstitutional because it discriminated against out of state renewable energy sources when meeting the mandate.

Modeling its program after the World Bank, this week Massachusetts became the first state in the country to issue "green" municipal bonds.The tax-exempt bonds will be part of a $1.1 billion general-obligation issue that also includes $640.3 million for refunding debt.

The Department of Interior announced today that it has scheduled the nation's first offshore wind lease sale in federal waters. The nearly 165,000 acre lease sale is scheduled to take place on July 31st for commercial wind energy development off the coastal waters of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Please join us for the next installment of CSG's Webinar Series entitled, "Storm Recovery—Building Stronger, Smarter Electrical Grids." The event takes place at 2 PM/Eastern on June 12th and detailed registration information can be found here.

A revealing piece was published last week in the Wall Street Journal documenting an uptick in clear cutting and logging activity in the US tied directly and indirectly to meeting the European Commission's greenhouse gas reduction requirement and 20 percent renewable energy mandate.