Nevada Supreme Court: Oral Arguments in No Solar Tax Pac vs. Citizens For Solar and Energy Fairness

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 27, 2016  /   Posted in Net Metering, solar, Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Supreme Court of Nevada Logo Graphic

As I uderstand, you will be able to listen/watch the Oral Arguments in the case below by visiting this website:

http://nvcourts.gov/Supreme/Arguments/Synopses/Friday_July_29,_2016-Las_Vegas-_Full_Court/

Right before 7/29/16 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time there will be a link on this website.

No Solar Tax Pac vs. Citizens For Solar and Energy Fairness (Ballot issue)
Docket Number: 70146
Friday, July 29, 2016, Las Vegas - 3:00 pm - En Banc (local time)

This appeal concerns the validity of a referendum petition asking the voters to approve or disapprove certain parts of 2015 Stat. Nev. Ch. 379 that authorize the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to impose new rates and charges on net metering, a system under which renewable energy owners are credited for the excess energy they produce. The district court found that, through the selective deletion of parts of the statute, the referendum proposes a substantial change to the law and, thus, in effect seeks to amend the law, rendering it an initiative petition, rather than a referendum petition, and the court enjoined the referendum’s placement on the ballot ISSUES: (1) Is the petition at issue an invalid attempt to amend the law through referendum? (2) If not, is the referendum petition’s description of effect defective for failing to accurately describe the effects of rejection and of approval of the referred language? (Disclaimer: This synopsis is intended to provide only general information about this case before the Nevada Supreme Court. It is not intended to be all-inclusive or reflect all positions of the parties. To access the documents that have been filed in this matter, type the docket number into the court’s case search page: http://caseinfo.nvsupremecourt.us/public/caseSearch.do)


Nevada Supreme Court to hear solar referendum arguments Friday

July 25 (SeeNews) - The Nevada Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Friday on whether a referendum to return to the state’s previous net metering rules can be placed on the statewide ballot on November 8, 2016.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule shortly after the hearing, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said during the weekend.

Before Christmas 2015, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved, based on recommendations by utility NV Energy, a new scheme for net metering, lifting the utility service charge for small solar owners and reducing the credits paid to them for power sent to the grid. The changes will occur in phases over 12 years.

The referendum is to give voters a say when it comes to the net metering rates. The Bring Back Solar Alliance, backed by solar installer SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), has gathered enough signatures in support of the referendum, whose goal is to return to the more favourable net metering rules in effect in 2015.

A “no” vote would invalidate the changes approved in December.

 

IURC Nominating Committee Announces Candidate Interviews for Aug. 5, 2016

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 25, 2016  /   Posted in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Seal of the State of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 25, 2016

Contact: Kara Brooks, kbrooks@gov.in.gov

IURC Nominating Committee Announces Candidate Interviews

 Indianapolis – The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Nominating Committee announced today the names of 10 people who will be interviewed to serve as a commissioner at the Indiana Regulatory Commission.  The candidates to be interviewed are:

Laura Arnold

Keith Beall

Jeb Bardon

Sarah Freeman

Jeff Golc

Tim Jeffers

David Johnston

Mayra Jones

Shawn Kelly

Christopher Starkey

Ronald Turpin has withdrawn his application.

The Nominating Committee is evaluating candidates to fill one current vacancy on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission created by the appointment of Commissioner Carolene Mays-Medley to be the Executive Director of the White River State Park Development Commission.  The Committee will present Governor Mike Pence with a list of three qualified candidates from which he will select one to serve the remainder of Mays-Medley’s term.  Commissioner Mays-Medley’s term expires December 31, 2017.

Interviews will be conducted on Friday, August 5, 2016, in the Indiana Statehouse, Room 319.

Members of the Nominating Committee are Committee Chair Allen Paul, Eric Scroggins, John Blevins, Larry Buell, Win Moses, Michael Evans, and Michael Mullett.

Lindsay Shipps with Onward and Upward from Minneapolis: Conservative Approaches to Clean Energy

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 25, 2016  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Displaying image1.JPGCitizens League Energy Conference_Minneapolis

Photo by Lindsay Shipps, Onward and Upward, Special Correspondent to IndianaDG

Conservative Approaches to Clean Energy: Innovative Solutions for the 21st Century

Date/Time
Date(s) - 07/25/2016
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

You don’t often hear the terms “clean energy” and “conservative” in the same sentence, but that hides the fact that a new generation of conservative policy thinkers have turned their attention to the economics of the energy marketplace. Both nationally and here in Minnesota conservatives have been putting some meat on the bones of their “all of the above” strategy, coming up with innovative solutions to building a 21st century energy marketplace.

They argue that technological innovations in energy generation can have the same effect in the energy marketplace as mobile phones did in telecommunications, and that it is time conservatives embrace the possibilities.

On July 25th the Citizens League will be joining with the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum to host an event featuring both national and state policy thinkers to explore the growing movement of conservatives embracing both technological and marketplace innovations in delivering energy to consumers. Join us for what will prove to be a surprising and interesting conversation.

Moderated by Paul Douglas, Meteorologist

Confirmed Panelists Include:
Dario Anselmo, GOP Candidate for Minnesota House of Representatives
Keith den Hollander, Chairman of the Christian Coalition of Michigan
Pat Garofalo, Republican Chair of Job Growth & Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee, Minnesota House of Representatives
Ryan Hodum, Vice President, David Gardiner & Associates
Amy Koch, former Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate and Chair of the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum
Mark Pischea, Conservative Energy Network.
Catrina Rorke, State Programs Director, R-Street
David Strom, Executive Director, MnCEF

Conservative Approaches to Clean Energy:
Innovative Solutions for the 21st Century
Monday, July 25, 2016

2:30 – 4:30pm  – Panel Discussion
4:30 – 5:30pm – Complimentary Social Hour

Minneapolis Event Center
212 2nd St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414 (map)


IndianaDG is posting this while the meeting is still on-going. Watch for further updates from Lindsay Shipps with Onward and Upward who is reporting from Minneapolis.

Q&A: Conservatives debate clean energy approaches in Minnesota

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 25, 2016  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Catrina Rorke is the state program director at the conservative R Street Institute.

Catrina Rorke is the state program director at the conservative R Street Institute.

Q&A: Conservatives debate clean energy approaches in Minnesota

Some conservatives, concerned they're being left behind in the clean-energy discussion, have begun to show a growing interest in renewable energy and public policy at both the state and federal level.

State organizations have formed to promote a free market view of energy, and national advocacy groups have become more forceful in the debate, as seen a forum held last week at the Republican convention.

Tonight in Minneapolis, the non-partisan Citizens League joins with the newly formed Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum to hold a panel discussion billed “Conservative Approaches to Clean Energy.” One of those panelists is Catrina Rorke, state program director at the right-leaning Washington, D.C. think tank R Street Institute.

Before joining R Street a year ago, Rorke started the energy program at the American Action Forum. She’s also worked for a Congressional member on Capitol Hill.

She spoke to Midwest Energy News about what a conservative approach to clean energy might look like and addressed a few state issues in the Midwest. The interview was edited for clarity.

Midwest Energy News: How would you describe your advocacy?

Rorke: My work has been to show how if you apply conservative principles you can see much better environmental outcomes through the creation of markets and technologies that are new, and awesome, and changing the way people interact with energy decision making.

What do conservatives see in clean energy that is attractive?

Debbie Dooley was really the first to point out that there are a lot of people who want to have choices in energy. The beautiful thing about rooftop solar technology is that you can produce power for yourself. For people who want to be more self-sufficient this is great. But I think adoption would be faster by eliminating subsidies and focusing on market solutions. That will help us integrate these technologies over the long term and create more solutions conservatives will like.

Let’s talk policy. Do we need a carbon tax?

R Street has spent a long time advocating for a revenue neutral carbon price as an alternative to the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases. I think that would be a really great first step – an outcome-based policy that doesn’t ask government to set an emissions target. We’re asking the market to design itself around internalizing the price of carbon dioxide.

What about the Clean Power Plan?

I don’t think the Clean Power Plan is good policy. I don’t think it’s actually legal under the Clean Air Act, I think the EPA has far outstepped their boundaries in devising this regulation and others recently. At a minimum we need Congress to address greenhouse gas emissions through updated legislation. [The Clean Power Plan is] destructive to our energy economy.

Have you looked at Minnesota’s energy policies?

Minnesota uses a mandate, a renewable energy standard, to promote clean energy. We’re seeing in other states that businesses are contracting, through third-party purchasing agreements, relatively large amounts of renewable power. They can only do that in states that allow this third party construct, and Minnesota doesn’t.

Minnesota uses government mandates and the will of the utilities to promote clean, energy, but not market choice. But I like the value of solar approach the state is beginning to use and I’m interested to see how that plays out.

Your very opposed to tax credits for renewables, right?

Our focus at R Street is eliminating tax preferences of all sorts, through the Green Scissors coalition and other efforts. We want to get rid of tax preferences for incumbent industries and for renewable energy subsidies. We want to eliminate subsidies that come and go and therefore create a lot of instability in the marketplace.

What about all the tax credits for fossil fuel industries?

In environmental tax policy it’s an interesting question as to what counts as a tax break. A lot of times when you see breaks in the tax code for fossil fuels it’s because they actually pay more than other kinds of businesses in taxes. So there is a healthy debate as to what constitutes a tax break. I think we should get rid of all tax breaks.

You mentioned a paper you're about to release on the topic of taxation.

We’re working on a paper now that would replace all corporate income tax entirely with a carbon tax and force EPA to get rid of regulations for CO2 emissions. That would create a much clearer tax code for energy purposes.

You also don’t like efficiency standards, do you?

The Department of Energy has 50 categories of appliances that require a minimum efficiency level for those devices. That strategy eliminates choice. My belief is that all kinds of people ask for Energy Star devices. Plenty of them opt into efficiency, so we don’t have to limit what they buy to get the same result.

You call for the elimination of the renewable fuel standards, which is something plenty of people left and right agree on, right?

There is a desire to re-evaluate the renewable fuel standard and ethanol as a transportation fuel. The renewable fuel standard was passed to encourage energy security by growing our transportation fuel rather than importing it. We’re producing now a lot of oil at home, so the reason of energy security is now off the table. We know ethanol above a certain level can damage engines. It’s not as favorable for emissions as we thought, either, so it’s time to re-evaluate the policy.

What about business responsibility for carbon emissions and pollution in general? So much of your argument is about limiting government regulation. You’re trusting business to do the right thing.

I would point to the example of third-party purchase agreements. There are ways companies go above and beyond state level energy policy. They have sustainability goals themselves. They often want to go beyond what the government does. We do want to allow businesses to go above and beyond government, but there is a strong role for government in making sure we don’t have excessive pollution, that we don’t trample people’s rights. We want a government that is small and effective.

 

IURC Nominating Committee Scheduled to Meet 7/25/16; 11 Applicants for Slot

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   July 24, 2016  /   Posted in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized  /   No Comments

 Seal of the State of Indiana

Notice of Public Meeting

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Nominating Committee

Monday, July 25, 2014, 1:30pm EDT

Indiana Government Center South

Conference Room 1

302 West Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN  46204

The IURC Nominating Committee will meet Monday, July 25, at 1:30 p.m. to determine the applicants to be interviewed for the open Democratic seat on the IURC.  Listed alphabetically those applying include: (Note: Most links to LinkedIn profiles where available.)

  • Laura Ann Arnold; President, Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance
  • Jeb Bardon; former Indiana State Representative; Owner/Operator of Subway Sandwiches and Salads
  • Keith Beall; former top MISO attorney who was a 2014 applicant
  • Sarah Freeman; Senior Staff Attorney, Legislative Services Agency (LSA)
  • Jeffrey Golc; former IURC Commissioner
  • Tim Jeffers; Director, Business Development and Community Relations, CSO Architects
  • David Johnston; Chief Technical Advisor, Electricity Division of IURC; 2014 applicant
  • Marya Jones; Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), IURC
  • Shawn Kelly; independent regulatory strategy advisor; formerly Director of Regulatory Affairs and Director of Energy Efficiency for Vectren
  • Christopher Starkey; attorney
  • Ronald Turpin; Insurance Company Financial Executive; Board Chair of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.

 

The interviews (depending on availability of the appropriate room) will preferably be held Friday, August 5, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with the backup date being Thursday, August 4, same times.  Background checks will be conducted August 8 to 18, with the Committee meeting again on Friday, August 19, 1:30 P.M., to select the three candidates whose names will be forwarded to the Governor.

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