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Energy and Environmental Legislative Updates for Fall 2016

September 6, 2016 | Blog | By David Leiter

The House of Representatives and Senate returned September 6 from the long August recess that started in mid-July. The House is scheduled to be in session for four weeks and the Senate for five weeks before breaking again for the month of October to campaign.
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In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created its Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) division to fund energy storage projects conducted by scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs. The DOE now believes that some of the 75 battery system projects it is currently funding have the ability to transform the renewable energy storage industry in as little as 5-10 years.
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In December 2015, 195 nations and the European Union formally pledged to meet nationally determined emissions-reduction targets in the Paris Agreement.
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Since our members at Mintz Levin constantly work with start-ups, entrepreneurs, and investors, we thought it would be especially beneficial to list the top six summer reads for every start-up as recommended by Tom Burton, Jeremy Glaser, Dan DeWolf, and Sam Effron. 
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Last Sunday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise energy bill to significantly increase electricity produced by renewable energy sources.
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In late July, the Obama administration announced a collaboration with 50 federal and state agencies, electric utility companies, vehicle manufacturers, electric charging station companies, and others in the private sector to promote faster development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and increased numbers of electric cars on the roads.
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On July 15, the Los Angeles Times Summit on renewable energy brought together government officials, academics, regulators, fossil fuel executives, and renewable energy advocates to discuss the challenges California faces in meeting the state’s goal of supplying 50% of its electricity through clean energy by 2030.
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Research published earlier this month in the journal Nature and highlighted in Newsweek explains how substantial amounts of power can be generated when fresh water river mouths flow into bodies of sea water.
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On June 29, 2016, the North American Climate, Energy, and Environment Partnership was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama, and President Enrique Peña Nieto at the North American Leaders Summit in Ottawa, Canada.
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Last week, President Obama announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy.
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Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $16 million in funding to help businesses commercialize promising energy technologies from DOE’s National Laboratories to the marketplace.
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Earlier this week the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $23 million in funding for 23 new projects focused on developing clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation.
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In a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that it currently makes economic sense to combine large-scale energy storage systems with renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms, in some locations.
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A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) published a paper last week in the journal Nature Energy that described how they built a working solar thermophotovoltaic device (STPV) that enables solar cells to break through a theoretically predicted ceiling on how much sunlight they can convert into electricity.
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According to a report released last week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the number of U.S. solar jobs surpassed those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year.  Overall, renewable energy jobs grew 6 percent while employment in oil and gas declined 18 percent.
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Last week, Clean Edge published a report titled the “U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index” (“Index”) that ranked Massachusetts as the second state and Boston as the seventh metro area in the U.S. according to its scoring methodology.
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Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F.
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On May 5th, 2016, the IRS released new guidance regarding the renewable energy production tax credit (“PTC”) and energy investment tax credit (“ITC”) which most in the renewable energy industry will find favorable.
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More than 60 companies have joined forces with several environmental groups to launch a new coalition, called the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), to promote the development of 60 GW of renewable energy in the United States by 2025.
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Last week the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and George Washington University (GWU) issued a report estimating that the United States has reached 1 million solar installations and will surpass 2 million installations by 2018.
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