Around the States: CA Halts Cap-Trade; NYC Graduates Green Supers; Maine Could Lose RES; Maryland Says Trash is Renewable Energy

California Halts Cap-and-Trade Program

A Calfornia judge halted implementation of the state’s cap-and-trade program last Friday because the California Air Resources Board hasn’t examined viable alternatives to program, as required by law.

CARB cannot implement the program until it provides an analysis of how other methods might also meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The Association for Irritated Residents sued CARB, charging the future greenhouse gas market could benefit air quality in some parts of the state while harming others.

NYC Supers Graduate on Energy Efficiency

1000 building superintendents graduate today from a New York City program that trained them to run their buildings with greater energy efficiency.

The 32BJ-Thomas Shortman Green Supers training program is a 40-hour class that teaches building service workers state-of-the-art practices in energy efficient operations. Superintendents learn to identify and address energy waste, create a green operating plan and perform cost-benefit analyses for building owners and managers.

The Dept of Energy (DOE) funded the program with $3 million.

Smarter management practices could reduce energy use in buildings by 20-40%, according to a DOE report. A separate report by McKinsey & Company found that greener buildings could save the New York real estate industry as much as $230 million a year in operating expenses.

The Green Supers curriculum combines classes and field exercises with elective courses, including renewable energy technologies, green roofs and water reuse. The program expects to train 1,000 more building service workers by the end of the year.

"By learning how to air seal a building, improve heating and air conditioning performance and reduce overall energy use in a building’s common areas, graduates can achieve substantial savings at their buildings," says Linda Nelson, Director of the Thomas Shortman Training Fund.

Maine’s Republican Governor Wants to Drop Renewable Energy Standard

Last week, we reported that Republican governors are working to get their states to exit from regional carbon trading programs and that Governors in Montana, Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri want to to eliminate their state’s Renewable Electricity Standards (RES), which require utilities to source a certain percentage of their energy from clean energy.

We also pointed out that RES do not lead to higher electricity prices.

Add Maine to the list. Republican Governor Paul LePage wants to do away with the state’s very modest renewable energy standard.

LePage unveiled a bill last week that would eliminate the RES, which requires the state’s utilities to add 1% of renewable energy generation per year through 2017.

Why? Because LePage incorrectly asserts that doing away with the requirement will save ratepayers $42 million a year by 2017. The state’s fledgling green power industry says the measure will kill new job growth.

Maine is developing land-based wind farms faster than any other New England state, and it is also the center of expanding offshore wind power and tidal power research.

Jackson Parker, president and CEO of Reed & Reed, a major national wind farm developer says the bill is "anti-wind, anti-business and anti-jobs."

Maryland Says Waste-to-Energy Is Renewable Energy

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is expected to sign a bill granting renewable energy status to waste-to-energy projects.

Environmental groups argue that trash incineration should not be put on the same tier as wind and solar power for a number of reasons.

Incinerators consume materials that should be recycled or composted, and create air pollution and toxic ash. And there is concern that waste-to-energy projects could flood the market for renewable energy, pushing out cleaner technologies.

Maryland’s RES requires utilities to source 20% of their energy from renewables by 2022.  O’Malley says half the US states that have an RES classify trash as a renewable fuel. He also said European countries make broad use of waste-to-energy.

"The General Assembly and Gov. O’Malley are moving the state backwards on clean energy, while creating obstacles to increased recycling," says Brad Heavner, state director of Environment Maryland.

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