ENERGY COUNCIL
Newsletter

KATIE STONEWATER

Executive Director
Energy Council

 
 
312-386-7795

July 24, 2018

QUARTERLY MEETING - AUGUST 17

The next Energy Council Quarterly meeting will be on Friday, August 17. Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-5) will be kicking off the meeting and taking questions. Illinois Commerce Commissioner Ethan Kimbrel will also join us for a meet and greet with council members, which Congressman Quigley will stay a bit for. Commissioner Kimbrel was confirmed by the Senate at the end of session and starts a five-year term with the ICC. Our third and final speaker will be former ICC Chairman Doug Scott, now with the Great Plains Institute, on carbon pricing efforts around the U.S. This presentation is will lead into a discussion on potential legislative efforts during veto session and 2019; ideas for legislation we may want to pursue; and legislative outlooks under a potentially different administration. Please RSVP here

Donuts will be served.

When: Friday, August 17, 10am-12pm
Where: 300 S. Wacker Dr. 8 th floor, Chicago
 
ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISSION HOLDS POLICY SESSION ON TRANSPORTATION ELECTRIFICATION - SEPTEMBER 18
Acting Commissioner Anastasia Palivos will host a policy session on September 18 from 1pm to 4pm. The policy session will focus on the benefits to transportation electrification, specifically of buses and fleets; the barriers to electrification; U.S. cities leading the charge; and the legal and policy framework models for success across the U.S. and in Illinois. This event comes after an earlier policy session this year held by Commissioner Palivos on electric vehicles.

ICYMI: CARBON TAX BILL INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) introduced legislation to pause federal regulations on climate change in exchange for an escalating tax on carbon emissions. H.R. 6463, the Market Choice Act would eliminate the federal gas tax and replace it with a $23-a-ton tax on carbon emissions beginning in 2020. The tax would increase 2% above inflation annually and come from oil refineries, gas processing plants and coal mine mouths. Industrial sectors such as steel and glass would also pay the fee stemming from chemical reactions outside of energy production. The bill has not dropped, but the provisions are very likely to change. Nevertheless, it is unlikely the bill would pass the House, but as Amy Harder with Axios reports, this issue is getting more attention than it has in the past from Republicans.

This isn't the first carbon pricing bill introduced in this Congress, but is notable given the politics surrounding climate change. Democrats reintroduced two climate related bills earlier this year - H.R. 4889/S.2352, the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act, which creates a national cap-and-dividend, and H.R. 4926/S. 2368 the American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act, implementing a carbon tax.
Despite the slight shift in those climate winds, the House voted last week on an anti-carbon tax resolution, H. Con. Res. 119, to express that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the U.S. economy. The non-binding resolution passed 229-180.

NEXTGRID
Last week, I asked members to review our comments to an exercise Working Group 4, Customer and Community Participation, asked all participants to respond to. The thought exercise asked participants to offer policies or programs in the era of DER, electrification, and smart grids that advance the interests of customers.

As I noted then, I focused the comments on policies/principles that encourage the system focus on competitive energy prices, market solutions, focusing on the customer vs. the technology, and ensuring the system remains adaptable, rather than commenting on how to advance those technologies. Those comments are attached.

The Working Group Leader shared all the comments offered and I am sharing them with members. A few ideas to be aware of: a section dedicated to the proliferation of electric vehicles; energy efficiency opt-in's for large customers; implement time-of-use rate structure; offer technical assistance to non-profits and public facilities for project planning to encourage use of solar RECs; carbon trading options among individual customers. Please take a look through and let me know if there are any issues you identify. The group will discuss the draft report and the 3P's in our final meeting on August 6 th. The draft report will be shared at the end of July. I will circulate it when I receive it.  

SAVE THE DATE: ILLINOIS CHAMBER ANNUAL LUNCHEON - UNION PACFIC'S LANCE FRITZ KEYNOTE
Mark September 20, 2018 in your calendar to join us at the Hilton Chicago for the 2018 Illinois Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. This fall Lance Fritz, the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Union Pacific Railroad will keynote this exciting event.
Union Pacific Railroad is one of two western-U.S. railroads that connects Illinois agriculture and industry to the West Coast and international markets.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and we look forward to seeing you there!

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