Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics Newsletter

Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics Newsletter: Friday, June 15, 2018

Featured Article

Valuing CE3 Expertise and Leadership

Susannah Tuttle

My name is Susannah Tuttle and I serve as a member of CE3’s Advisory Board through my position as Director of the NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL), a program of the NC Council of Churches comprised of 26 distinct judicatories from 18 denominations with 1.5 million congregants across the state. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the National Interfaith Power & Light Network of campaigns in 40 states with over 18,000 active congregations.

I appreciate this opportunity to share the benefits of participating in CE3’s discourse of the intersection of climate, energy, environment, and economics and how it fits perfectly into the work I lead through NCIPL. Lifting the faith voice to the front of the climate conversation proclaims that caring for the environment is not political, it is spiritual doctrine shared by all faith traditions. Through this values-based initiative, NCIPL staff and volunteers support congregations with programs across the state designed to address the causes and consequences of climate change through hope-filled, positive responses as a moral imperative.

CE3 is playing a critical role in supporting NCIPL as we lift up the values and importance of how and why it is important for congregations to understand the processes of policy making. Through legal expertise and analysis, the leadership of CE3 is providing comprehensive overviews pertaining to renewable energy, utility fixed rate structures, and governmental agencies – all of which directly impact communities, both locally and globally A specific example of CE3’s impacts was NCIPL network’s response of interest to the “HB 589, Competitive Energy Solutions for NC” webinar. Participants were inspired to learn more about how the NC Utility Commission operates, the benefits of developing relationship with the Public Staff, and the complex nature of the electricity grid as it relates to the economy.

Many congregants have asked me over the years, “how in the world has North Carolina become #2 in installed solar capacity? Shouldn’t places like Arizona and New Mexico have more solar energy than we do?” It has been through communications inspired by CE3’s presentation of the history of PURPA and how it has influenced large scale solar farms in our state that has provided me with the resources to explain NC’s story of solar to date.

Also inspired by participation in CE3 activities, NCIPL is currently mapping the NC General Assembly’s legislative districts in relation to the state’s utility districts. Our goal is to better understand the differences between regulated and deregulated energy generation and distribution, and the opportunities for communities to work alongside decision-makers as we chart a course towards a clean, efficient and renewable energy future for all. I personally look forward to continuing to represent NCIPL’s constituents as a member of CE3’s Advisory Board. On behalf of congregations across the state we give thanks to UNC Law School for recognizing the value of CE3’s leadership in community education and engagement.

Blessed Be CE3!

We appreciate Susannah's contribution to this newsletter.  She can be reached at susannah@ncipl.org or 919.612.5526.  More information on NCIPL at www.ncipl.org.

Recent News

Valuing Distributed Energy Resources: A Comparative Analysis

Heather Payne and Jonas Monast recently completed a study analyzing different approaches states are using to determine the value of distributed energy resources.  The analysis focuses on nine states that have taken recent action via legislation and/or public utility commission proceedings - Arizona, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and South Carolina.

Federalism and Energy Transitions in the United States and Germany

Johannes Saurer

Jonas Monast and University of Tübingen Professor Johannes Saurer received funding for a two-year project comparing the energy transitions underway in the United States and Germany, with a focus on the distinctive roles of federal and state governments in each country. The project will identify lessons from both countries to inform progress toward cleaner, affordable, and reliable energy systems. On June 17, Professor Saurer will present on Germany's approach to energy federalism during a webinar for U.S. energy scholars.  Please contact Jonas Monast (jmonast@email.unc.edu) if you are interested in participating in the webinar.  The funding comes from the University of Tübingen to foster collaboration between faculty and students at Tübingen and UNC.

A Conversation with Former FERC Commissioner Norman Bay

Jonas Monast and Norman Bay

On June 5, 2018, former FERC chair Norman Bay joined Jonas Monast for a conversation about clean energy, evolving energy markets, and the tension between federal and state energy priorities. The Washington, DC event was part of the UNC School of Law Summer Spotlight Series.



Municipal Utilities, Electric Cooperatives, and a Low-Carbon Energy Future

CE3 and Florida State University College of Law’s Environmental, Energy & Land Use Program recently published a white paper examining the challenges and opportunities that municipal utilities and electric cooperatives face as they transition to a lower-carbon future. The paper, “Transitioning to a Lower-Carbon Energy Future: Challenges and Opportunities for Municipal Utilities and Electric Cooperatives,” summarizes a 2017 conference that featured representatives from many different types of municipal utilities and cooperatives around the country in order to better understand these opportunities and challenges and to develop broadly-applicable lessons learned. Authors include Carolina Law's Jonas Monast and Heather Payne, FSU professor Hannah Wiseman, and Carolina Law student (and former CE3 research assistant) Nicolas Eason (L’19).

UNC Clean Tech Summit 2018

HB589Panel

CE3 once again participated in the UNC Clean Tech Summit, organized and co-hosted by the UNC Institute for the Environment and the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School. The event highlights the latest innovations, trends and challenges in the clean technology industry and how North Carolina is playing a key role in leading the way to a green global economy. Heather Payne moderated the panel Renewable Energy Policy in NC: The Future Beyond HB 589. Panelists included: Ken Jennings, Renewable Strategy and Policy Director, Duke Energy Carolinas; Brian O’Hara, Senior Vice President Strategy and Government Affairs, Strata Solar; Ben Snowden, Clean Energy and Environmental Lawyer, Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP; and Representative John Szoka, Conference Leader, N.C. House of Representatives.

More information can be found at https://ie.unc.edu/cleantech/.

Regulating the Evolving Electricity Sector

On February 11, 2018, CE3 co-hosted the latest event in the Power Shift workshop series—a collaborative project between CE3, Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Harvard University’s Environmental Policy Initiative. Power Shift is a network of energy law professors and energy practitioners, and regularly convenes workshops focusing on current challenges facing the electricity sector. Speakers at the February 2018 workshop included North Carolina Utilities Commission Chairman Edward Finley, New York Public Service Commission Chairman John Rhodes, Kentucky Public Service Commission Commissioner Talina Matthews, and former FERC Chairman Norman Bay. Panel discussions focused on governance of Regional Transmission Organizations, competition and public utilities, and the evolving role of natural gas in the energy mix.  This follows a PowerShift meeting at the University of Minnesota in December, 2017, focusing on electricity sector issues facing Minnesota and surrounding states.  The conference proceedings from that meeting have been published by Kate Konschnik, CE3 Board Member.

Environmental and Energy Moot Court Teams

2018 Pace team
2Ls Evan Hiatt, Sarah Thomas, 3L Tas Lagoo
and coach Heather Payne
2018 WV team
3L Amanda Aragon, 2L Hannah Manning,
Heather Payne, and 3L Rachel Procaccini

The Environmetnal Moot Court team competed again this year at the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace School of Law. The competition focused on administrative law challenges as well as environmental issues, and UNC was ably represented by 3L Tas Lagoo and 2Ls Evan Hiatt and Sarah Thomas. While the team did not advance, Tas won best oralist in one of the preliminary rounds. The Energy Moot Court team competed on questions around constitutional due process, the public trust doctrine, and NEPA at the National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition, hosted by West Virginia University College of Law. The team, comprised of 3Ls Amanda Aragon and Rachel Procaccini and 2L Hannah Manning, survived two elimination rounds to make it to the Elite Eight. They were complemented numerous times on their in-depth knowledge of the material and their composure under hard questioning. Heather Payne coached both teams, aided by attorneys who volunteered to help the teams prepare.


For more information, please visit http://www.law.unc.edu/centers/ce3/ or e-mail ce3@unc.edu .

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