Monday, November 29, 2021

House Committee Holds Dec. 15 Hearing On Bonding & Decommissioning Solar, Wind Energy Facilities

House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to hold a December 15 hearing on bonding and decommissioning solar and wind energy facilities.

This is one of a series of hearings the Senate and House have had on decommissioning and siting solar and wind energy facilities.

House Bill

On November 30, the Committee specifically added House Bill 2104 (Rapp-R-Warren) that would set minimum requirements for solar and wind energy facility agreements with landowners, proof of financial assurance, minimum standards for decommissioning plans and preemption of local ordinances covering the same requirements.

Senate Hearings

One of the objectives of the Senate hearings is to build support for legislation like Senate Bill 284 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) that would impose extra bonding requirements on solar, wind, biomass, coal waste, other renewable energy projects as well as makers of energy efficiency products, research and development facilities and high-efficiency locomotives.  Read more here.

So far, there has been no discussion of putting extra bonding requirements to cover decommissioning nuclear, coal, natural gas and oil-fired power plants.

Comments so far on Senate Bill 284 have not supported the overly broad scope, how it duplicates landowners leases and adds new government bureaucracy.

The PA Farm Bureau and the solar energy industry supports legislation that would codify the existing industry practice of restoration and reclamation bonds for solar and wind facilities setting minimum requirements.  Read more here

Stifling Renewable Energy

Senate Bill 284 is one of several initiatives by Republicans to artificially stifle the growth of renewable energy in Pennsylvania in favor of fossil fuels by interfering in the free market to make it more expensive or prohibit it altogether.

Other bills include--

-- Prohibit State Govt. From Buying/Using Renewable Energy Credits: Senate Bill 945 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) which directs state government to sell all its Renewable Energy Credits and deposit the proceeds in the Marcellus Legacy Fund for use to plug oil and gas wells abandoned by the industry and left to taxpayers to pay for plugging costs.  Read more here.

-- Require Recycling Solar Panels Thru A Recycling Program That Doesn’t Work: Senate Bill 530 (Dush-R- Jefferson) and House Bill 266 (James-R-Venango) would require the recycling of solar panels through the broken state electronic waste recycling program to drive up solar energy costs.  Read more here from last session

-- Prohibit The Ability Of Communities To Promote Clean Energy: Senate Bill 275 (Yaw-R- Lycoming) which would limit the ability of communities to offer new and clean energy sources and energy efficiency programs by locking in the status quo, in particular natural gas was passed by the Senate and now goes to the House for action.  Read more here.  The bill is now in the House Local Government Committee.

A companion bill in the House-- House Bill 1947 (O’Neal-R- Washington)-- was reported out of the House Local Government Committee and was Tabled.

The Committee hearing will be held in Room G-50 Irvis Building starting at 9:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch the hearing live online.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-783-1707 or sending email to: Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7647 or sending email to:

Related Article:

-- Senate Committees Hear Bill Requiring State Bonding For Solar, Wind Projects Duplicates Local Ordinances, Landowner Leases; Adds New Bureaucracy; And Has A Broader Scope Than Advertised

[Posted: November 29, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner