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Sustainable Development Update
January 26, 2017

Sustainable Development Focus

Trump White House hits pause on Obama efficiency standards

Utility Dive - Jan 23 The Obama administration issued several new efficiency regulations in late December, non-partisan efforts that still needed to be published in the Federal Register to be finalized. But a 45-day waiting period meant they could not be published until the Trump administration came into office, setting up the current situation. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sent out a memo directing agencies to cease publishing new regulations in the Register, including possibly withdrawing some poised for publication. That means regulations covering portable air conditioners, walk-in coolers and freezers, commercial boilers, and uninterruptible power supplies are all now being reconsidered. The Obama administration also issued new regulations on pool pumps in December, but those rules will be finalized under a different process—though one that will still allow the Trump administration to have final say.


Large corporations are driving America’s renewable energy boom

Greentech Media - Jan 10 A December report by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) found that 71 of the Fortune 100 companies currently have renewable energy or sustainability targets, up from 60 companies just two years ago. Commitments among Fortune 500 companies have held steady over the past two years at 43 percent, or 215 firms. Of the Fortune 500 companies, AEE reports that 22 have committed to powering all of their operations with renewable energy, including Wal-Mart and General Motors, the CEOs of which have been selected to join President-elect Donald Trump’s business advisory council. 

Lawmakers hope to completely wean state off fossil fuels

PennEnergy - Jan 23 Two Massachusetts lawmakers are hoping to wean the state off fossil fuels completely. A bill filed by Democratic state Reps. Sean Garballey, of Arlington, and Marjorie Decker, of Cambridge, would commit Massachusetts to obtaining 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. The bill would require the state to achieve total renewable electricity generation by 2035 and phase out fossil fuels across all sectors, including heating and transportation, by 2050.

California utilities want $1 billion to promote electric cars

Bloomberg - Jan 23 California’s utilities are asking for more than $1 billion to spend on electric car-charging stations that will help the state meet its goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025. Edison International’s Southern California Edison utility asked state regulators last Friday for permission to collect $570 million from customers over five years to pay for, among other things, equipment installations that will support about 1,800 charging stations for electric trucks. PG&E Corp. requested $253 million for efforts including charging systems for electric buses and delivery trucks. Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric utility said it was applying for $246 million for similar programs.

Philadelphia joins private-led initiative to reduce commercial building energy use by 50% by 2030

Philadelphia Business Journal - Jan 18 In a policy framework for advancing green building in Philadelphia published in January, the Delaware Valley Green Building Council announced that it’s leading the formation of Philadelphia 2030 District, a private sector-led initiative to reduce energy use, water consumption, and transportation-related emissions from the building sector 50 percent by 2030 at a district scale. By doing so, Philadelphia will be joining Los Angeles, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Austin, San Francisco, and 10 other cities participating in 2030 District, a project that already covers almost 300 million square feet of new and existing commercial building space.

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