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BCSE In Action

October 31, 2012

BCSE Autumn Newsletter Highlights
Recent Accomplishments and Future Actions

BCSE Quarterly Connection, Vol. 6

Table of Contents

President's View

Clean Energy Business Leaders Convene in DC to Plan for 2013
The BCSE's membership came together in October at the Council's Annual Membership Meeting to review the progress made towards its 2012 objectives and to discuss work priorities for the coming year.  Despite a challenging political environment, BCSE actions contributed to results in key areas for members in 2012, including the favorable treatment of environmental commodities by the CFTC related to Dodd-Frank implementation, as well as recognition of energy efficiency and combined heat and power under new Environmental Protection Agency clean air rules.  Further, BCSE continues to be viewed as a "go to" organization for policymakers across all of our program areas.  These are important gains that the BCSE will build upon in the year ahead.
The Membership Meeting also included strategic discussions on forward-looking issues and featured expert speakers such as Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, United States Department of Energy and Linda Stuntz representing the Romney for President Campaign.  Against the backdrop of the upcoming election, the Membership Meeting took place at a critical time for engagement with policymakers and energy thought-leaders.  Irrespective of the results of the November 6 election, the Council's broad-based industry coalition will continue to be a sought after voice on energy issues and the Council will continue to work to effectively promote the policy priorities of its members.
New BCSE Board Members Elected for 2013

The BCSE membership voted to approve the members of its 2013 Board of Directors at the fall membership meeting. The Board includes five new members representing companies and associations in the natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Please see the Council's 2013 Board of Directors list for more information.
BCSE @ 20 Update
In celebration of its 20 year anniversary, BCSE held the third State of the Industry congressional briefing “Renewable Energy Markets: Investment and Policy Trends" in cooperation with the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus.  BCSE is also partnering with Bloomberg New Energy Finance on a first ever Clean Energy Market Fact Book that will provide a one-stop resource for the media and policymakers on clean energy investment and deployment facts.  This user-friendly resource will be the guidebook for our market sectors and is expected to be released in early 2013.
BCSE seeks additional sponsors for the anniversary program to support the production and launch of the BCSE-BNEF Clean Energy Fact Book.  Please contact Lisa Jacobson for more details on the project and sponsorship information.

BCSE Works at Fast Pace on Lame Duck Tax, Spending and Energy Policy Priorities

BCSE staff and members have been involved in close to 20 meetings over the last couple of weeks with the offices of Freshmen Members of Congress who signed onto the September Freshmen tax extenders letter. The focus of the meetings has been to encourage Congress to move forward with a tax extenders package in the lame duck session.

Other BCSE congressional priorities for the lame duck session include addressing budget issues and avoiding the pending “fiscal cliff.” As part of this effort, the BCSE has been working with DOE and OMB to ensure that programs maintain consistent and stable funding under the temporary continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through March 2013.

BCSE also continues to work towards the passage of energy policy provisions such as the no-cost, no-mandate provisions from the Shaheen-Portman bill, S.1000, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which were added to a House efficiency standards bill before the Senate adjourned in October, and the Hydropower Improvement Act, S.3570, which would streamline the permit process for hydro projects. 

For more information, please contact Ruth McCormick.

Members Address Packed Audience at Congressional Renewable Energy Markets Briefing

BCSE hosted the third installment of our 20th anniversary congressional briefing series with the event “Renewable Energy Markets: Investment and Policy Trends.”  The October 9 briefing was held on Capitol Hill before a packed audience in conjunction with the Council’s annual membership meeting and featured BCSE members Calpine, Enel Green Power, First Solar, FuelCell Energy, and Voith Hydro. Bloomberg New Energy Finance provided an introductory overview of current renewable energy market conditions. 

BCSE Promotes Clean Energy at NARUC’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore

The BCSE will host a clean energy industry breakfast on November 14 at NARUC’s annual meeting in Baltimore.  This event will be the third breakfast the BCSE has hosted at NARUC’s meetings this year and will continue to provide a forum where commissioners, commission staff and BCSE members can come together to discuss state policy issues surrounding renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas. 

The breakfast is part of the BCSE’s broader engagement efforts with NARUC.  For more information on the BCSE’s past involvement with NARUC and upcoming plans, please contact Colbie Holderness.

Clean Energy Businesses Aim to Accelerate Action at International Climate Negotiations (COP18)

The Council will lead a delegation of clean energy executives to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference/COP18 in Doha, Qatar from November 26 to December 7.  As the singular voice of clean energy industry at the negotiations, the Council will work in Doha to continue the public-private sector dialogue on how commercially-available, clean energy technology solutions can contribute to the inter-governmental process and help close the gigaton gap to keep the world on track to meet its commitment to prevent warming of more than 2˚Celsius.

The Council will work with countries to: (1) encourage discussion on how private sector investment can best be leveraged through the design of the Green Climate Fund; (2) demonstrate how existing networks of clean energy technology solutions can link up to the Climate Technology Center & Network; and (3) encourage continued incorporation and advancement of market-based mechanisms into a future regime. 

For more information on the calendar of public and private events the Council will be organizing in Doha, please contact Laura Tierney.

BCSE Submits Comments in Support of Property Assessed Clean Energy

The BCSE submitted comments in support of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  The BCSE’s comments highlight the opportunity that PACE financing programs provide for localities to leverage their legal power to levy property assessments to help property owners voluntarily improve their properties’ energy efficiency and install renewable energy equipment.  Additionally, the BCSE’s comments encourage the FHFA to adopt policies that would safeguard state enabling legislation and local PACE program regulations while simultaneously mitigating risk to the FHFA. 

Since the BCSE's submission of comments in September, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled to dismiss two cases seeking judicial review of the FHFA's current policy on PACE.  While the Court's decision does eliminate the present possibility of judicial review, it does not interrupt the rulemaking process that the FHFA is currently undertaking and that the BCSE is monitoring.  During and after the rulemaking, the BCSE will continue to look for opportunities to work with the FHFA to further integrate energy efficiency and green financing in the FHFA’s portfolio. 

For more information on the BCSE’s comments, please contact Colbie Holderness.