Natural Gas Drilling Fees Move Forward in Pennsylvania
By Josh Goodman, Staff Writer
GREENHOUSE POLITICS: The New Hampshire legislature is close to approving a bill to pull the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but a veto from Democratic Governor John Lynch is likely to prevent the state from exiting the interstate cap-and-trade program, the Concord Monitor reports . New Hampshire's Senate passed the RGGI repeal 14-to-9 last week, falling two votes short of the majority needed to override Lynch's promised veto. The New Hampshire House, which, like the Senate, is controlled by Republicans, also passed a version of legislation to exit RGGI earlier in the session. Some senators favor a compromise that would have changed how money generated by RGGI is spent, but House Republicans have balked at anything short of ending the state's involvement in the program. The interstate compact limits greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and allows utilities to trade credits to meet those goals.
RENEWABLE SLOWDOWN: Governor Chris Christie is reducing New Jersey 's renewable energy goal, switching to what he describes as a more realistic target, the New York Times reports . Instead of getting 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2021, the state now is aiming for 22.5 percent. Environmentalists said the change would remove incentives for development of alternative energy sources, but Christie said he's still committed to renewables and, in particular, wants to make the state a leader in offshore wind development.
WILD LAND SUIT: Even though the Obama administration has announced that it won't designate federal acreage in western states as "wild lands" that would be off-limits to most development, Utah is pressing on with a suit against the policy anyway, the Anchorage Daily Newsreports . Alaska and Wyoming also are backing the suit. Governors in those states argue that it's not clear whether the Obama administration will seek other limits on land uses and whether the concept of wild lands designations has been scrapped for good or just temporarily to conform to a provision in this spring's federal budget deal.
A DRINK IN THE PARK: Kentucky is hoping to begin selling alcohol in some state parks as a way to bolster the park system's budget, the Associated Press reports . The state agency that oversees parks is applying for five liquor licenses — three at restaurants and two at golf courses within the parks. The sale of alcohol remains a sometimes contentious topic in Kentucky. The state has dozens of dry counties , where alcohol sales are forbidden, but the agency is applying for liquor licenses only in parks located in "wet" areas.