Rural power plans outlined - May, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a report that identifies and discusses the wide array of renewable power opportunities available to producers in rural America. The report, titled Renewable Power Opportunities for Rural Communities, is intended to serve as a summary and guide to assist rural utilities that may be considering investing in a renewable electricity generation project and for policymakers who may be considering how to encourage such investments.

The report is designed to assist local and state government leaders, rural farmers and business operators, rural-based utilities and their leadership, and rural residents whose interests are focused on renewable power, distributed generation, and rural economic development. The report discusses a rural utility's opportunities for investing in renewable electricity generation capacity.

Utility staff can use the report to learn about transmission access for renewable electrical power, system regulation, transmission expansion paths for renewable energy including modernization and a smart grid, future electricity demand, electric utility business models, and developing and financing strategies of renewable energy. In addition, a large number of renewable electric power developments in rural America are highlighted.  For further information contact the Sutherland Law Firm, LLC.

A complete copy of the report can be accessed at:

www.usda.gov/oce/reports/energy/index.htm.

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board adopted a several new rules dealing with Greenhouse Gas Emissions in November, 2010.  A previous attempt by the Martinez administration to stop publication of the rule was ruled unlawful by the state Supreme Court in January. The carbon reduction rule also survived the 2011 legislative session intact despite the introduction of seven bills to repeal or undermine it.  Cap and Trade Rules are These initiatives bring sweeping change in the regulatory environment and are being closely monitored by Bill Sutherland.  For further information contact the Sutherland Law Firm, LLC.  \

Opponents would Make all state rules and regulations "across the board" no more stringent than federal regulations. This would automatically affect the greenhouse-gas emissions rule approved by the former Environmental Improvement Board since there is no federal standard yet.  The desire is to remove the New Mexico cap-and-trade rule and step away from partnership with California in the Western Climate Initiative's regional cap-and-trade program. Instead, join Utah, Washington and Oregon as observers. Arizona pulled out of the WCI in February.  Again monitoring and further information is available by contacting  Bill Sutherland, at the Sutherland Law Firm, LLC.

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