Since the last newsletter update, the LPDD team has published three new model laws. They are listed below:
- Model State Statute Providing Rebates for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and Hydrogen Refueling Stations: This model statute would offer state rebates for the purchase of new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which would be available for a ten year period. In addition, the model statute would provide state support for the development of a network of equitably located hydrogen refueling stations, with preference given to locations along heavily traveled corridors. The statute does not specify the amount of either the vehicle rebate or the network development subsidy, since the legislature of the enacting state is best suited to fix those amounts in light of the state’s particular fiscal circumstances and sources of available funding. Under the model statute, the state would fund the vehicle rebates and network development subsidies each year for ten years, devoting 4% of the state’s gasoline excise tax, generally known as the Motor Fuels Tax, or its alternative fuels tax, to doing so.
- Model Local Resolution Supporting a Circular Economy: This model resolution is intended to assist local governments in initiating deliberate steps along the path towards a circular economy. Most cities and towns already engage in one or more practices that are considered circular – actions such as composting yard waste, recovering electronic waste products, banning or imposing fees on single use plastic bags, considering product lifespan in procurement decisions, and so on. This model resolution sets out a general commitment to a transition to a circular economy, designates a lead department or official, calls for an initial assessment of resource and waste in-flow and out-flow and for a more comprehensive emissions analysis, encourages support for and exploration of business and job creation opportunities, and provides for a report on initial activities and consideration of follow up steps and new policies after the resolution has been in place for one year. It is accompanied by a memorandum that explains potential local actions in support of a circular economy in more detail.
- Model Federal Arctic Shipping Tax Act. As thinning polar sea ice opens new Arctic shipping routes, voyages through Arctic waters will emit GHGs and other pollutants directly into the Arctic environment and disturb the sea-ice cover, reducing the albedo effect and thus perpetuating and accelerating dangerous cycles of global warming through positive feedback loops. This proposed Arctic Shipping Tax Act would impose a tax on the greenhouse gas content of fossil fuels used by commercial shipping vessels engaged in international shipping in Arctic Circle waters in the thirty days prior to calling at a United States port. The amount of the tax is calculated as the greenhouse gas content of the covered fuel used multiplied by the carbon tax rate, rising from $10 to $30 over a ten year period. The Bill also sets out provisions relating to enforcement, including recordkeeping and penalties.
Highlighted New External Resources
Report, Building a New Grid Without New Legislation: A Path to Revitalizing Federal Transmission Authorities: Published last month, this report from the Institute for Policy Integrity holds that, in the absence of legislation, critical long-distance transmission can be developed by applying existing federal legal authorities. New long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines will be vital if the United States is to deploy enough renewable generation capacity to decarbonize the power sector and to integrate it cost-effectively, as well as electrify our economy in time to meet the targets established in the Paris Agreement. Because Congress may not take timely action to remove barriers to these power lines, this paper seeks to explain steps that the federal government—particularly from within the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) — could take to facilitate development of a future grid that is capable of supporting a reliable, affordable, and increasingly zero-carbon power sector. Acknowledging that state siting requirements may prove an obstacle to developing an efficient, national transmission grid, this paper examines legal authorities already available to DOE and FERC to develop the interstate transmission capacity crucial to the energy transition.