Policy

How the Biden Administration is Tackling Environmental Injustice

On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14008 “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” with the intent to address climate change and its adverse effects, both domestically and internationally. This is a historic measure that places the climate crisis at the forefront of foreign policy and national security. Under section 223 of this Executive Order, The White House established the Justice40 initiative which aims to give impacted communities at least 40% of the overall benefits of Federal climate and clean infrastructure investments.

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Energy Efficiency Gets a Raise Through Historic Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act

On November 15, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) into law after months of negotiations between the House and Senate. The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a historic investment in the country’s infrastructure and competitiveness, with provisions ranging from rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and rails to expanding access to clean drinking water and energy efficiency while advancing environmental justice.

MEEA Research: New Report Demonstrates EE's Immense Value to the Region

Over the past 15 years, utility-run energy efficiency programming has produced significant energy savings, customer cost savings and a host of system-wide and societal benefits throughout the Midwest. Unfortunately, these benefits are not fully understood or recognized by many state legislators and other policymakers. As a result, MEEA and other energy efficiency industry experts must recurringly defend EE policies from those who misunderstand how efficiency is funded, its value and impact for utility customers and its widespread benefits within individual states and throughout the region.

Illinois Passes the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB 2408)

After nearly three years of policy development and a year of debate and negotiation, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB 2408) and Governor Pritzker signed it into law on September 15. This nearly 1,000-page bill sets Illinois on a pathway toward power sector decarbonization by 2045, creates equitable clean energy workforce development pathways and expands state commitments to energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Is It Over Yet? - Energy Efficiency Policy Implications Following a November 2020 Election Season

As we start 2021, it's time to unpack the energy efficiency implications from the November 2020 elections for our region. The election outcomes tell a story of two political realities for Midwesterners – Democrats decisively sweep at the federal level and Republicans strengthen their hold throughout the predominately conservative Midwest. While we can expect clean energy policy prioritization nationally, the majority of the Midwest will see it defined through executive action by Democratic governors and much less debate and action in most state legislatures. But we know that any lasting energy policy will require bipartisan cooperation for passage and successful implementation.

Ohio Utilities Move Forward, Face Hurdles with Energy Efficiency

MEEA’s mission to support and advance energy efficiency across the Midwest typically takes shape as promoting supportive policies and the positive impact of EE like new jobs, energy savings, economic impacts and environmental benefits. From time to time, though, the Midwest experiences challenges to energy efficiency. New polices in Ohio have become the greatest barrier to energy efficiency in the Midwest right now, essentially ending all EE programs on December 31, 2020. How did we get here when energy efficiency has continuously been recognized for both economic and environmental benefits?