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2021 Preliminary Digest Available Now

The Preliminary version of our 2021 Energy & Environment Legislative Digest is now available. This edition is current as of June 25, 2021. If you have any suggestions or additions for the digest, please contact Turney Foshee. Click below to read it now.

This year, our members passed their highest number of bills since 2015 for a total of 512 energy and environmental acts. At the time of printing, dozens more energy and environment bills awaited a Governor’s signature. Look for those in the final edition of the Digest in September. Copies will be available at our 61st Annual Meeting, held this year in Oklahoma City from September 27-29.

Several trends emerged in our member states over the past year. Chief among that trend was the passage of what is commonly known as “energy discrimination” laws. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia all passed some version of the law, which is generally intended to prohibit any political subdivision from halting the expansion, connection, or reconnection of a utility service based upon the type or source of energy provided to a customer.

The pandemic’s effect of necessitating high-speed internet access for a surge in virtual events, telemedicine, virtual schooling, and more means the trend that began last year with enhanced broadband deployment measures has continued this year. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia all passed laws pertaining to broadband deployment via easement provisions with utilities, tax incentives, and the establishment of offices dedicated to the deployment of broadband access.

Our Digest also covers the trends surrounding the legislative push for electric vehicle infrastructure, electric vehicle ad valorem taxation and tax breaks, and the associated issue of battery production and disposal. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia all addressed the topic.

Renewable energy saw a resurgence in bills this year as well. Several of our states passed tax incentives and other statutes affecting the deployment of wind, solar, and the associated energy storage systems both privately and commercially owned.

Related to the matter of renewable technology, several states also passed laws prohibiting the ability for housing associations to restrict solar installations and/or electric vehicle charging infrastructure. You can look for those bills in the states of Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Our members in Texas passed the most bills this year with 85 total. Many of the measures were directed at addressing the problems created by the historic winter storm Uri, which devastated parts of Texas in February 2021 with prolonged power outages. We offer our deepest sympathy to those who were affected by the storm. The bills passed in Texas this session will help to ensure the reliable delivery of critical energy services.

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Documents Meetings

60th Annual Board Business Meeting Summary Available Now

The summary from our 60th Annual Board Business Meeting is now available for those who may have missed our virtual event. The introduction to the summary is excerpted below:

The Honorable Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma and the Southern States Energy Board’s (SSEB) Chairman, called the Board’s annual business meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Governor Stitt welcomed participants to SSEB’s 60th Annual Board Business Meeting.

He commended the Board’s staff for continuing its progress on current projects and programs despite the hurdles created by the coronavirus pandemic. He further stated, “Energy is our nation’s fuel that powers all we do as a society: our quality of life, public health, the environment, and economic development depend on affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy resources.

Governor Stitt addressed the stifling of businesses involved in or benefitting from fossil fuels and stated that higher energy prices and fewer choices will impact our most distressed communities, which is why SSEB is an “all-of-the-above” organization. He stated that, like SSEB, Oklahoma encourages and supports the responsible production of all energy sources as well as the efficient and safe transportation of these fuels to markets. The governor welcomed new members to the board, and said he looks forward to meeting in person next year. Governor Stitt then handed the meeting over to Rep. Rocky Miller, of Missouri, for the Nominating Committee report.

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Documents Meetings

2020 Adopted Resolutions Available for Download

On September 29, 2020, the Southern States Energy Board adopted nine resolutions during our virtual 60th Annual Board Business Meeting. The documents are available for individual download or as a booklet below.

2020 Adopted Resolutions Booklet