Energy and Environmental Legislative Monitoring

State/Federal Legislative Monitoring

The Energy and Environmental Legislative Monitoring program tracks the progress of state and federal legislation related to a wide range of energy and environmental issues.

Every year, the program collects and summarizes legislation in all of the Board’s Member States to produce the Energy and Environment Legislative Digest. The Digest is presented at SSEB’s Legislative Briefing held in conjunction with the Southern Legislative Conference’s Annual Meeting.

Other projects of the program have included comparative studies on state Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) and recent EPA regulation.

This program also tracks developments in Congressional bills and monitors federal regulatory activities related to energy and the environment.

Energy and Environment Legislative Priorities and Analysis

When examining legislation passed state-by-state it is not unusual to observe certain trends or themes. The past year was no different.

Several states passed legislation pertaining to the construction and regulation of oil and gas pipelines. Arkansas established provisions for rate adjustments to promote the expansion of natural gas infrastructure.

Three states, Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas, all approved resolutions urging the Congress of the United States to enact legislation to expand and extend the current federal tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and storage under Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code.

Many states addressed tax credits for both renewables and natural gas expansion. Tennessee and North Carolina imposed certain temporary moratoriums on new construction of wind energy facilities, while Maryland established a permanent prohibition of hydraulic fracturing of a well for the exploration of oil or natural gas. Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia all passed a bevy of legislation meant to address the chronic problem of flooding and stormwater management that has plagued the Southeast in recent years.

Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia passed measures establishing procedures relating to the emergent technology of autonomous vehicles. Oklahoma passed legislation increasing the registration fee for pesticide applicator license renewals and establishing fines for a late application, and, similarly, Missouri passed a bill establishing penalties for the misuse of herbicides.

Many states enacted legislation relating to homeland security, with two states, Georgia and Mississippi, passing legislation dealing directly with the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure. Florida passed legislation to define and establish penalties for “agroterrorism,” or the act of willfully spreading any type of contagious, communicable, or infectious disease among crops, poultry, livestock, or other animals. While many states addressed similar issues, each state also had specific areas of law that warrant special attention, and these can be found before the start of each state’s section.