Energy & Utilities Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
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FERC Seeks Comment On Potential Modifications To Its Market Power Analyses

On September 22, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on whether and, if so, how FERC might modify or enhance its methods for identifying and assessing market...more

DOER’s Solar Incentive Straw Proposal: Optimism, Anxiety, Uncertainty.

On September 23, DOER presented a straw proposal for the next phase of Massachusetts solar incentives. DOER’s ambitious proposal for a tariff-based program reflects a thoughtful development process and a laudable goal of...more

Government of Canada Approves Pacific NorthWest LNG Project

On September 27, 2016, the Government of Canada approved the Pacific NorthWest LNG natural gas liquefaction and export facility, sending a strong signal that it is committed to growing Canada's role as a global energy...more

Shell Pays Big for Double Dipping with the UST Fund

Last week, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced that it permanently banned 100 of Shell Oil Company’s underground storage tank (UST) claims from the California UST Cleanup Fund...more

County Counsel Teamwork: The Exide Story

Justice: (1) the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action; (2) conformity to this principle or ideal The concept of environmental justice is straightforward, the pathway to practical solutions are often...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 9.29.16

OPEC has reached a tentative deal among its 14 member nations to “modestly cut” their oil output toward the end of the year in an effort to shore up sagging oil prices–an announcement that immediately sent global oil prices...more

New California Law Amends Water Supply Planning Laws

Water Supply Sufficiency Analyses Must Consider Groundwater Sustainability - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1262 into law, representing an initial attempt to incorporate groundwater management requirements under...more

FERC Seeks Comments on Potential Changes to Review of Mergers and Acquisitions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) has asked for comments on procedures established for its review of mergers and acquisitions pursuant to section 203 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”). In a...more

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

Proposed “Endangered” Listing for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Creates a Buzz in the Energy Industry

On September 22, 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a proposed rule to list the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as “endangered” under the federal Endangered Species Act (the ESA). If...more

Governors Publish Open Letter To Administrator McCarthy Requesting End Of RVP Limit On E15

On September 13, 2016, governors of seven ethanol producing states wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting the removal of the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limit on E15. RVP measures gasoline volatility, and E10...more

Investigators Continue to Scrutinize Climate Change Disclosures

Critics Claim “Intimidation” - Earlier this month, on September 14, 2016, feuding parties gathered before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to address the legitimacy of subpoenas sent to the New York...more

New Mexico Pit Rule Survives Challenge by Enviro Group

In a case displaying the tactics of anti-fossil fuel advocates, Earthworks’ Oil & Gas Accountability Project v. New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission, a court rejected a challenge to the Commission’s amendment of the “Pit...more

Nasi joins Texas and West Virginia attorney generals at TPPF event about Clean Power Plan

Mike Nasi, partner in our Austin office, joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey at a Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) event to discuss the Clean Power Plan rules in...more

Five Key Considerations for Drafting Warranty Terms in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Agreements in Alternative...

Owners and contractors frequently negotiate the warranty terms in their engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreements for alternative energy projects. This article highlights five key issues that parties should...more

Global Tax News: Hard times in the oil patch: tax implications for investors in the era of price fluctuations

The current decline in oil prices, which continues to show no signs of a long-term reversal, is having a great many unexpected and unwanted consequences, many of which may turn into long-lasting troubles for the oil and gas...more

Naval Air Station Successfully Tests Flight With 100 Percent Advanced Biofuel

On September 16, 2016, the U.S. Navy announced the successful flight test of the EA-18G "Green Growler" plane on 100 percent advanced biofuel. Lt. Cmdr. Bradley Fairfax, project officer and test pilot, stated that "The...more

Solar Project Financing [Video]

Darin Lowder discusses emerging financing and development trends in utility-scale solar projects. Mr. Lowder—a partner in Ballard Spahr's Energy and Project Finance Group—handles commercial and residential alternative energy...more

The Eighth Circuit Extinguishes Claims of Continuing Conduct in Propane Tank Conspiracy

Before plaintiffs could light the pilot on antitrust claims against two propane tank distributors, a split Eighth Circuit panel cut the gas. In doing so, the majority espoused a narrow view of the applicability of the...more

New York’s New Renewable Energy Standard

Last week’s article discussed New York’s Zero-Emissions Credit (ZEC) for nuclear power. The ZEC is one component of New York’s Clean Energy Standard (CES). The other major component of the CES is the new Renewable Energy...more

UPDATE: Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

Update: September 26, 2016 - On September 21, 2016, the Honorable George C. Hernandez, Jr. issued the final Statement of Decision, which affirmed the tentative decision denying all claims for relief. The court denied...more

Ontario Suspends Large Renewable Procurement Program

In our August 2016 Blakes Bulletin: September Deadline: Last Chance to Participate in Ontario’s Large Renewable Procurement Program, we reported that Ontario was moving ahead with the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) portion...more

Natural Gas Contracting [Video]

In this video, McNees attorney Pamela Polacek describes the two natural gas purchasing options for larger businesses and options for negotiating supplier contracts....more

SunEdison: A Cautionary Tale?

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein recently approved SunEdison’s proposed sale of $144 million of solar and wind assets to NRG Energy. The sale continues SunEd’s string of dispositions this year following its April...more

Mine Roof Collapses Trigger Government Safety Alert

Following 10 incidents of roof collapses in July and August, the Mine Safety and Health Agency has issued a safety alert to warn employers and employees about the dangers of roof falls. MSHA said the roof failures...more

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