Energy & Utilities Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
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Federal Housing Administration Move on PACE Showcases Program’s Possible Impact

On August 24, President Obama directed the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to allow homeowners to purchase and refinance properties with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans when those loans are subordinated to an...more

You Own the Oil. Do You Own the Rock?

Riddle: What’s the difference between a hydrocarbon molecule and the underground structure which the molecule inhabits? Answer: In Texas, you can own one and not the other, according to Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P...more

Clean Power Rule Challenges Will Proceed Sooner or Later, But Its Goal May Already Be Close at Hand

Legal challenges filed almost immediately after President Obama announced the Clean Power Rule may be premature. That is what attorneys for EPA told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently in...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2015 #3

Energy and Climate Debate - Congress returns from the August recess after the Labor Day holiday next week, and the in the meantime, energy and environment issues continue to play a significant role on the national and...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

Molybdenum: An Essential Element in America’s Future

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic detailing the importance of the super element molybdenum. Few elements have a higher melting point than...more

IRS Issues Favorable PLR Allowing an Individual Panel Owner in an Offsite, Net-Metered Community-Shared Solar Project to Claim...

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a private letter ruling to an individual owner of solar panels installed in an offsite net-metered community-shared solar project confirming the individual’s eligibility for the income...more

California Groundwater Update: Public Comments Due For Basin Boundary Regulations

As one of many implementation steps under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA” codified as Water Code §§ 10720 et seq.), basin boundary regulations were released recently by the California Department of Water...more

Amendment to the Excise Tax Act in Poland – significant changes for your business

The President signed the amendment to the Excise Tax Act . on August 27, 2015. The new regulations shall pass into law on January 1, 2016. Below we present a review of the key amendments which have been introduced...more

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling That New York State’s Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Did Not Extend the...

New York’s 2010 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, culminating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formal ban of the practice in his state on December 17, 2014, made many large waves in the political, legal, and public arenas, the...more

DOE Offers $1 Billion in Federal Loan Guarantees for Distributed Energy Projects, Provides Guidance

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that it will make $1 billion available for distributed energy project loan guarantees. DOE issued supplements to the existing loan guarantee solicitations for Advanced...more

ACG Louisiana Holding Second Annual Energy Case Cup Competition

The Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Louisiana) will hold its second annual Energy Case Cup Competition in October. Last year's inaugural competition included more than 100 undergraduate students...more

7th Circuit Affirms FERC Finding That Wind Generators Are Responsible for Corrected Costs

On August 19, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit denied two wind generators’ (“Generators”) petitions for review of various Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders assigning the corrected...more

DOE report finds Solyndra gave "false and misleading" info

The Department of Energy's Office of Inspector General has released a special report finding that failed solar panel maker Solyndra, Inc. provided the Department with inaccurate and misleading information during the...more

Electric Vehicles Continue Gaining Consumer Acceptance

As government mandates like Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets make electric cars more attractive to manufacturers looking to meet these standards, it is worth asking how consumers are responding to these vehicles as they...more

Renewable Energy Update - August 2015 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Obama adds $1 billion in loan guarantees for clean energy: Bloomberg - Aug 24: President Barack Obama will announce on Monday a $1 billion increase in loan guarantees for renewable energy...more

Where There Is A Well There Is A Way - Out Tract Title Issues Regarding Horizontal Wells

Oh for the days of simplicity when a wellbore tract meant just that—a piece of property upon which a well has been located, drilled, and touched down all within the same tract. Vertical wells were so simple for title...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal judge in South Dakota issues eleventh-hour order blocking implementation of EPA/COE’s new definition of 'waters of the United States': The Hill - Aug 27: A federal judge in North...more

Supreme Court of Kentucky Provides Guidance on Deduction of Post-Production Costs

On August 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kentucky published two opinions addressing questions about the propriety of deduction of certain post-production costs from royalty payments under an oil and gas lease. In Baker v....more

NIST issues Cybersecurity Practice Guide for Electric Utilities

Yesterday, the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence issued its NIST Cybersecurity Practice Guide, Draft Special Publication 1800-2 “Identity and Access Management for Electric Utilities.” The Guide is a result of...more

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

U.S. EPA Proposes New Rules on Air Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector: Impacts to Owners and Operators

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a suite of proposed actions affecting the oil and gas industry. EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act rules address methane emissions from new and modified...more

Mexico’s Energy Industry - Final Model Contract and Bidding Guidelines Published for Ronda Uno, Second Tender

On August 25, 2015, the Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH) published the final form of the Bidding Guidelines (“Guidelines”) and the Model Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Second Tender initially published on...more

August 2015: Energy Litigation Update

Reserve Reports During the Oil Slump. The collapse of oil prices in the latter half of 2014 has led to SEC scrutiny of exploration and production (E&P) company compliance with rules regarding the calculation and reporting of...more

OPR Releases Preliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments for Public Comments

On August 11, 2015, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Preliminary Discussion Draft of Changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines (Preliminary Discussion Draft). The OPR...more

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