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EPA Requires States to Revise and Tighten Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Regulations

Action Item: In response to pressure from environmental groups, EPA has removed Clean Air Act affirmative defenses previously available to the regulated community for startups, shutdowns, or malfunctions (SSM Rule). The...more

Generating Revenue from a Solar Project – the Power Purchase Agreement

King & Spalding's renewable energy practice group described the bright future of solar power in its April 2015 Energy Newsletter. Ongoing photovoltaic (PV) projects in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, certainly...more

Fracking Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, Which Is Good News for California When It Comes to Water

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” has come under scrutiny for its potential impacts on water, including the risks to water quality and the amount of water used in the practice. California’s new regulations on...more

North Carolina Adds a New Square to the Patchwork Quilt of State-by-State Treatment of Hydraulic Fracturing

New York State garnered worldwide media attention on December 17, 2014, when Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced after six years of study that it was instating a complete ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing...more

Oklahoma Follows Texas’ Lead in Prohibiting Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

In the wake of Texas’ recent “ban on banning hydraulic fracturing,” Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a similar law—SB 809—prohibiting municipal governments from regulating oil and gas drilling at the local level. The bill now...more

Vermont resets renewable energy program

The Vermont legislature has voted to create the state's first renewable energy standards for electric utilities. The bill, H.40, changes the way Vermont encourages the generation and use of renewably derived...more

Revision Of Coal Mining Permit By Environmental Group Results In Attorney Fee Award

In Black Mesa v. Jewell, 2015 DJDAR 1050, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that an environmental group was entitled to an award of attorney fees arising out of their challenge to the Office...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - New legislation proposed to extend ITC: PV-Tech - May 20: A new piece of legislation has been proposed that would help extend the investment tax credit (ITC) for both residential and commercial...more

EPA’s Final Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (“SSM”) Rule: The Emperor’s New Clothes, Part II

The Final EPA Rule under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) emissions standards for the Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (“SSM”) Rule is out. EPA issued the Final Rule on May 22, 2015 and it’s even worse than when proposed. I...more

The NEPA Sky Is Not Falling: Why the Hand-Wringing Over CEQ’s GHG Guidance?

From the halls of Congress to the pages of mainstream environmental media, numerous warnings of increased regulatory burdens and litigation mischief stemming from the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Revised Draft...more

New Executive Order on Federal Sustainability Promotes Responsible Government Procurement Policies

In March, President Obama issued Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.” It replaces and updates a number of Executive Orders and Memorandums, most notably replacing Executive Order...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Crews struggle to clean up oil spill near Santa Barbara: KQED - May 21: Crews will begin excavating the 24-inch pipeline that ruptured Tuesday, unleashing a flow of crude oil that has...more

Kansas Thumbed Its Nose at EPA’s SIP Requirements — How’d That Work Out?

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today rejected Kansas’s challenge to EPA’s disapproval of Kansas’s SIP revisions intended to comply with the Interstate Transport Rule. The Court found that EPA was not arbitrary or...more

Half a Loaf May Not Be Too Bad: The 9th Circuit Affirms Most of EPA’s Approval of the San Joaquin Valley SIP

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted part of a petition challenging EPA’s approval of California’s SIP for ozone and PM 2.5 in the San Joaquin Valley.  While the trade press has been focusing on the...more

Nation’s Wind Power Potential Assessed in DOE Report

On Tuesday, May 19, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the release of Enabling Wind Power Nationwide. The report is a comprehensive look at wind power potential across all 50 states and considers the impact of next...more

California ‘Under 2 MOU’ Demonstrates Ambition and Bottom Up Support for GHG Reductions in the Lead Up to COP 21

On May 19, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on Subnational Global Climate Leadership (the “MOU”) with eleven other leaders from jurisdictions in North America, South America and...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Carbon Utilization Legislation Introduced In The Senate

On May 11, 2015, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced S. 1282 -- a bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to require the Secretary of Energy to consider the objective of improving the...more

Part 3 Of Biofuels Digest Series On TSCA And The Bioeconomy

Part 3 of Biofuels Digest's "Thought Leadership" series highlighting some of the ways the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) applies to biobased products was published May 18, 2015. Summaries of the first two "TSCA and the...more

Progress Toward Renewable Fuel Standard Blending Mandates

The White House is reviewing EPA's proposed rules to set the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. The proposals are not currently publicly available, but EPA has committed to propose them by June...more

EPA Issues SNURs For Several Biobased Chemicals

On May 8, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule for 25 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN), including several biobased chemical substances. The...more

Bank Of America Announces $600 Million Green Bond

On May 14, 2015, Bank of America (BoA) announced that it has issued a $600 million bond to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This is the second time that BoA has offered green energy bonds. In 2013, BoA...more

Role Of Biomass Questioned For Clean Power Plan

In a May 8, 2015, letter, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) requested that EPA reconsider its decision to treat biomass as having zero emissions under the proposed Clean Power Plan (Plan). The Senators...more

Frack 2.0: Refracing Could Enable a Second Wave of Production Growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford

Operators will likely refrac more oil and gas wells this year and further accelerate such activity in 2016. The reason is simple: substantial bang for CAPEX bucks. A recent study by engineers from SPE and Baker Hughes...more

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