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On the Horizon

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of "On the Horizon" - the mining sector's guide to relevant upcoming legal, commercial and regulatory changes and developments. - In this guide, you will find ... Please see full...more

VW Fallout Continues: Mobile Source Emissions Enforcement Likely to Continue Full Speed Ahead under Trump Administration

The headlines generated by the Volkswagen emissions scandal continue to amaze the environmental community and the general public, both here and abroad. The events are shocking in part because they involve a household name in...more

Sustainability Reporting Trends in the New Year – ’16 going on ‘17

If you’re feeling uncertain or confused about the future of sustainability reporting in the United States, you’re not alone. With the business world’s adoption of sustainability reports moving full steam ahead—and increasing...more

Comment Period Begins for EPA CERCLA 108(b) Bonding Rule for Hardrock Mining Industry

On January 11, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for financial assurance requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act for the hardrock...more

EPA Issues Financial Responsibility Requirements for the Hardrock Mining Industry and Announces Intent to Regulate Other...

On December 1, 2016, EPA signed a proposed rule setting forth financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and...more

Saudi Arabia unveils new US$50 billion water desalination programme - The Kingdom to offer privatisations as well as new water...

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia has announced a new water desalination programme involving private sector participation worth over an estimated US$50 billion. The programme will be...more

Appeals Court Sides with Wind Farm on PPA Risk Allocation

This week the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that could help clarify the allocation of risk in power purchase agreements (PPAs). In Benton County Wind Farm LLC v. Duke Energy Indiana, Inc., the court...more

Green Energy Can Complicate Real Estate Foreclosures

A quick drive through almost any newer residential community in the Southwest will show that a lot of residents are embracing “Green Energy” or renewable energy by placing solar panels on their properties. While most people...more

FERC Proposes Rules on Electric Storage and Distributed Energy Resource Participation in Organized Wholesale Power Markets,...

FERC issued a proposed rule last week that has the potential to blaze a path forward for electric storage and distributed energy resources in organized wholesale electricity markets. It also released its annual enforcement...more

FERC Proposes to Integrate Electric Storage into Organized Markets

The proposed rule recognizes the physical and operational characteristics of electric storage resources and distributed energy resource aggregators and removes barriers to their participation in organized wholesale electric...more

FERC Proposes to Remove Barriers to Wholesale Market Participation for Electricity Storage and Distributed Energy Resource...

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) that, if adopted, would require organized wholesale electricity markets (RTO/ISO markets) to modify their...more

Court Awards $206 Million to Alta Wind Projects in Section 1603 Grant Litigation; Smaller Award to Biomass Facility

The US Court of Federal Claims awarded damages of more than $206 million to Plaintiffs/applicants in a case with respect to the cash grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law...more

SEC releases RfP for 2 solar projects – first of many opportunities for IPP and IWP developers

Against a backdrop of persistently soft oil prices, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is pivoting away from the direct procurement of generation capacity and re-invigorating the privately-financed IPP model. As input costs fall and...more

Court Awards $206 Million to Alta Wind Projects in Section 1603 Grant Litigation

The US Court of Federal Claims awarded damages of more than $206 million to the Plaintiffs in a case with respect to the cash grant program under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Section...more

The future of energy - the role of women and a new dynamic?

These are exciting, but challenging times across the energy sector. The fall, and sustained depression of the oil price, the impact of shale gas, the development of new technology and the growing significance of renewables...more

OCC & Federal Reserve Report and Proposed Rules - Limitation on Banks Dealing & Investing in Metals and other Physical Commodities

On September 8, 2016, as required by Section 620 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) and the Federal Deposit...more

Reed Smith Prepares Enforceability Opinion for IECA New Master Netting Agreement

On October 7, 2016, Reed Smith assisted the International Energy Credit Association (“IECA”) in preparing an enforceability opinion for the release its Master Netting Agreement (the “MNA”) under both English and U.S. law....more

Business Litigation Alert: "SEC Launches Investigation Into Exxon's Accounting and Climate Change Practices"

In the face of dropping oil prices, the SEC has launched an investigation into how Exxon Mobil Corp. has valued its assets. While the value of competitors' assets have dropped dramatically since oil prices have plunged,...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

Merging Companies Tesla and SolarCity Among Entities Advocating Wider Role for Electric Storage Resources in RTO and ISO Markets

In early August, Tesla Motors Inc., a manufacturer of advanced electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems, announced a deal to buy SolarCity Corporation, a developer of distributed energy resources, particularly...more

DC Circuit Denies Sierra Club Appeal of FERC Authorization of Two LNG Facilities

Since 2012, the major opponent of new large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects has been the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club has adopted a two-pronged approach in its opposition to LNG exports projects, opposing...more

Energy Newsletter - September 2016

Implementing Islamic Financing for Renewable Energy Projects - The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has recently seen a surge of interest in developing renewable energy, in particular solar energy projects. Led...more

Due Diligence For Bankable Solar PV Projects

Sharp reductions in the price of solar PV technology, dramatic technological advancement and (until recently) generous subsidies for solar PV generation have enabled developers to project reliable and attractive revenues over...more

Kitty Hawk NC offshore wind leasing

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed leasing federal ocean space offshore North Carolina for commercial offshore wind development. On August 12, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced a proposed...more

EPA Publishes Final Phase 2 Rule for GHG Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a joint set of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for new medium and heavy-duty vehicles and...more

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