Energy & Utilities Science, Computers & Technology

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Energy bills move forward in Congress - Bipartisanship marks initial stage, but difficult debates may lie ahead

The US Senate and House of Representatives have taken significant steps in recent days to advance the first comprehensive energy legislation since the passage of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Much has...more

Shocking? – Insurers Consider Potential Aggregate Risks from a Power Grid Attack

In the fast-developing cyber insurance marketplace, insurers have closely considered the possible risks and have analyzed the potential aggregation of such risks. While not the only topics of interest to insurers, these two...more

Struggling U.S. Rare Earth Industry is Vital to a Stable Global Economy

Rare earth elements are found in nearly every aspect of our lives. Televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers, stereos, and cars all contain rare earth elements. Our national security also relies on rare earths in...more

FERC, NERC and Business Blackout: New CIP Standards and Fictional Cyber Attacks

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) July 16, 2015, proposing to approve various Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards proposed by the North...more

Lloyd’s Report Highlights Risk of Cyberattacks on National Power Grid

A sophisticated cyberattack on the U.S. power grid could cause nearly $250 billion in economic losses and, under the most severe circumstances, cost more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, according to a recent report...more

DOE Accepting Nominations For Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee

On July 15, 2015, DOE posted a solicitation notice for candidates for the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. According to the notice, DOE is specifically looking for candidates with experience in...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2015

EPA Seeks Comment On Series 810 Test Guidelines: On June 17, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability for comment of several Series 810, non-binding, draft test guidelines developed by...more

Department of Energy Looking to Partner Small Businesses, Labs

On July 8, the U.S. Energy Department, during the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative’s Southeast Regional Summit, announced the national laboratories who will take the lead in implementing a new Small Businesses Vouchers...more

Energy Companies and Utilities Are Well Advised to Engage in Drone Privacy Discussions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that, as of July 9, 2015, it has granted 746 Petitions for Exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 authorizing commercial operations with...more

Spotlight on Louisiana: 2015 Legislative Session Increases Tax Burdens to Balance State Budget

Even though Louisiana's 2015 legislative session has concluded, the dust may be far from settled as to how increases in tax burdens meant to balance the State's budget will impact taxpayers. At least one industry trade...more

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - June 2015

In This Issue: - Leaders in the News - Innovator Profile - Event Highlights - Washington Update - Energy Navigator - Upcoming Events - Excerpt from Leaders in the...more

South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP): Salient Features Of And Changes To The...

Briefing Note 23 and Parts A, B and C of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Request for Qualification and Proposals (RFP) Expedited Bid Submission Window (EW) dated June 2015 have...more

Update: Patent Trolls Are Targeting the Energy Industry

New data shows a sharp increase in the number of patent troll lawsuits being filed against energy companies in 2015. As we predicted in our March 2014 White Paper, “Are Patent Trolls Now Targeting the Energy...more

Industry’s Response to EPA Proposed Nano Rule

EPA held a public meeting on June 11, 2015 on EPA’s Proposed Rule imposing one-time electronic reporting and recordkeeping requirements on manufacturers and processors of certain nanoscale materials under Section 8(a) of the...more

News from Second and State

The week started out a little sluggishly. While the typical cache of committees met on Monday – Senate Appropriations, Senate Rules, House Appropriations – the floor was relatively quiet. However, things picked up on Tuesday,...more

German Parliament's IT-Security Act Covers Critical Infrastructure

On June 12, 2015, the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) passed an Act to Improve the Security of Information Technology Systems ("IT-Security Act"). The new legislation requires operators of so-called critical...more

House Committee Holds Markup Hearing On TSCA Modernization Act Of 2015

On June 2 and 3, 2015, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a markup hearing for the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576) after years of progress on Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform. ...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, June 2015

EPA Denies Petition To Ban Triclosan: On May 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition submitted in January 2010 by Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides seeking to ban triclosan, an...more

PTAB Grants Fourth Motion to Amend in an IPR Proceeding

For only the fourth time in its history, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) has granted a motion to amend in an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding, finding all substitute claims proposed by the patent owner...more

Patent Trial and Appeal Board Grants Rare Motion to Amend Claims in Inter Partes Review

On June 5, 2015, a three-judge panel at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”), granted a motion to amend in an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding, ruling that the patentee Neste Oil Oyj (“Neste”) could amend the...more

Keep Calm and Carry on with Nuclear Power, Part II

A little over two weeks after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, I wrote a column for The Hill, “Keep calm and carry on with nuclear power,” in which I stated: Now is not the time...more

Gov. Dayton Signs 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law

On Saturday, June 13, Governor Dayton signed the 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law. The following amendments were made after the Governor’s veto: - New definitions for “propane,” “propane storage facility,” and...more

Using Utility Models to Protect your Intellectual Property in Taiwan

A new “green” attitude is pervading Taiwan. Besides ongoing environmental efforts, Taiwan is home to multiple green technology companies. While revenue results for some Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers declined this year,...more

Open Internet Rules Become Effective June 12: Impact on Pole Attachments

On Friday, June 12 – barring a judicial stay – many of the FCC’s “Open Internet” rules will become effective. A significant consequence of the reclassification of retail broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a...more

Employee Ownership of Patentable Inventions

A startup in the oil-and-gas service sector sought to improve downhole well stimulation technology. After a few years, differences between the three founders culminated in the ouster of Mr. Groves, one of the founders. Mr....more

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