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

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

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

EPA Schedules Workshop on Considerations for Risk Assessment of Biotechnology Algae

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish a notice in the August 25, 2015, Federal Register announcing a public meeting on September 30, 2015, to receive public input and comments on EPA's data...more

NIST Guide Highlights Cybersecurity Considerations for Utilities and Manufacturing Companies

In 2013 alone, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) responded to more than 256 cyber-incident reports—more than half of them in the energy...more

Germany rolls out IT Security Act

Germany's controversial IT Security Act (ITSG) came into effect on July 25, 2015.[1] The new act seeks to increase protections for German citizens, companies and government institutions that may be vulnerable to a range of IT...more

2014 Wind Technologies Market Report – Highlights and Takeaways

In August, the U.S. Department of Energy released its 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report. The report, released annually for the past three years, tracks American progress in wind related areas including installed capacity,...more

FCC Regulation of Internet Video: Implications for Local Government and Community Media

As the Federal Cable Communications Commission gets ready to adopt a new rule on how to modernize the definition of a multichannel video programming distributor to include companies that provide video via the public Internet,...more

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

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule On Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting: On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act...more

Sixth Circuit Consolidates Cases, Sets New Briefing Schedule in Appeals Involving Municipal Broadband Laws

As expected, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has consolidated the two Petition for Review proceedings brought by the states of Tennessee and North Carolina seeking review of the FCC’s order striking down provisions of...more

UPS Deal Continues Trend of Corporate Biofuel Commitments

Last Wednesday UPS agreed to purchase up to 46 million gallons of renewable diesel over the course of the next three years from the energy companies Neste, Renewable Energy Group, and Solazyme. The agreement is the...more

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

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