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NREL Analyzes Production Tax Credit Extension Implications for U.S. Manufacturing

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is a component of the U.S. Department of Energy, has published a report analyzing the implications of the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for U.S....more

A Timely Reminder From the CSLB and a Funny Acronym to Boot

Growing up in Sacramento, California I remember it being so hot that you could feel your tennis shoes stick to the asphalt on the playground. As California enters it’s worst drought in 119 years concern over water has...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

Senate Finance Committee Passes Bill to Extend Certain Lapsed Tax Breaks

The Senate Finance Committee passed the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act (EXPIRE Act) on April 3, 2014. The legislation would renew through 2015 more than 50 tax incentives that either have lapsed or...more

City Fails to Adequately Mitigate "Urban Decay" and Energy Impacts of Big Box Retail Project

In the latest decision addressing challenges to "big box" projects under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), on February 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal invalidated the approval of a retail project in...more

EPA and the Army Corps Propose Rules Expanding Clean Water Act Jurisdiction, Potentially Affecting Everyone Who Uses Lands Where...

On March 25, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a long-awaited proposed rulemaking that would redefine the scope of their shared jurisdiction...more

Wyden’s Extenders Bill Due March 31 - PTC Advocates Muster for the Fight

Senator Wyden (D-OR), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, stated that he will release his “extenders” bill on March 31 and that the included provisions will be renewed through the end of 2015. Senator Rockefeller...more

California’s New Building Energy Efficiency Standards to Go Into Effect July 1, 2014

California builders should be aware of a new set of energy efficiency standards set to go into effect on July 1, 2014. The California Energy Commission’s Energy Efficiency Standards (Standards) were promulgated in 1977 to...more

California High Speed Rail Authority Gains New Approvals to Move Project Forward: Eminent Domain Proceedings Commenced on Eight...

Despite recent obstacles, the California High Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) remains steadfast in its determination to complete the high-speed rail project (the “Project”), bolstered by recent approvals from various...more

SB 1270 Proposes Significant California Mining Reform

The recent submittal of significant proposed revisions to California's mining law, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act ("SMARA"), signals potentially broad-reaching changes to the statute. On February 21, 2014, Senator...more

Environmental and Energy: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Draft Environmental Monitoring Services...

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued a draft Commissioner Policy on Environmental Monitoring Services (the Policy). The proposed Policy updates DEC’s...more

Yes, Virginia, NSR Really is a Preconstruction Permitting Program: Another NSR Enforcement Case Fails on Statute of Limitations...

The trend of cases holding that the NSR provisions of the Clean Air Act constitute a one-time preconstruction review requirement got stronger earlier this month, as the decision in Sierra Club v. Oklahoma Gas and Electric...more

House Passes Energy Efficiency Bill

On March 5, 2014, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2126, the “Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014.” The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). The bill...more

The Construction Advantage – Issue 2

We hope you enjoy Bernstein Shur’s second edition of The Construction Advantage. This newsletter will provide you with insight into the current legal issues in construction, news and updates. Our goal is to provide practical...more

California Building Energy Efficiency Standards Delayed to July 1, 2014

The California Contractors State License Board (“CSLB”) has issued an Industry Bulletin providing further information regarding the delayed implementation of the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards which has been...more

Changes To California Title 24 Energy Use Requirements Effective July 1, 2014

On July 1, 2014, 2013 CALGreen, Part 11, Title 24, of the California Code of Regulations will go into effect. As a result, certain nonresidential additions and alterations will trigger compliance with more stringent...more

Governor's Budget Proposal Throws a Life Preserver to the High-Speed Rail Project

On the heels of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenney’s decision halting an $8 billion bond sale for the construction of the California high-speed rail (“HSR”) project, Governor Jerry Brown has submitted a...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds BLM’s Environmental Assessment Allowing Expansion of the Reid Gardner Generating Station

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding its assessment of the potential environmental impact of a proposed expansion of the Reid Gardner...more

Offshore Wind Marches On: Is Momentum Starting To Build?

Those of us with an interest in renewable energy have long wondered if offshore wind would ever reach its promise. The knots into which Cape Wind has been tied provide an object lesson – and an abject lesson – in how not to...more

EARL e-News: DHEC Publishes Updated List of Exempt Sources of Air Emmissions

On November 22, 2013, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) published a list of source for which no construction permit is required. ...more

Tax Misstatements in SolarCity’s Response to Critical Barron’s Article

Barron’s in August of this year published an article critical of SolarCity’s use of tax credits and grants for its solar projects. That article led Senator Sessions to send a harsh letter with a number of pointed questions to...more

President Obama’s New Memorandum on Federal Agency Use of Renewable Energy and Energy Management

On December 5, 2013, President Obama issued a memorandum establishing (1) a new goal for federal agencies’ use of renewable energy and (2) new energy management directives (Memorandum). By fiscal year 2020, the Memorandum...more

Environmental Law Alert: FWS Extends Eagle "Take" Permit to 30 Years | What You Need to Know

It's official. On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ("FWS") issued for public inspection a final rule to extend the maximum term for programmatic "take" permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act ("Eagle...more

The Keystone Pipeline's Legacy in Texas Condemnation Law

Construction of the 485-mile-long southern portion of the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline system (known as the Gulf Coast Project) is scheduled to be completed and operational by the end of 2013, but it leaves a legacy of...more

Secretary's Order Encourages Mitigation Efficiency and Predictability for Infrastructure Development Projects on Federal Lands

On October 31, 2013, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued Order No. 3330 to establish a Department-wide mitigation strategy that focuses on mitigation opportunities at the landscape level. Order No. 3330 is part of a...more

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