Environmental Energy & Utilities

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

BOEM advances California offshore wind leasing

U.S. ocean energy managers are moving closer to leasing sites in federal waters offshore California for wind energy development. Acting in response to a lease area requested by Trident Winds, LLC, this month the Bureau of...more

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Biological Opinions In Light of Circuit Court’s Exclusive Jurisdiction

Primarily relying on precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and D.C. Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine recently dismissed an Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit challenging two...more

Massachusetts Legislation Spurs Offshore Wind Power Development

On August 8, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a major energy bill aimed at putting Massachusetts at the forefront of states developing offshore wind power. The law, An Act Relative to Energy...more

Vermont adopts Renewable Energy Standard

This summer Vermont energy regulators issued an order implementing a Renewable Energy Standard. This standard, or RES, requires Vermont electric utilities to procure an increasing share of electricity from renewable sources....more

Sustainable Development Update - August 2016 #4

Sustainable Development Focus - Kilroy Realty Corp. takes sustainability seriously, with a green office vision that's evolving - San Francisco Business Times - Jul 28 - Kilroy Realty Corp. takes sustainability...more

Massachusetts develops next solar incentive

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is designing a new solar incentive program to encourage the continued development of solar renewable energy generating sources by residential, commercial, governmental...more

Scotland: The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings Regulations 2016 - Buildings on the market before 1...

The Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 come into effect on 1 September 2016. From that date, owners of pre 2002 non-domestic buildings or "building units" in Scotland with a...more

Court’s Tentative Decision Sides in Favor of DOGGR in CBD’s Wastewater Injection Lawsuit

As reported in a previous blog post, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”), filed a lawsuit against the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) in May 2015. The...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

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Most California water agencies choose zero as conservation target San Jose Mercury News - Aug 17 - Governor Jerry Brown's administration two months ago dropped all mandatory water...more

“Holy Grail” of Renewable Energy Storage is Fast-Approaching

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) created its Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) division to fund energy storage projects conducted by scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the Lawrence Livermore and...more

Renewable Energy Update - August 2016 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Kick-off for California offshore - reNEWS - Aug 16 - The U.S. has taken a major step forward in offshore wind development in the deep waters off the coast of California. The Bureau of...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain West Coast Case Law Highlights

COLORADO CITY FRACKING BANS PREEMPTED BY STATE LAW - City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 442; City of Fort Collins v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo....more

Recycled Water and New Construction. New Standards Being Considered.

The second a series of stockholder meetings will be held on August 30, 2016 in Sacramento, California to consider proposed amendments to the state building code for the installation of recycled water systems for newly...more

Sustainable Development Update - August 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Freddie Mac announces multifamily green building financing initiative - Energy Collective - Aug 13 - Freddie Mac announced last week their Multifamily Green Advantage program, a...more

Another Step Toward North Carolina Offshore Wind: Proposed Offshore Wind Farm Lease Announced

The U.S. Department of the Interior has just announced the next step in the years-long process toward the development of wind energy facilities off the coast of North Carolina. In a notice published in the Federal Register...more

GAO Sustains Bid Protest Where, Among Other Things, the Agency Improperly Considered Cost Risk under Its Technical Evaluation

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a bid protest involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) evaluation of proposals for remedial action and surface support assistance at the Gilt Edge Mine...more

White House Issues Final Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in NEPA Reviews

After more than six years of review and the issuance of several draft guidance documents, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published on Aug. 5, 2016, its final guidance on considering greenhouse gas...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 48

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 48 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, Colorado, and Kansas. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains Deferential: The Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21 Survives Review

Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21, which allows small surface mining projects to proceed without individual permits under § 404. ...more

Environmental Issues and the Presidential Candidates: How Will The Incoming President Affect My Business?

With all the hype surrounding the 2016 presidential candidates (and their Twitter accounts), it seems that environmental issues are getting lost in the noise. The two leading candidates, however, could not be more divided on...more

New Jersey FERC license surrender and dam removal

U.S. energy regulators have accepted an application to surrender the licensee for a New Jersey hydropower project. Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Great Bear Hydropower Inc.'s...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - In California's climate debate, state lawmakers push for more authority - Los Angeles Times - Aug 11 - Over the last two weeks, a bipartisan group of assembly members have...more

Green Bonds: Green Striping to Fuel China’s Green Economy?

China has become the world’s largest green bond market, with green bonds issued in the first half of 2016 reaching 75 billion yuan (US$11 billion), 33% of the world total. This figure is approximately two percent of the total...more

Renewable Energy Update - August 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - California's regional electricity grid plan on hold - Los Angeles Times - Aug 8 - Governor Jerry Brown’s plan for a regional electricity grid is being put on hold this year, and...more

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