Environmental Energy & Utilities

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

Tough Mandatory Water Restrictions of up to 36 Percent Retained in Draft Emergency Drought Regulation for California

State Water Resources Control Board Cites Need to Avoid Potential “Catastrophic Impacts” - The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to its draft emergency regulations to restrict overall potable urban...more

White House Reboots Draft Guidance on Evaluating Climate Change Impacts

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has restarted the process for formal advice on how best to evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the impacts of climate change under the National Environmental...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Governor Brown touts aggressive plan to cut greenhouse gases: KPCC - Apr 29: California would aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under a plan announced Wednesday by...more

California Governor Brown Orders 40% Decrease in Carbon Emissions by 2030

California’s new greenhouse gas target requires California agencies to take implementing actions and aligns California with the European Union’s recently adopted standard....more

EPA Requests Comment On Analysis Of Carinata Oil Feedstock

On April 24, 2015, EPA released a Federal Register notice inviting comment on analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced during the production and transport of Brassica carinata (carinata) oil feedstock for use...more

USDA Announces Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy Grants

On April 22, 2015, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack celebrated Earth Day by announcing that USDA "is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants to help rural communities build and upgrade...more

EPA Is Not an Expert in Determining Electric System Reliability

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed and remanded EPA’s rule allowing backup generators to operate for up to 100 hours per year as necessary for demand response. It’s an important decision that could have lessons...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015

Renewable Energy Focus: SolarCity says new fund will finance $1 billion in commercial solar: Silicon Valley Business Journal - Apr 22: SolarCity is activating a fund that will finance more than $1 billion in commercial...more

Corn-Based Ethanol Debate Intensifies – – A Bit

A recent article in USA Today questions whether ethanol’s days are numbered. While that article is written from the perspective of whether the stock of ethanol producing companies is a good investment, it focuses on some of...more

Group Of 37 Senators Call For EPA To Issue A Strong Final 2014 RFS

On April 23, 2015, a bi-partisan group of 37 Senators led by Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Thune (R-SD), Al Franken (D-MN), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) sent a letter to U.S. Environmental...more

California Greenhouse Gas Mandates Keep Coming— Governor Orders 40 Percent Reductions Below 1990 Levels by 2030

On April 29, 2015, California’s Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order to set a new interim target for reducing the state’s emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. In March 2015,...more

NERC's Polite Review of the Clean Power Plan: A "Challenge"

When the draft of EPA's Clean Power Plan was promulgated in the Federal Register last June, one of the critical questions raised by those in the electricity space was: what about reliability? If you shut down all those coal...more

Oil on the Rails: States Increasing Regulation of Oil Trains

The increase in North American petroleum production in recent years, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, has resulted in a significant rise of, and reliance on, the transport of crude oil by rail. Public...more

CEQA Judicial Outcomes: Fifteen Years of Reported California Appellate and Supreme Court Decisions

This report analyzes all published opinions from 1997 through 2012 litigated to the California Court of Appeal or the California Supreme Court concerning the analytical validity of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or...more

FERC Policy Statement Regarding Pipeline Recovery of System Modernization Costs

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (the “Policy­­­.Statement”), opening...more

California Governor Aims to Reduce Emissions 40 Percent Below 1990 Levels by 2030

In an Executive Order issued yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown set “a new interim statewide greenhouse gas emission reduction target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is...more

Your Texas Legislature at Work, Part 2

The Texas legislature is still busy on energy issues. Is that good or bad? It depends on your situation; oil patch thieves won’t like it. Wind Energy - Senate Bill 931 would blow away the Renewable Portfolio...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

Governor Brown Announces New 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target for California

This morning, California Governor Jerry Brown announced Executive Order B-30-15, setting a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The 2030 target acts as an interim goal...more

Mixology 101: Blending Trade Secret Protections and Fracking Chemical Reporting

Whether you live in the East, the Great Plains, the Southwest, or the Rocky Mountain West, the oil and gas industry’s use of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in oil and gas development is something you have likely heard a...more

Environmental Alert: "Potential Seismic Activity from Injection Wells Prompts Railroad Commission of Texas to Order Hearings"

On Friday, April 24, the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) ordered hearings regarding two waste injection well permits. The hearings are to address an alleged connection between the injection wells and seismic activity in...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $9.6 Billion. The total amount that the federal government could save over 10 years under the PTC Elimination Act (H.R. 1901) – a bill that would phase out and repeal the renewable energy production tax...more

Texas Changes the Goal(s)

The news in 2015 is the proposed repeal of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Back in 1999, when they deregulated the electric market, Texas adopted an aggressive RPS of 10,000 MW by 2025 (including 500 MW of non-wind...more

"Insights Conversations: International Renewable Energy Projects"

The renewable energy sector, particularly wind and solar, has seen rapid expansion globally among both developed and developing countries. Skadden attorneys Paul Kraske, Jorge Kamine, Aryan Moniri and Leah Chacon discuss...more

Energy & Environment Update - April 2015 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of...more

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