Environmental Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Climate change Regulation Starts to Take Shape in Washington State

In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as...more

EPA Enforcement Initiatives Renew and Expand Industrial Target Priorities

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

FERC staff recommends against Bear River dam

Staff of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have recommended against licensing a dam, reservoir, and hydropower project proposed for the Bear River near Preston, Idaho. The case involves a 2013 application by...more

Renewable Alert Letter 25: Introduction of Listed Renewable Energy Funds

Procedures began in April 2016 for the long awaited listing of the first infrastructure fund on the Tokyo Stock Exchange targeted at investments in renewable energy plants and other infrastructure facilities. Among the...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission Approves Oil and Gas Rulemaking

The purpose of the rulemaking is to modify and update existing requirements related to surface activities associated with the development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells....more

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan Sets Caps for Water Consumption, Energy Consumption, and Carbon Emissions

On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang delivered China’s 13th Five Year Plan (FYP13) to the 12th National People’s Congress. Adopted on March 16, the FYP13 gives top priority to economic development and projects a moderately...more

Valuation of Distributed Energy Resources under New York State’s REV Initiative

Valuing Renewable Energy: New York State’s Renewing the Energy Vision (REV) Initiative sets an aggressive goal where 50% of the State’s electricity will be provided by renewable resources by 2030. Several agencies are...more

DOE's Biotechnology Office To Announce Funding Opportunity For Bio Manufacturing

On April 15, 2016, DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled "Project Definition for Pilot and Demonstration...more

When Attorneys General Attack: AGs’ Aggressive Investigation of Climate Change Disclosures, and Getting Your Insurer to Provide...

Who’s afraid of New York’s Martin Act? Right now, a lot of Wall Street and energy industry companies, that’s who. Why are they concerned about the Martin Act? Because it grants the New York State Office of the Attorney...more

I Wish for a Happy Earth Day

April 22nd marked Earth Day, an annual celebration of environmentalism. The headline event of Earth Day 2016 was having 175 countries sign the Paris Agreement, which represents a global commitment to reducing greenhouse gas...more

Oregon PUC Outlines Ambitious Schedule for Implementation of Clean Electricity Programs

At an April 21 workshop, the Oregon Public Utility Commission presented its timeline for implementing a variety of programs in the wake of the state’s recently passed and far-ranging energy bill, SB 1547 (the “Oregon Clean...more

Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) recently released Report 151: Developing a Business Case for Renewable Energy at Airports (the Report). Foley partner David Bannard is a co-author of the Report, assisting lead...more

Court of Appeal Turns a Careful Eye Toward Challenges to California’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System

A California Court of Appeal signaled it is moving closer to making what could be a far-reaching decision in the consolidated cases of California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board (Case No. C075930) and...more

BRAG, B&C, and Industrial Biotechnology Host Bioeconomy Leaders Reception During BIO World Congress 2016

Scientists, executives, investors, and media representatives gathered in San Diego, California on Monday evening for a fascinating and wide-ranging panel discussion on current issues facing bioeconomy leaders and innovators....more

DOE Announces Upcoming International Energy Agency Webinar On Climate Impacts Of Bioenergy

On April 21, 2016, DOE and IEA Bioenergy (IEA) presented a webinar, Bioenergy - Is It Good for the Climate?, which discussed the climate benefits of bioenergy and the impact of bioenergy on atmospheric CO2 levels....more

Effect of Energy Policy Bills on Natural Gas Exports

Legislative Update. On April 20, the U.S. Senate passed broad legislation that covers many different aspects of the energy and environmental sectors, including changes to streamline the approval process for the export of...more

The Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act

The 2016 Florida Legislature adopted SB 552, a long-awaited, comprehensive water bill that tackled issues from Everglades restoration to water supply and created the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act (the Springs...more

The Senate Acts to Modernize Energy Policy and Increase U.S. Exports of Liquefied Natural Gas

For the first time in almost a decade, the Senate passed by a vote of 85-12 a bipartisan, broad based energy bill. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S. 2012) focuses on all forms of energy production and policies,...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Three Michigan state and local officials face first criminal charges in Flint water crisis - The Guardian - Apr 20 - Three state and local officials involved in Flint’s water...more

Volkswagen proposes a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Judge Breyer sets a June 21 deadline for a...

Tris Coffin heads the Vermont Volkswagen Class Action litigation team at DRM that also includes Directors Bob Luce and Marc Heath. On the evening of April 20, a number of news outlets published stories that Volkswagen...more

Renewable Energy Update - April 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewable portfolio standards drive 60% of U.S. clean energy boom - Greentech Media - Apr 15 - The renewable portfolio standards that many states have enacted are responsible for 60...more

Virginia 2016 General Assembly Update for Water Utilities

The 2016 General Assembly regular session ended March 11, a day earlier than its scheduled end date of March 12. Although it ended early, it was a busy session. The legislators considered 3,286 bills and resolutions, and...more

Is Coal Down For The Count

Last week Peabody Energy announced that it filed bankruptcy. Peabody is the nation’s largest coal company. The filing by Peabody comes on the heels of the January 2016 bankruptcy filing by Arch Coal, the nation’s second...more

Activists Using Misinformation to Kill Fracking in Wayne National Forest

A large billboard has been placed by anti-fracking extremists across from the Wayne National Forest (“the Wayne”) headquarters on U.S. Rt. 33 near Nelsonville, Ohio. The billboard declares, “Frack our national forest? No...more

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