Environmental Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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Some Hard Truths About Addressing Climate Change

On November 23, 2015 Boston Globe had an op-ed by Joshua Goldstein and Steven Pinker concerning some “Inconvenient Truths for the environmental movement.” I’m sorry to say that I agree with pretty much every word of it. Why...more

Xcel Energy Reports 24 Community Solar Garden Projects are Beginning Construction

Xcel Energy filed its monthly report for the Community Solar Garden program with the Public Utilities Commission last week, revealing that 24 projects are moving to the beginning stages of construction....more

Addressing Climate Change in SEC Filings and Other Public Disclosures: What These Disclosures Mean for Businesses

Regulatory agencies are focusing on required climate change-related disclosures in securities filings and other public disclosures, seeking to ensure not only that such disclosures are made, but also that they are supported...more

Renewable Energy Update - November 2015 #4

Silver Lake nearly quadruples initial investment in SolarCity - Los Angeles Times: - Nov 18: Investment firm Silver Lake announced plans Wednesday to nearly quadruple the size of its initial stake in rooftop solar power...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Clean Air Act Preemption of State Common Law Claims: Four Things to Know

In two decisions released on November 2, 2015, Merrick, et al. v. Diageo Americas Supply, Inc. and Little et al. v. Louisville Gas & Electric Company; PPL Corporation, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit...more

Ontario Government Consulting on Proposed Design of the New Cap-and-Trade Program

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has released details of its proposed cap-and-trade program designed to address climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board amends regional MS4 permit to provide alternate compliance: Allen Matkin - Nov 19: On Wednesday afternoon, the San Diego Regional Water...more

Alberta Announces Climate Leadership Plan

Yesterday, the Alberta government announced its Climate Leadership Plan (Plan) and released to the public the Climate Leadership Report to Minister (Report) it commissioned from the Climate Change Advisory Panel. While...more

San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board Amends Regional MS4 Permit to Provide Alternate Compliance, Define Prior Lawful...

On Wednesday, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board approved amendments to its regional National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permit, Order No. R9-2013-0001, regulating discharges from large...more

EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court

On November 17, 2015, Pittsburgh-based energy company EQT Production Co. (“EQT”) presented its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting it set aside a February 20, 2015, ruling of Commonwealth Court...more

California Water Restrictions Could Continue Under New Executive Order

California’s sweeping restrictions on water use could be extended deep into next year under a new Executive Order by Gov. Jerry Brown. If drought conditions persist through January 2016, the Order provides that emergency...more

Crude-By-Rail Update: Siting a Crude Oil Transloading Terminal in California? Developers Should Seek Old Industrial Sites and...

Proposed crude-by-rail (CBR) projects in California increasingly face opposition lawsuits designed to stall and derail the terminals. The suits often focus on alleged noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality...more

Another Season of Change in North Carolina Environmental Law - Part II

As discussed in Part I of our environmental legislative update published on November 12, 2015, the 2015 North Carolina legislative session resulted in a great deal of change for the state’s environmental programs....more

Africa Update - November 2015 #3

Leading the News - Egypt: On November 12th, officials at the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) noted while they had offered assistance to both Egyptian...more

The Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Releases First Draft of Recommendations to Gov. Wolf for Future Pipeline...

Overview of the Task Force - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force (PITF) recently released the first draft of its report. In May 2015, Gov. Wolf announced the...more

Energy & Environment Update - November 2015 #3

Energy and Climate Debate - With the November 20 deadline looming, Congress will focus much of this week on the surface transportation bill as House and Senate conferees try to quickly negotiate differences on H.R. 22...more

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

EPA Extends Public Comment Period On Three Flame Retardant Clusters: On August 13, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment three Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan...more

What Success Means For COP21

If you want to know what how a rational optimist defines success for COP21, take a look at Rob Stavins’s latest post. Here’s his “Paris Scorecard” for what success will look like...more

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - November 2015

A Note from the Editors - Our November edition of Energy Technology Connections brings you recent industry highlights, the latest news from Capitol Hill, and a list of upcoming energy industry events. In Leaders in the...more

White House OMB Reviews Final Changes To Standards For Renewable Fuels

On October 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a draft final rule for review to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that would reduce the amount of biofuels that must be...more

Open Meeting Of The Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Announced

On November 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. The meeting is intended...more

UPDATE: Texas RRC Agrees Earthquakes Not Caused by EnerVest, XTO Injection Wells

In a November 3 decision, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) agreed with an administrative law judge (ALJ) that two wastewater injection wells, one operated by EnerVest Operating LLC and the other by Exxon Mobil Corp....more

Senator Stabenow Introduces Legislation To Provide Tax Credits For Renewable Chemical Production

On November 10, 2015, Senator Stabenow (D-MI), along with Senators Coons (D-DE) and Franken (D-MN), introduced S. 2271, the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2015 to the Senate. If passed, the bill would amend the Internal Revenue...more

Competition and Regulation Update: Storage in the National Electricity Market - Is the Grid Moving In?

Electricity storage at or above household scale will likely become economic within the next few years, as the cost of batteries come down and generous feed in tariffs slowly expire. Australia could be one of the world's...more

EPA Tightens Wastewater Discharge Limits for Power Plants

EPA recently issued a final rule setting new Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category. According to EPA, while the electric power industry has made...more

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