Environmental Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
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President Obama Signs PIPES Act of 2016, Reauthorizing PHMSA and Introducing New Mandates for Oil and Gas Pipeline Programs

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through 2019. Obama’s final stamp on the Protecting our...more

DOE Announces $16 Million to Commercialize Energy Technologies

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $16 million in funding to help businesses commercialize promising energy technologies from DOE’s National Laboratories to the marketplace. This is the first...more

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Reauthorized

The newly enacted legislation further bolsters PHMSA’s growing oversight of storage and pipeline transport facilities. On June 22, US President Barack Obama signed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and...more

Whitestone hydrokinetic license surrendered

Despite efforts to offer a streamlined regulatory path for some demonstration hydropower projects, earlier this year the holder of a hydrokinetic pilot project license for a project proposed for the Tanana River in Alaska...more

The Paris Agreement: What it means for business

The Paris Agreement on climate change is unprecedented in its scope, will define the global economy of the 21st century, and has immediate impact on businesses around the world. 196 countries have agreed to hold the...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

Edgartown's Muskeget tidal project faces questions

A municipal tidal power project proposed for the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard faces federal deadlines if its licensing process is to continue. The Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project, proposed by the Town of...more

Canada Proposes 2016 Regulations on Energy Efficiency

Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) have a major impact on both the economy and the environment. Homes and buildings are one of the major contributors to GHG emissions and accounted for 22% of Canada’s national GHG emissions in 2013....more

Massachusetts Energy Bill Emerges from Senate Committee on Ways and Means

Last Friday, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released its version of the energy bill that passed the House earlier this month. Whereas the House bill would require distribution companies to procure 1,200 MW of offshore...more

Renewable Energy Update - June 2016 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - California utility phasing out nuclear, voluntarily raising renewables target - PV-Tech - Jun 22 - California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) plans to increase investment...more

BOEM Call for Hawaii offshore wind interest

U.S. ocean energy managers have asked for information to evaluate industry interest in leasing sites offshore Hawaii for commercial offshore wind development. Under U.S. law, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)...more

Energy Storage Gets a Boost from Federal and Private Sector Actions

On June 16, 2016, the White House hosted a Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets. As a backdrop to the Summit, the Obama Administration announced new executive actions and 33 public and private...more

North Carolina Legislative Update

Budget negotiations continued behind closed doors this week, with Speaker Tim Moore and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Senator Phil Berger, working to resolve the final differences between the two chambers’ spending...more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap: - With the end of the fiscal year looming, it’s been all budget all the time in Harrisburg. The House of Representatives returned on Monday with the intention to continue daily voting sessions until the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - PG&E to close Diablo Canyon, California's last nuclear power plant - Los Angeles Times - Jun 21 - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) announced on Tuesday that it plans to close...more

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

The Toxic Substances Control Act Overhaul: What You Need to Know

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” into law, making comprehensive changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This step comes after years of...more

Canada NEB starts Energy East pipeline review

Canada's National Energy Board has ruled that the applicationsare complete for the Energy East Pipeline Project and a related gas project. This determination starts the NEB's review process, under which the Board must issue...more

FERC’s Generator Interconnection Technical Conference Elicits Debate on Need for Interconnection Process Reforms

On May 13, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) held a technical conference on generator interconnection issues in partial response to a June 2015 Petition filed by the American Wind...more

Predictions for Alberta’s Renewable Electricity Program

In March 2016, the Alberta government tasked the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the independent system operator for Alberta’s electricity system, with developing and implementing a plan to significantly increase...more

Denver Proposes Mandatory Energy Benchmarking and Implementation of Efficiency Measures

The Energize Denver Task Force, a task force created in December 2015 by the City and County of Denver, recently recommended specific energy efficiency benchmarking measures for commercial and multifamily residential...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

DOE Awards $23 Million for Small Businesses Focused on Clean Energy Innovations

Earlier this week the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $23 million in funding for 23 new projects focused on developing clean energy technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and job creation. These small...more

Canadian Government Seeks Input for Innovation Agenda

In September 2015 a new government was elected in Canada, on a platform of significant change. Its first budget, tabled last March, outlines its plan for implementation of that change. A significant part of the budget –...more

Shanghai Set to Improve Air Quality Ahead of G20 Summit

In advance of the first ever G20 summit to be hosted in China this year, the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau issued a revised, short-term air quality plan to improve local air conditions ahead of the summit. China...more

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