Environmental Energy & Utilities

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DOE Announces Two Programs Supporting Renewable and Clean Energy

Last week the United States Department of Energy (the DOE) announced two programs supporting the Obama administration’s commitment to renewable energy development. On April 16, the DOE released a draft solicitation for up to...more

The President’s Methane Reduction Strategy – Here’s What Energy Companies Need to Know

President Obama recently released a Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions (Strategy) that sets forth a multi-pronged plan for reducing methane emissions both domestically and globally. Domestically, the plan is to focus on...more

BC Environmental Assessment Office Fees

The Province of British Columbia approved an Order in Council dated April 11, 2014 to establish environmental assessment fees in British Columbia for the review of environmental assessment applications, orders and enforcement...more

Study Suggests EPA Underestimated Natural Gas Methane Emissions, But Not for Fracking, and EPA Releases Study Examining Fracking...

In several recent studies on methane emissions relating to the natural gas industry, scientists concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underestimated the quantity of methane the industry releases to the...more

NREL Analyzes Production Tax Credit Extension Implications for U.S. Manufacturing

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is a component of the U.S. Department of Energy, has published a report analyzing the implications of the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for U.S....more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly’s short session will begin on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed bi-weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues...more

D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA’s Utility Air Toxics Rule: An “Appropriate” Rule Need Not Be Justified By Cost-Benefit Analysis

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s rule setting limits for emissions of mercury and other air toxics from fossil-fuel-fired electric steam generating units. The focus of the decision – and the issue...more

New EU Energy and Environmental State Aid Guidelines Adopted: Phase Out of Renewable Energy Subsidies in Sight

On 9 April 2014, the European Commission adopted its new Energy and Environmental State Aid Guidelines (the "EEAG") which will take effect from 1 July 2014 onwards, replacing the Environmental State aid Guidelines ("EAG")...more

EPA Will Consider Whether To Propose Ultrafine Particle Air Quality Standard

Recent comments by EPA officials suggest that the agency will consider whether it should, for the first time, set a standard for “ultrafine” particles when it reviews its particulate matter national ambient air quality...more

Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small...more

PUE, CUE and DCeP. Can Metrics Rescue Green IT?

Businesses’ technology estates consume ever-greater amounts of energy and, at the same time, the cost of that energy continues to escalate. Green IT initiatives seem to have little effect despite the fact that, on paper, the...more

Biofuels Law Alert: IRS Addresses the Identity of the "Producer" in Contract Manufacturing Arrangements

Last week the IRS released an internal memorandum addressing which of the parties to a contract manufacturing arrangement for biodiesel is treated as the “producer” of the biodiesel for certain federal tax purposes....more

California Finalizes Drinking Water Standard for Hexavalent Chromium

On April 15, 2014, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) submitted the Final Statement of Reasons for the Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) to the Office of Administrative Law. No significant...more

Wrap-up of Federal Chemical Regulatory Developments for April 2014

EPA Makes TSCA Notifications Of Substantial Risk Amendable To Electronic Reporting: On March 19, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that notifications of substantial risk under Section 8(e) of the...more

Energy & Environment Update

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Environmental Protection Agency - Government Accountability Office -...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

The D.C. Circuit has upheld a 2012 EPA rule limiting air toxics emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The rule, commonly known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or “MATS,” requires new and existing coal-...more

A Timely Reminder From the CSLB and a Funny Acronym to Boot

Growing up in Sacramento, California I remember it being so hot that you could feel your tennis shoes stick to the asphalt on the playground. As California enters it’s worst drought in 119 years concern over water has...more

Climate Change Disclosure - Heads I Win, Tails You Lose?

Arjuna Capital, a sustainable wealth management platform, and As You Sow, an environmental corporate responsibility advocacy group, have been advocating for publicly traded companies to assess and disclose the risks that...more

Enforcement of Municipal Stormwater Ordinances Is Tricky Business: Failure to Enforce an Ordinance Required Under a Permit Is Not...

Stormwater pollution has become an increasingly important problem. Part of the difficulty in solving it is that it’s not obvious who should be responsible. Should cash-strapped municipalities be on the hook or should it be...more

Second Chance at a Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Moves Past First Major Obstacle

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and other supporters of SB 1132 cleared their first major hurdle in their renewed effort to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other forms of well stimulation treatment in...more

It's Final—State Water Board Adopts New Industrial General Permit for Storm Water Discharges

On April 1, 2014, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) unanimously adopted a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated...more

What’s the Difference Between ExxonMobil and Shell When It Comes To Climate Change? What’s A Trillion Tons (or Tonnes) Among...

Earlier this week, I posted about ExxonMobil’s shareholder disclosure. The bookend to ExxonMobil’s disclosure is the release of the Trillion Tonne Communique by the Prince of Wale’s Corporate Leaders Group. The Communique...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—Recent Events in the Dominican Power Sector Open the Door for the Development of Power Generation Projects,...

Recent announcements of key projects in the Dominican power sector and actions taken by the government signal that this sector is finally taking meaningful steps aimed at resolving the structural problems that affect it,...more

EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

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