Environmental Energy & Utilities

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Carbon Utilization Legislation Introduced In The Senate

On May 11, 2015, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced S. 1282 -- a bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to require the Secretary of Energy to consider the objective of improving the...more

Part 3 Of Biofuels Digest Series On TSCA And The Bioeconomy

Part 3 of Biofuels Digest's "Thought Leadership" series highlighting some of the ways the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) applies to biobased products was published May 18, 2015. Summaries of the first two "TSCA and the...more

Progress Toward Renewable Fuel Standard Blending Mandates

The White House is reviewing EPA's proposed rules to set the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. The proposals are not currently publicly available, but EPA has committed to propose them by June...more

EPA Issues SNURs For Several Biobased Chemicals

On May 8, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule for 25 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN), including several biobased chemical substances. The...more

Bank Of America Announces $600 Million Green Bond

On May 14, 2015, Bank of America (BoA) announced that it has issued a $600 million bond to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. This is the second time that BoA has offered green energy bonds. In 2013, BoA...more

Role Of Biomass Questioned For Clean Power Plan

In a May 8, 2015, letter, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) requested that EPA reconsider its decision to treat biomass as having zero emissions under the proposed Clean Power Plan (Plan). The Senators...more

Frack 2.0: Refracing Could Enable a Second Wave of Production Growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford

Operators will likely refrac more oil and gas wells this year and further accelerate such activity in 2016. The reason is simple: substantial bang for CAPEX bucks. A recent study by engineers from SPE and Baker Hughes...more

MassDEP Has A Lot of Discretion in Implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act

Unsatisfied with the pace of the administration’s implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Conservation Law Foundation sued the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, seeking a court order...more

Africa Energy Update

The latest news on legal and regulatory developments in Africa's energy sector with perspectives from our offices in New York, Washington and London. This third Africa energy update focuses on North Africa, Africa's most...more

California Once Again Leads Subnational Climate Change Agenda

Yesterday, California Governor Brown took another step down the road of long-term climate change regulation. Along with 11 other signatories, he signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with leaders from other international...more

Industry and Environmental Groups Make Pitch to Water Board Regarding Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring

On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) held a Public Workshop regarding the proposed Draft Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring (“Model Criteria”). In this meeting, the Water...more

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Preliminary Injunction Motion Filed To Stop BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Last Friday, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) opened their arguments on a preliminary injunction motion to halt the federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final...more

Reported Relationship Between Indoor Radon Concentrations and Unconventional Marcellus Shale Drilling Must Be Interpreted With...

Johns Hopkins researchers recently published a paper titled, "Predictors of Indoor Radon Concentrations in Pennsylvania, 1989-2013," in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study reported the results of a mathematical...more

FERC Issues Policy Statement Regarding Pipeline Modernization Surcharges

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Policy Statement regarding Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (Docket No. PL15-1-000). The Policy Statement affords...more

Independent Producers Seek To Halt Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule - BakerHostetler Files Injunction in Federal Court; Motion...

DENVER, May 15, 2015 — BakerHostetler today filed a request for preliminary injunction against the final rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The motion...more

PHMSA Steps Up Review of Pipeline Construction

Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement - The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction....more

TSCA Reform: House Subcommittee Holds Markup of Revised Draft TSCA Bill and Passes Amended Draft

On May 14, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a markup of a revised discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, prepared by Subcommittee Chair John Shimkus (R-IL)...more

For Wind Developers: Tax Increment Financing Law – Near Miss at the Legislature

Good news! For those of you following the potential impact of LD 581, An Act to Clarify the Municipal Development District Law, on wind development in the state, please note that on April 27, 2015, the Joint Standing...more

Energy & Environment Update - May 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Education - Department of State - Department of Treasury -...more

Now the EPC Really Matters

We posted in 2013 on the Regulations that will make it unlawful from 01 April 2018 to let properties with an F or a G EPC rating. These are now in force. There are some time limited exemptions and a few exclusions but now is...more

Salazar Says Draft NEPA GHG Guide Leaves Host Of Unresolved Issues

Former Obama administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is warning that the White House’s proposed guide for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) leaves open a host of...more

How Dry You’ll Be: California Adopts Regulations for Mandatory Water Conservation

As California enters another summer under severe drought conditions, regulators are taking steps to encourage significant reductions in water usage. After years of a “carrot” approach, Californians may start seeing the...more

NEPA Revised Draft Guidance on Consideration of GHG Emissions: Version 2.0 - Proposal Requires Federal Agencies to Assess GHG and...

Nearly five years after issuing its initial draft, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) continues to revise its draft guidance on conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) impact analyses under the National...more

North Carolina General Assembly Active on Renewable Energy Issues in 2015 Long Session

Two bills with significant renewable energy provisions were among those that survived the North Carolina General Assembly’s self-imposed “crossover” deadline of April 30, 2015. Most substantive bills must pass at least one...more

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