Environmental Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

OCC & Federal Reserve Report and Proposed Rules - Limitation on Banks Dealing & Investing in Metals and other Physical Commodities

On September 8, 2016, as required by Section 620 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”) and the Federal Deposit...more

Carbon Reduction Reshapes a Regional Electricity Market

Earlier this year, Massachusetts passed legislation that will require the state’s distribution utilities to purchase carbon-free electricity from hydropower and on and offshore wind farms under long-term contracts for up to...more

Post-Aliso Canyon gas storage report

A task force has released its report on the safety of underground natural gas storage, following the Aliso Canyon leak in California. The Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety was formed by Congress and the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal report recommends gas-storage safety changes - OC Register - Oct 18 - A task force commissioned by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety...more

Massachusetts climate change executive order

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order last month setting a comprehensive approach to climate change. Executive Order No. 569, Establishing An Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth,...more

California DWR Releases Final Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its final modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries in response to the emergency regulations adopted by DWR last October. The basin...more

Renewable Energy Update - October 2016 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Reaction mixed on proposed California solar-wind resource adequacy scheme - Renewable Energy World - Oct 12 - The power and energy regulatory environment is in a high state of...more

Sustainable Development Update - October 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - San Francisco’s Treasure Island project wins top green rating - Commercial Property Executive - Oct 14 - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded LEED-ND...more

Pan-Canadian carbon pricing approach

All Canadian jurisdictions will have put a price on carbon pollution by 2018, according to a speech earlier this month by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The federal government's "pan-Canadian approach" sets a...more

NYC Passes Legislation Increasing Allowed Biodiesel In Heating Oil Blend

On September 28, 2016, the City of New York passed a bill, 47 to three, increasing the amount of biodiesel in the city’s heating oil. Heating oil in New York City currently contains two percent biodiesel, which will increase...more

New Law Takes Aim at GHG Associated with California’s Water Sector

The recent wave of climate change legislation in California also included a new and not particularly well-known law aimed at curbing greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions associated with water use. SB 1425 will create a voluntary...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - SoCal air board proposes stricter regulations for smog-reduction plan - Los Angeles Times - Oct 7 - The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) released a...more

Reports On Canadian Biofuels GHG Emissions Argue For And Against Biofuel Mandates Over Carbon Pricing

On October 4, 2016, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission (EFC) published a report, Course Correction: It’s Time to Rethink Canadian Biofuel Policies, arguing for the termination of biofuel subsidies. The report claims that...more

News from Second and State

Weekly Wrap: - All’s been quiet on the capitol front since our last writing; neither chamber was in Harrisburg for voting session over the last two weeks. That’s not to say we’re without a few tidbits of...more

Xcel Wins Approval to Transform Minnesota Generation Fleet

On October 13, 2016, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s dramatic proposal to shift away from coal generation toward renewable energy. In authorizing the company’s 2016-2030 Integrated Resource...more

Developments in aircraft and marine finance for 2016

As is the case with other transportation assets, the legal considerations for aircraft and vessel finance providers (FPs) include an amalgam of state, federal and international laws. Summarized below are some of the more...more

Energy Sector Alert Series: Supreme Court Cases to Watch

In this eight-week alert series, we are providing a broad look at current and emerging issues facing the energy sector. Lawyers from across the firm are discussing issues ranging from cybersecurity, antitrust and intellectual...more

Arizona Corporation Commission Takes a Step Closer to Determining the Value of Distributed Generation for Arizona

On October 7, 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Hearing Division issued a Recommended Opinion and Order (“ROO”) in the Commission’s Investigation of the Value and Cost of Distributed Generation docket (Docket No....more

What a Surprise! Increased Renewal Energy Decreases GHG Emissions.

On October 12, 2016, the Energy Information Administration reported that “Energy-related CO2 emissions for first six months of 2016 are lowest since 1991.” The EIA gave three reasons for the drop in CO2 emissions. ...more

Sustainable Development Update - October 2016 #2

Sustainable Development Focus - When it comes to sustainable building, cost still major barrier reports new survey - Proud Green Building - Oct 5 - Sustainable building practices are becoming more common,...more

TSCA Reform Will Fundamentally Change U.S. Chemical Regulation

Astonishingly, in an election year and at a time of unprecedented partisanship, this past June, Congress adopted significant reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) with sweeping support from both sides of the...more

UK Shale: Full Steam Ahead for Fracking?

On 6 October 2016, the UK's Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, overruled local councillors on appeal and approved Cuadrilla's plans to explore for shale gas in Lancashire. Cuadrilla has been...more

Renewable Energy Update - October 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - Power companies join EIM to save money, integrate renewables - Solar Industry Magazine - Oct 4 - After months of intensive testing, Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service (APS) and...more

Reed Smith Prepares Enforceability Opinion for IECA New Master Netting Agreement

On October 7, 2016, Reed Smith assisted the International Energy Credit Association (“IECA”) in preparing an enforceability opinion for the release its Master Netting Agreement (the “MNA”) under both English and U.S. law....more

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