Energy and Environment Update - January 2, 2011


In This Issue:

Brief 111th Congress Review and 112th Congress Preview:

At the beginning of the 111th Congress, an ambitious clean energy policy was one of the pillars of the Democrats’ Congressional agenda. While the Recovery Act contained billions of dollars in investment and tax incentives for renewable energy and clean energy manufacturing, by the end of the Congress, the Senate was unable to enact a longer-term federal energy policy. The Senate did not pass a cap and trade program, nor was there sufficient support for a renewable electricity standard (RES). During intensive negotiations on the Lame Duck tax package, Congress did extend the 1603 Grants in Lieu of Tax Credits Program by one year, but the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program was not expanded.

At a year-end press conference, President Obama acknowledged that energy reform remains a major piece of unfinished business, and he expressed willingness to work with Republicans. However, an influx of freshman Republicans hostile to the idea of climate change and skeptical of federal support for renewable energy may threaten new policies supporting clean energy innovation and efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Some proposals from last Congress will not be feasible in the new Congress: cap and trade is dead for the foreseeable future (according to one poll, 86% of Congressional Freshmen oppose climate change legislation), and a clean energy standard including nuclear and clean coal appears poised to replace RES proposals from the 111th Congress...

Congress: The House and Senate will convene the 112th Congress on January 5th

Department of Energy: Twenty New Activities Excluded

Department of Interior: Wind Project Request for Interest (ROI) Issued

Environmental Protection Agency: State GHG Regulation on Hold; and, $9.9 Million for BEACH Act Monitoring

Federal Trade Commission: Light Bulb Labeling Postponed

Miscellaneous: Bird Safeguards Sought; Massachusetts GHG Plan Released; Japan Delays GHG Trading; France Tightens Vehicle Standard; $1.3 Billion for Japanese Development; and, Court Finds No Authority.

Please see full update below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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