Energy and Environment Update - May 15, 2011

by Mintz Levin
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In This Update:

Energy and Climate Debate:

After the House passed two additional oil and gas exploration and drilling bills last week, the Senate is expected to spend this week considering legislation that would end tax breaks for large oil and natural gas companies. Republicans are pushing their own measure — introduced last week — that would codify a trio of pro-drilling bills passed in the last two weeks in the House.

The House passed May 11 two measures (H.R. 1229 and H.R. 1231) that would expedite offshore oil and natural gas drilling, and is on recess this week. Legislation (H.R. 1230) that directs the administration to proceed forward with three lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the coast of Virginia was approved May 5. The second bill establishes a 60-day deadline for making decisions on permit requests and limits judicial reviews and requires that the future five year offshore leading programs consider all promising offshore areas that are believed to contain the greatest oil and natural gas resources, respectively.

Congress:

Reliability Study Requested; Yucca Papers Sought; Spending Cuts Proposed; CCS Hearing Held; RE Permitting Hearing Held; Legislation Introduced; and Upcoming Hearings.

Administration:

AK Leasing Approved and US-China Dialogue Meeting Concludes.

Department of Defense:

Navy Establishes Building Standards.

Department of Energy:

$1 Million for Efficiency Collaboration; Loan Guarantee Applications Frozen; Efficiency Guides Released; Strategic Plan Unveiled; and $90 Million for Solar Facility.

Department of Interior:

Offshore Projects Hastened and Deepwater Exploration Permitted.

Environmental Protection Agency:

“Most Efficient” Tier Established and Boiler MACT Reconsideration Requested.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

NRC Releases First Review.

Miscellaneous:

77% RE by 2050

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report May 8 that found that the world could draw 77 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. The optimistic scenario assumes a host of policy changes on governments to put a stiff price on GHG emissions and generous support for renewable generation.

India Reduces Carbon Intensity

India’s Planning Commission released a report last week that concluded that the country will meet and perhaps even surpass its Copenhagen pledge to reduce carbon intensity 25 percent from 2005 levels in the next decade. The report found that if the country receives international financial assistance, it could reduce intensity by more than 35 percent by 2020...

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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