Energy and Environment Update - December 19, 2010


In This Issue:

Energy and Climate Debate

Following another busy lame duck week, President Obama signed into law the tax package December 17th, and congress passed a three-day Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government until this Tuesday.

The $858 billion tax package (H.R. 4853)—in addition to extending the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates for all taxpayers until 2012, unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months, the alternative minimum tax for two years, and reducing the Social Security payroll tax for one year—also extends several clean energy tax credits.

The bill, which passed the Senate (81-19) on December 15th and the House (277-148) later the next day, includes a one-year extension of the 1603 Grants in Lieu of Tax Credits Program, an extension of the ethanol production tax credit at its current level of 45 cents per gallon through the end of 2011, a tax break for home energy efficiency projects, and a tax credit for manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances.

Congress: Diesel Grants Reauthorized; and Hybrid Noise Bill Passed

Administration: Environmental Justice Forum Convened

Department of Energy: Energy Information Administration (EIA) Releases Energy Forecast; Rare Minerals Proposal Outlined; $7 Million to Support Building Codes; $184 Million for Vehicles; $50 Million for Solar Technologies; $1.3 Billion Loan Guarantee Finalized; Photovoltaic Balance of System Request for Information Released; Cool Roof Installation Completed; $30 Million for Biofuels; and $400 Million Loan Guarantee Finalized

Department of Interior: Solar Zones Identified; Sequestration Methodology Announced

Environmental Protection Agency: GHG Permitting Rule Sent to Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Midwest and California Transmission Plans Approved

Miscellaneous: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Releases Transportation Report; Solar Installations Up; California Ready for Electric Vehicles; Groups to Assist Russian Renewable Development; North Carolina Adopts Building Codes; South Korea Plans Energy Strategy; California Air Resources Board (CARB) Approves Trading Program; Diesel Regs Half Black Carbon; Brazil Requires GHG Targets; Tailoring Rule May Jeopardize Forest Projects; Solar Project Halted; and Early Auction Comments Requested.

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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