Category Archives: Energy

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Valuation of Distributed Solar

Powering your home with clean energy generated from the solar panels on your roof and selling the excess energy to the utility are appealing prospects to those attuned to environmental, energy efficiency, and self-sufficiency considerations. It is not hard to see why solar distributed generation (“DG”) has moved into the social and political electricity spotlight … Continue Reading

EPA Delays Finalization of 2014 Renewable Fuel Standards

Last Friday, November 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) said it will defer its 2014 applicable percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard program. The proposed standards rule, issued by EPA in November 2013, requires U.S. refiners to add 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels to the nation’s fuel supply in 2014. EPA noted … Continue Reading

Reforms Open Mexico to Foreign Investors

Written by Nicolas Borda and Craig V. Richardson. How Colorado Companies Can Benefit From Partnership With Southern Neighbor AS THE ENERGY INDUSTRY in North America shows no signs of slowing down, the Mexican federal government is eager to join the ranks of those countries benefiting from the continent’s surge of natural gas exploration and development opportunities. … Continue Reading

The intersection of the Clean Air Act and energy policy: EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants

In the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of the American Bar Association’s Trends, attorneys Michael Cooke and Christopher Bell co-author “The intersection of the Clean Air Act and energy policy: EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants”. Read more here.… Continue Reading

Cross-Border Renewable Energy Projects: Sustainable Development and Investor Protection

Cross-border renewable energy development is a rapidly growing share of the more than $200 billion per year renewable energy industry. Balancing the interests of investors seeking regulatory certainty with the interests of states in environmental protection is a significant source of potential conflict. In a joint publication by two committees in the ABA Section of Environment, … Continue Reading

The Intersection of the Clean Air Act and Energy Policy: EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Standards for Existing Power Plants

Written by Christopher L. Bell and Michael G. Cooke On June 18, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed greenhouse gas emission reductions rule for existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. 79 Fed. Reg. 34,830. Once final, this rule will broadly affect energy generation, transmission, distribution, and use throughout the country, giving EPA the … Continue Reading

Permitting Implications of UARG Decision

Last week, EPA issued guidance to its Regional Administrators that addresses some of the questions raised by the decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group  v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427 (U.S. June 23, 2014) (“UARG”).   As discussed in our posts of June 23rd and July 14th, that decision raised several issues that … Continue Reading

Mexico’s Energy Reform: Opportunities for the Energy Industry

Written by Robert J. Downing. WHY THE CHANGE? In less than six months, Mexico’s energy industry will be changed forever. To understand the resulting business opportunities, business needs to know why this happened. Mexico’s energy sector is often regarded as one of the most closed systems in the world. Declining oil production since 2004, doubling … Continue Reading

Advice on the Brazilian Natural Gas Market

Written by Ashley C. Brown. The natural gas market in Brazil is largely dysfunctional and constitutes a major barrier to the nation’s growth and competitiveness. A well-functioning natural gas market in a modern economy will provide users with a reasonably priced product on a reliable yet flexible basis. To accomplish those objectives, the market should … Continue Reading

Top O&G Leasing Issues: Pooling And Pugh Clauses

Written by Douglas C. Atnipp and Frank R. Bradley III. The primary document which governs the contractual and real property rights, privileges and obligations of the landowner (i.e., lessor) and the energy company (i.e., lessee) is the oil and gas lease. Before a landowner grants an O&G lease to a lessee, he should carefully consider some … Continue Reading

EPA Releases its Proposed Rule to Cut Carbon Emissions at Existing Power Plants

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a draft rule that is intended to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.  EPA hopes to accomplish this through a state-focused strategy that is essentially an energy control rule than a traditional environmental pollution control effort.  EPA expects to finalize the rule by … Continue Reading

Spicing Up the North American Energy Revolution

Ahead of the Toluca Summit – which marked the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and saw the reunion of U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) CEO Emilio Lozoya asserted that, “North America will become the world’s cheapest … Continue Reading

Power of connections

Written by Ashley C. Brown. As summer approaches, the demand for power will soar once again. India’s power sector has slowly been evolving out of the loosely linked series of electric fiefdoms. The commissioning of the 765 kV transmission link between the Southern Grid and the North-East-West Grid, coupled with the new cross-border link with … Continue Reading

Keystone and Wind: Strange Bedfellows or Pragmatic Compromise?

Written by John P. McMullan. In 2012, more than 13,000 MWs of wind turbines were installed domestically; less than 100MWs of wind turbines were installed in the first three quarters of 2013. What explains the tremendous decline in wind installations? The answer is policy uncertainty that confronts the primary federal support for the wind energy industry … Continue Reading

GT Air Update – Part II

By Adam Silverman. In part II of our Air Update we address the following recent developments related to the regulation of greenhouse gases: Massachusetts became the ninth—and most recent—state to adopt stricter air standards under the RGGI.  We wrote about New York’s adaptation earlier this year. European Parliament froze the number of pollution allowances in … Continue Reading

GT Air Update – Part I

By Adam Silverman Several recent developments in air regulations are likely to impact regional, national and international air pollution policy.  In part I of our Air Update we address several Clean Air Act topics: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issues two important Clean Air Act opinions, one clarifying a recent decision to uphold revisions … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision Limits Ability of Government Agencies to Impose ‘Extortionate’ Permit Conditions on Landowners

On June 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important Takings Clause decision with far-reaching implications for real estate developers and others who rely on federal or state permits. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Court extended the doctrine of “unconstitutional conditions” established in the Court’s Nollan and Dolan cases. By … Continue Reading

One Step Forward, One Step Back – NY Moves Forward on Its Environmental Self-Audit Policy as EPA Looks to Retreat

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently proposed an environmental “audit incentive” policy, which is similar to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) long standing self-audit policy. In its draft policy, DEC encourages participation by waiving or reducing penalties for environmental violations that regulated entities discover through an environmental audit, and expeditiously report … Continue Reading

Carbon Claustrophobia — Significant Changes Coming to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives Cap and Trade Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is currently accepting public comments on several proposed changes to the DEC’s regulations governing New York’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). DEC’s proposed changes, which are based on updates to … Continue Reading

Is EPA Playing Chicken With Clean Air Act?

In this week’s Pennsylvania Law Weekly and Legal Intelligencer, I write about the motivations behind EPA’s potential delay of issuing a final rule that would limit carbon emissions from new power plants.  The agency appears to be playing a high stakes game of political chicken that could provoke congress to pass standalone cap-and-trade legislation.  Read Is EPA Playing Chicken With … Continue Reading

Natural Gas and Zoning Preemption in Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth Court, one of Pennsylvania’s two intermediate appellate courts, invalidated provisions of the Oil and Gas Act Amendments of 2012 (“Act 13″) intended to limit local regulation of natural gas development, particularly development of the Marcellus Shale.  The court issued its opinion in Robinson Township v. Public Utility Comm’n, No. 284 M.D. 2012, on … Continue Reading
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