Category Archives: Energy

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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

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

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

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

Marcellus Shale Moratorium in New York, But Only Until May

   On November 29, the New York Assembly passed A1143B/S08129B which had previously passed the Senate.  Governor Paterson is reported to be prepared to sign the bill, although the New York Times blog reports that industry groups are still pushing for a veto.  The bill, if signed, would impose a moratorium on new permits for natural gas wells that … Continue Reading

Delaware River Basin Commission Delays Natural Gas Regulations and Declines to Bar Exploratory Wells

The New York Times recently covered the ongoing dispute over drilling for natural gas in the Delaware River Basin, an area not only subject to the jurisdiction of state environmental agencies but also an interstate compact agency known as the Delaware River Basin Commission. At the Commission’s regular September 15 meeting, the DRBC Executive Director … Continue Reading
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