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Category Archives: Energy regulatory

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U.S. Army Corps Reissues Fifty Existing and Two New Nationwide Permits

By Janice Schneider, Joel Beauvais, Stacey VanBelleghem, Jennifer Roy, and Francesca Bochner On March 19, 2017, 52 new or reissued nationwide permits (NWPs) for discharges into “waters of the United States,” issued pursuant to Section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act went into effect. The … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Upholds Cap-and-Trade Auctions

By Michael Romey, J.P. Brisson, Michael Dreibelbis and Andrew Westgate Yesterday, the Court of Appeals for California’s Third Appellate District issued its decision in California Chamber of Commerce, et al., vs. State Air Resources Board, et al., upholding the district court’s decision and allowing the cap-and-trade system to remain in place. The suit was filed by … Continue Reading

President Trump Takes First Step on Long Road to Roll Back Climate Rules

Claudia O’Brien, Bob Wyman, Joel Beauvais, Stacey VanBelleghem, Bridget Reineking, and Kimberly Leefatt have authored an article entitled President Trump Takes First Step on Long Road to Roll Back Climate Rules. On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO) directing executive departments and agencies to review regulations that potentially burden the … Continue Reading

CAISO Expects It May Need to Curtail Up to 8,000 MW This Spring and Up to 13,000 MW By 2024, Which Could Test Curtailment Risk Allocation Provisions in Renewable PPAs

By Michael Gergen, Tyler Brown, David Pettit and Christopher Randall At the most recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) held on February 16, 2017, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the CAISO reported that because of the “bountiful hydro conditions expected this year and significant additional … Continue Reading

New Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Policy Statement Potentially Expands Revenue Opportunities for Electric Storage Resources

By Michael Gergen and David E. Pettit On January 19, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a new policy statement entitled “Utilization of Electric Storage Resources for Multiple Services When Receiving Cost-Based Rate Recovery” (Storage Policy Statement or Policy Statement), which clarifies that electric storage resources may receive cost-based recovery for … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Clean Water Rule Case Jurisdictional Challenge

By Andrea Hogan, Lucas Quass, John Morris and Steven Mach On January 13, 2017, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari for an appeal that will allow the Court to determine the proper jurisdiction for litigation challenging the Clean Water Rule (the Final Rule).[1] The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) provides for original jurisdiction in the … Continue Reading

National Academy of Sciences Recommends Updated Framework for Social Cost of Carbon Calculations

By Stacey VanBelleghem and Benjamin Lawless On January 11, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a report, “Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxider,” recommending an updated framework for how the Federal government calculates the social cost of carbon (SCC) in regulatory rulemakings and other economically … Continue Reading

The Department of Energy’s Simplified IIP Process Goes Into Effect in November

By Sara Orr, Bobbi-Jo Dobush and Francesca Bochner On November 28, 2016, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) simplified Integrated Interagency Pre-Application (IIP) Process will go into effect.[i] The IIP is a voluntary, pre-application process intended to streamline and improve the permitting and siting process for qualifying electric transmission projects. In an effort to increase efficiency, the … Continue Reading

White House Issues Final NEPA Guidance on Climate Change

By Joshua Bledsoe, Sara Orr and Stacey VanBelleghem On August 2, 2016, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies to assess the impact of their decisions on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and also how such decisions may be impacted by a changing climate (e.g., future sea level … Continue Reading

US FWS Announces Record of Decision Streamlining Wind Energy Permitting for the Upper Great Plains

By Sara Orr and Bobbi-Jo Dobush On July 7, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).[1] This is the final step in a process that US FWS, along with Western Area Power Administration (Western), embarked upon in … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs PIPES Act of 2016, Reauthorizing PHMSA and Introducing New Mandates for Oil and Gas Pipeline Programs

By Marc Campopiano and Samantha Seikkula On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through 2019. Obama’s final stamp on the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act or Act) follows unanimous passage in … Continue Reading

US FWS Releases Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan

By Sara Orr, Daniel Brunton, Marc Campopiano and Andrea Hogan On April 15, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued its Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) proposing a regional approach to Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance process in response to the growth of … Continue Reading

US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

By Christopher Garrett, Daniel Brunton and Taiga Takahashi On June 6, 2016, in Backcountry Against Dumps et al. v. Jewell et al., the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court for the Southern District of California upholding federal approvals for the Tule Wind Project. The Court of … Continue Reading

EPA Targets Oil and Gas Sector with Suite of New Emissions Rules

By Robert Wyman, Claudia O’Brien, Michael Carroll, Alicia Handy, Andrew Westgate and Samantha Seikkula On May 12, 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, in support of the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas … Continue Reading

California Adopts Comprehensive Groundwater Basin Adjudication Law

By Paul Singarella, Maria Hoye, John Heintz, Lucas Quass & John Morris California enacts basin adjudication statutes with the goal of reducing uncertainty, costs and time of water rights litigation. On October 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley) to implement a comprehensive approach to groundwater basin adjudications … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Releases Infrastructure Permitting Guidance

By Marc Campopiano, Andrea Hogan and Joshua Marnitz On September 22, 2015, the White House, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), issued guidance to the heads of certain federal departments and agencies[1] (the Agencies) establishing metrics for the permitting and environmental review of infrastructure projects in … Continue Reading

Legislative Update: California Passes Groundbreaking Legislation Increasing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Mandates, But Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measures Fail

By Marc T. Campopiano, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Douglas Porter, Danny Aleshire, Jennifer Roy and Andrew Yancey The end of the California State Legislature’s regular session for the year culminated in a frenzy of action, with Assembly members scrambling to pass dozens of bills before midnight on September 12, 2015. The California Legislature voted on a package … Continue Reading

RETI 2.0: CEC and CPUC Plan for New Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative to Meet California’s Increasing Clean Energy Commitments

By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Marc T. Campopiano, and Max Friedman As California begins to turn the page on the first chapter of its efforts to combat climate change through AB 32 and to prepare for greater emissions reductions over the coming decades, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) are considering … Continue Reading

President Obama Announces Increased Support for Distributed Energy Projects and Eligibility of State Green Banks to Apply for DOE Loan Guarantees

By Michael J. Gergen, Joshua T. Bledsoe, David E. Pettit and Tara L. Rice President Obama recently announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Program Office (LPO) is expanding support for innovative “distributed energy projects” by adding $1 billion in available loan guarantees to support the deployment of these projects through the existing solicitations for … Continue Reading

California Energy Commission Report Projects Local Electric Reliability Deficits By 2021, Potentially Triggering The Need For New Natural Gas Power Generation

By Michael Carroll, Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released an August 2015 report projecting local reliability shortfalls in the Los Angeles basin planning area as early as 2021. The deficits may require new natural gas power generation to maintain grid reliability. This finding is part of the Integrated Energy … Continue Reading

Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

By Paul Singarella, Claudia O’Brien, Marc Campopiano Daniel Brunton, Joshua Bledsoe, Lucas Quass, John Heintz, Joshua Marnitz and John Morris On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 … Continue Reading

CAISO Takes Step to Allow Distributed Energy Resources to Compete in Wholesale Energy Markets

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Douglas K. Porter On June 10, 2015, the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”) released a draft final proposal (the “Expanded Metering and Telemetry Options Phase 2, Distributed Energy Resource Provider”) that, if finalized, would represent an initial  step towards a regulatory structure that would result in distributed energy resources (“DERs”) … Continue Reading

BLM Receives Challenges to Greater Sage-Grouse Plans From All Sides

By Marc Campopiano and Max Friedman Following the May 28, 2015 release by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of 14 final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) for land use plans designed to provide greater protection to the greater sage-grouse on approximately 50 million acres of BLM-managed land in 10 different western states, more than 40 … Continue Reading

DRECP Agencies Announce Phase I Updates

By Marc Campopiano, Joshua Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, James Erselius Phase I of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”) is underway on the 9.8 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). As discussed in our previous post, the four lead agencies responsible for the plan introduced a phased approach to … Continue Reading
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