Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Power, Oil, Gas and Minerals

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Investing in the Environment — European Commission Announces Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund will promote advanced low-carbon technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote decarbonisation. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green By the end of 2018, the European Commission will set up an Innovation Fund (the Fund) to aid decarbonisation. To achieve this, the European Commission will amend the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

Can China Meet Its Paris Agreement Targets?

Increased manufacturing offshoring and industrial activity may prevent China from reaching its commitments, despite a booming renewable energy sector. By Paul A. Davies, Kimberly Leefatt, and R. Andrew Westgate China’s carbon emissions increased by 4% in the first quarter of 2018 — marking the biggest hike in carbon emissions in the last seven years, according … Continue Reading

Big Changes Ahead for US Renewable Fuel Standard

Recapping the first year of activity by the Trump administration on key issues. By Joel C. Beauvais and Steven P. Croley The Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, has been the focus of sustained policy discussion and resulting uncertainty during the first year of the Trump administration. Over the past year, the administration has floated, and … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Approves Environmental Analysis for Oil Refinery Propane Recovery Project

By Winston P. Stromberg, Lucas I. Quass, and Derek Galey Rodeo Citzens Ass’n v. County of Contra Costa, California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three, Case No. A151184 (March 20, 2018). CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In a published opinion issued March 20, 2018, Rodeo Citizens v. County of … Continue Reading

France Unveils Circular Economy Roadmap

The multi-pronged plan will encourage a collaborative national effort to dispose of France’s “consume and discard” model. By Paul A. Davies The French Prime Minister recently unveiled the country’s circular economy roadmap. The 50-item scheme, announced on 23 April 2018, is the result of consultation with stakeholders (November 2017 —January 2018) and a two-stage online … Continue Reading

Carbon Markets Must Balance Stability and Adaptability When Implementing Emissions Trading Systems

As China begins to implement its emissions trading system, the country may look around the globe for regulatory guidance. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China established its national emissions trading system (ETS) as a key component of the plan to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. The country’s participation in the … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Partial Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Successful CEQA Litigant

By Christopher W. Garrett, Natalie C. Rogers, and Kimberly D. Farbota CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[1] In a published opinion issued January 12, 2018, Heron Bay Homeowners Assn. v. City of San Leandro, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s partial grant of Heron Bay Homeowners Association’s request for … Continue Reading

The Success of China’s Efforts to Decrease Harmful Pollution Levels

China cuts fossil fuel consumption to achieve clean energy goal, but must carefully balance the consequences for Chinese citizens. By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In tandem with China’s significant economic growth over the past three decades, coal emissions have soared, increasing from 446 million tonnes in 1990 to 2.6 billion tonnes in 2017. Coal … Continue Reading

The European Commission Reviews Free Allocation Rules in EU Emissions Trading System

The EC is seeking feedback on its roadmap for the next EU Emissions Trading System revision. By Paul A. Davies, Lars Kjølbye, Elisabetta Righini, and Guendalina Catti De Gasperi The European Commission (EC) has launched an initiative for the revision of EU-wide rules for the free allocation of emission allowances under the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading

China Plans New Energy Ministry to Replace the National Energy Administration

China’s new energy ministry demonstrates the country’s continued commitment to environmental protection and renewable energy. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate Recent comments from senior communist party leaders indicate that the Chinese government intends to establish a new Ministry of Energy to streamline and consolidate authority for energy-related issues. The responsibility for these issues … Continue Reading

New York Releases Offshore Wind Master Plan

Plan outlines next steps for procuring 2,400 MW by 2030, with a likely significant benefit for New York’s economic development. By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, Michael Gergen, and David Amerikaner New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have released the New York State Offshore Wind Master … Continue Reading

German Coalition Talks Hint at Key Elements of German Environmental Policy 2018-2021

A coalition government would likely focus on energy, transportation, and the automotive industry to meet Paris Agreement targets. By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Background After the 2017 German parliamentary elections, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) faced difficulties in forming a new government. However, the parties have now agreed on … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Unveils Three Offshore Wind Farm Proposals

New England wind farms poised to lead the way in utilities converting from fossil fuel to wind generation. By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, and David Amerikaner The race is on to build the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in the United States (US) on the federal Outer Continental Shelf. In December, three companies — Bay … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Mandates Critical Minerals Development Strategy

Interior Department agencies to take immediate steps to jumpstart a plan for promoting US critical mineral production. By Janice M. Schneider, Tommy Beaudreau, Sara K. Orr, and James D. Friedland US Interior Department agencies are developing a strategic framework that will advance US critical mineral production. These efforts come on the heels of Executive Order … Continue Reading

France Bans Research and Exploitation of Fossil Fuels

France announces voluntary adoption of a new law amending the Mining Code to meet Paris Agreement commitments. By Paul Davies and Michael Green* Background After lengthy legislative debates, the amended Mining Code (MC) now provides that, as a matter of principle, the research and exploitation of coal, and of all liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons, shall … Continue Reading

Interior Department Excludes Incidental Take Liability Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

By Janice Schneider, Sara Orr, Jennifer Roy and James Erselius Reversing a long-standing federal legal position, the US Interior Department recently stated that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) does not impose liability for the incidental take of protected birds. The 41-page Solicitor’s Opinion (number M-37050) withdraws and replaces a prior Solicitor’s Opinion (number M-37041), issued … Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Announces Ambitious Clean Energy Agenda for New York

By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, and David Amerikaner New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda last week as the 20th proposal of his 2018 State of the State address. The far-reaching proposal charts a path forward for further progress in advancing clean energy in New York this year, … Continue Reading

Strong End of 2017 for Oil and Gas on Federal Lands and Waters in Alaska

By Tommy Beaudreau and Janice Schneider Alaska is kicking off 2018 following several major developments related to oil and gas exploration and production on federal lands on the North Slope, both onshore and on the offshore outer continental shelf (OCS). In May 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited Alaska and declared that “the path for … Continue Reading

DOI Identifies Burdens to Energy Development on US Tribal Land

By Janice M. Schneider, Tommy P. Beaudreau, Stacey L. VanBelleghem, and Nikki Buffa Stakeholders interested in energy development on US tribal lands will welcome recent Department of Interior (DOI) efforts that identify a key burden to energy development on these lands — as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA’s) plans to address it. … Continue Reading

BOEM Renewable Energy Task Force Discusses Potential New Wind Energy Areas Offshore New York

By Tommy Beaudreau, Janice Schneider, and David Amerikaner The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) convened the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the New York Bight to discuss BOEM’s draft Call for Information and Nominations (Call) on December 4, 2017. The meeting, which was held via a webinar, marked an important step in the … Continue Reading

German Court Will Take Evidence in Groundbreaking Climate Change Case

By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Latham has previously written about the Lliuya v. RWE AG case, in which a Peruvian farmer has sought damages from German energy giant RWE for climate change effects in his home country. The Higher Regional Court of Hamm indicated during oral hearings that it would likely proceed to take … Continue Reading

European Commission Emphasises Environmental Issues in 2018 Work Programme

By Michael Green and Paul Davies Following decision C(2017)7124 of the European Commission (EC), the EC has launched its Work Programme for 2018 (WP 2018). WP 2018 outlines plans for achieving the EC’s primary policy objectives during the next 12 months — with particular attention to environmental issues. WP 2018 outlines four “Focus Areas” (FAs) … Continue Reading

New York Public Service Commission Adopts Compensation Values for Distributed Energy Resources in Reforming the Energy Vision Proceeding

By Michael Gergen, David E. Pettit and Christopher Randall On September 14, 2017, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC or the Commission) issued its Order on Phase One Value of Distributed Energy Resources Implementation Proposals, Cost Mitigation Issues, and Related Matters (the Implementation Order). The Implementation Order sets the methodologies by which utilities throughout … Continue Reading

Urban Mining Briefing Reveals Huge Global Potential

By Jörn Kassow and Eun Kyung Lee Germany’s increasing shortage of natural resources and the corresponding mounting cost of extracting raw materials signals the need for alternative and innovative ways of collecting and recycling secondary raw materials. One promising method of securing potential secondary raw materials is “urban mining”, which aims primarily at reclaiming raw … Continue Reading
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