Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Power, Oil, Gas and Minerals

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Why EPA’s Proposed CO2 Standards for New Power Plants Matter

EPA’s proposed standards have important implications, even though few coal plants are slated for development. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Background On December 6, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a proposed rule to establish new source performance standards (NSPS) under Clean Air Act Section 111(b) for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions … Continue Reading

China’s Global Supergrid to Enable Free Flow of Electricity Internationally

The proposed initiative will allow the provision of clean energy on a global scale by 2050. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) initiative, originally developed by Liu Zhenya, the chairman of the Chinese State Grid Corporation, is dedicated to promoting global energy interconnections in a sustainable manner. The … Continue Reading

China Reinforces Renewable Energy Commitment With Significant European Wind Investments

Chinese investors continue to build knowledge of the wind sector through European investment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has traditionally focused more on developing coal and hydroelectric power, which provide relatively constant output, instead of wind and solar, which depend on whether conditions. However, recently, government-owned power producers have begun making … Continue Reading

Viewpoints Video Examines California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Harvard professor Robert Stavins joins Latham partner Bob Wyman to review key climate change mitigation policies. California’s climate change mitigation program is widely viewed as one of the most comprehensive of its kind — encompassing a cap-and-trade component and a series of complementary measures with specific performance targets for important sectors such as motor vehicles, … Continue Reading

6 Things You Need to Know About EPA’s Proposed ACE Rule

By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem On August 21, 2018 the Trump administration released its proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). Both rules would regulate CO2 emissions from existing electric generating units (EGUs) pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The … Continue Reading

Water Management in Oil & Gas Production: Market Drivers and Legal Issues

Latham lawyers discuss the forces driving transformation in the market and the key legal and regulatory issues. By Tommy Beaudreau, Joel Beauvais, Joel Mack, Ryan Maierson, and Janice Schneider Water management is becoming increasingly critical amid increasing oil and gas production in the Permian Basin and other regions of the United States. In particular, many … Continue Reading

UK Government to Abolish CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

Relief from the mandatory scheme will reduce the administrative burden on non-energy intensive companies. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) — which first came into operation on 1 April 2010 — will be abolished at the end of the 2018-19 compliance year, pursuant to the CRC Energy Efficiency … Continue Reading

California Legislature Eyes 100% Clean Energy Target

The California Assembly is expected to vote this summer to establish increased renewable energy targets and set a target of 100% clean energy by 2045. By Marc T. Campopiano, Jennifer K. Roy, Diego Enrique Flores SB 100, Senator Kevin De Leon’s renewable energy bill, would increase California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030 with … Continue Reading

EU Aims to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Europe’s Buildings with New Directive

Building owners and developers will need to provide energy performance certificates for buildings. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Union has published a directive aimed at improving building energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. EU Member States are required to transpose the directive (Directive (EU) 2018/844) by March 10, 2020. The … Continue Reading

EU Increases Renewable Energy Target in Preparation for Renewable Energy Directive

The EU has agreed that one third of energy use should be from renewable sources and encourages the use of renewable electricity or biofuels sourced from waste rather than crops. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green After 18 months of negotiations, the EU has increased its renewable energy target from 27% to 32% … Continue Reading

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
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