Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Power, Oil, Gas and Minerals

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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

First Subsidy-Free Solar Farm Opens in UK

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The first solar farm has successfully launched in the UK without government subsidisation. Clayhill Solar Farm, a 10 megawatt (MW) site near Flitwick in Bedfordshire, is capable of generating enough power for 2500 homes. Clayhill’s developer, Anesco, is a private company specialising in the design and development of solar … Continue Reading

UK Launches Taskforce to Encourage Growth of Green Finance

By Paul Davies and Michael Green The UK government has announced that it is bringing together a new taskforce led by senior financiers in order to encourage the growth of “green finance”. The taskforce, which will be chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, former lord mayor of London, has six months to develop proposals aimed at … Continue Reading

China Unveils Plan to Ban Fossil Fuel Vehicles

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Addressing a car forum in Tianjin, Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, announced that the Chinese government is developing plans to follow in the footsteps of some European countries to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles. “Some countries have worked out a timetable to stop production and … Continue Reading

China Dominates Global Investments in Renewable Energy

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate Market research has long recognized China as the largest investor in its own domestic renewable energy industry. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China invested US$102 billion in 2015 alone. However, a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) found that China’s dominance in renewables … Continue Reading

California’s Supreme Court Denies ARB Petition To Review LCFS Case

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kimberly Farbota In a previous post, we described how potential delays in the resolution of the case commonly known as POET I could create uncertainty regarding the future of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). On August 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of California issued an order: (1) denying California … Continue Reading
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