State and federal officials move forward plans and policies for water conservation, conveyance, and climate resilience.

By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, John Detrich, Cody M. Kermanian, and Julie Miles

The winter of 2022-23 brought historic levels of precipitation to California after years of deep drought, dwindling reservoirs, and groundwater depletion. In the first quarter of 2023, most of the state received rainfall exceeding historic averages, with some areas experiencing 200%, or even 300% of average levels. According to the US Drought Monitor, the state is currently drought-free, although some regions are still considered abnormally dry. Despite heavy precipitation over the past year, California’s drought resilience remains in question, as critical infrastructure projects face staunch opposition and climate change increases the likelihood of extreme and prolonged droughts. Regulators and water managers had a busy 2023 as they grappled with persistently low groundwater levels, planned for additional water storage and conveyance, and continued to advance water conservation initiatives.

This blog post summarizes key actions taken by state and federal officials in 2023 with respect to California’s water supply and provides an outlook for 2024.

Proposed regulations clarify FEOC restrictions and clean vehicle tax credit compliance for manufacturers aiming to produce eligible EVs.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Jim Cole, Eli M. Katz, Qingyi Pan, Rob Thompson, J. Dylan White, and Sam Wong

As countries around the world accelerate the transition to clean energy, the race to gain shares in the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing market is intensifying, with global sales of EVs rising 31% in 2023.[1]

To facilitate increased

EPA’s transfer of primary enforcement authority to states for carbon capture and storage projects may decrease permitting delays but raise legal questions.

By Nikki Buffa, Joshua Bledsoe, Jennifer Roy, Michael Dreibelbis, Brian McCall, Austin Wruble, and Sam Wong

Louisiana has become the third state in the United States to receive primacy from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allowing it to assume permitting authority for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. EPA granted primacy

New report raises social cost of carbon estimates, surpassing previous estimates by more than 250%.

By Joshua Bledsoe, Kevin Homrighausen, and John Detrich

On December 2, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final report that substantially increases estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases (GHG), including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (collectively, SC-GHG). The report describes SC-GHG as “the monetary value of the net harm to society from emitting one metric ton of that GHG into the atmosphere in a given year.”[1] The new estimates are intended to serve as a tool for decision-makers, aiding in the cost-benefit analysis of actions that would reduce or increase GHG emissions. Indeed, federal agencies are expected to use the estimates in future rule-makings and in the environmental review of forthcoming projects.

The Eligibility List sets out the approved host countries, carbon crediting programmes, and methodologies that meet the established Eligibility Criteria in Singapore.

By Paul A. Davies, Jean-Philippe Brisson, Farhana Sharmeen, Don Stokes, Michael D. Green, Qingyi Pan, James Bee, and Kevin Mak

On 19 December 2023, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) in Singapore published the Eligibility List under Singapore’s International Carbon Credit (ICC) Framework, which took effect from 1 January 2024 and was published on Singapore’s Carbon Markets Cooperation website.

The Eligibility List followed the signing of an inaugural Article 6 implementation agreement with Papua New Guinea on carbon credits cooperation.

Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, countries may enter into an implementation agreement to cooperate to achieve their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by trading Paris Agreement compliant carbon credits. Parties to the implementation agreement must also effect certain corresponding adjustment mechanisms to ensure that any emission reductions or removals are struck from the host country’s NDC accounts to prevent double-counting.