By Michael J. Gergen, Benjamin M. Lawless, and Andrew H. Meyer

On April 25, 2014, the New York Public Service Commission (“NYPSC”) instituted a proceeding it terms “Reforming the Energy Vision” (the “REV Proceeding”) to consider “fundamental changes in the manner in which [electric distribution] utilities provide service” along with related regulatory and ratemaking issues in an effort to “align electric utility practices and [the] regulatory paradigm with technological advances in information management and power generation and distribution.”  Order Instituting Rulemaking, Case 14-M-0101, Proceeding on Motion of the Commission in Regard to Reforming the Energy Vision (April 25, 2014) (the “REV Proceeding Order”).  At its core, this order is the first step in a regulatory process to “improve system efficiency, empower customer choice, and encourage greater penetration of clean generation and energy efficiency technologies and practices.”

By Ann Claassen and Eli Hopson

Last week EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) levels for 2013.[1]  Although EPA missed the statutory deadline of November 30, 2012, for setting levels for the 2013 RFS, EPA notes that the statute does not provide any penalty for missing the deadline, nor does it remove the general requirements of the RFS if the deadline is missed.[2]  In light of the significant delay, EPA has extended the deadline for obtaining sufficient credits for gallons of ethanol equivalent fuels (known by the term Renewable Identification Number, or RIN) from February 28 to June 30, 2014.  EPA also intends to meet the statutory deadline of November 30, 2013 for the 2014 standards, and therefore will have released the 2014 standards well in advance of the 2013 compliance deadline.  This will allow obligated parties to make informed decisions about their 2013 compliance strategies, such as whether to use banked RINs, or save certain RIN categories for 2014 compliance.[3]

By Michael Gergen and David Pettit

On March 19, 2013, in County of Sonoma v. Federal Housing Finance Authority, the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit joined the 2nd and 11th Circuits in upholding a directive from the Federal Housing Finance Authority (“FHFA”) that restricts Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from purchasing mortgages on properties encumbered by first-priority liens made under so-called Property-Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) programs.

PACE programs allow states and municipalities to use their power

By Marc Campopiano and Tim Henderson

On March 11, 2013, the California Energy Commission (CEC) released a proposed Seventh Edition of the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook (proposed Guidebook).  As we discussed in a previous blog entry, on March 28, 2012, the CEC suspended the RPS eligibility of power plants generating electricity using biomethane. 

In response to the passage of AB 2196, which created a pathway for using biomethane to generate RPS-eligible electricity, the proposed Guidebook would lift

By Michael J. Gergen and Jared W. Johnson

On November 15, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Policy Statement to provide new guidance for applicants seeking rate incentives for new transmission infrastructure projects.  FERC’s transmission rate incentives policy stems from a package of amendments to the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) enacted by Congress in 2005, specifically Section 219 of the FPA, which was added to provide incentive-based rate treatments for investments in transmission infrastructure that would

By Michael Feeley and Aron Potash

A lawsuit which delayed and once threatened to dismantle California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) cap and trade scheme was largely resolved last week, removing one roadblock to California’s plan to be the first state to impose an economy-wide GHG trading program.  Under modified regulations adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on October 20, 2011, California will require certain emitters of GHGs to obtain allowances or offsets in amounts commensurate to their respective emissions

Less than a week after winning Congressional approval for a $180 million appropriation for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E), DOE Secretary Steven Chu announced five new project areas on Wednesday, April 20, to be funded through ARPA-E.

Of ARPA-E’s $180 million budget for FY 2011, Secretary Chu announced that approximately $130 million would be set aside for five new project areas focused on energy storage, solar energy technologies, oil and

By Eli W.L. Hopson

On April 14, the House and Senate passed, and on April 15, President Obama signed into law, the final Continuing Resolution (CR) for the remainder of FY 2011.  Section 1425 of the CR makes important modifications regarding the authority of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to provide loan guarantees under its Title XVII Section 1703 and Section 1705 programsSection 1417 provides continued, though reduced funding levels, for DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (

By L&W Energy Attorneys

Both China and Germany have now surpassed the United States in attracting clean energy financing and investments, according to a report – Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2010 Edition – issued on March 29, 2011 by The Pew Charitable Trusts in collaboration with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  In 2010, China’s clean energy sector received a record-setting $54.4 billion, an increase of 39 percent over 2009.  Germany, for the first time, attracted greater investments than

By L&W Energy Attorneys

On March 31, 2011 Jonathan Silver, the Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO), testified in front of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss the LPO’s recent accomplishments and its 2012 budget requests.  Silver stressed that the deployment of commercially-ready clean energy technologies in the near term, as well as the longer term deployment of innovative clean energy technologies are critical to reaching the