Archive: February 2016

1
High Court Grants Stay of Clean Power Plan
2
FERC Issues Staff White Paper on Guidance Principles for Clean Power Plan Modeling; Suggests Stakeholder Engagement to Consider Reliability Issues
3
Mining and energy collapse echoes subprime mortgage crisis

High Court Grants Stay of Clean Power Plan

On February 9, 2016, in an historic and unprecedented decision, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) from implementing the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) while the rule is challenged in lower courts. The decision is a victory for twenty-nine states and state agencies, along with several industry and trade groups (the “Petitioners”), who appealed the D.C. Circuit’s January 21, 2016 decision not to stay the CPP.

The Petitioners argued to the Supreme Court that the EPA does not have the Clean Air Act authority to implement the CPP, which they assert would reorganize the entire electric power sector of the U.S. economy. The petitioners persuaded the U.S. Supreme court that there was a reasonable probability that four justices would agree to hear the case, that there was a fair prospect that the majority of the court would find that the CPP was unlawful, and that irreparable harm would have resulted from the denial of the stay.

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FERC Issues Staff White Paper on Guidance Principles for Clean Power Plan Modeling; Suggests Stakeholder Engagement to Consider Reliability Issues

On January 19, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Staff White Paper[1] outlining four guiding principles to assist transmission planning entities – including regional transmission organizations (“RTOs”), independent system operators (“ISOs”) and electric utilities – in analyzing the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).[2]  The CPP requires each state to demonstrate that it has considered electric system reliability issues in developing its state emissions reduction plan.  The EPA explained that one particularly effective way for states to make such a demonstration is by consulting with the relevant RTO, ISO, or other transmission planning entities and documenting this consultation process in their state plans.

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Mining and energy collapse echoes subprime mortgage crisis

The collapse of the global mining and energy sector has already led to severe consequences for hedge funds, private equity, and other sources of institutional investment that have lost large sums. The loss in equity in the Australian mining sector already rivals losses on mortgage-backed securities in the US subprime crisis. There are other echoes of the 2008 crisis, but the global financial markets should be better placed to weather the storm this time around. Are they?

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