On September 16, 2020, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of Mark Christie and Allison Clements to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Manchin focused their preliminary comments on the importance of ensuring that FERC has a full complement of five Commissioners and expressed interest in acting quickly to move through the confirmation process. However, there was no indication of the specific timing of the Senate ENR and floor votes that would be required to confirm the nominees. Several Senators praised both Christie and Clements, and no Senator expressed opposition to the nominees, though Clements received a few pointed questions from Senators Gardner and Lee about her time at the Natural Resources Defense Council.Read More
President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on March 28, 2017, entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” (“Order”), which is designed to prompt reconsideration, and in some cases revocation, of the Obama Administration’s actions to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The Order directs several federal agencies to review, and possibly withdraw, specific policy initiatives like the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Clean Power Plan rulemaking and the U.S. Department of the Interior (“Interior”) 2015 and 2016 rules on oil and gas production on federal lands. In addition, the Order directs the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) to rescind its 2016 final guidance document regarding the consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts in environmental reviews performed under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). More broadly, the Order also directs all federal agencies to review “all agency actions” that “potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.”
As discussed in greater detail below, the Order may have far-reaching implications for U.S. policy on energy production, greenhouse gas regulation, and climate change that could have spillover impacts for energy infrastructure development. A vigorous debate is certain to follow with interested stakeholders evaluating strategic options including notice and comment rulemaking, litigation, and legislative advocacy.
To read the full alert on K&L Gates HUB, click here.
K&L Gates attorneys Ankur K. Tohan, Daniel C. Kelly-Stallings, and Alyssa A. Moir recently penned an article for the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) analyzing greenhouse gas regulation in Washington. Their article, “Greenhouse Gas Regulation in Washington: What the Clean Power Plan and Washington Clean Air Rule Mean for the State,” is available from the WSBA website.
EPA published the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) regulations in the Federal Register late last month. The CPP is the landmark climate change rule championed by the Obama Administration that requires reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants nationwide. Almost immediately, opponents lodged petitions seeking review of the rule, with some petitioners also seeking a stay of the rule.
Washington State is about to become the latest state to take local action to address global climate change. Governor Jay Inslee recently directed the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) to make new rules aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in the state. The new rules are scheduled to be adopted in summer 2016 and to take effect shortly thereafter. The result will be called the “Washington Clean Air Rule.”
Last week, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) began releasing the results of Phase I of the California 2030 Low-Carbon Grid Study, which is designed to show how the electric sector can most cost-effectively support California’s ambitious GHG emissions goals. The study is generally referred to as the “Low Carbon Grid Study” or “LCGS” by NREL and the approximately 30 companies, foundations and trade associations that participated in the study. Read More
The Australian Federal Government (Government) released a Green Paper on Friday 20 December as part of its Direct Action Plan on climate change policy. The Green Paper outlines the Government’s preferred design for an Emissions Reduction Fund and invites further input from business and the community on the design elements outlined in the Green Paper by 21 February 2014, before a White Paper is released in early 2014. To read the full alert, click here.