Power plant silhouetteEarlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an order granted EPA’s motion to hold the Clean Power Plan litigation in abeyance while EPA reviews the carbon pollution emission guidelines for existing power plants and the standards of performance of new, modified, and reconstructed power plants and, if appropriate, publishes proposed rules suspending, revising, or rescinding those rules. Review of the rules is required by President Trump’s Executive Order targeting climate change regulation (discussed further here).

The motion for abeyance was opposed by numerous parties, including cities and states; Calpine Corporation and municipal power companies; the American Wind Energy Association and Solar Energy Industries Association; and environmental organizations. They argued that

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logoThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a request for comment soliciting input from the public regarding existing environmental regulations that might be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification consistent with President Trump’s executive order regarding enforcing his regulatory reform agenda.

That order directed federal agencies to form

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logoA memorandum issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acting chief financial officer proposes program cuts to accommodate the Trump Administration’s proposed 31% budget reduction for FY 2018. The memo states that this resource level will require evaluating EPA’s priorities and “thinking differently about the best ways to accomplish [its] core statutory responsibilities.”

The proposed cuts make it clear that regulation of climate change or carbon pollution is no longer

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Fulfilling repeated campaign pledges to roll back the Obama administration’s climate change initiatives, President Trump signed a sweeping executive order yesterday targeting key Obama-era regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and emission standards for the oil and gas industry. The executive order states that it is in the interest of the nation to promote development of energy resources “while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.” The multi-faceted approach taken by the order makes it clear that this Administration views any regulation of climate change or carbon pollution as “unnecessary.” 

Seal_of_the_United_States_Securities_and_Exchange_Commission.svgThe Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) requires disclosure relating to social and environmental performance if the information would be “material” to the reasonable investor. Climate change issues may need to be disclosed with respect to the costs of environmental compliance, material legal proceedings, risk factors, management’s discussion and analysis of financial conditions and results of operations,

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logoIn his opening statement at the Senate confirmation hearing for his appointment to the role of EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt stated that he will build on progress “in promoting a healthier environment and stronger economy for future generations by focusing on three core philosophies: rule of law, cooperative federalism, and public participation.” Each of those philosophies would return EPA’s authority to its “core mission of protecting the American people through common sense and lawful regulations.”

With respect to the rule of law, Pruitt noted that EPA’s role is limited by statute and criticized the agency for

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logoOn January 11, 2017, EPA published notice of its intention to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking establishing financial responsibility requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for facilities in the chemical manufacturing (NAICS 325), petroleum and coal products manufacturing (NAICS 324), and electric power generation, transmission, and distribution (NAICS 2211) industries.  CERCLA Section 108(b) regulations require regulated classes of facilities to demonstrate to EPA that they have

On December 16, 2016, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (the Service) issued a final rule revising the eagle take permit regulations.  The rule is intended to make the permit process less onerous for wind energy project developers and other companies that engage in activities with the potential to disturb, injure, or kill bald and golden eagles.  On that same date, the Service also published

Husch Blackwell and the Texas Renewable Energies Industries Alliance have teamed up to produce a webinar series focused on the Texas solar industry, titled “On the Horizon”. Register here for the final webinar in the series, in which Husch Blackwell’s Chauncey Lane and Jason Reschly will focus on solar development finance and the investor tax credit.  They’ll give advice on tax requirements to qualify for solar tax credits, discuss tax issues for structuring transactions, identify trends in