On September 21, 2022, the Senate passed the Kigali Amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol (which had been signed by former President Obama in 2016) by a vote of 69 to 27, reaffirming U.S. commitment to the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”) through multiple processes (some of which are already causing shifts in import and export markets, as well as in the consumer market).   

On September 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $6-7 billion Funding Opportunity to begin the development of a nationwide program for the planning, construction, and operation of commercial-scale Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, known colloquially as “H2Hubs.” H2Hubs are defined as “a network of clean hydrogen producers, potential clean hydrogen consumers, and connective infrastructure located in close proximity.” The DOE’s effort results from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) passed in 2021. The BIL appropriates $8 billion over a five-year period (2022-2026) and amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to establish a program to develop four to ten regional H2Hubs.

In Texas, title insurance forms are promulgated by the Texas Department of Insurance (the “TDI”), with policy types, premium amounts, and the issuance of endorsements being regulated by standardized procedural and rate rules. Thus, title deliverables required for debt and equity financing transactions tend to be generally uniform in Texas renewable energy transactions.

In the wake of increasing inflation and as a means of codifying several of the Biden administration’s legislative priorities, the Senate passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act on August 7, 2022 (the “Act”), by a 51-50 party-line vote. The Act, which is comprised of sweeping healthcare, energy, and tax measures, was approved by the House of Representatives on August 12, 2022, and signed into law by President Biden on August 16, 2022, creating a significant number of renewable energy sector benefits.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently proposed amendments to 27 CFR Part 4 that would allow winemakers to reference added distilled spirits on labels and in advertisements. Currently, wine labels and advertisements are prohibited from including statements indicating that a wine contains a distilled spirit unless the wine is required to bear a statement of composition which references the use of a distilled spirit. While this 1930’s prohibition sought to protect consumers from misinformation, the TTB acknowledges that as the wine industry has evolved, the regulation has become inconsistent with the TTB’s mission. Allowing this additional information provides manufacturers flexibility and empowers them to communicate with consumers more accurately about their wine products.

In order to keep pace with the federal government’s ambitious goal of permitting the production of at least twenty-five (25) gigawatts of renewable energy through projects placed on public land by 2025, the Department of the Interior (the “DOI”) recently announced several policy changes to ensure developing renewable projects on public land is attractive and affordable for third-party developers and investors.

On June 6, 2022, President Biden declared a national emergency (the “Declaration”) in relation to energy resources and temporarily extended the time of duty-free importation of solar panels and parts from Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This declaration comes in response to industry concerns over the implications, for ongoing solar energy projects, of the anti-circumvention inquiry by the U.S. Department of Commerce that was initiated on April 1, 2022. The Declaration permits the Secretary of Commerce to waive the collection of duties and other estimated duties on imported solar cells and modules from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia for the next twenty-four months, regardless of the outcome of the anti-circumvention inquiry.

On May 26, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Warning Letters to four companies[1] concerning the illegal sale of unapproved animal drugs containing cannabidiol (CBD) intended for use in food-producing animals. These Warning Letters demonstrate the first time the FDA chose to focus on marketing CBD-containing products for use in food-producing animals, as opposed to pets, and the specific concerns related to such use. Food-producing animals, as defined by the FDA, include cattle (veal calves, beef cattle, and dairy cattle), swine, chickens, turkeys, and others (such as lambs).

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) completed guidance to help companies remove violative products from the market in a swift and effective manner. The guidance describes the precautionary steps companies should take to develop recall policies and procedures that include training, planning, and recordkeeping to reduce the amount of time a recalled product is exposed to the public.