Read Mark Savit’s recent column in Rock Products that looks back at 2019 and ahead to 2020.
Earlier this month, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held hearings on the recently proposed Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2019, S.2666 (“PLREDA”). Although similar to the House resolution proposed last summer, PLREDA is the most recent bi-partisan effort to promote wind, solar, and geothermal development on public lands. Its ultimate objective is to permit at least 25 gigawatts of renewable power projects on public lands by the end of 2025. Continue Reading Renewed commitment to renewables: Senate bill hopes to foster renewable development on public lands
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a sweeping Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to dramatically reform its regulations that implement the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). Continue Reading FERC Proposes Sweeping Changes to PURPA Regulations
The Texas legislature recently passed House Bill 2845 (“HB 2845”) imposing specific requirements on wind energy leases and wind developers’ decommissioning obligations for wind energy projects. While wind leases typically impose obligations on project companies relating to the removal of wind projects, HB 2845 mandates that wind leases must include specific provisions describing such obligations.
When beginning a solar project in Texas, developers must be cognizant of the potential conflict between the surface and mineral estates. In Texas, mineral rights can be severed from the surface estate, and when severed, the mineral estate rights are dominant, meaning the mineral estate has the implied right to use as much of the surface, subsurface, and adjacent airspace of the land as is reasonably necessary to locate and develop the mineral estate beneath. This right can cause complications for solar developers if not properly addressed.
This blog post focuses on the preemptive steps a solar developer should take to protect its project from impacts by oil and gas operations.
D.C. Circuit Upholds USEPA Decision to Not Require Financial Assurance Under CERCLA for Hardrock Mining
We have previously blogged (in June 2019 and 2017) on a proposed rule released during the final days of the Obama Administration which required hardrock mines to provide financial assurance demonstrating they are able to fund the costs associated with the future cleanup of the mines under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the federal statute designed to address releases of hazardous substances and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites nationwide. In December 2017, the USEPA stated its intention not to issue the final rule, finding that there was no need for any CERCLA financial assurance mechanism for operating hardrock mines based on existing federal and state programs as well as modern mining practices. Several environmental organizations filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the USEPA’s decision not to issue the rule. Continue Reading Updates on CERCLA Financial Assurance Requirements for Industry Sectors
Mark Savit recently published an article in Coal Age about the effect of MSHA regulations on the ability of the mining industry to take advantage of improving technology in the safety arena. Read it here.