Direct pay proposals contained in the proposed Build Back Better Act promise to establish a system that would allow renewable energy developers to elect to receive ITC and PTC tax credits as a refundable credit. This would allow developers, who, under the current system, usually cannot efficiently utilize the non-refundable ITC and PTC credits due to not having sufficient tax liability to offset all of the otherwise available credits. This blog has covered the direct pay proposal in greater detail here.

Continue Reading Direct Pay: A Conversation with Shannon Maher Bañaga, Spokesperson, The Partnership for Clean Energy Investment

On June 8, 2022, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“Commission”) filed a memo from its Infrastructure Division requesting that electric utilities, power generation companies, municipally owned utilities, and electric cooperatives (“Entities”) operating outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (“ERCOT”) provide to Commission Staff unredacted copies of their Emergency Operations Plans (“EOP”). Entities that operate both outside of the ERCOT power region and in the ERCOT power region, and entities that operate solely in the ERCOT power region and have already provided an unredacted EOP to ERCOT (as required by the Emergency Operations Plan rule (16 TAC §25.53), are not required to provide the Staff an unredacted EOP. Continue Reading Public Utility Commission Requests Unredacted Emergency Operations Plans From All Applicable Entities by June 24, 2022

It has been almost a year since Texas’ Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act (“LIPA”) was signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 18, 2021, and took effect. In the past year, we have seen developers, tax investors, and purchasers of renewable energy projects alike address compliance with LIPA in varied ways. Continue Reading A Year Out: Renewable Energy Developer and Investor Compliance with the Texas Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act

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.

Continue Reading Federal Government Hoping to Increase Placement of Renewable Energy Projects on Public Land

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.

Continue Reading President Puts Hold on Tariffs and Duties On Solar Panels and Parts of Solar Panels From Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand

The Texas Supreme Court (“TXSC”) recently confirmed what many already know: the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) has only administrative authority related to water rights in Texas. This means that water rights ownership disputes must utilize Texas courts to adjudicate water rights ownership. Continue Reading Texas Supreme Court Water Law Verdict Highlights Lack of TCEQ Authority Over Water Rights

Husch Blackwell Partner Brian Hendrix published an article with Rock Products where he gave a few of the most glaring examples of what he describes as “embarrassing paper.”

We often refer to an MSHA citation or order that is factually or legally without merit as “bad paper.” Bad paper is usually the product of a mistake, misunderstanding, miscommunication, etc. Instead, this column is about “embarrassing paper.” As Brian sees it, “there’s bad paper, and then there’s embarrassing paper. Embarrassing paper is a citation or order that does little to advance miner safety and health.” Continue Reading Embarrassing paper: MSHA Citations Or Orders That Do Little To Advance Miner Safety And Health

The long-anticipated new ASTM standard concerning Phase I environmental site assessments (ESAs), which was finally expected to go into effect mid-May, is in limbo while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers unexpected adverse comments the agency received on its rule on the new standard. Continue Reading New ASTM E1527-21 Phase I ESA Standard Stuck in Limbo

Husch Blackwell Partner Brian Hendrix recently published articles with Coal Age providing his legal perspective on MSHA and their relationship to mine operators:

In these articles, Brian writes about a recent cautionary tale of a belligerent mine operator; outlines the recently announced MSHA’s “Take Time Save Lives” campaign and how to benefit from it and the recent outcome of the OIG’s audit to MSHA. Be sure to catch these articles and hit subscribe for more original content on our blog.

 

 

The already-complicated relationship between wind energy and eagles has taken center stage recently. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is ramping up its efforts to protect bald and golden eagles at development projects across the country, with a massive settlement and plans to revamp the eagle take permitting process by the end of this year. Continue Reading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Makes Clear Its Commitment to Eagle Protection with a $35 Million Eagle Death Settlement and Upcoming Changes to Eagle Take Permitting Program