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).
An accomplished corporate attorney with extensive litigation experience, Andrew represents clients with a dual emphasis on commercial success and risk mitigation. Andrew brings industry-focused insight to his work at Husch Blackwell. Having previously served as general counsel to a national developer of renewable natural gas (RNG) and related projects, Andrew oversaw that company’s transactional, commercial, and litigation matters, including its $347 million acquisition by a special purpose acquisition company with a green energy mandate.
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.
Continue Reading The Inflation Reduction Act: Green Energy Benefits
Delaware has long been a preferred jurisdiction for business formation, partly because of its well-developed body of case law with respect to commercial disputes (which makes predicting the outcome of – and thus resolving – those disputes relatively efficient).
Developers of renewable natural gas (“RNG”) and other energy projects have long taken advantage of that case law and other commercial features of Delaware law (including its lack of public filing requirements for corporate records) by forming special project entities in Delaware.…
On December 7, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released its proposed 2020, 2021, and 2022 Renewable Volume Obligations (“RVOs”). RVOs determine the amount of renewable fuel (typically, ethanol) certain fuel refiners and others involved in the transportation fuel supply chain (“Obligated Parties”) are required to blend into their own fuel production during a given year. Obligated Parties failing to meet their RVOs for any year must buy Renewable Identification Numbers (“RINs”) or other credits, or risk default under the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”). …
Continue Reading Renewable Fuel Standard Update: Recent EPA Activity Drives RIN Value
On May 7, 2021, pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline Company suffered a ransomware cyberattack on its namesake Colonial Pipeline. Hackers attacked computerized management equipment, effectively freezing one of the largest pipelines responsible for delivering gasoline and jet fuel across the Southeastern United States. The attack was the largest of its kind on an oil infrastructure target in United States history.
With FBI assistance, the company paid a $4.4 million ransom to restore pipeline operations. Law enforcement agencies and media sources identified DarkSide, a criminal hacking group, as the culprit.
In the wake of the attack, developers of energy projects which rely on pipelines to deliver products (from traditional oil to renewable natural gas) find themselves exposed to the new risk of ransomware attacks – a risk which security technology is still struggling to address. In the meantime, energy project stakeholders (from financing sources to offtake customers) are turning to cyber risk insurance for protection. Project financiers and offtake customers to whom firm delivery obligations are owed are increasingly seeking evidence of cyber risk coverage during diligence efforts. But not all policies are created equal; selecting the coverage most appropriate to a project requires an understanding of the types of coverage available and common exclusions.
Continue Reading Cyber Risk Insurance in the Wake of the Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack
Pursuant to the Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) issues annual renewable volume obligations (“RVOs”), which set the minimum aggregate volume of renewable fuel that refiners must blend with transportation fuel for the following calendar year.
Refineries producing transportation fuel meet their RVOs by blending the required volume of renewable fuel into gasoline or diesel fuel or by acquiring credits (called renewable identification numbers, or “RINs”). The RFS permits “small” refineries – those producing fewer than 75,000 barrels of fuel per day – to claim an exemption by showing that meeting their RVOs would cause them “disproportionate economic hardship.”…
Continue Reading Exemptions Under The Renewable Fuel Standard