On June 6, 2022, United States Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released the first major bipartisan bill intended to regulate digital assets. Interestingly, the bill calls for additional information around the energy use of digital assets. If passed, the bill would require the preparation and submission by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in consultation with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), of an annual report to be submitted to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives on the following five aspects of digital asset energy use:
Continue Reading Proposed Legislation Aims to Regulate Digital Assets’ Energy Use

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

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

Last week’s blog post on NEPA and renewable energy development discussed how NEPA intersects with legal challenges brought against wind and solar projects.  On March 9, 2022, concerned residents from the Town of East Hampton, New York filed suit to overturn the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) approval of the South Fork Wind Farm Project (South Fork Project).  In Mahoney v. Dept. of Interior, No. 2:22-cv-1305, plaintiffs allege violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Act by BOEM and the Corps.
Continue Reading Property Owners Lodge a NEPA Challenge to the South Fork Offshore Wind Farm Project

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a monumental $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Given its wide scope, the bill will drive remarkable activity and long-term investment in a wide variety of infrastructure sectors. The infrastructure bill takes an expansive view on what constitutes infrastructure and includes significant funding for the electric power system, clean energy technologies, and oil and gas infrastructure.

Continue Reading Key Takeaways for Energy Companies from the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act

On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit vacated and remanded the Trump administration’s 2019 Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. The ACE rule was intended as a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). ACE was viewed as a significant rollback, especially since the CPP was one of the first major initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Court’s decision will send the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to the drawing board, opening the door for the Biden administration to pursue its own rule-making agenda.

Section 7411 of the CAA

The ACE rule repealed the CPP and severely limited the ways in which greenhouse gas emissions could be regulated based on a new interpretation of Section 7411 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Under the ACE rule, EPA interpreted Section 7411 of the CAA as requiring the agency to consider only control methods that could be applied at and to a stationary source, such as heat rate improvement technologies, when determining the best system of emission reduction. This interpretation was directly at odds with the CPP, which utilized control methods that were not applied at or to a physical source such as generation shifting.
Continue Reading DC Circuit Court vacates and remands the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule

On Friday, May 1, 2020, President Trump issued a new Executive Order (the Bulk-Power Order) to prohibit transactions within the U.S. for the acquisition or installation of certain “bulk-power system electric equipment” which is sourced from foreign adversaries. In the Bulk-Power Order, President Trump expressed a determination that “the unrestricted foreign supply of bulk-power system

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