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Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell & Giuliani, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
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  1. Supreme Court Limits EPA’s GHG Permitting Authority and Creates Questions Regarding Implementation

    Monday, June 30, 2014 3:24 pm by , , and

    On Monday, June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in UARG v. EPA, the case that questioned EPA’s authority to require stationary sources to obtain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V air permits for greenhouse gases (GHGs).  Specifically, the Court considered:  (1) whether a stationary source can be required to obtain a PSD or Title V air permit based solely on its potential to emit GHGs and (2) whether sources that have to obtain PSD and Title V permits based on their potential to emit traditional criteria pollutants (so called “anyway sources”) must also obtain a permit limit based on the Best Available Control Technology (BACT) for controlling GHG emissions.  Ultimately, the Court held that GHG emissions alone cannot trigger an obligation to obtain a PSD or Title V permit, but that EPA can require a source to have a BACT limit for GHGs in its PSD permit if the source is required to obtain a PSD permit for any other pollutant. (more…)


  2. Environmental Regulations Impacting the Energy Industry – Summer 2014

    Friday, June 20, 2014 11:06 am by


  3. Supreme Court to Determine Whether Agencies Must Undergo Notice and Comment Prior to Changing an Interpretation

    Monday, June 16, 2014 2:07 pm by and

    The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could have far-ranging implications for agency proclamations that impact the business community.  On Monday, June 16, 2014, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Assoc., No. 13-1052.  The Supreme Court will address “[w]hether agencies subject to the Administrative Procedure Act are categorically prohibited from revising their interpretative rules unless such revisions are made through notice-and-comment rulemaking.” (more…)


  4. NBR Interview with Jason Hutt: The Role of Government Support in Solar Power Growth

    Thursday, June 5, 2014 2:22 pm by

    On June 4, Bracewell partner Jason Hutt was interviewed on Nightly Business Report by NBC’s Jackie DeAngelis about the role of government support in the growth of the solar power industry. Click here to view the Nightly Business Report clip.


  5. EPA Proposes Rule Seeking to Curb GHG Emissions and Dampen U.S. Appetite for Electricity

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 12:37 pm by , , and

    On June 2, 2014, EPA issued a proposed rule to control carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.  In its public outreach, EPA presents the rule as requiring a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 from the baseline year 2005.  It is true that the rule would result in CO2 emissions that are 30% lower than in 2005, but the actual state-by-state emission reduction requirements are based on a 2012 baseline, which may disadvantage certain states or companies that made significant CO2 reductions before that year.  The proposal establishes GHG emission targets for each State (except the District of Columbia and Vermont, which do not have any coal-fired power plants), and the targets represent very different levels of emission reduction in different states based on what EPA believes is economically feasible in each state. (more…)


  6. EPA Must Uniformly Apply Air Aggregation Requirements

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 8:30 am by , and

    EPA suffered a major loss on May 30 when the D.C. Circuit refused to uphold EPA’s attempt to narrow the ruling in the Summit aggregation case to only the states in the 6th Cir.  Reversing more than 20 years of EPA practice, the Summit case directed EPA to refrain from using interdependency or the functional interrelatedness of various sources when making a determination regarding whether to aggregate the emissions from those sources for NSR and Title V permitting purposes. 

    In December 2012 after the Summit decision was final, EPA issued a memo that said the Agency would only apply the Sixth Circuit’s Summit decision in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan.  The memo was challenged by an industry trade association, the National Environmental Development Association (NEDA).  (more…)


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