In response to a request made by Senator David Vitter, EPA has made several concessions to address concerns about agency transparency. In particular, industry has had concerns about the recent increase of so-called “sue and settle” cases. Under the sue and settle process, advocacy groups sue EPA to issue a regulation. During closed-door settlement discussions, the advocacy group and EPA agree to a timeline and the content of a new rule. After an agreement has been struck, it is difficult for the public to persuade EPA to modify the terms of the settlement agreement during the notice and comment period; therefore, the closed-door settlement discussions ultimately end up dictating the terms of the future agency action. The Ninth Circuit recently dealt a blow to this practice by overturning a consent decree that the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service entered into with various advocacy groups. Conservation Northwest v. Sherman, No. 11-35729 (Opinion dated Apr. 25, 2013) (holding “that a district court abuses its discretion when it enters into a consent decree that permanently and substantially amends an agency rule that would have otherwise been subject to statutory rulemaking procedures.”). (more…)
WE KNOW ENERGY®
Think geomagnetic disturbances are not relevant to you? Think again. On October 18, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) in Docket No. RM12-22-000 to address the potential threat of such a disturbance. Buried in footnote 24 of the NOPR is the potential cost, up to $500,000 per blocking device that may need to be installed on “each affected transformer.” Certain generator step-up transformers as well as certain transformers owned and operated by transmission providers registered to comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) Reliability Standards may be subject to a future requirement to install such costly new equipment. A disruption to the Hydro-Quebec grid that occurred in 1989 was cited as an example of the harm that may be associated with geomagnetic disturbances. (more…)
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
The future of the power and energy industries from the perspective of investors and sponsors – including implications for coal, gas and oil prices, regulatory activity, permitting trends, enforcement, environmental, and legislative and tax prospects – will face changes based on the outcome of both the Presidential and Congressional elections this November.
Bracewell & Giuliani will host a complimentary webinar featuring Scott Segal, head of the Policy Resolution Group of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. For over 20 years Scott has been a leading lawyer and advocate in Washington, D.C. for energy investors, sponsors, developers, and power producers on sensitive issues such as energy legislation and regulation, the Clean Air Act, and environmental issues. Scott will be joined by Jeff Holmstead, who heads Bracewell’s Environmental Strategies Group and was the longest-serving head of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, and by the head of our Financial Restructuring Group, Evan Flaschen.
This webinar will focus on issues such as:
- The impact the next President and Congress will have on energy and clean air policy
- Regulatory prospects, challenges and opportunities for coal-fired projects
- Regulatory prospects, challenges and opportunities for fracking
- Investment opportunities in energy-related industries and technologies
- Is it safe yet to invest in green energy projects and technologies? Nuclear?
- Implications of the election for power and energy restructurings
For more information or to register, click here.
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Enforcement, Environmental, National Energy Law, Natural Gas/LNG, Nuclear, Offshore, Regional Energy Law, Reliability, Renewable Energy/Cleantech, Upstream Energy
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP announced today that five partners, formerly with Dewey & LeBoeuf, will join the firm in its New York, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut offices, effective immediately. The group includes John G. Klauberg, Dewey’s former co-head of the Utilities, Power and Pipelines Global Industry Sector Group, as well as Catherine P. McCarthy, former Dewey co-head of the Energy Regulatory Department. It is anticipated that they also will be joined by a number of associates.
“We are excited to be adding this group,” said Bracewell Managing Partner, Mark C. Evans. “We have been looking to enhance our energy practice in the northeast, and our new partners will immediately help us in this regard. Many of our partners have worked with John and Cathy and their teams for years and have great respect for their work. They will all be outstanding additions to the firm,” added Evans.
The partners include John G. Klauberg and Frederick J. Lark (New York); Catherine P. McCarthy and David R. Poe (Washington, D.C.); and Charles F. Vandenburgh (Connecticut).
For more information, click here.
Rudy Giuliani was in Houston last Thursday to address an oil and gas industry symposium, and spoke with the Houston Business Journal’s Deon Daugherty about a number of energy issues. On the agenda:
- Taking cues from China about how to build a nationwide energy policy that will serve future power needs while still developing the long-term future of renewables.
- Realistic strategies for achieving energy independence.
- The role that nuclear energy can play.
To read the complete interview, click here.
With the 2012 election year upon us, it promises to be an interesting year in energy politics and policy. Here are 12 (really 13 because of some creative headline writing) issues that will keep the sector hopping this year.
1. Keystone Cops – The biggest energy story of the first quarter without a doubt will be the Keystone pipeline. Not only has this issue blossomed into a larger-than-reality political issue, the President has seemingly been boxed into a corner on the issue that will force him to choose between two major constituencies – labor and environmentalists – just after he thought he got the political break he needed to delay the decision, thanks to Nebraska Republicans. Nonetheless, the battle will rage as the decision approaches. Regardless of the final result after 60 days (I’m predicting politics/jobs will win the day), the legal battle will likely begin then (promising a real fight) – of course likely delaying a final decision until after the election anyway. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, CFTC, Courts, DOE, Enforcement, Environmental, FERC, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Energy Law, Natural Gas/LNG, Nuclear, Offshore, Organized Markets, Regional Energy Law, Reliability, Renewable Energy/Cleantech, Shale Development, Transmission