Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Analyzing the critical energy and environmental issues of the day

The Oregon legislature’s Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction has introduced HB 2020, a highly anticipated bill that would establish a cap-and-trade system to significantly reduce greenhouse gases attributable to sources within the state. The bill, prepared by the Joint Committee led by Senator Michael Dembrow of Portland and Representative Karin Power of Milwaukie, aims to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035, and then to 80 percent…
The Juliana v. U.S. climate change litigation (better known as part of the Children’s Climate Crusade) is back in the spotlight. The case was filed in Oregon U.S. District Court in 2015 on behalf of future generations to force governmental action on climate change. In a previous post from November 2016, our colleague Rick Glick considered whether Trump’s election would bring greater urgency and likelihood of success to Juliana and similar attempts to address…
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that if any party purchasing electricity pursuant to a FERC-jurisdictional wholesale power agreement proposes to reject that contract as part of a reorganization under the Bankruptcy Code, such party, “must obtain approval from both this Commission and the bankruptcy court to modify the filed rate and reject the contract, respectively.” NextEra Energy, Inc. v. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 166 FERC ¶ 61,049 (2019); see also, Exelon Corp.…
Yesterday, by refusing to hear an appeal from Exxon Mobil (see docket), the U.S. Supreme Court declined to protect the oil giant from handing over decades of climate change-related documents to the Massachusetts Attorney General. Back in 2015, InsideClimate News and the L.A. Times each ran multiple stories digging into Exxon’s knowledge of climate science and regulatory risk back to the 1970s. The Attorneys General of Massachusetts and New York soon thereafter launched…
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently rejected a notice of termination of a large generator interconnection agreement (LGIA), despite finding that the interconnection customer had breached the terms of the agreement. The interconnection customer failed to make scheduled interim payments toward the estimated cost of interconnection facilities and network upgrades, as required under the LGIA. Duke Energy Florida, LLC, 165 FERC ¶ 61,230 (2018). In this rejection, the FERC explained that the transmission…
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking dated December 20, 2018, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is proposing to reduce the burden on certain entities that sell electricity into organized wholesale electricity markets at market-based rates. At the present time, each entity proposing to sell electricity at market-based rates in wholesale electricity markets must include two FERC-prescribed preliminary horizontal market power screen analyses in its application for FERC authorization. These analyses are used by the…
We have previously discussed on this blog the California Public Utilities Commission’s (“CPUC”) decision in its Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (“PCIA”) proceeding. (see post 1 and post 2). The CPUC’s recent decision deferred to a second phase the development of a long-term solution to the PCIA or “exit fee” charged by California’s large investor-owned utilities (“IOUs”) on customers who begin taking electric service from community choice aggregation programs (“CCAs”). The second phase has now…
As the costs of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems fall and installations rise, developers and investors face new regulatory hurdles. Registration as a qualifying facility (QF) under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) recently has become a common subject of concern among both developers and tax equity investors. Developers are working to determine whether they are triggering compliance obligations, and investors are asking whether they have to register by virtue of their ownership interests.…
On December 13 the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) will vote on whether to open a new rulemaking to determine when an electric utility can de-energize power lines in cases of dangerous conditions that threaten life or property in California. The CPUC is considering this new proceeding because California is experiencing unprecedented wildfire events. While the CPUC has granted utilities the authority to proactively shut down power to specific power lines in an effort to…
Bi-partisan legislation under which a fee would be assessed on production or importation of certain fossil fuels as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions has recently been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-A), John Delaney (D-MD), Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL). Under this legislation, entitled the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 (H.R. 7173), the…