FOSSIL FUELS

House Approves Bill to Stop New Coal Mining Rule

The House has passed a bill aimed to reinstate a 2008 coal mining regulation which the administration discarded despite an extensive rulemaking process. On March 25, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act (H.R. 2824), a bill aimed reinstate the 2008 Stream Buffer…...

DOE Approves Jordan Cove LNG Export Project

The Jordan Cove Energy Project has obtained DOE authorization to export U.S. LNG to non-FTA nations from its proposed $7.5B Oregon facility. On March 24, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced conditional authorization for the Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries from the…...

Alaska Senate Passes Bill to Advance LNG Project

Governor Parnell’s legislation to advance a major Alaska LNG project passed the Alaska Senate by a 15-5 vote. On March 18, 2014, the Alaska Senate passed Senate Bill 138 (SB 138), Governor Sean Parnell’s bill aimed to advance the proposed large-diameter Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pipeline project.  The bill provides a framework for Alaska…...

EPA Ends Ban Prohibiting BP Federal Contract Bids

The EPA has lifted a 2012 ban that excluded BP from federal government contracts after BP agreed to safety, ethical, and corporate governance obligations. On March 13, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and BP reached an agreement resolving suspension, debarment, and statutory disqualification that barred BP from bidding for federal government contracts following the…...

U.S. Supreme Court Elevates Greenhouse Gas Regulation Debate

For the third time since 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act. Overview On February 24, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the case Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on whether EPA is ultimately legitimized…...

House Passes Bill to Restrict EPA Authority on Power Plant Emissions Standards

The House has approved the Electricity Security and Affordability Act aimed to provide a reasonable alternative to EPA’s pending power plant regulations. On March 6, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electricity Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826), a bipartisan bill aimed to provide guidance to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pending carbon…...

FY 2015 Budget Proposal Highlights Clean Energy and Climate Resilience

The FY 2015 budget plan proposes $27.9B in DOE funding, reiterating President Obama’s commitment to a low-carbon future and energy infrastructure resilience. President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget plan released on March 4, 2014 allocates $27.9B for the Department of Energy (DOE), a 2.6 percent increase from the 2014 enacted level.  It reflects DOE reorganization…...

YieldCo Market Unfolds While Waiting for Congressional Action on MLPs

Alternative power producers continue to turn to the YieldCo model to find lower costs of capital and residual value. Investors benefit from low risk exposure to renewable energy development, high yield and more favorable tax rates, however, risks do exist. Since January 1, 2014, two new YieldCos have been announced, SunEdison and Hannon Armstrong Sustainable…...

OIG Finds No Conflict of Interest Keystone XL Review

The Office of Inspector General found that the State Department followed proper conflict-of-interest guidelines in selecting the contractor for the proposed Keystone XL project’s environmental review. On February 26, 2014, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Compliance Follow-up Review weighing the State Department’s selection of third-party contractor Environmental Resources Management (ERM)…....

ARPA-E Update: $625M Private Funding Leveraged

To date, the 2009 Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy has invested $900M for innovative projects leveraging $625M in private funding. On February 25, 2014, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) announced that it has advanced 22 innovative projects over the past five years, leveraging approximately $625M private funding following its…...

BOEM Releases Atlantic Energy Exploration Environmental Review

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released its final environmental review identifying mitigation measures to advance energy exploration activities off the Mid- and South-Atlantic coast. On February 27, 2014, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities in the Mid-…...