FOSSIL FUELS

BP Reaches $18.7 Billion Agreement to Settle Deepwater Horizon Spill

Key Takeaways: BP agreed to settle all federal, state and local claims for $18.7 billion, with payments to be spread over 18 years The agreement increases BP’s financial certainty, but its reduced cashflow could lead the company to become a takeover target in the current low oil price environment New draft regulations would establish design…...

MATS Impacted by Supreme Court Decision, but Likely to Survive

Key Takeaways: The Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule represented one of the most significant air pollution regulations in U.S. history when it was announced in 2011 The Supreme Court rejected the rule, ruling that the EPA should have considered costs initially when assessing whether the rule was “appropriate and necessary” The specific nature of…...

EPA Announces New Emissions Standards for Trucks and Trailers

Key Takeaways: The 2013 Climate Action Plan called for new standards to advance fuel economy and emissions reductions in the transportation sector Proposed Phase 2 standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles aim to achieve 24 percent improvement in fuel efficiency by 2027 The new standards will spur advancements in trucking technology, resulting in substantial costs…...

Rate of Regulatory Approval Key to U.S. Role in Global LNG Market

During the 2000s, many companies positioned themselves for a prolonged period of U.S. natural gas import dependence and constructed multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals across the Gulf Coast. However, the shale revolution transformed the domestic energy landscape, with natural gas production increasing from 19 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2005 to 27…...

FERC Advances Reliability Safety Mechanism In Final Clean Power Plan

Insight for Industry – FERC’s Push to Incorporate Reliability Safety Mechanism in the Clean Power Plan Increases Certainty for State Compliance Efforts On May 15, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a letter signed by all five Commissioners that details its role in implementing a Reliability Safety…...

Signed Energy Act Sets Tone for Upcoming Energy Legislation Debates

Insight for Industry – Energy Efficiency Improvement Act Will Reduce Energy Demand The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law on April 30, will add momentum to falling energy consumption per capita in the United States by reducing energy demand from commercial buildings, manufacturing plants, and homes. The relatively uncontroversial…...

U.S. Coal Industry Hurt by Market Conditions; Now Hinges on Regulations

Coal has long reigned as the leading energy source for U.S. electricity generation, but structural changes in U.S. energy markets, brought on by technological innovations and new regulatory initiatives, have called into question the future of the coal industry. For over a century, the coal industry has provided the lifeblood for American progress, fueling the…...

FERC Advances Oregon LNG Export Facility as Congress Moves to Fast-Track New Trade Legislation

Trans-Pacific Partnership would Open New Markets for U.S. LNG Export Projects Key Takeaways: U.S. shale gas boom created opportunities to export surplus natural gas to high price markets in Asia, but lengthy regulatory processes have weakened U.S. natural gas producers’ ability to compete with global markets The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could facilitate western LNG…...

FERC Ruling Contributes to PJM Market Uncertainty

Insight for Industry – PJM Capacity Market Faces Continued Uncertainty Despite ongoing efforts by PJM Interconnection (PJM) to address system reliability issues, regulatory impacts to its capacity market continue to increase uncertainty. The March 31 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling that requires PJM to provide additional information on its Capacity Performance (CP) proposal could…...

New Oil Economics Drive Export and Tax Debate

The more the 50 percent crude oil price decline since July 2014 has impacted oil and gas industries throughout the supply chain and reignited energy policy debates at federal and state levels. Light, sweet oil has accounted for the majority of the domestic production increase over the last eight years, but since U.S. refiners are…...

Low Natural Gas Prices Increase Effective Rate of Pennsylvania Severance Tax

Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Industry Challenged by Regulatory Changes While a number of regulatory changes could slow Pennsylvania’s oil and gas expansion, its resource deposits will continue to attract steady growth. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed natural gas severance tax would significantly increase the effective tax rate for shale gas producers in the state, and ongoing…...