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JUNE 27, 2019
 
 
 
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Energy & Environmental News
In house attorneys looking for a better way to organize, vet and easily retrieve legal news created the National Law Review on-line edition.

Around the clock, the National Law Review's editors screen and classify breaking news and analysis authored by recognized legal professionals and our own journalists.

There is no log in to access the database and new articles are added hourly.​
 
 
 
 
The EPA announced its final rule for power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, culminating often rancorous discussion and litigation over the EPA’s authority to regulate GHG emissions from existing coal-fired electricity generating sources. Under the new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the states, not the federal government, are now responsible for driving down GHG emissions from power plants. Specifically, the EPA now requires unit-specific standards of performance to be developed by the states using its new emission guideline that details the “best system of emission reduction.”
 
 
 
In a recent opinion, the D.C. Circuit suggested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must attempt to obtain information necessary to evaluate the environmental effects of a proposed interstate pipeline project due to the project’s effect on natural gas production and consumption. In Birckhead v. FERC, USCA Case No. 18-1218 (D.C. Cir. 2019), the court criticized FERC for failing to obtain and consider information about upstream production and downstream consumption in its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of a proposed project to add compression to an existing pipeline, even though the applicant was unlikely to have information regarding the origin and destination of the gas to be transported. 
 
 
 
On June 19, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized three separate and distinct rulemakings as part of the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rulemaking package.  First, EPA finalized the repeal of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).  Second, EPA promulgated the final ACE rule itself, which consists of emission guidelines requiring states to develop and submit to the EPA plans that establish standards of performance for CO2 emissions from certain existing coal-fired electric utility generating units (EGUs) within their jurisdictions.  Third, EPA finalized regulations governing implementation of the ACE rule and any future emission guidelines issued under Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 111(d).  More on EPA Final Affordable Clean Energy Rule Here >
 
 
 
A recent ruling in the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) bankruptcy proceeding highlights the risk to certain renewable energy projects from utility bankruptcy. In a June 7, 2019 ruling, the PG&E bankruptcy court denied the claim that Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must approve any attempt by bankruptcy courts to reject (i.e., void) power project agreements (PPAs) between renewable project owners and utilities. This is in direct opposition to a FERC ruling that it does have this power. The FERC ruling was made in January in response to a petition filed by PG&E’s suppliers. This FERC/bankruptcy court divide mirrors a deep split among federal courts on this issue.  More on PG&E Bankruptcy Here >
 
 
 
 
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