There are more than 11,000 wells, nearly 600 platforms and 24,000 km of pipeline network on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). It is estimated that by 2025 more than 220 oil and gas production fields and their structures will be decommissioned. In their recent opinion piece, “Turning oil rigs into reefs: A missed opportunity,” colleagues Chris Harrison and Henrietta Worthington discuss why the Gulf of Mexico’s “rigs to reefs” approach has not been adopted in the UKCS.
Carbon-reduction initiatives have begun to increasingly target the construction industry, particularly in light of data showing that buildings generate up to 40% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions. While the Federal Green New Deal remains stalled in Congress and states have been slow to spring into action, a number of cities have moved forward with climate proposals that include a shift toward carbon-free buildings.
The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a “discussion draft” of the committee’s climate bill. The legislation is over 600 pages long, but the Committee has also released a summary of this legislation, which is entitled the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act or the CLEAN Future Act. Here are some highlights.
Any strategy for the successful deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) must thoroughly consider the current trends affecting the burgeoning market for SMRs. In 2019, the three major trends shaping this market were the large number of SMR designs, interest in SMRs in both mature and emerging markets, and factors impacting SMR financing.
In late December, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the “Fall 2019 Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions” just a few days before the Calendar turned to the year 2020. (It should be noted that the Spring Agenda was not released until June 24, 2019.) Individual agency agendas were published in the Federal Register by several agencies and executive departments on December 26, 2019. The entire agenda, which is a survey of all current and projected rule-making actions that federal agencies and departments are planning over the next 12 months, is available at such government websites as regulations.gov. The Agenda provides valuable insights into the actions these agencies believe to be most important. This survey will largely concentrate on environmental regulatory developments, although other matters are worth noting.
Effective as of January 1, 2020, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in the fall of 2019, provides certain new protections for residential tenants in the State of California. In response to what the statute refers to as “the unique circumstances of the current housing crisis,” the new legislation prohibits residential landlords from terminating leases without just cause for tenants who have occupied the rented premises for 12 months or more, and restricts the amount by which landlords may increase rent, as summarized in more detail below. California’s adoption of this new legislation makes it the third state in the country to implement statewide rent restrictions, a trend that will likely continue to grow in the face of rising rental prices nationwide.
As we kick off the new decade, we wanted to share the top five most-read articles of 2019 from Gravel2Gavel. The most-read blog posts covered 2019 real estate and construction industry trends ranging from affordable housing to the new State Bill 35 (SB 35) to sustainability in modern real estate. Our posts provided deep insight and detailed case studies, and summarized hot topics that addressed the legal implications and exciting disruptions that are affecting the industry. We hope you enjoy the roundup:
On November 21, 2019, EPA released a pre-publication copy of its Reconsideration of the revised Risk Management Program (RMP) Rules. In an accompanying statement, the agency noted that it has taken steps to “modify and improve” the existing rule to remove burdensome, costly and unnecessary requirements while maintaining appropriate protection (against accidental chemical releases) and ensuring responders have access to all of the necessary safety information. This action was taken in response to EPA’s January 13, 2017 revisions that significantly expanded the chemical release prevention provisions the existing RMP rules in the wake of the disastrous chemical plant explosion in West, Texas. The Reconsideration will take effect upon its publication in the Federal Register.