As one would expect, the 110-page document released by the Biden campaign of policy recommendations reached by its joint task forces with supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders includes a number of energy and environmental policy statements.
The IRS issues anticipated guidance providing relief to developers facing delays related to COVID-19. In the recent alert, “IRS Extends Continuity Safe Harbor for Renewable Energy Projects,” colleague Jorge Medina, discusses how the guidance also provides some clarity on the impact of supply chain disruptions on equipment orders placed later in 2019, primarily associated with solar and fuel cell companies, by addressing the application of the “3½ month rule” in light of COVID-19 and providing a new safe harbor.
Due diligence and compliance challenges require flexible approaches and creative solutions. In “Practical Tips for Managing Environmental Issues During the Coronavirus Pandemic,” colleagues Sheila McCafferty Harvey and Reza Zarghamee discuss how proactive and creative compliance strategies, and effective strategies to document parties’ efforts to comply with existing obligations, can help hedge against transactional and compliance risks.
On March 13, 2020, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed House Bill 74 (HB 74) into law. After the Governor signed HB 74, it became House Enrolled Act 60. HEA 60 allows utilities and other power plant owners to replace retiring coal and natural gas electric generation plants with small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).
In a letter ruling published March 16, 2020, the Tennessee Department of Revenue concluded that a contractor’s purchase of materials and equipment for use in the construction and installation of a new steam production facility at a federally owned manufacturing plant was exempt from Tennessee sales and use tax. Tenn. Letter Rul. No. 20-02 (issued Feb. 10, 2020).
California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency and, pursuant to his broad authority under the California Emergency Services Act and other statutory provisions, has issued Executive Orders suspending or modifying the effect of certain state statutes and regulation in response to COVID-19, and authorizing the commandeering of property needed for the response. In “California Executive Power and Industrial Facilities in the Wake of COVID-19,” colleagues Michael S. McDonough and Christopher W. Smith provide an overview of the recent updates and rulings on California’s facilities and operations.
On March 10, 2020, the Wyoming legislature passed House Bill 74 (HB 74). If signed into law, HB 74 will allow utilities and other power plant owners to replace retiring coal and natural gas electric generation plants with small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).
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.
Issued by 13 federal agencies, the 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment presented a stark warning on the consequences of climate change for the United States. The report predicts that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will reduce the U.S. economy by as much as 10 percent by the end of the century. The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions—the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy—but also in how it conflicts with President Donald Trump’s environmental deregulation plan. U.S. policy efforts at the state and local levels are ramping up to address this complex topic. These include:
Colleague Robert A. James has authored the United State chapter of Global Legal Group’s Energy 2020 in which he provides an overview of the current U.S. energy marketplace.
In the chapter, Rob discusses the progress as well as the clashes on policies and projects in a wide variety of arenas, including:
- Incentives and challenges for renewables, including U.S. offshore wind and expanded power storage;
- Divergent views on natural gas and battles over new oil and gas pipelines;
- The vehicle efficiency duel between California and the federal government;
- Endangered Species Act, environmental regulatory and climate change litigation developments; and
- Wildfire liability, cybersecurity and blockchain issues for electric utilities and the national grid.
To access the full PDF, click here.
(Reproduced with permission from Global Legal Group, Ltd.)