Climate Change Blog | McCarter & English - Page 2

Executory Forward SREC Contracts - What Exactly Does This Mean?

March 3, 2014 23:25
by J. Wylie Donald
What happens to the payment for a solar renewable energy credit (SREC) when the payor closes its doors?  Maryland citizens are finding out the hard way.  The promises made to some of them are turning up empty. Here are the details.  Greenspring Energy was a promising solar installation company.  As it describes itself:  "Greenspring Energy offers a unique combination of high-quality solar energy systems and the best energy saving products and services in the marketplace...

Renewable Energy | Solar Energy | Utilities

Report on Carbon Capture and Storage from the House

February 20, 2014 22:37
by J. Wylie Donald
Would an 80% premium steer you away from an energy source that was low-carbon, naturally abundant in the United States, not subject to the vicissitudes of weather, incapable of nuclear meltdown and accompanied by a well-established infrastructure?  Suppose the premium was only 40%? Hearings last week before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation explored that topic in connection with the development of carbon capture and storage technolo...

Carbon Dioxide | Regulation | Utilities

Contrary Legal Winds at Cape Wind - Opponents of Offshore Wind Sue Asserting Preemption

February 9, 2014 22:34
by J. Wylie Donald
Would you care to hazard a guess at how long it takes to bring online an offshore wind farm in the United States?  At the moment, it is 12+ years and counting.  A recent court filing arguing constitutional questions is certain to slow it down some more. In 2001 Cape Wind Associates, LLC, submitted an application to the United States Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to construct an offshore wind power facility in Nantucket Sound.  About 9 years later Cape Wind finally procured...

Wind Energy | Utilities

Dust in the Wind – A "Silent Epidemic" Rises in the Southwest

January 20, 2014 10:31
by J. Wylie Donald
Statisticians call it a correlation when two sets of data are strongly linked.  Last Friday, the governor of California declared a state of emergency arising from the persistent drought that resulted in 2013 being the driest year on record.  In June of last year, a federal judge in the Northern District of California ordered the implementation of certain policies relating to the epidemic of Coccidioidomycosis (aka Valley Fever or cocci) in the California prison system, including the tr...

Climate Change Effects

Wind Project "Take" Permits Extended to 30 Years - Eagles Nonplussed

January 7, 2014 10:52
by J. Wylie Donald
Tomorrow bald and golden eagles will sleep less soundly.  On January 8 the Fish and Wildlife Service’s new rule revising the regulations for permits for the taking of golden eagles and bald eagles goes into effect.  According to the FWS, “This change will facilitate the responsible development of renewable energy and other projects designed to operate for decades, while continuing to protect eagles consistent with our statutory mandates.” Eagles and other migratory b...

Regulation | Wind Energy | Utilities

The Top 6 at 12: Highlights of the Top Climate Change Legal Stories in the Second Half of 2013

January 1, 2014 00:01
by J. Wylie Donald
2013 has drawn to a close; here is our take on the top six climate change legal stories in the last six months.  1.  Climate Change Assessments - Blockbuster legislation may have been evaded once more but that has not stopped those in the trenches. Assessments of climate change risk are becoming more routine. For example, the September 2013 Record of Decision for the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site required assessment of “periods of high rainfall, including future rainfall increases...

Carbon Dioxide | Climate Change | Regulation | Solar Energy | Utilities | Year in Review

EPA Excludes Carbon Dioxide Waste Streams from RCRA - A (Very Small) Step Forward for CCS

December 26, 2013 09:42
by J. Wylie Donald
The Congress may be dysfunctional but the administrative agencies are still moving the ball.  A case in point is last week’s Christmas present from EPA to the carbon capture and storage community.  On December 17 EPA issued its final rule, Hazardous Waste Management System: Conditional Exclusion for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Streams in Geologic Sequestration Activities.  In so doing, EPA provided “regulatory clarity to help facilitate the implementation of [CCS] technology ...

Carbon Dioxide | Regulation

Battles over Stormwater: Maryland Counties Fight the 'Rain Tax'

November 7, 2013 23:22
by J. Wylie Donald
It's not secession like Colorado but three Maryland counties are staging their own Fort Sumter. This past Tuesday the Carroll County Council  received a notice from the State that the County did not appear to be meeting its obligations under the 2012 Stormwater Management – Watershed Protection and Restoration Program Act.  Penalties of $10,000 per day were threatened. Frederick and Harford Counties have received similar letters.  The County fathers (and mothers) h...

Climate Change Effects | Regulation

Whatever Happened to State Law Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims? Still No Music After Bell

October 27, 2013 10:30
by J. Wylie Donald
“Therefore, the Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.”  So ends the last analytical paragraph in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., 663 F. Supp. 2d 863 (N.D. Cal. 2009).  Thus, while plaintiffs’ federal common law carbon-dioxide-liability claims were extinguished on standing and political question grounds, state law claims ...

Carbon Dioxide | Climate Change Litigation | Supreme Court

How is the Government Shutdown the Same as Climate Change? How is it Different?

October 6, 2013 21:52
by J. Wylie Donald
If you read this blog for tips on how to advance your practice, or protect your employer from surprises, or keep your job (which may be the same thing), stop reading. Today is for introspection and evaluation. We went off this weekend to western Maryland to go camping. Two things struck us. The 15 Mile Creek Campground on the C&O Canal run by the National Park Service was closed. The sign said "Due to Emergency Conditions."  We suppose it is an emergency when the richest nation in the ...

Carbon Dioxide | Climate Change


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