Climate Change Blog | McCarter & English

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part IV - Economic v. Environmental Dispatch, Please

March 16, 2015 12:31
by J. Wylie Donald
It’s been a long winter in my neck of the woods and not because Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.  Pipes froze.  Twice.  Furnace was out overnight.  Broke three shovels.  So I had a particular interest this past Wednesday, March 11, in FERC’s Eastern Regional Technical Conference on EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and FERC’s and EPA’s takes on reliability issues.   After the introductions EPA Assistant Administrator Jan...

Carbon Dioxide | Regulation | Renewable Energy | Utilities

A View from the FERC - Part III - Time to Keep the Lights On

March 16, 2015 09:40
by Tricia Caliguire
Last week, FERC held the eastern regional technical conference on “Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure.”  The purpose was for the commissioners to hear the specific issues created by EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) relevant to the states, utilities, generators, consumers and transmission operators covered by ISO-New England, Inc., PJM Interconnection LLC, New York Independent System Operator, the Sout...

Carbon Dioxide | Carbon Emissions | Climate Change | Regulation | Utilities

Community Solar - A New Path in Illinois

March 5, 2015 14:55
by Tricia Caliguire
This week, the Chicago Tribune reports that the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) filed a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to require Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) to offer its customers the opportunity to participate in a three-year "community solar" pilot program. Just to get the players straight: ComEd is a regulated electric utility which services close to four million customers in northern Illinois. The CUB is the statutory re...

Regulation | Solar Energy | Utilities

The Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Much Ado ...

February 27, 2015 21:39
by J. Wylie Donald
When one talks of pipelines in recent days one hears nearly an incessant buzz about Keystone XL, as if that is where the real action is. But it isn't, notwithstanding the histrionics over President Obama's veto of S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. The real action lies not with an 850,000 barrel per day oil pipeline, but instead with the natural gas pipelines that are needed to supply the natural gas electricity generating plants that will be required to replace, in part, 103 gigawatts ...

Carbon Dioxide | Legislation | Regulation | Utilities

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part II - Infrastructure

February 26, 2015 15:54
by Tricia Caliguire
Because I had a seat inside the meeting room at FERC's Clean Power Plan Overview last Thursday, I got a close-up view of the protesters.  Most were older (as opposed to the college-student variety), they carried signs, wore matching red t-shirts and, after the first panel concluded, began to chant, “gas is dirty.”  Though none of them explained what they meant, and the speakers so far had not focused on Building Block 2 (shifting dispatch from coal to natural gas combined-c...

Carbon Emissions | Regulation | Utilities

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC

February 19, 2015 22:30
by J. Wylie Donald
It is innocuous enough: Conference on Environmental Regulations; but the plainness of title belies what is going on at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today. Today is the first public forum at FERC on EPA's Clean Power Plan. It is playing to overflow crowds. Notwithstanding arriving an hour early, I didn't even get to see the Commission, except remotely. One of the panelists characterized the implications of the Clean Power Plan as the most significant transformation of the bulk power s...

Carbon Emissions | Regulation | Utilities

Rising Sea Levels and Prohibited "Takings" - A Different Sort of Climate Change Litigation

November 19, 2014 00:39
by J. Wylie Donald
  A little noted anniversary passed this past week.  The odd 2009 storm, Nor’Ida (the progeny of a nor’easter and a hurricane), swept along the east coast pounding some areas with record storm surge five years ago in the second week of November.  Who is keeping Nor’Ida’s memory alive?  Among others, homeowners in Nags Head, North Carolina have especially good memories, as shown by their long-running litigation, Sansotta v. Town of Nag's Head.&nbs...

Climate Change Litigation | Rising Sea Levels | Weather

EPA COMMENTS SUGGEST EMPHASIS ON CREATIVITY AND INTERNALIZING EXTERNALITIES IN CLIMATE STRATEGY

October 14, 2014 09:29
by Jameson Tweedie
The American Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment and Resources held its Fall Conference last week.  Noteworthy from a climate perspective were the keynote address by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, along with comments by other officials within President Obama's Administration with specific responsibility on climate issues—including Samantha Medlock, Deputy Associate Director for Climate Preparedness (White House Council on Environmental Qualit...

Carbon Emissions | Climate Change | Climate Change Effects | Rising Sea Levels

Alaska Supreme Court Opens the Door for Alternative Theory in Public Trust Litigation

September 26, 2014 23:40
by J. Wylie Donald  & Jeffrey Janicke
As this blog has discussed on several prior occasions, Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon public interest group, has coordinated lawsuits in numerous states seeking to apply the public trust doctrine to the atmosphere (e.g., here  and here).  While some jurisdictions now recognize the doctrine, OCT has yet to succeed in forcing a state to take any action on the climate.  This month, however, the Alaska Supreme Court provided plaintiffs another possible route. In Ka...

Climate Change | Climate Change Litigation

A Provisional Winner of an Offshore Wind Lease is Announced and that Means the Goal Line is Still Far Off

August 24, 2014 23:23
by J. Wylie Donald
Offshore wind took another small step forward last week when US Wind was announced as the provisional winner of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's August 19 auction of development rights to nearly 80,000 acres off of Maryland.  The price?  $8.7 million. According to the BOEM press release, and other reports the few million to be ponied up by US Wind (or by its Italian parents, Renexia and Toto S.p.A.) is more than was bid for offshore leases in Virginia and Massachusetts and a...

Regulation | Renewable Energy | Wind Energy


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