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Energy and Climate Change

  • Natural Resources Agency Finalizes Updates to the CEQA Guidelines
    12.10/Alert

    At the end of November 2018, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) posted final adopted text for amendments to the regulations implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), known as the CEQA Guidelines. The final text is the result of over five years of development efforts by the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research (OPR) and CNRA. The amendments combine changes to transportation impact analysis as directed by Senate Bill 743 (2013) with the most comprehensive update to the CEQA Guidelines since 1998, incorporating statutory changes, court decisions, and comments from public agencies, business and environmental groups, and other stakeholders through multiple rounds of public review. The wide range of issues covered in the amendments includes use of regulatory standards as significance thresholds; environmental baselines; a new metric for analyzing transportation impacts; climate, water supply and energy impacts; and numerous procedural and technical improvements.

  • Pillsbury's Post-Election Outlook
    11.07/Alert

    The 2018 Midterm Election played out as most poll forecasters speculated. Although several races have yet to be decided, Republicans have retained control of the Senate, but lost at least 29 seats, allowing the Democrats to wrest back control of the House for the first time since 2010.

  • 2018 Election Night Guide
    11.02/Article

    Pillsbury’s Political Law and Public Policy groups break down the need-to-know numbers for this year’s election. Pillsbury’s biennial Election Night Guide examines the potential outcomes for the 2018 Congressional and Governor’s races. Our Public Policy team is also preparing a post-election guide that will be useful in navigating potential changes in Congress.

  • Gas Regulation 2018: United States
    3.30/Article

    Need an update on the state of the natural gas sector in the United States? This recently published article has you covered.

  • New CERCLA Brownfields Amendments
    03.29/Blog

    Spurred by the realization there may be as many as 450,000 Brownfields sites around the country that require some financial assistance, the recently enacted bi-partisan BUILD Act reauthorizes the EPA's Brownfields program at current funding levels through 2023.

  • Administration Issues “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America”
    02.22/Blog

    The Trump Administration's legislative proposal to rebuild American infrastructure identifies a number of specific laws that will require amendments. Here is a brief review of some of the plans many provisions.

  • Congress Expands the Oil Pollution Act to Reach Spills Originating Outside of the U.S.
    01.22/Alert

    The Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2017 establishes oil spill liability in the U.S. for foreign-based offshore exploration and production facilities.

  • The Fall 2017 Unified Federal Regulatory Agenda
    12.20/Blog

    The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget have posted the Fall 2017 Agency Statements of Regulatory Priorities. Here's a look at what's ahead.

  • The Trump Administration’s First Steps Toward Streamlining Environmental Reviews
    12.05/Article

    An August Executive Order aims to fast-track federal review of infrastructure projects, including a streamlined environmental review process of projects deemed “high-priority.” Recent actions taken by the Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of the Interior indicate what that might look like.

  • U.S. DOT Releases Draft Strategic Plan Beginning Implementation of Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Project Streamlining
    10.27/Blog

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a draft Strategic Plan that establishes goals for increasing investment and streamlining environmental review and approval of transportation infrastructure projects over the next five years. The draft Plan is DOT’s first formal action in response to the Administration’s Executive Order on streamlining. Although it identifies needs and objectives it provides few specifics.

  • Council on Environmental Quality Takes First Step to Implement Trump Executive Order on Streamlining Federal Environmental Reviews
    09.25/Blog

    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees federal agency compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, has announced a list of planned actions to implement President Trump’s Executive Order on streamlining federal environmental reviews. While the Order and CEQ notice have launched a process that could transform federal environmental reviews and approvals, they provide few specifics, and their impact remains to be seen.

  • DOE Opens the Door to Major Energy Market Reforms
    08.25/Alert

    In August, the Department of Energy published a much-anticipated study analyzing the market hurdles facing conventional baseload generation, such as coal, nuclear and hydropower. The study sets the stage for a high-stakes debate before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

  • Time Will Tell If Trump Infrastructure Executive Order Shortens Federal Reviews
    08.22/Alert

    On August 15, President Trump issued an Executive Order that seeks to streamline federal environmental review and approvals of major infrastructure projects by imposing new timelines and procedures. Key provisions create a two-year deadline for completing review and issuing authorizations.

  • Chemicals, Compliance and the Toxic Substances Control Act
    08.16/Alert

    The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) required the compiling of a national register of chemicals that were manufactured in or imported into the United States for a non-exempt commercial purpose, and the first TSCA Inventory in 1979 included approximately 62,000 chemicals. Since then, the Inventory has been expanded to include approximately 90,000 chemicals—a rate of over 700 new chemicals per year.

  • Up in the Air
    06.22/Alert

    Trump Administration officials followed up on the President’s June 1 announcement of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord by announcing that the Administration was reviewing U.S. participation in ICAO’s global aviation emissions offset and trading regime.

  • How Companies Can Take Advantage of President Trump’s Plan to Roll Back Federal Energy Regulation
    05.10/Audio

    President Trump’s March 28 Executive Order requires every federal agency and Department to identify and potentially suspend, rescind, or relax federal regulations, policies, prior agency orders and guidelines that impede U.S. energy development or use. In this roundtable discussion, Sheila Harvey, Jeffrey Merrifield, Matthew Morrison and Andrew Weissman examine the implications of the Executive Order and how it could affect businesses in 2017 and beyond.
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  • DC Lawyer: Trump Executive Order ‘Literally Applies to Everything’ the Federal Government Does with Energy Development
    04.07/Video

    Washington, DC Energy senior counsel Andrew Weissman told The Washington Post that legal professionals and industry experts, among others, are just beginning to grasp the scope of the March 28 order. According to Weissman, the order has far-reaching effects on “almost every environmental regulation that affects energy in any way,” in addition to non-environmental regulations.