Posts by Jeremy Brown

Jeremy Brown is a research fellow at the Energy Center. His current work focuses water management and environmental finance. He previously practiced energy and environmental law at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Lessons from the DOE’s LNG Export Approvals

Unlike with oil, there is no unified global market for natural gas. Instead, there are numerous regional markets that are oriented around pipeline networks and increasingly connected to each other through liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker shipments. In the last several years, the surge of shale gas production in the United States has driven down… Full Story

NEPA and Environmental Impacts of LNG Exports

This past summer, the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) revised the procedure it uses when considering whether to allow certain exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new procedure establishes a timeline that turns on the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, which has always been essential to decisions… Full Story

An Inconsistent Approach to “Public Interest” Consistency Determinations: Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act and the Rush to Export LNG

The Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) recently revised the process it follows when considering applications under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (the NGA) to import or export liquefied natural gas (LNG). Under the NGA, DOE must issue an approval unless “it finds that the proposed exportation or importation will not… Full Story

Federal Financing for Australia LNG Projects Does Not Trigger ESA

Already the world’s third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Australia is expected to overtake Qatar as the leader by 2016, as its natural gas boom has driven production and led to the construction of new export infrastructure at a much faster clip than in other emerging LNG powerhouses like the United States and Canada…. Full Story

Policy Trends in Congressional LNG Legislation

This past summer, the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) revised the procedure it follows when reviewing applications for permission to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the Natural Gas Act of 1938 (NGA), as amended. At the same time, as the economic opportunities of LNG beckon and the volume of NGA applications… Full Story

Natural Disasters and State-Level Executive Powers

This summer, the Sunlight Foundation – a nonprofit that advocates for open government – released a comparative study of the accessibility of state-level executive orders. It found a great deal of variability from one state to the next, in terms of both accessibility and the legal substance of the orders. As the study noted, state-level… Full Story

Early Takeaways from the Deepwater Horizon Decision

Last week, Judge Carl Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana issued an opinion in the first phase of the trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which remains the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history The court had previously split the trial into three phases. The first was conducted between February and April 2013… Full Story

Quantifying the Unquantifiable: TWDB’s Proposed SWIFT Rule and the Challenges of Governing through Point Systems

This summer, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) proposed a rule to implement the state’s new $2 billion water infrastructure financing scheme.  The statutory framework governing the scheme is elaborate but, as is often the case with legislative enactments, somewhat general in parts, leaving many key decisions to the TWDB. The proposed rule fills in… Full Story

An Unaccommodating Decision for the Accommodation Doctrine: Texas Groundwater Law and Severed Estates

At the moment, the water issues the Texas legislature appears likeliest to take up in its 2015 session involve groundwater.  In exploring potential groundwater policies – whether aimed at brackish groundwater production, aquifer storage and recovery, or some other subject area – it will have to contend with an outdated governance regime that makes the… Full Story

Drought: Always a Disaster, Never a Presidentially Declared One

In May, the Senate passed the Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 (S. 2198), a bill directing various federal agencies to provide California with additional water supplies during its current drought. The version of the bill originally introduced included a title that would have amended the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act,… Full Story