Archive for ‘Uncategorized’ posts

Alaska Fracking Regulations Raise Bar for Disclosure Requirements

Alaska has issued proposed fracking regulations that would require drillers to disclose the chemical composition of pumping fluids and would offer no trade secret protection for that information. Disclosure requirements have been a focal point in the ongoing struggle between industry and environmental and community groups over fracking.  The regulations that have been adopted in other states have largely given cover to proprietary… Full Story

Should States or Cities Regulate Fracking: Colorado the Latest State to Confront the Issue

As fracking has moved into densely populated areas, increasing numbers of local governments have imposed restrictions and, in the process, come into conflict with state governments that believe the practice is theirs to regulate. Local governments contend their land use authority entitles them to restrict or even ban fracking.  State governments counter that their police… Full Story

Incentives for Wind Energy and the Fiscal Cliff

The fiscal cliff bodes ill for the U.S. wind industry.  Along with many other tax-rate cuts, deductions and credits, the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy expires at the end of 2012 and, to compound the fiscal pressure, critics and competitors are contending that wind is a mature industry that does not need further subsides. In the past… Full Story

How Green is Wind Energy?

As Congress considers whether to extend the production tax credit for wind energy in the context of “fiscal cliff” negotiations, environmentalists are lobbying vigorously, arguing that the PTC creates green jobs and supports strong communities.  A casual observer might conclude that enviros are always in favor of wind development, because wind produces electricity with no air pollution and does not… Full Story

Regional Conservation for Endangered Species: Success in Texas

On May 2, 1996 in Austin, Texas, Nancy Kaufman, the regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, signed the permit that created the first urban habitat conservation plan in the United States.  The Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan (BCCP) was the product of a decade of negotiations among environmentalists, biologists, developers, business interests, and government officials…. Full Story

D.C. Circuit Interprets Incentives for Natural Gas Storage Operators

The D.C. Circuit recently rejected an appeal that would have significantly expanded an incentive intended to spur the development of additional gas storage capacity.  The decision upholds a FERC interpretation and soundly preserves the contours of what was already a potentially generous exception to market regulation. The Nebraska-based Northern Natural Gas Company had appealed a 2010 FERC interpretation of… Full Story

WTO Rules against Provision in Ontario Energy Policy

The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently ruled against Canada in a dispute around the local content requirement of a provincial renewable energy program. Ontario adopted a feed-in tariff requiring utilities to buy energy from renewable projects that used local goods and services for up to 60 percent of inputs. Japan and later the European Union filed… Full Story

Conflict over Hydraulic Fracturing: Politics vs. Policy

The policy debate over hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) in the northeastern states of the Marcellus Shale has generated much more heat than light.  It is the mirror image of the climate change debate, during which opponents of climate change turned a blind eye to climate science and the empirical evidence supporting the notion that human… Full Story

Colorado River Agreement a Harbinger of Future Cooperation

The United States and Mexico have agreed to new rules governing the allocation of water from the Colorado River, in a move that comes as a result of increasing collaboration between the countries on water management issues and will likely lead the way to further joint efforts.  (Mary Kelly, from the Trans Pecos Water and Land Trust,… Full Story

FERC Enforcing More Aggressively

In the last couple months, FERC has leveled eye-popping fines against alleged market manipulators, putting to avid use the enforcement authority it was given in 2005 so it could prevent Enron-style game-rigging.  Yesterday, the Hill quoted FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff as saying: “We’re an equal-opportunity enforcer. We’ll go after anybody who we believe is engaged in an… Full Story