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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

Rulings Probably Won’t Affect PACE in Long Run

In a setback for efficiency advocates, the Eleventh Circuit has joined the Second Circuit in rebuffing challenges to a federal regulator’s decision not to allow lien-priming PACE financing on mortgaged residential property. The decisions from the two circuit courts probably increase the likelihood that the Ninth Circuit will hear and reach a similar conclusion in… Full Story