Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Part 2: Investing in Transmission

This is the second post in our series on the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, covering how the Act invests in strengthening our electric grid, which could better prepare us for the shift from fossil fuel generated electricity to renewable power.

To decarbonize our energy system, electrify transportation and buildings, and drastically reduce our contribution to climate change, we’ll need to develop and deploy significant wind,… More

Infrastructure Package Makes New Investments in the Electric Transportation Future

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law today not only makes critical investments in our core infrastructure, it creates several new programs to support the increasing electrification of the transportation sector.

Especially notable in the $1.2 trillion package are the investments in electric vehicle charging stations, clean-powered buses, and electric-powered ferries. These investments include:

  • Creating new grants to build out electric vehicle charging station networks
  • Funding to modernize the primarily diesel-fueled fleet of school buses with electric or alternative fuel buses
  • Funding to state and local governments to procure electric or low emissions ferries

Electric Vehicle Charging / Fueling Infrastructure

To support the nationwide buildout of electric charging and alternative fueling stations,… More

Will We Ever Stop Overestimating the Cost of Complying with Environmental Regulations?

Earlier this week, Greenwire (subscription required) had an interesting story about the role that EPA’s estimate of the cost to comply with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule played in the politics and judicial review of the rule.  It turned out that compliance costs were much less than originally estimated by EPA – let alone by industry.  Unfortunately, the $9.6 billion price tag originally put on the MATS rule lived on,… More

2021 Marked by SEC Focus on Climate-related Disclosures

With the third quarter coming to a close and year-end reporting just around the corner, public companies should be giving careful thought to the evolving landscape for climate-related disclosures. While it did not promulgate any new rules in 2021 regarding these disclosures, the SEC has been actively commenting on climate change disclosures, and new rules are almost certainly on the way.

Since 2010, the SEC has made clear that its existing disclosure regime requires issuers to assess and,… More

Boston Regulates Building GHG Emissions: The Next Few Years Will Be Very Interesting

Last week, the Boston City Council approved amendments to the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance.  The changes are being referred to as “BERDO 2.0”, which almost understates the scope of the revisions.  As indicated by its name, since its original enactment, BERDO only dealt with reporting and disclosure.  Now, however, Boston will be imposing limits on GHG emissions from large buildings.

The limits will first be effective in 2025,… More

New York Public Service Commission Sends Utilities’ Transmission Planning Proposals Back to the Drawing Board

As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) solicits comments regarding fundamental changes to its regulation of the country’s electricity transmission systems; as the temperature rises in New York State regarding transmission system upgrades needed to accommodate the enormous required influx of renewable electricity both from offshore wind and from upstate sources to downstate need; and after the Legislature required in the spring of 2020 that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) order the state’s regulated utilities to reimagine its transmission system,… More

U.S. Senate Infrastructure Bill Proposes Big Dollars for Wide Ranging New Grant Program For Electric Vehicle Charging and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

On August 10, 2021, the United States Senate passed the much anticipated bipartisan infrastructure bill.  While not yet law, the bill now advances to the House of Representatives for further consideration.  The House of Representative is expected to vote on the bill by the end of September.  This post addresses the bill, in its current form.

The bill allocates $7.5 billion dollars to be spent over five years to create alternative fuel infrastructure. … More

Climate Change Is Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying — And Terrifying

The IPCC has released its Sixth Assessment Report on the physical science basis of climate change.  I would say that it makes sobering reading, except any sane person’s immediate response to AR6 would be to go out and have any number of stiff drinks.  Here are a number of the lowlights:

It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.… More

Will More Money Managers Start Voting Shares Based on Climate Issues? Fidelity International Gets in the Game

In the wake of Engine No.1’s successful effort to elect more climate-friendly directors at Exxon and the increasingly aggressive action by BlackRock to take climate into account in its investment management decisions, the whole world is watching for further evidence of capitalism’s efforts to save the world from, well, capitalism.

The latest news is from Fidelity International (not to be confused with Fidelity Management and Research),… More

D.C. Circuit 2019 RVO Decision is a Mixed Bag for Biofuels

The biofuels industry has had a challenging season in the courts. Several weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that had limited EPA’s ability to grant waivers to small refiners that allow them to escape compliance obligations under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program. Then, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the D.C.… More