Biden Administration Announces $3.1 Billion Grant Program for Battery Processing and Manufacturing to Support Clean Energy and Transportation

On May 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of a funding opportunity announcement (“FOA”) through which DOE may provide $3.1 billion in grant funding to support projects that will accelerate the development of a resilient supply chain for high-capacity batteries.  This FOA, the authority for which is provided in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”), is the first release of more than $7 billion included in the IIJA to strengthen the U.S.… More

CISA, FBI, and DOE Release Joint Cybersecurity Advisory in Light of Increased Threats to Energy Sector’s Cybersecurity

On March 24, 2022, the Department of Justice unsealed two indictments charging four Russian government employees in two hacking campaigns that targeted critical infrastructure in the energy sector.  We cover these indictments in depth here.  Concurrently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Energy (DOE) jointly published a Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) relating to the hacks.… More

US Unseals Indictments of Four Russian Government Employees in Connection with Cyber Attacks on Energy Sector

The United States Department of Justice unsealed two indictments in March involving four Russian government employees who have been charged in connection with two separate hacking conspiracies targeting the global energy sector.  These campaigns took place between 2012 and 2018 and affected thousands of computers, hundreds of organizations, and approximately 135 countries.

These indictments were unsealed just days after President Joe Biden publicly warned US business executives that Russia is exploring using cyberattacks as part of its offensive strategy during its continued attacks on Ukraine. … More

Losses Continue to Mount For ExxonMobil in its Fight to Prevent State Attorney General Climate Investigations

On March 15, 2022, the Second Circuit rejected an appeal brought by ExxonMobil attempting to block investigations by the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General into historical claims made by Exxon regarding climate change.  These cases have a long procedural history in both state and federal courts as Exxon has employed multiple procedural vehicles to attempt to halt the investigations.  Generally, both investigations relate to whether Exxon intentionally mislead investors and the public regarding its knowledge and the risks of climate change. … More

Three Takeaways from the SEC’s New Proposed Rules on Climate Disclosures

Today, the Securities & Exchange Commission voted 3 to 1 in favor of adopting a long-awaited set of proposed revisions to SEC regulations concerning the disclosure of climate risks and related financial impacts, as well as data on greenhouse gas emissions in certain SEC filings. The recommendation to adopt the new set of rules was not unanimous, with Commissioner Hester Peirce voting against the measure, arguing that the new set of rules is at best unnecessary,… More

DPU Orders the Creation of an Energy Storage Interconnection Review Group

Energy storage systems (“ESS”) can help increase grid efficiency, facilitate the operation of increasing amounts of renewable energy, and lower energy costs, among other benefits. As energy storage systems increase in number in Massachusetts, a myriad of questions have emerged regarding their regulation and integration into the electrical grid.

DPU Order

On February 9, 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (“DPU”) released an order under Docket 19-55 with the goal of finding answers to some of these questions.… More

Acquisitions of Renewable Energy Projects Exempt Under HSR Act Could Require 60-Day Waiting Period Under Proposed New York Law

A recent post on Foley Hoag’s State AG blog about New York’s proposed pre-merger notification legislation details the potential new notification requirement, but we wanted to dive a little deeper into the impact the proposed legislation could have on transactions in the energy industry.

Summary of Legislation

If it passes the 21st Century Antitrust Act would create a new premerger notification requirement unlike anything that currently exists in New York and broader than any requirement in any other state.… More

State Law Climate Damage Cases (Still) Belong in State Court

In the first appellate decision to decide the issue since the Supreme Court decision in BP P.L.C. v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, the 10th Circuit ruled this week that climate damage claims brought by several Colorado counties should nonetheless still be heard in state court.  The most important issue in the case was whether the Clean Air “completely preempted” state law claims. … More

Cybersecurity 2022 – The Year in Preview: Continued Threats to Nation’s Energy Supply as Regulators Race to Keep Up

Continued Threats of Ransomware Attacks

As we reported in our 2021 Year in Preview series, we began 2021 anticipating that ransomware would be a serious threat to critical energy infrastructure.  These concerns were realized in May 2021 when the Colonial Pipeline Company’s (“Colonial”) entire 5,500-mile pipeline system carrying liquid fuels was shut down due to a ransomware attack by DarkSide, a hacking group that allegedly has loose ties to the Russian government.… More

White House Push for Increase in Sustainable Aviation Fuel

The White House has taken a strong stance in expanding the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to reduce carbon emissions in the aviation industry. SAFs are liquid hydrocarbon fuels that are blended into the existing fuel supply using materials like waste, fats, cooking oils and corn. The Administration has identified the aviation industry as a climate priority in its push to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.… More