On October 13, former Nevada Senator Harry Reid and current Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval hosted the ninth annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, NV. Each year, the 3-day summit brings together leaders of industry, government, and advocacy organizations in an effort to shape the United States’ energy policy agenda and facilitate the country’s progress towards a clean energy economy.
On August 23, Massachusetts joined the eight other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in announcing a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 30 percent by 2030 relative to 2020 levels. The nation’s first market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the RGGI counts Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts as members. Since 2009, the initiative has employed a cap-and-trade program to lower emissions, and the proceeds from the pollution permit auctions are used to support energy efficiency programs in the member states. This most recent plan would lower emissions by more than 65 percent since the initiative’s inception.
On June 20, Mintz Levin and ML Strategies were thrilled to host Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President Obama. McCarthy was the featured speaker at the Alliance for Business Leadership “Progressive Power Hour” held in our Boston office. During the course of the hour, McCarthy shared her optimism for the environmental progress state and local governments can make and emphasized the role businesses can play in serving the public good. To learn more about the event, read on!
On June 1st, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord, sparking serious concern about the future of global efforts to mitigate climate change. In response, cities, states, and corporations across the United States are collaborating to submit a plan to the United Nations ensuring that the U.S. fulfills its emissions targets under the Paris accord – with or without support from the United States federal government.
The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change is hosting hearings across the Commonwealth to gather input on clean energy and climate change. Launched by Senate President Pro Tempore Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), the “MA Clean Energy Future Tour” began its nine-stop tour on May 8 and will end on June 26 in Boston. To learn more about this tour, read on!
A new trend is emerging among the country’s most influential fossil fuel investors: a demand for climate change accountability and progress towards a low-carbon economy. On May 31, 2017, a vote among Exxon Mobil’s shareholders approved a resolution mandating that the company begin offering detailed reports analyzing the impact of compliance with climate change policy on its core business. With this resolution, Exxon’s major shareholders are pushing directly against company leadership, which has historically resisted such disclosure.
One of President Trump’s early campaign promises was to dismantle the 2015 Clean Water Rule, the Obama administration’s regulation asserting federal power over navigable bodies of water and aiming to replace polluting coal-fired power plants with clean energy facilities. Now, thanks to a district court ruling in D.C., Trump may be one step closer to actualizing that promise. To learn more about this ruling and its impact, read on!
A group of Republican senior statesmen is calling for a carbon tax to fight climate change. Led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former Secretary of Treasury Henry M. Paulson Jr., the group believes a carbon tax, which depends on increasing fossil fuel prices to reduce consumption, is a “conservative climate solution” based on free-market principles. Baker and his colleagues met with White House officials on Wednesday to discuss their proposals, which would eliminate nearly all of the Obama Administration’s climate policies with a national carbon tax. This rising tax would start at $40 per ton and be returned to every American in the form of a quarterly check from the Social Security Administration. To learn more about their proposal, read on!
Mintz Levin Strategies recently published its Washington Outlook for 2016, and it contained a variety of insights for the energy technology industry. Some of the most important items to keep an eye on in the coming year include fallout from Congress’ omnibus appropriations and tax extenders agreements, TSCA reform, action on climate change following COP21, and EPA regulatory efforts. Add to that an ongoing presidential election that will no doubt shape the political environment, and you have a recipe for an exciting year. For a more detailed breakdown on what to expect in 2016, read on!
The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded last month with the approval of a landmark climate accord that seeks to combat climate change on a global level. The structure of the agreement departs from prior climate agreements and protocols, adopting a “steer rather than row” approach to curbing carbon emissions – the open question is, however, whether countries will row fast enough. For more on the Paris conference and the agreement that came out of it, read on!