On July 20, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a report directing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop solutions to improve the cyber and physical security and overall resilience of the US electrical grid. The report, which was first initiated by Congress following the massive outages caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2014 and is further driven by recent malware infections found on the servers at a nuclear plant, addresses threats to the grid posed by natural disasters and malicious cyberattacks.
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!
Upcoming Event: Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Speaks at Mintz Levin
Mintz Levin and ML Strategies are thrilled to be hosting Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President Obama, in our Boston office on June 20. McCarthy will be the featured speaker at the Alliance for Business Leadership “Progressive Power Hour” from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.
With the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, questions are swirling about what this means for the environment, the economy, and our standing in the world. Alongside her four years as EPA Administrator, McCarthy has held lead environmental roles as a public official in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Boston native has served as an environmental advisor to five Massachusetts governors. Her unique perspective will bring valuable insight into what can and should be done at the state level over the next few years.
We look forward to hosting McCarthy and our guests for what is sure to be an engaging conversation!
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) recently introduced the “Clean Energy for America Act,” which aims to create a new technology neutral system for federal tax credits for clean energy, clean fuel, and energy efficiency projects. The bill would offer performance-based tax incentives for efficient homes and office buildings, and would significantly reduce carbon pollution over the next decade. Senator Wyden, also a member of the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, received support from 21 Democrat co-sponsors, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA). To learn more about the Clean Energy for America Act, read on!
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!
Tom Burton, Member of the firm’s Corporate & Securities Section and Founder and Chair of the firm’s Energy Technology Practice, will publish bi-weekly installments providing key takeaways from the four sections of AEE’s webinar including: Industry Growth; Advanced Energy Jobs; Growth Trends; and Policy. This is the fifth and final installment of the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
The final AEE webinar topic highlighted the important role policy plays in driving the advanced energy market. Panelist Malcolm Woolf noted that President Trump’s recent Executive Order overturning the Clean Power Plan conveys how policy can affect the market. While market forces are on the side of advanced energy, there are several policy levers that AEE believes will be significant drivers to future growth. These include:
- opening wholesale markets to the energy industry;
- meeting corporate demand for advanced energy;
- continued evolution of the utility business model;
- bipartisan opportunities at the state level.
To listen to the full webinar, click here.
As the 115th Congress gets underway, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, better known as Portman-Shaheen. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Portman-Shaheen was introduced in the previous three congresses with bipartisan support. The bill is aimed at using low-cost tools to make it easier for private sector energy users to become more efficient while also making the country’s largest energy user – the federal government – more efficient.
The bill is focused on Buildings, Manufacturers, and the Federal Government:
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!
This week, ML Strategies’ Director of Government Relations, Bryan Stockton, provides an update on the clean energy provisions in the Senate’s tax-extenders package and details scenarios for their extension as the midterm elections approach.
Now that summer is drawing to a close, let’s check in on one important bill that lost momentum just as the summer was beginning. Remember the Senate Finance Committee’s tax extenders package (S. 2260), which the committee marked up on a bipartisan basis in mid-May? The one that was poised to pass the Senate but that surprisingly failed to reach cloture after Senate leadership blocked Republican amendments on the bill? At the time, congressional staff and lobbyists—and even Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) —suggested that the extenders package would come up again in the lame duck session after the November election. The House was not expected to vote on an extenders package before then anyway, so the Senate delay would not really impact the timing of final passage of this two-year extension of more than 50 tax provisions.
Last week, President Obama delivered the State of the Union address, in which he heavily focused on plans to tackle future economic issues including matters pertaining to the energy and climate. The President proposed initiatives to support renewable and alternative energy programs, such as making permanent tax incentives for solar and wind energy as well as doubling energy generation over the next 7 years. Additionally, the House passed the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 (H.R. 267) in a unanimous vote February 13th. Among other things, the legislation will expand small hydropower projects by reducing the FERC’s licensing requirements for small-scale hydroelectric projects with low environmental impact. Continue Reading State of the Union Address and Passing of a Hydropower Bill – ML Strategies’ Energy & Environmental Weekly Update