On October 7, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law two sweeping climate disclosure bills, Senate Bill 253 (“SB 253”), the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act, and Senate Bill 261 (“SB 261”), the Climate-Related Risk Act. Taken together, SB 253 and SB 261 overlap the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed climate disclosure rule (the “SEC Proposed Rule”), and expand upon it in several significant ways. The SEC Proposed Rule addresses both greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate risk, while the California measures separate the two, with SB 253 addressing GHG emissions, and SB 261 addressing climate risk.Continue Reading Change is in the Air: Everything You Need to Know About California’s Sweeping New Climate Disclosure Laws
For years, domestic content requirements have been a point of pain and frustration for government contractors. Historically, these regimes typically come in the form of the proverbial stick – that is, provide products and/or services that meet these country of origin requirements, or risk severe consequences (the billions in False Claims Act Trade Agreements Act settlements speak for themselves). But through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Congress has taken a unique approach by authorizing the Department of Treasury to use country of origin as a carrot – offering certain energy facilities bonus tax credits for meeting specified “domestic content” requirements. To create this new carrot, Congress relied heavily on the Government’s prior experience with domestic content regimes – pulling predominantly from the Federal Transit Authority’s (“FTA”) “Buy America” regulations, but with a Buy American Act twist. In doing so, Congress has left the renewable energy industry with more questions than answers on the applicability of the bonus tax credit to their facilities.Continue Reading Domestic Content Requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act: Basic Requirements, Qualification Analysis, and Lingering Questions
With 2022 having just come to an end, we wanted to take the opportunity to spotlight some of the most impactful climate change legislative and regulatory actions taken in California.Continue Reading 2022 in Review – California Climate Change Policy and Legislation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “Service”) published a proposed rule listing the tricolored bat as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). The tricolored bat occurs in portions of 39 states, including Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, which contain a significant concentration of utility-scale wind projects. In combination with the Service’s proposed “endangered” designation for the northern long-eared bat, the new proposed rule could complicate wind energy project permitting across the country.Continue Reading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Listing Tricolored Bat as Endangered Under Endangered Species Act
As the demand for renewable energy in the United State increases, so does related project M&A activity. For decades, the Sheppard Mullin team has been working on renewable energy project M&A and now we are helping our clients address several accelerating market trends for projects at all stages of the project life cycle. Here are six key items to be aware of today in US renewable energy M&A transactions.
Continue Reading Six key items to be aware of today in US Renewable Energy M&A Transactions
On May 21, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) approved two orders by 3-1 votes revising its methods to estimate electric, natural gas and oil utilities’ returns on equity (“ROE”). Return on equity is one of the most contentious issues in cost-of-service proceedings before FERC, and FERC’s guidance is unlikely to alter that. In many important ways, the guidance significantly deviated for electric utilities and pipelines, which raises a number of issues regarding whether such deviations are supported by each industry’s risks.
Continue Reading FERC Issues Revised Guidance Regarding Return on Equity Calculations