Choose Site
FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments

A LawFlash prepared by our environmental lawyers discusses President Joseph Biden’s new executive order setting a goal of 50% of all new passenger cars and light trucks to be zero emissions vehicles by 2030. It also discusses the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed tailpipe emission standards. The executive order and the proposed rules are intended to reduce GHGs and incentivize electric vehicles (EVs).

Read the full LawFlash >>

US President Joseph Biden signed an executive order on August 5 that underscores his stated commitment to encourage the development and deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s clean energy agenda. The executive order, Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks, aims to increase the production of zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and directs new pollution and fuel economy standards for light‑, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles for model years 2027 and later. President Biden’s issuance of the executive order, combined with the EV-related implications of various provisions in the draft infrastructure bill currently pending in Congress, may well serve to facilitate increased deployment of EVs in US markets.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) has submitted 10 nominees to FERC to serve on the newly formed Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission. Last month in Docket No. AD21-15, FERC issued an order establishing a joint federal-state task force with NARUC to evaluate barriers and solutions to transmission development. The task force will conduct joint hearings on transmission-related issues with a focus on developing ways to plan and pay for new transmission facilities that are best for the public interest.

FERC issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANOPR) in Docket No. RM21-17, seeking comment on the potential need for reform of Commission regulations necessary to improve regional transmission planning and cost allocation and generator interconnection processes. Comments and reply comments are due 75 days and 105 days, respectively, after publication in the Federal Register.
Nearly 200 comments were filed in response to FERC’s February 18, 2021 Notice of Inquiry (NOI) that sought new information and perspectives on whether it should revise its policy statement on the certification of new interstate natural gas transportation facilities (Policy Statement). As we discussed in our February 19 LawFlash, FERC sought comments on several areas, including potential adjustments to its determination of need, the exercise of eminent domain and landowner interests, FERC’s considerations of environmental impacts, and its consideration of effects on environmental justice communities. Commenters provided a wide range of perspectives, which we discuss below.
On June 16, Connecticut joined seven other states—California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Virginia—in adopting an energy storage deployment goal as a strategy to address climate change. In furtherance of Connecticut’s move toward 100% carbon-free power by 2040, Governor Ned Lamont enacted Public Act No. 21-53, which establishes a goal to deploy one gigawatt (GW) of energy storage by 2030. The act also sets interim targets of deploying 300 megawatts (MW) of storage by the end of 2024 and 650 MW by the end of 2027.
On June 11, 2021, the US Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a proposed sale notice to sell commercial wind energy leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the New York Bight. The New York Bight is an area of shallow waters located between Long Island and the New Jersey coast that is adjacent to the greater metropolitan tristate area, which is home to more than 20 million people. BOEM proposes to offer for sale eight lease areas and to complete the lease sale by holding a public auction.
Since January, FERC-regulated market participants and practitioners alike have anticipated how FERC may approach its enforcement mission under the stewardship of Chairman Richard Glick following his appointment as chair by President Biden. Although most market participants and practitioners have expected FERC to take an aggressive approach in investigating and penalizing instances of misconduct, FERC confirmed those expectations in its May 20 open meeting.

Bill Kissinger, Ella Foley Gannon, and Rick Rothman discuss recent US regulatory and legislative developments addressing climate change and renewable energy. They discuss the Biden-Harris administration's focus on setting goals to address climate change and highlight the success in California as a possible model for the United States. Read the Law360 article.

Read this Insight prepared by our energy and environmental lawyers addressing the status of stricter tailpipe emissions regulations and anticipated widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs). Companies looking to leverage the Biden-Harris administration’s focus on clean transportation, as well as utilities whose grids are going to be impacted by EV development, should consider reading the Insight and checking out the Automotive Hour Webinar Series for 2021.