Following weeks of anticipation, US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the text of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022, his permitting reform legislation, on September 21, 2022. As part of an agreement to win Senator Manchin’s support of the Inflation Reduction Act, Democratic leadership committed to bringing energy infrastructure permitting reform to a vote this year, namely by including it in a continuing resolution (CR) to extend government funding before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted on August 25, 2022, to approve the Advanced Clean Cars II rule that prohibits the sale of new gasoline-fueled cars by 2035. The rule sets forth a plan whereby automakers must deliver an increasing amount of zero-emission light-duty vehicles each year, essentially phasing out the manufacturing of gasoline-fueled cars. The requirements begin in 2026, when 35% of cars manufactured for sale must be zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicles. The required amount rises to 68% of cars manufactured for sale by 2030, then to 100% by 2035.
On June 9, the Department of Transportation (DOT), through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), proposed mandatory standards concerning the development and operation of publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in US markets. DOT’s proposal is the first-ever effort of the US government to impose mandatory standards on EV charging infrastructure in an effort to create uniformity and consumer transparency in the EV charging sector. DOT’s proposal is subject to comment and consideration, and a final rule is expected later this year.
With the push to transition to a low-carbon economy, carbon offsets have become an option that many have turned to in order to decarbonize and achieve their climate goals. The demand for carbon offsets is quickly increasing, and the industry has recognized the need for quality standards applicable to a carbon offset, the ability to monitor, report, and verify carbon offsets, and mechanisms that ensure market integrity. Next month, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will be hosting a meeting to discuss issues related to the supply and demand for high quality carbon offsets and to gather information to assess its potential role in regulating products involving carbon offsets.