On August 25, 2011, the Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (“ANPR”) related to its safety program for natural gas transmission pipelines.  The ANPR asks for comment on various questions concerning whether pipeline integrity management (“IM”) requirements and other regulatory requirements relating to system integrity should be enhanced.  Written comments are due by December 2, 2011, though parties have already requested additional time to submit comments.
Continue Reading Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

A bill authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to permanently strip the EPA of most authority to regulate greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions passed the House Energy and Power Subcommittee by voice vote on March 10, 2011.  H.R. 910, “The Energy Tax Prevention Act,” (the “Act”) was introduced on March 3, 2011 after February hearings on the draft bill at which Troutman Sander’s D.C. partner Peter Glaser testified. 
Continue Reading GOP Bill to Prevent EPA from Regulating GHG Emissions Clears First House Hurdle

On September 21, 2010, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Renewable Electricity Promotion Act, a stand alone renewable energy standard (“RES”) bill.  The bill will require utilities to acquire 3 percent of their power from renewable resources beginning in 2012, and the requirement will increase up to 15 percent by 2021. 
Continue Reading New Stand Alone Renewable Energy Bill Proposed for Lame Duck Vote

On July 22, 2010, Senate Democrats held a caucus meeting  to discuss strategies for passing energy legislation in the Senate, after which they announced that they have temporarily abandoned plans to introduce a comprehensive bill before the August recess including either cap-and-trade of carbon emissions or a renewable electricity standard. 
Continue Reading Senate Democrats Abandon Cap-and-Trade, Renewable Electricity Standard at This Time

As Congress returned from the July 4 recess, legislative efforts on cap-and-trade focused on the possibility of a utility-only program.  Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he intends to bring a bill to the floor during the week of July 26 that will include four components:  the Gulf oil spill, clean energy, energy efficiency and cap-and-trade. 
Continue Reading Legislative Focus Increases on Possible Utility-Only Cap and Trade