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Energy and Natural Resources Blog

Welcome to the Holland & Knight Energy and Natural Resources Blog, featuring news and analysis related to energy and natural resource litigation and regulation.

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) continues to focus on cybersecurity risks in key areas like Smart Grid and Smart Cities. NIST kicks off a two day workshop from Nov. 13-14, 2018 focusing on key issues around Smart Grid and cybersecurity risks.
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November 14, 2018
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In the constantly shifting post-election landscape, Holland & Knight's overview on what to expect on energy and environmental issues in the post-election lame-duck congressional session and the 116th Congress remains as valid today as it was when it was published. However, recent developments afford the ability to offer new insights on political and policy changes to look for in the lame-duck session, and what they could mean for the next two years.
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November 14, 2018
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The 2018 midterm elections are in the books, and while some races are still too close to call, control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are no longer in doubt. The members of the 116th Congress spent a disproportionate amount of time and money campaigning on the issues of immigration, healthcare, taxes, trade and allegations of corruption.
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As described in a blog post on March 13, 2018, Section 13306 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97 (Dec. 22, 2017) revises the longstanding rule on the deductibility as a business expense (or lack thereof) of "any fine or similar penalty paid to a government for the violation of any law." Previously, it was well understood that such costs could not be deducted as business expenses under 26 U.S.C. § 162(f) and many EPA settlement documents specifically included such a prohibition, including characterizing certain payments as falling within the prohibition.
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October 31, 2018
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As described in previous blog posts on May 7, 2018 and March 13, 2018, regulatory changes are needed before liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be transported by rail tanker cars under applicable Hazardous Materials and Carriage by Rail regulations, 49 C.F.R Parts 172, 173 and 174, absent a special permit.
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October 30, 2018
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Please join Holland & Knight and the National Congress of American Indians for a presentation providing an overview and analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) recently announced Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP), which can guarantee up to $2 billion in loans for energy development projects by American Indian tribes.

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October 22, 2018
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With Hurricane Florence approaching last week, Congress took two key actions with regard to clean energy. While many would argue that the timing of these two actions is purely coincidental, it's very possible that the federal government's continued role in extreme weather preparedness and response continues to give Congress the nudges it needs to pass more expansive clean energy legislation.
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September 18, 2018
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On Sept. 13, 2018, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on the subject of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe.
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September 17, 2018
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued recent guidance regarding construction of commercial solar energy properties and other qualified energy properties for purposes of claiming the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the key tax credit for solar energy projects, under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code.
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As previously reported, on Aug. 31, 2018, Kevin J. McIntyre, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Howard "Skip" Elliott, Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding Liquefied Natural Gas Transportation Facilities (MOU). The MOU continues the longstanding working relationship between FERC and PHMSA with respect to review of proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, but creates a more formal relationship.
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September 5, 2018
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The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will hold a hearing on per-fluorinated chemical contamination on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, at 10 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a health advisory for two PFAS chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) at 0.070 micrograms per liter (μg/L) or 70 parts per trillion (ppt).
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In the wake of the PFAS National Leadership Summit convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 22-23, 2018, EPA opened a public docket to solicit comments on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a category of man-made chemicals that have been widely used to make products because of their stain-resistant, waterproof and/or nonstick properties.
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On Aug. 23, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its results of efforts to study a variety of technologies used to remove Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from drinking water.
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been studying holistically the management of wastewater generated from onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction, also known as "fracking." This study is a result of the latest (2016) Effluent Guidelines Program Plan recently published in the Federal Register.
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August 27, 2018
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, a replacement for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) finalized by the Obama Administration in October 2015.
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Two upcoming high voltage direct current (HVDC) projects, and Mexico's planned synchronous interconnection of two currently unconnected grids each, independent of the other, may interconnect ERCOT with U.S. interstate synchronous power flows commingled in Mexico.
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August 8, 2018
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The new administration of President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador will take over the Mexican government for a six-year term on Dec. 1, 2018. The President-Elect has been outlining his administration's energy strategy, including appointing Manuel Bartlett as the general director of Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). Bartlett has been a critic of the government's energy reform of 2013.
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On Tuesday, July 31, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted a National Cybersecurity Summit, featuring the nation's top homeland, national security and law enforcement officials.
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August 6, 2018
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Mexico's energy reform of 2013 opened both of the country's energy sectors: Oil and gas as well as electricity. As the industry moves to take advantage of the new market opportunities, a new administration is set to take over for a six-year term on Dec. 1, 2018.
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Following recent developments in liquefied natural gas (LNG) export policy in which we outlined in previous blog posts on June 12, 2018 and June 22, 2018, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy issued a Final Rule on July 25, 2018, authorizing presumptive approval of small-scale LNG exports.
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July 30, 2018
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