With Proposed Hazardous Waste Exemption, USEPA Shows Support for CCS

This post was written by David Wagner.

As we previewed a few months ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently proposed a rule to exclude CO2 streams from Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations if they meet certain conditions, including injection for the purpose of geologic sequestration into specific wells regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The proposed rule, which was published on August 8, comes on top of an earlier Safe Drinking Water Act regulation finalized in December 2010 that sets requirements for geologic sequestration, including the development of a new class of injection well called Class VI, established under USEPA’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. The UIC Class VI requirements are designed to ensure that wells used for geologic sequestration of CO2 streams are appropriately sited, constructed, tested, monitored, and closed in a manner that ensures USDW protection.

In developing the proposed rule, USEPA determined that CO2 streams captured at power plants and industrial facilities destined for a UIC Class VI well for the purposes of geologic sequestration would be a RCRA solid waste, as it is a “discarded material” as defined in RCRA § 1004(27). In its discussion of the rule, USEPA indicated that, while there is little information available to conclude that CO2 streams would qualify as a RCRA subtitle C hazardous waste, there is the potential for some CO2 streams to meet the definition of a hazardous waste. USEPA concluded that the management of CO2 streams under the proposed conditions does not present a substantial risk to human health or the environment, and will encourage the geologic sequestration of CO2, in a safe and environmentally protective manner.

The proposed exclusion, if finalized, may apply to generators, transporters, and owners or operators of treatment, storage, and disposal facilities engaged in the management of CO2 streams that would otherwise be regulated as hazardous wastes under the RCRA subtitle C hazardous waste regulations as part of geologic sequestration activities. This includes entities in the following industries: operators of CO2 injection wells used for geologic sequestration; and certain industries identified by their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code: oil and gas extraction facilities (NAICS 211111); utilities (NAICS 22); transportation (NAICS 48-49); and manufacturing (NAICS 31-33).
 

It's Official: the Environmental Law Resource is a Top 50 Environmental Law Blog

This post was written by David Wagner.

We’re in – LexisNexis has selected Reed Smith's Environmental Law Resource blog as one of the Top 50 Environmental Law & Climate Change Blogs for 2011. We were recognized as "preeminent thought leaders in the blogosphere" who "offer some of the best writing out there." LexisNexis found that our blog contains "a wealth of information for all segments of the environmental law and climate change industry, and includes timely news items, expert analysis, practice tips, frequent postings and helpful links to other sites and sources."

The 50 honorees were grouped into 10 categories and our blog was one of just 4 blogs honored under the "Litigation" category.

We’re thrilled and certainly appreciate the recognition. Even more importantly, we appreciate your interest in our blog.

USEPA's Proposed Rule That Could Exempt CCS from Hazardous Waste Regulations Awaits White House Approval

This post was written by David Wagner.

A draft proposed rule that could exempt the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) from federal hazardous waste regulations is now moving through the regulatory process. On March 22, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) sent a draft proposed rule to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) that could conditionally exempt CO2 sequestered underground from Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements. It appears the rule would address the RCRA liability of owners and operators of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) wells should CO2 leak and contaminate underground sources of drinking water. Following regulatory review by OMB, USEPA anticipates that the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register in May 2011.

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Proposed Federal Legislation Would Incentivize Carbon Capture and Storage

This post was written by David Wagner.

On March 31, 2011, a bill (S. 699) was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would authorize the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to enter into cooperative agreements to provide financial and technical assistance to as many as 10 large-scale (1 million tons of injected carbon dioxide or more) carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects at industrial sources. Along with three co-sponsors, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced the bi-partisan bill and it was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. This is the first step in the legislative process and it’s likely that the next step will be a public hearing on the proposal.

The proposed bill provides liability protection and federal indemnification for the CCS demonstration projects. Under the bill, DOE is authorized to indemnify projects up to $10 billion for personal, property and environmental damages that might be above what is covered by insurance or other financial assurance measures. Upon receiving the closure certificate for the injection site, the site may be turned over to the federal government for long-term site management and ownership. The proposed bill also outlines criteria for site closure certification and includes provisions for siting the demonstration projects on public land. In addition, it would establish and fund a CCS training program for state regulators.

By the way, this new proposed legislation (S. 699) is extremely similar to a 2009 bill (S. 1013) that was reported out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources but died on the Senate floor as part of a larger energy legislative package that same year.

Uncle Sam Wants Your Input on a Clean Energy Standard

This post was written by David Wagner.

Last week Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released a white paper soliciting input on a clean energy standard (“CES”) from a broad range of interested parties. The white paper lays out some of the key questions and potential design elements of a CES and seeks responses to six general policy questions that the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is considering in the development of a CES program. This effort builds on the 2011 State of the Union address in which President Obama urged lawmakers to establish a CES with a goal of 80 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from “clean” sources by 2035. The President emphasized that a CES would recognize electricity from not only renewable energy sources but also nuclear, coal with carbon capture and storage technology and natural gas.

Your response to the white paper is due by April 11, 2011.

Reed Smith's (Free) Quarterly Climate Change Teleseminar is March 16

This post was written by David Wagner.

We’re celebrating one year’s worth of climate change teleseminars with, you guessed it, another climate change teleseminar. Please join us on Wednesday, March 16 from Noon to 1 p.m. (EDT) for the First Quarterly Report on Climate Change in 2011. In this one-hour teleseminar, Larry Demase, Jennifer Smokelin, Todd Maiden and Dave Wagner will provide a regulatory update on significant international, national and state issues concerning climate change and the future of GHG regulation. In particular, the topics are:

  • A delay in the implementation of the Tailoring Rule? An exemption for GHG permit applications in process prior to January 2, 2011?
  • GHG permitting and biomass: EPA's permitting deferral and its affect on industries that use biomass.
  • Congressional efforts to develop a Clean Energy Standard that would require electric utilities to generate electricity from "clean" energy sources, including nuclear, coal with carbon capture and storage, and natural gas.
  • Developments in a recent California court decision addressing what additional work the California Air Resources Board must perform prior to implementing AB32.

If you would like to attend, please email Sandy Petrakis.

The Environmental Law Resource Nominated for LexisNexis Top 50 Environmental Law Blogs

This post was written by David Wagner.

It's really nice to be recognized. In fact, we're thrilled that LexisNexis has nominated Reed Smith's Environmental Law Resource as one of the Top 50 Environmental Law & Climate Change Blogs for 2011. Even better, they grouped the 50 nominees into 11 categories and our blog was one of just 7 blogs nominated under the "Litigation" category. LexisNexis selected the nominees based on "timely topics, quality writing, frequent posts and that certain something 'extra' that keeps a web audience coming back for more."

We certainly appreciate your interest in our blog and, if you want to support our nomination, LexisNexis is inviting comments.

 

Will a Clean Energy Standard "Win the Future"?

This post was written by Todd Maiden, Jennifer Smokelin and David Wagner.

In the 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama urged lawmakers to establish a clean energy standard (CES) with a goal of 80 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from “clean” sources by 2035. The President emphasized that a CES would recognize electricity from not only renewable energy sources but also nuclear, coal with carbon capture and storage technology and natural gas. Calling the clean energy push “our generation’s Sputnik moment,” the President’s speech framed a clean energy standard in the larger context of improving the United States’ competitiveness in the global economy.

With this announcement, it’s fair to say we’ve officially shifted the federal political climate change discussion from cap and trade to the creation of a clean energy standard. Putting aside a comparison of the two approaches, here are a few things to know and watch for in the upcoming debate on a clean energy standard.

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Interested in Participating in Carbon Capture and Storage Coalition? Please Let Us Know

We are involved in forming the Carbon Capture and Storage Coalition, a unique, non-profit coalition of industries involved in carbon capture and storage (CCS) that will analyze and develop key resources—model legislation and regulation, capacity-building programs, performance standards and commercial models—to accelerate CCS deployment. To develop these resources, the CCS Coalition will partner with academic institutions who are working at the forefront of CCS technology.

Carbon Capture and Storage

The CCS Coalition Is Unique

While there is a fair amount of CCS research and large-scale testing taking place, there is insufficient development of implementing legislation, regulations, capacity-building programs, standards, and commercial models. And while there are several CCS associations in the United States, all of them are relatively small and serve a traditional trade association role, i.e., support business interests, inform members about developments, and generally advocate for CCS. These groups are not developing detailed legal frameworks or capacity-building programs or performance standards.

The CCS Coalition will fill this space and, led by CCS experts in the engineering and legal fields, provide a unique and specialized approach to CCS development. Initially, the primary audience for the Coalition’s input will be U.S. federal and state lawmakers, policymakers, regulators, stakeholders, and business leaders, and its primary objective is to ensure that evolving greenhouse gas regulatory regimes incorporate CCS in a manner that is safe, environmentally sound, affordable, and compatible with emerging international regulations and standards.

Proposed Activities

In addition to issues identified by its industry members, the CCS Coalition will fill regulatory and programmatic gaps identified in August 2010 by the U.S. Federal Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage and recently by the California Carbon Capture and Storage Review Panel. The CCS Coalition’s proposed activities include:

  • Analyze and determine the most appropriate regulatory structures for addressing potential long-term liabilities.
  • Develop regulatory frameworks for CCS for onshore and offshore federal lands.
  • Develop capacity-building programs for underground injection control regulators.
  • Analyze how the National Environmental and Policy Act would apply to CCS to help ensure timely completion of robust and comprehensive environmental reviews.
  • Create performance standards consistent with the expectation of storage permanence and safety.
  • Develop regulations in California under the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) regarding the treatment of CO2 emission reductions from CCS projects in capped and uncapped emission sources.
  • Create a business model for commercial-scale CCS project that addresses and resolves key issues related to financial, insurance, liability and regulatory structures.
  • Maintain a database on U.S. state CCS policies and legal developments.
  • Seek to brief and educate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attorneys and other government officials on our relevant regulatory analysis and recommendations, especially given our extensive contacts at EPA’s Office of General Counsel.

Some Reasons to Participate

The CCS Coalition is seeking members from industries including oil and gas companies, power generators, pipeline companies, manufacturers, carbon storage servicers, banks, financial institutions, insurers, consultants, and other related industries. Some of the business reasons for participating in the CCS Coalition include the opportunity to:

  • Identify and prioritize legislative, regulatory and commercial gaps related to CCS.
  • Advance legislative, regulatory and programmatic models and support their implementation by working with lawmakers, policymakers, regulators, and business leaders.
  • Improve knowledge and understanding of CCS legal developments.
  • Network with other member companies.

For more information, please contact David Wagner.

California Review Panel Determines that Carbon Capture and Storage Could Help Reduce State GHG Emissions

This post was written by Todd Maiden and  David Wagner.

As we mentioned in a recent blog post, carbon capture and storage momentum continues to build. Last week, California’s Carbon Capture and Storage Review Panel released its findings and recommendations for resolving legal, regulatory and financial issues that currently impede the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the state. Among the key findings are:

  • There is a public benefit from long-term geologic storage of carbon dioxide as a strategy for reducing GHG emissions to the atmosphere.
  • Technology exists that can safely and effectively capture, transport and storage CO2 from power plants and other large industrial facilities.
  • There is a need for clear rules under AB32 regarding the treatment of CO2 emissions reductions from CCS projects.
  • There is a need for clear, efficient, and consistent regulatory requirements and authority for permitting all phases of CCS projects in California, including CO2 capture, transport, and storage.

Among others, the CCS Review Panel recommends that the state:

  • Recognize CO2 emission reductions achieved through CCS satisfy California’s requirements for GHG emission reductions under AB32.
  • Designate specific state regulatory agencies as the lead agencies for different aspects and activities related to CCS.
  • Consider legislation establishing an industry-funded trust fund to manage and be responsible for geologic site operations in the post-closure phase.
  • Declare that the surface owner is the owner of the subsurface “pore space” needed to store CO2.

 

11 Climate Change Issues in 2011

This post was written by Jennifer Smokelin and  David Wagner .

As we look forward to 2011, the Environmental Team at Reed Smith will be on top of a range of environmental issues, but offers the following analysis of what we view, in no particular order, to be 11 key climate change or greenhouse gas-related issues likely to affect you and your business in 2011 – call it “11 Climate Change Issues for ’11.” This post focuses on regulatory and transactional issues and we will analyze the outcomes of GHG-related court challenges as they unfold. Please return to blog regularly for updates and analysis on these and many other issues.

The 11 climate change issues are listed below.

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Reed Smith's 4th Quarter Climate Change Report: Slides and Audio Available Here

This post was written by David Wagner.

If you missed Reed Smith's Quarterly Climate Change Teleseminar on December 16, 2010, feel free to listen to an audio recording of the event while watching the slide show. We discussed:

  • Significant developments at COP16 (Jennifer Smokelin)
  • The Impact of California's new "Proposition 26" on the implementation of California's Global Warming Solutions Act (aka "AB 32") (Eric McLaughlin)
  • USEPA's issuance of PSD and Title V Permitting and BACT Guidance for GHG sources subject to the "Tailoring Rule" (Larry Demase)
  • Recent Carbon Capture and Storage Developments (David Wagner)
  • Issues and problems to consider regarding 2011 GHG emissions monitoring & reporting (Douglas Everette)

Cancún or Can'tcún? Summary of COP 16

This post was written by Jennifer Smokelin.

Last year, after months of build up, politicians, scientists, environmental activists, and Reed Smith attorneys flocked to Copenhagen for COP15: a conference that many hoped would produce a binding international agreement on carbon emissions and an actionable plan for addressing climate change. These goals, of course, weren't realized. Nearly twelve months later, the Conference of the Parties convened once again, this time in Cancun, Mexico. The issues, controversies, and conflicts were very similar.

The outcome of COP 15 last year was the Copenhagen Accord – an agreement that was not adopted by the UN congress as a whole because of the objections of 5 countries. The outcome of this year’s COP (over the objection of one country, Bolivia) are the Cancun Agreements. The Cancun Agreements are a lot less than the comprehensive agreement that many countries wanted and leave open the question of whether any of its measures, including emission cuts, will be legally binding. This is a modest step in international climate negotiations and in its modesty highlights the international discord on the subject and punts a lot of the harder decision to future COPs. For example, the Cancun Agreements declare that deeper cuts in carbon emissions are needed, but do not specify any given mechanism for achieving the pledges each country has made.
 

The following is a summary of progress (or lack thereof) on key international issues.

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Know When to Hold (Sequester) 'Em: Is USEPA Giving Away Its Hand Regarding CCS?

This post was written by Jennifer Smokelin.

From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) BACT guidance to recent rules finalized by USEPA, all signs appear a “go” for USEPA to give the nod to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) as a control technology of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the future. In the second “niche” article on the blog, this post takes a look at USEPA’s references in the BACT guidance to carbon sequestration and asks whether this portends CCS being listed in USEPA’s central data base of air pollution technology information known as the RACT/BACT/LAER Clearinghouse in the near future. At this point, the answer is definitely possibly.

Prior to the release of the BACT guidance, industry groups had worried that USEPA would require facilities to use costly CCS technology to trap carbon dioxide and store it underground, but the guidance does not go that far.

The guidance states that: “[w]hile CCS is a promising technology, EPA does not believe that at this time CCS will be a technically feasible [best available control technology, or BACT] option in certain cases.”" It adds that ”[a] permitting authority may conclude that CCS is not applicable to a particular source, and consequently not technically feasible, even if the type of equipment needed to accomplish the compression, capture, and storage of GHGs are determined to be generally available from commercial vendors.” The BACT Guidance also states that “there may be cases at present where the economics of CCS are more favorable (for example, where the captured CO2 could be readily sold for enhanced oil recovery)….

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International Energy Agency (With Help from Reed Smith) Publishes Legal Framework for Carbon Capture and Storage

This post was written by David Wagner.

Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency released the Carbon Capture and Storage Model Regulatory Framework. Reed Smith environmental attorneys Dave Wagner, Jennifer Smokelin, Steve Nolan and Ariel Nieland were core contributors to the development and drafting of the Model Regulatory Framework. The Model Framework aims to assist national and regional development of regulatory frameworks for carbon capture and storage (CCS) by harnessing the regulatory work of early-movers such as Australia, Europe and the United States. Building on the progress to date, the Model Framework proposes key principles for addressing a broad range of regulatory issues associated with capturing, transporting and storing carbon dioxide.

Significant analysis by the International Energy Agency indicates that CCS will play a vital role in worldwide, least-cost efforts to limit global warming, contributing around one-fifth of required emissions reductions in 2050. For CCS to reach this potential, rapid deployment of CCS technology is necessary. The International Energy Agency estimates that about 100 CCS projects must be implemented by 2020 and over 3,000 by 2050. Such rapid deployment raises many regulatory issues that must be considered before this scale of deployment can occur.
 

Altogether, 29 critical regulatory issues for CCS are addressed in the Model Framework, which provides an explanation of each issue and examples of how the issue has been addressed in existing legislation. The Model Framework also provides model legislative text for countries to consult in developing their own national carbon capture and storage regulatory framework. It is also structured to provide guidance to authorities around the world, operating in diverse legal and regulatory environments and with varying levels of existing legislation. Obviously, if you have an interest or want further information, you can contact us for some "inside" perspective.

To Address Drinking Water Problems Caused by Gas Migration, Pennsylvania Decides to Act Now and Recover Costs Later

This post was written by Nicolle Bagnell and Ariel Nieland.

On October 19, 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an open letter to all Susquehanna County citizens who have been affected by issues related to the apparent migration of natural gas from neighboring Marcellus Shale well sites into water supplies. In the letter, Secretary John Hanger states that the DEP has determined, based on "overwhelming evidence," that Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is responsible for various instances of drinking water contamination in Dimock, PA. He also states that because Cabot has denied responsibility for the contamination and refused to "fix the problem," an agency called PENNVEST will provide the estimated $11.8 million in funds necessary to construct a water line from the Pennsylvania American Water Company treatment plant in Lake Montrose to Dimock residents so that they will have adequate water service in the interim. The state will then pursue recovery of the cost of the project directly from Cabot. Hanger notes that all residents along Route 29 will have the option to connect to the water line and that the construction project will not result in an increase in local taxes.

Follow-up on Reed Smith's Quarterly Climate Change Report

This post was written by David Wagner.

If you missed Reed Smith's Quarterly Report on Climate Change, feel free to listen to an audio recording of the event. In addition, the slideshow presentation is available here. The report covered a lot of information and featured:

  • A status report on Congressional action on comprehensive climate regulation;
  • A summary of issues regarding the GHG cap-and-trade scheme under AB 32 in California;
  • An overview of the legal issues related to carbon capture and storage; and
  • A discussion of offset projects in the United States.

 

Canada to Develop Carbon Capture and Storage Standard

This post was written by David Wagner.

Seeking to gain public and regulator confidence in carbon capture and storage (CCS), in late June two Canadian standards organizations announced plans to develop the first industry-wide standard for the underground storage of captured carbon emissions. CSA Standards, a certification firm, and the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide will work together to develop a CCS standard. The two groups said that the completed standard with technical and safety guidelines will be submitted to the Standards Council of Canada for recognition, and would be the world's first formally recognized CCS standard for underground storage. CSA Standards said that it hoped the new standard would also be used as the basis for an international standard endorsed through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

CCS technology can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and carbon emission-intensive industries, and a formally recognized national or international standard will work to improve public confidence in the safety of the long term storage of carbon dioxide. In particular, a carbon dioxide storage standard would help to ensure risks are identified and then addressed. A standard should also remain flexible to address site-specific characteristics and improvements, especially given that technical CCS expertise is still evolving.

U.S. Department of Energy Seeks Comment on Environmental Impact of Carbon Capture Projects in Texas and West Virginia

This post was written by David Wagner.

Indicating growing federal interest in carbon capture and storage, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking public comment on proposals to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants in Texas and West Virginia. In a June 2 notice, DOE announced that it intends to prepare an environmental impact statement on a plan to provide about $350 million for the Texas Clean Energy Project, a proposed combined power and chemical plant near Odessa, Texas, through the Clean Coal Power Initiative. The environmental impact statements will help the Department determine whether to provide funding for the project.

According to a another notice published on June 7, DOE intends to produce an environmental impact statement on a plan to provide up to $334 million for a West Virginia plant, about half of the total cost. The West Virginia project involves fitting the existing Mountaineer coal-fired power plant, operated by American Electric Power near New Haven, with carbon dioxide capture and storage. As with the proposed Texas project, the Department would provide funding for the project through the Clean Coal Power Initiative, a program to provide partial financing for new technologies that can help utilities reduce their emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and greenhouse gases from power plants.

Information on public meetings and comment submission deadlines is available in the notices.

Government Assessment Underscores Pennsylvania's Carbon Dioxide Storage Potential and the Need for Substantive Legal Changes

This post was written by David Wagner.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) recently posted two reports concluding that, with substantive changes to laws governing subsurface ownership rights and long-term liability issues, Pennsylvania’s geology could store carbon dioxide in a cost-competitive and manageable way. The reports also concluded that another key step is to identify specific storage areas.

A carbon capture and storage (CCS) network would collect carbon dioxide from coal-fired electricity generating plants and other industrial sources, compress it into a liquid, and then transport it through pipelines deep underground where it would be injected into the rock formations or other suitable geologic features.

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New Climate Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

This post was written by Ariel Nieland.

After much anticipation, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) finally unveiled their comprehensive energy and climate bill, known as the American Power Act, in a press conference yesterday afternoon. The bill's release was delayed by several weeks after prior co-sponsor Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) withdrew his support following a dispute over unrelated immigration reform legislation. Below are some of the bill's key features:

  • Aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% by 2050, targeting heavy industry, power plants and transportation infrastructure.
  • Removes disincentives for natural gas generation at merchant plants in order to level the power sector playing field, and plans to help guide state regulators by requiring public disclosure of chemicals used in natural gas production.
  • Places a cap on carbon emissions for producers of more than 25,000 tons of carbon pollution annually, which includes approximately 7,500 U.S. companies. Producers with a mandatory cap may trade carbon credits in the primary market, while the secondary market will be open to all participants. Carbon credits would start at $12 per ton.
  • Provides financial incentives for a variety of energy producers, including regulatory risk insurance and loan guarantees for a dozen new nuclear plants; $2 billion a year for coal technologies that can capture and store greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon capture and storage; and $7 billion a year for improvements to transportation infrastructure and efficiency.
  • Encourages offshore oil drilling while providing states with veto power over drilling in neighboring states along with the ability to opt out of any drilling within 75 miles of the state's own shoreline. States that oppose drilling could pass laws blocking the activity, while states that choose to drill may retain 37% of federal royalties raised.
  • Preempts any state-operated cap-and-trade programs already in existence, and compensates states for any revenue lost as a result.
     

USEPA Proposes Mandatory GHG Reporting for Facilities that Inject CO2 Underground

This post was written by Jennifer Smokelin.

On March 22, 2010, USEPA signed a proposed rule for the mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from facilities that inject carbon dioxide underground for the purposes of geologic sequestration or enhanced oil and gas recovery. Geologic sequestration is the long-term containment of carbon dioxide in subsurface geologic formations.

USEPA is proposing that all facilities that inject CO2 for the purpose of long-term geologic sequestration or to enhance oil and gas recovery report basic information on CO2 injected underground. In addition, geologic sequestration facilities that inject CO2 specifically for the purpose of long-term containment in subsurface geologic formations would also be required to:

  • Develop and implement an USEPA approved site-specific monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) plan.
  • Report the amount of CO2 geologically sequestered using a mass balance approach.
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Reed Smith Discusses Copenhagen in The National Law Journal

This post was written by Larry Demase and Jennifer Smokelin.

In this article published in The National Law Journal, Reed Smith attorneys and Copenhagen attendees Larry Demase and Jennifer Smokelin discuss outcomes from the United Nations' climate change conference while focusing on what may happen to the domestic energy sector. They emphasize that, despite the questions surrounding international climate negotiations, the Obama administration will continue to push to reinvent the domestic energy sector, if for no reason other than economic stimulus. This push is reinforced by the recent proliferation of "energy security" and "green jobs" bills proposed in Congress. As for changes, they also explain that, during the next 10 to 20 years, we can expect a threefold increase in supply from renewables such as wind and solar. They also look for coal-supplied electricity to trickle off during the next 40 years but, assuming a viable carbon capture and storage program, in the near term significant production of electricity from coal will remain.