This is the third in a series of six Q&As with Baker Botts partners addressing the most significant developments in their practice areas this year, as well as their outlook for 2015. The Q&As will be posted throughout the remainder of the year.
Bill Bumpers is Head of the Global Climate Change practice group at Baker Botts. His practice focuses on the Clean Air Act and climate change issues.
Last week, after legislators returned from an election where some campaigned heavily on energy-related issues like the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives again voted to send legislation approving that project to the President’s desk. Then, the outgoing Democratic Majority in the Senate also took action, though it failed to reach the 60-vote… Keep reading →
The Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) is facing a “shale-tinged” reality and needs a “wake-up call,” energy analysts have warned. Analysts in Citi’s commodities research team warn that the shale gas and oil revolution in the U.S. has been ignored for too long by OPEC, the powerful group of 12 global oil producers, and it… Keep reading →
US gasoline prices are at their lowest level since 2009 – $2.81 per gallon according to AAA – which could boost the number of holiday travelers and shoppers. “That could mean what is typically the busiest travel day of the year in the United States could get even busier — AAA estimated that 46.3 million… Keep reading →
For months we’ve been pointing out the brokenness of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal law requiring ever-increasing use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply. We’ve written about the impending “blend wall,” the point where the RFS would require blending more ethanol into gasoline than could be safely used as E10, potentially putting motorists at risk… Keep reading →
Federal elections held nationwide on November 4 ushered in Republican control of the U.S. Senate and expanded the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Republicans now hold majorities in both houses of Congress, but because their majorities will not overcome a veto by President Barack Obama, a Democrat, Republicans will not wield unlimited legislative power. Although Congress is likely to remain deadlocked on major issues, the election may signal significant shifts in priorities for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export policies in the 114th Congress.
US Vice President Joe Biden recently addressed the Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit in Istanbul, Turkey where he discussed numerous topics related to European energy security. Biden began his talk with the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s use of energy as a political tool. He recognized the fact that Russia will remain a major… Keep reading →
The U.S. has announced a $3B commitment to the Green Climate Fund – the largest single pledge to date. On November 15, 2014 – eve of the 2014 G-20 Summit in Australia – U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. will contribute $3B to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the financial support mechanism aimed… Keep reading →
Rumors swirled today that the US EPA would finally announce the 2014 renewable volume obligations – quantity of ethanol and biofuels to be blended into the fuel supply – until the agency surprised many by postponing the announcement until next year. The renewable fuel standard, as the law is known, has been controversial for years.… Keep reading →
A couple of data points to remember with EPA poised to propose new, lower ground-level ozone standards, perhaps as soon as next month: Air quality is and has been improving under the current, 75 parts per billion (ppb) standards, which are still being implemented across the country. EPA reports national average ozone levels have fallen… Keep reading →