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Mintz Levin hosted a roundtable discussion on November 27, 2012, led by the New England Clean Energy Council, to build consensus around the energy and clean technology sector’s policy priorities for 2013.
ML Strategies has posted its weekly Energy and Environmental Update.  This publication provides timely  information on the fiscal cliff negotiations in the lame duck session, and other state and federal administrative and legislative activities related to energy and the environment.
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, also known as the “Green Guides.”
The Department of Energy has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to garner input from researchers in industry, academia, and other interested biofuels stakeholders to identify key technical barriers in converting biomass via thermochemical direct liquefaction pathways to transportation fuels in the gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel ranges. The deadline for submission is December 5, 2013.
Major developing countries, including China, rejected a proposal to steadily reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons last week during the 25th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The World Resources Institute issued a report titled “Global Coal Risk Assessment: Data Analysis and Market Research” noting that the U.S. has been incentivized to increase coal exports due to increased demand from China and India.
On November 14th, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jointly published “A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (the “Guide”), their long-awaited and highly anticipated guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
With the lame duck session underway, all in Washington are focused on the fiscal cliff.  President Obama and congressional party leadership met November 16 to begin laying out a basic framework for negotiations going forward.
With the overall makeup of the Executive and Legislative branches of government remaining the same, we can expect to see continued partisan gridlock on some issues as leaders from both parties attempt to move toward consensus on others.
The odds of substantive energy and environmental legislation in the next Congress are slim, but the Obama Administration—now freed from the restraints of re-election—is expected to utilize its executive powers and imprint its energy and environmental legacy through the regulatory process.
The filed rate doctrine precludes antitrust challenges to rates set or approved by federal agencies. The doctrine is broadly applied and covers, for example, wholesale electricity rates that are filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission), even in circumstances where the claimant alleges that the rates were initially set in a fraudulent or improper manner.
President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting a Chinese-owned company from acquiring and owning four wind farms in the U.S. on September 28, 2012, which marks the first time in over two decades that a U.S. president has blocked a foreign transaction.
While political gridlock at the federal level threatens crucial incentives for renewable power and some states seem to be slowing or at least re-evaluating their policies, a few states are still pressing forward aggressively.
On September 18 to 21, China’s Energy Research Institute (ERI) will join with the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for a Beijing conference focused on how best to tackle climate change and energy security, including ERI’s efforts to adapt the U.K.’s “2050 Calculator” to the Chinese economy.

Chinese Carbon Trading Program

September 18, 2012| Blog

On September 11 officials for China’s Guangdong province issued guidelines for a voluntary carbon trading system. The program, part of a national pilot program, will begin with 827 companies across nine industrial sectors: Electricity, Cement, Steel, Ceramics, Petrochemicals, Textiles, Non-ferrous Metals, Plastics, and Paper.
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China – a 1,700 member organization – on September 12 issued its Position Paper 2012/2013, detailing key concerns and recommendations related to World Trade Organization implementation issues, trade issues, and broader policy-related issues.
On Capitol Hill this month, Congress is focusing on passing a six-month continuing resolution, which was agreed to prior to the August recess by both chambers as well as the president.

China Issues Energy Plan

August 28, 2012| Blog

China’s State Council issued a plan for energy savings and emissions reduction for the reminder of the period covered in the 12th Five Year Plan which runs from 2011 through 2015 on August 21.
The European Chamber of Commerce in China released a report on August 22 titled “Dulling the Cutting Edge: How Patent-Related Policies and Practices Hamper Innovation in China,” finding that, despite the rise of China to the number one country in numbers of domestic patent application filings, the number of quality, higher-end patent applications has declined.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has issued a notice on the implementation of the coal industry plan for 2012, which is focused on expediting the reorganization of the nation’s coal industry via mergers and acquisitions and shutting smaller mines.
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