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California Court Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Property Assessed Clean Energy Program

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP A federal court in California recently issued a decision, California ex rel. Harris v. Fed. Hous. Fin. Agency, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96235 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 2011) , partially denying a motion to dismiss in a case concerning...

EPA Launches Green Products Web Portal for Pollution Prevention Week

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is observing Pollution Prevention (P2) Week (September 19-25, 2011) by launching a new tool designed to provide Americans easy access to information about everyday products like home appliances, electronics and cleaning products that can save...

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: Recent Controversy and Litigation

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP There is a continuing controversy over Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides loans for improving energy efficiency in buildings. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing has been challenged in...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New Study Calls into Question the Offsetting Potential of White Roofs

By Adam Riedel U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu has consistently touted the benefits of white or reflective roofs and "cool pavements" (white or lightly colored pavements) in combating climate change, and has even mandated that all new roofs on Energy Department buildings be either...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: President Directs Federal Agencies to Enter Into $2 Billion Worth of Energy Efficiency Contracts for Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On December 2, 2011, President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion worth of contracts over the next two years to improve government buildings' energy efficiency. According to a Presidential...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: NYC Department of City Planning Introduces Zone Green

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Zoning laws can sometimes make it more difficult for building owners to construct new green buildings or make existing ones more energy efficient. The New York City Department of City Planning has attempted to address this issue...

PACE Financing: Recent Controversy and Litigation

There is a continuing controversy over Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides loans for improving energy efficiency in buildings. After describing PACE programs and discussing why their future is threatened, J. Cullen Howe reviews recent litigation that could affect the status...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Urban Green Council Releases Report Finding That Green Codes Task Force’s Recommendations Have Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Saved Energy

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 2, 2012, the Urban Green Council released a report finding that New York City is on track to meet its goal of lowering carbon emissions, energy consumption, and waste by following recommendations of the Green Codes...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 16, 2012

Budget & Taxes CT PULLS PLUG ON MANAGED CARE FOR MEDICAID: The way states used to pay doctors and hospitals for treating Medicaid patients was by directly reimbursing them for the services they rendered. But spurred by criticism that the so-called "fee-for-service" method encouraged...

State Net Capitol Journal – April 16, 2012

Budget & Taxes CT PULLS PLUG ON MANAGED CARE FOR MEDICAID: The way states used to pay doctors and hospitals for treating Medicaid patients was by directly reimbursing them for the services they rendered. But spurred by criticism that the so-called "fee-for-service" method encouraged...

U.S. Energy Information Administration Monthly Reports

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its most recent "Monthly Energy Review" on March 28, 2012. The Monthly Energy Review is the U.S. Energy Information Administration's primary report of recent and historical energy statistics. Included are statistics on total energy production...

U.S. Energy Information Administration Monthly Reports Available

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its most recent "Monthly Energy Review" on March 28, 2012. The Monthly Energy Review is the U.S. Energy Information Administration's primary report of recent and historical energy statistics. Included are statistics on total energy production...

Photoelectric Cells to Dye For - Solar Power From Indoor Lights

Is it possible to efficiently harness the often dim and indirect light found inside a room (e.g., from incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent bulbs, and light emitting diodes). The answer would now appear to be "yes." A Walsh firm claims to have taken the efficiency of...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Ohio and California Legislatures Approve Measures for Regulation of Shale Gas Fracking

ENERGY: The OHIO House and Senate approve SB 315, which requires greater disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process to extract natural gas from underground shale deposits. The measure also requires water sampling within 1,500 feet of proposed water wells, mandates...

Marten Law: EPA Finalizes Hazardous Air Emission Rules for Boilers and Process Heaters Affecting 90,000 Facilities

By Svend Brandt-Erichsen, Partner, Marten Law PLLC In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Svend Brandt-Erichsen of Marten Law PLLC discusses EPA's new standards for hazardous air emissions from boilers and process heaters, commonly referred to as "Boiler MACT." Many industrial facilities...

Sustainability Trends in the Real Estate Sector: Market Forces at Work

A recently published PwC review identifies a number of business factors that are heightening attention to sustainability in the real estate sector. Among the key drivers are: • An increasing frequency in inquiries from investors such as APG Investment, CalPERS, and CalSRS, demanding real estate...

Chicago Passes Mandatory Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

The Chicago City Council recently passed the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance of the City of Chicago 1 (the "Ordinance"), and as a result have joined eight major cities and two states 2 that require some form of energy benchmarking for buildings. While there are some exceptions, described...

Philadelphia's Energy Benchmarking Deadline Will Be at Your Doorstep This Halloween

For owners of commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or more in the city of Philadelphia, chances are the time has come to address the city's new energy and water use benchmarking law. Energy benchmarking refers to a process used to measure energy efficiencies of buildings, which provides a standard...

The World Green Building Council Makes “The Business Case for Green Building”

Is green building a wise business decision? That is the fundamental question the World Green Building Council’s report, “ The Business Case For Green Building ,” attempts to address. The report compiles actual cost and benefit data from peer-reviewed publications and includes numerous...

A Cheap Reliable Way to Reduce Energy Costs

By Marc Karell, P.E., CEM, EBCP Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC There is a methodology to reliably and inexpensively reduce energy costs. What is this? Retrocommissioning , the process of reviewing the operations of the existing energy systems of your buildings and optimizing them...

The Future of Building Codes & “Green” Building Programs

For this week’s Guest Post Friday here at Construction Law Musings, we would like to welcome back Sean Lintow Sr. (@ The_HTRC ) of SLS Construction & Building Solutions . Sean has over 20 years in the construction and project management fields and is now solely specializing in helping other...

GSA Speaks: Green Options Expand and The Fate of LEED v4 Deferred to Another Day

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), GSA is required to evaluate green building certification systems for use by federal agencies every five years. Recently, the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA) completed its current review and provided updated recommendations to the...

CAA Settlement Requires Violator to Invest in Improving Energy Efficiency of Other Buildings

By Marc Karell, P.E., CEM, Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC In September of 2013, HA Industries of Oregon, IL, a manufacturer of coatings and resin-coated sands, settled charges that it violated the Clean Air Act. No big deal here. This happens all the time. Like many such settlements...

Senate Tax Reform Proposals: “Chilling Effect” On Real Estate Industry

By Bruce Thompson A tax reform proposal released by the Senate Finance Committee would have a major impact on the real estate industry, according to comments submitted to the committee by a number of industry groups. If enacted in their current form, the group says, these proposals would threaten...

Solicitation for Federal Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy Projects Published

On July 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy Loans Program Office published a solicitation for Federal Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy Projects and Efficient Energy Projects. Under the solicitation, eligible projects include Renewable Energy Projects and Efficient Energy Projects that implement...