Energy Technology Matters

The Latest Legal, Financing, and Policy Developments in Energy and Clean Tech

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 12/15/2014

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Events, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates


Energy and environmental issues abounded on the congressional as well as international fronts last week, and they will continue to play a prominent role in the last couple of weeks of 2014.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change celebrated its 20th anniversary this December, with international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru December 1-12. The Lima talks mark the 20th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and the 10th Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. After two weeks of talks, and more than 36 hours after the talks were scheduled to end, climate negotiators reached a modest agreement this past weekend for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that will be finalized next year in Paris. Under the Lima Call for Climate Action, 196 countries pledged to craft nation-specific plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by early next year, but participants delayed decisions on other significant and divisive measures, including the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Negotiators agreed also to a separate draft negotiating text that will form the basis for the Paris discussions next year.

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 12/8/2014

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Events, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, State Happenings, Water, Wind


The House and Senate are in session for just a few more days prior to adjourning the 113th Congress. Remaining issues to address during the lame duck include the hybrid omnibus-continuing resolution, which could close out most work on fiscal 2015 spending and fund the government after December 11, a tax extenders package, completing the Defense authorization, a terrorism risk insurance extension, which expires December 31, and a handful of other last minute measures.

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ML Strategies Preview: Energy and Environment Policy in the 114th Congress

Posted in China, Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, Wind

With Congress returning for the final days of the lame duck session before Republicans assume control of both chambers in the 114th Congress, and President Obama entering the final two years of his term, several energy and environmental issues remain unfinished. Several of these issues may play out before we ring in the new year, and others will await calendar time in 2015.

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Department of Interior Announces January Auction Date for Martha’s Vineyard Wind Energy Leases

Posted in Energy Technology News, Events, Federal Policy, Massachusetts Renewable Energy, Wind

On November 24th, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that it would be auctioning off four commercial leases for the Wind Energy Area (WEA) south of Martha’s Vineyard on January 29th. The area to be leased, which is identical to the area proposed in the Proposed Sale Notice published this past June, encompasses more than 1,160 square miles of open water – a tract larger than the state of Rhode Island. The project is slated to become the largest off-shore wind tract in federal waters in the United States.

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/24/2014

Posted in Biofuels, Energy Efficiency, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates


Prior to recessing for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House and Senate both took several votes and introduced numerous pieces of legislation on energy and environment related issues last week.

After the House approved their version of Keystone XL pipeline (H.R. 5682) legislation the previous week, the Senate failed to move an identical bill (S. 2280), from Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Hoeven (R-ND) November 18. The one-vote loss, 59-41, is yet another hit to Senator Landrieu’s runoff election campaign against Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is confident that the upper chamber will pass Keystone language in the 114th Congress. Republican gains in the midterm elections may bring the vote count in favor of Keystone passage to 63, but bill supporters would still need 67 votes to override a presidential veto.

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Halliburton’s Acquisition of Baker Hughes Likely to Receive Close Antitrust Scrutiny from Department of Justice

Posted in Antitrust, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy

On November 17, 2014, Halliburton Company (“Halliburton”) announced plans to acquire Baker Hughes, Inc. (“Baker Hughes”) for $34.6 billion.  Halliburton and Baker Hughes are two of the world’s largest oilfield services companies, providing drilling, formation evaluation, reservoir consulting and related services to oil and gas producers.  Halliburton and Baker Hughes are reportedly considered two of the big three global oilfield services companies in the industry, second and third behind Schlumberger Ltd. (“Schlumberger”), the leading oilfield services company in the world.  Although Schlumberger is reportedly the largest oilfield service company, reducing suppliers from 3 to 2 in any market will inevitably raise red flags with the Department of Justice (the agency expected to review the transaction), who will undoubtedly conduct a thorough antitrust review.

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ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/17/2014

Posted in China, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Energy Technology News, Events, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, Massachusetts Renewable Energy


President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly pledged November 11 in Beijing to make significant CO2 reductions in the next two decades. The United States will reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, accelerating the pace of reductions already planned by 2020. China will peak its CO2 emissions no later than 2030, by which point the country will obtain 20 percent of its energy supply from non-fossil fuel sources. China’s commitment marks the first time the country has pledged to stop its rapidly increasing emissions; the nation has previously resisted calls for reductions, saying that as a developing country, the pollution increases are necessary for its growth. China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, and the United States ranks second. The surprise joint announcement precedes the 20th annual COP/MOP, scheduled to begin December 1 in Lima, Peru, and it further builds momentum for next year’s international climate negotiations in Paris. The two countries had pledged to make their commitments by this coming March. The United States and China join the European Union in making early commitments for Paris. European Union leaders agreed in October to set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030.

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Stephen Gulotta and Kenneth Koch Explore Alternative Private Equity Exits

Posted in Energy Technology News

In a recent Law360 article, Mintz Levin members Stephen Gulotta and Kenneth Koch discuss several alternative strategies for PE sponsors looking to exit investments that do not attain the originally projected levels of growth and profitability. They explore the pros and cons of strategies including small-cap and microcap public offerings, reverse mergers and Form 10 transactions, SPAC transactions, middlemarket/small-cap sales and a variety of spinoffs, carveouts, splitoffs, and bolt-on transactions. To read the full article, please click here.

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/10/2014

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates, Solar, Wind


Republicans gained control of the Senate last Tuesday, and, with Republicans picking up several House seats as well, Congress rests in their hands. The question now becomes: can D.C. govern?

Republican gains in the midterm elections bode well for increased oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency, due in large part to Senator James Inhofe’s (R-OK) imminent ascension to chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will move to the Ranking Member slot. Senator Inhofe, self-proclaimed climate skeptic, has indicated that he will use the committee to investigate the agency’s regulations and authority. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will replace Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) as majority leader, and, he is likely to lead the party’s efforts to roll back Environmental Protection Agency rules, including CO2 standards for power plants, ozone air quality standards, and expanded Clean Water Act jurisdiction over U.S. waterways. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) faces a runoff December 6, and she is likely to lose, meaning that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-CA) will join Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as ranking member and chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, respectively. With a 54-member majority, it is likely that Senate Republicans will be able to find the 60 votes necessary to move legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House is declining to say whether President Obama would veto legislation approving the Keystone pipeline. To reach the 67 votes needed to overcome a presidential veto, Senate Republicans will still have to work closely with their Democratic counterparts, and they will need to employ creative approaches, such as using authorization bills, appropriations riders, oversight hearings, and the Congressional Review Act, to advance their energy agenda. Other agenda items may include altering the Renewable Fuel Standard; expediting liquefied natural gas exports; streamlining transmission project decisions; expanding oil and gas drilling; and funding the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

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Partner R.J. Lyman Shares Insight on Production Tax Credits in Light of Election Results

Posted in Energy Technology News, Federal Policy, Legislative Updates

R.J. Lyman has recently been quoted in a Law360 article entitled GOP Senate Will Have EPA’s Clean Power Plan In Its Sights. In the article, R.J. shares his dim outlook on the future of production tax credits (PTC) due to the change of power in the Senate. He suggests alternatives to PTC that may be able to gain more legislative traction. We encourage you to read the article for additional insights from R.J. and other experts in the field!