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Washington’s Utility Regulation Model Cracks Under Pressure From Microsoft’s Sustainability Policy

Microsoft is leading the charge against the traditional utility model, which, like many large high-tech companies, has adopted a corporate sustainability policy that mandates aggressive reductions in the company’s greenhouse gas emissions and, ultimately, use of 100% renewable energy. Microsoft’s sustainability policy has run head-long into the heavy dependence of its major electricity supplier, Puget Sound Energy, and the collision has produced cracks in Washington’s utility regulatory model that may presage a fundamental rethinking of Washington’s utility business model.

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Ninth Circuit Approves EPA’s Approach to Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Biomass-Fired Cogenerators

On September 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cogeneration facilities fueled by biomass, the first such decision by any circuit court.

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Oversupply Litigation Milestone: FERC Approves BPA Oversupply Management Protocol

At its monthly meeting last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved the Bonneville Power Administration’s “Oversupply Management Protocol,” marking a major litigation milestone in Bonneville’s controversial efforts to address those periods when the combined output of federal dams and wind generation in the Pacific Northwest exceeds electric demand in the region and in areas where power can be exported.

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Regulating Emergency Generators: EPA Denies Rehearing of RICE Rule, Appeals Court is Next Stop

On August 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a notice denying petitions for rehearing of its new rules governing air emissions from stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (“RICE”).

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New Era of Hydropower Regulation? Corps of Engineers Agrees to Seek NPDES Permits for Hydro Equipment

On August 4, in response to a series of lawsuits brought by the environmental advocacy group Columbia Riverkeeper, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to regulatory measures aimed at preventing oil leaks from eight dams on the Columbia/Snake River system.

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Please Join Us for LSI’s Columbia River Treaty Conference

Please join us for Law Seminar International’s Columbia River Treaty Conference, which will be held here in Seattle on September 22 & 23, 2014. The conference is …

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“September 16: Pivot Point for the Columbia River Treaty and the Future of the Columbia River Basin”: Eric Christensen Publishes Article in “The Water Report”

We’re proud to announce that GTH partner Eric Christensen has published an article in the July 2014 issue of The Water Report, one of the most respected …

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Next Frontiers in Climate Litigation: Adaptation and Ocean Acidification

Recent legal developments in climate litigation and regulation suggest that the legal landscape related to climate change is continuing to evolve, with adaptation to climate change and …

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