Skip to Content
Cairncross & Hempelmann

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.

Cairncross & Hempelmann

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.

Cairncross & Hempelmann

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”).

Cairncross & Hempelmann

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.