As we previously covered, California has been working towards the development of “green hydrogen,” i.e., hydrogen fuel produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. Most stakeholders acknowledge that green hydrogen is a critical (but predominantly untapped) resource that offers many climate and energy benefits. In a significant
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed three bills addressing carbon capture, utilization and storage (“CCUS”) and carbon dioxide removal (“CDR”). Collectively, these bills create a pathway for new regulation of CCUS and CDR projects, enabling them to become part of a solution for the State to meet aggressive carbon reduction / neutrality goals in 2030…
In this article, we take stock of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and similar initiatives in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and China, and what they mean for the energy sector.
- Importers will pay more to bring carbon-intensive goods into the European Union
- The EU CBAM is
On the back of unfortunate geopolitical developments this year, which have drastically changed the path to a carbon-neutral economy, we are pleased to present “Energy transition – An evolving journey” – a thought leadership campaign containing practical insights on the trends, opportunities and challenges in the energy industry going forward.
Please see link to the…
Boron can be found in electric vehicles, vital military hardware, wind turbines, solar panels, satellites, and more. The mineral – already listed as a national strategic mineral – is important for the United States’ economy, climate strategy, and national security. However, the U.S. Geological Survey has yet to include boron on the list of “critical minerals,” which the Energy Act of 2020 defines as a non-fuel mineral or mineral material essential to the economic or national security of the U.S. and which has a supply chain vulnerable to disruption. The lack of critical mineral designation could hamper the domestic production of boron, but that may be changing soon as discussed below.
California’s Mojave Desert is believed to have the world’s largest known new boron deposit. A mine in the region, known as Fort Cady, has an estimated mineral resource of 120 plus million tons of the type of borate, colemanite, which accounts for 90% of the mineral used globally. Fort Cady also has a large source of lithium (see our earlier post on lithium’s potential), which is an important element for batteries and electric vehicles. Fort Cady further benefits from proximity to an interstate highway, railroad, deep-water port, high voltage power line, gas line, and approved water infrastructure.
An industry leader in boron sourcing and processing is set to begin mining at Fort Cady soon, with small scale mining operations set to begin by the end of this year and large scale production by 2025. However, mining boron deposits is very costly and time consuming. Listing boron on the list of critical minerals would help alleviate such issues by giving stakeholders access to extensive government funding, incentives, and partnerships.…
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries increasingly power electric vehicles and a wide range of consumer electronics, and are a critical component of President Biden’s national strategy to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the US economy. To ramp up the domestic industry, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor and the AFL-CIO, recently announced the launch of a national workforce development strategy for lithium battery manufacturing. While a trained workforce is a necessary component of a lithium manufacturing strategy, the U.S. has historically been dependent upon overseas sources for lithium – but that could change with a new potential lithium source located around California’s Salton Sea.
Most of the world’s lithium supply is either mined from open pit mines, which are common in China and Australia, or extracted from salt lake flats (evaporative ponds) in South America. Both of these methods have serious environmental issues associated with them, or in the case of the evaporative ponds, are slow and economically inefficient. Extensive lithium deposits have been identified in Afghanistan and in parts of Africa, but those resources are limited for either geopolitical or environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) reasons.
The US has its own sources of lithium, but they too come with developmental concerns. New lithium mine proposals in the United States, including a site located on federal land in Nevada and a site outside Death Valley National Park, have triggered opposition from conservationists and Native American tribes.
But could the U.S. find an untapped source somewhere else that has far less environmental concerns? Enter California’s Imperial Valley and its troubled Salton Sea region.…
A new “Clean Hydrogen Bill” (SB 1075, Skinner) has been introduced in the California Legislature as a means of achieving the State’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. If passed, this bill would significantly increase the emphasis on “green hydrogen” as an alternative fuel in California’s economy, opening up…
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has extended the public comment period for the proposed amendments to their “short-form” Proposition 65 “safe harbor” warning regulations in response to a request from the California Chamber of Commerce. OEHHA’s proposed amendments change existing provisions addressing label size, catalog and internet warnings, and other issues (see…
As we reported this past year, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) seeks to significantly amend the regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka “Proposition 65”) to limit use of the previous State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for regulated chemicals in consumer products. The State announced on December 13, 2021 further amendments to the proposed regulations, but generally continues to propose that use of the current “short form” safe harbor warning be dramatically scaled back, which will impact thousands of consumer products by requiring more specificity in future warning language.
As background, current California law allows a manufacturer, distributor or retailer of a consumer product to place either a “long form” or “short form” warning on the product or product packaging if one or more of 900+ regulated chemicals is in the product. The long form warning identifies by name “at least one” chemical from each regulated chemical risk category (i.e., carcinogens or reproductive toxicants). The short form alternate warning only requires identification of the risk category (ies) – not particular chemicals.
After reviewing over 160 written and oral comments on a prior proposed version of the regulations, OEHHA modified the proposed regulation again to:…
As we reported, the California Legislature passed SB 1014 – the Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program (the “Clean Miles Program”) – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from “rideshare” vehicles. This led to the creation of the Clean Miles Standard regulation, which the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) fully adopted in May 2021 after receiving stakeholder input. In sum, the Clean Miles Program directed CARB and the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) to develop and implement new requirements for transportation network companies (“TNCs”) like Uber and Lyft. In this blog post, we discuss the goals and three core requirements of the Clean Miles Program, the new regulations CARB just adopted in furtherance of those core requirements, and other obligations that lie ahead for TNCs.
The Clean Miles Program sets more stringent emissions standards for TNCs over time and encourages TNC drivers to shift to electric vehicles. The Clean Miles Program has three core requirements:
- In 2020, CARB established a greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions baseline for vehicles used in TNCs on a per-passenger-mile basis using 2018 as the base year;
- In 2021, CARB and CPUC adopted and implemented, respectively, targets and goals (beginning in 2023) for TNCs to reduce GHG emissions per passenger-mile driven; and
- By January 1, 2022, and every two years thereafter, each TNC shall develop a GHG emissions reduction plan.
CARB satisfied the first requirement and determined the baseline emission rate (301 grams of carbon dioxide (“CO2“) for each mile traveled.
In furtherance of the second and third requirements—CARB adopted (in May 2021) a “Clean Miles Standard” regulation that imposes new requirements that require TNCs to provide information including, but not limited to: (i) total miles that TNC drivers complete; (ii) share of miles completed by qualified “zero-emissions” (e.g., zero-emission vehicle); (iii) miles-weighted average of network-wide CO2 to produce an estimate of the GHG emissions; and (iv) total passenger-miles completed using an average passengers-per-trip estimate to account for trips where exact passenger headcount was not captured. The new regulation also requires TNCs to submit annual reports and a compliance plan every two years starting in January 2022.…