On July 28, 2021, President Biden signed a national security memorandum that seeks to “significantly improve” the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure systems. The “National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems” (the “Memorandum”) reflects the administration’s conclusion that “[t]he cybersecurity threats posed to the systems that control and operate the critical infrastructure on which we all depend are among the most significant and growing issues confronting our Nation.” It builds on President Biden’s May 2021 Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,1 which included a focus on operational technology systems and primarily addressed the security practices of government agencies and government contractors.2 With recent cyber attacks affecting a major pipeline, water systems and other critical infrastructure, the Memorandum describes two key actions the administration is taking to respond to this intensifying challenge..

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golden sunset in crude oil refinery with pipeline system

After a brief review before the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (Comisión Nacional de Mejora Regulatoria, “CONAMER”), on July 28, 2021, the Ministry of Energy (Secretaría de Energía, “SENER”) published in the Federal Official Gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federación, “DOF”) an Emergency Guideline for the Welfare of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Consumers (the “Guideline”) urging the Energy Regulatory Commission (Comisión Reguladora de Energía, “CRE”) to set a maximum price regulation for the sale of liquefied petroleum gas (“LP Gas”) to end users.

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We are excited to share with you our second edition of Working Capital, Mayer Brown’s Projects & Infrastructure newsletter. In this edition, we feature

  • Mayer Brown’s newly elected chair, Jon Van Gorp and his commitment to our clients;
  • Interviews with Houston laterals, Greg Matlock and Phil Lau, regarding carbon capture use and sequestration as well as an interview with John Tormey regarding Texas Storm Uri’s impact on financing renewable energy projects in Texas;
  • A special feature, “Writing Cheques We Can’t Cash? Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition” and
  • Several publications drafted by our Mayer Brown attorneys on topics covering US offshore wind, data centers as an investment asset class, Mexico’s new power regulatory framework, the EU Green Deal and more.

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On July 1, 2021, the US Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) released Revenue Ruling 2021-13 (the “Ruling”), which provides additional guidance on the definition of “carbon capture equipment” for purposes of the carbon capture tax credit under Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The Ruling also clarifies that a taxpayer need not own every piece of equipment within a single process train in order to claim the tax credit so long as the taxpayer owns at least one component. In addition, the Ruling provides helpful guidance on determining the placed-in-service date of the single process train for purposes of Section 45Q.

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On June 17, 2021, the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order establishing a new Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission, calling for nominations for state commission representation on it, setting forth preliminary details of it and identifying topics for it to consider. The Legal Update at the link below provides further detail.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/06/us-ferc-announces-new-joint-federalstate-task-force-on-electric-transmission?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

 

On June 9, 2021, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 218, which targets 2.8 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 8 GW by 2040 and anticipates the creation of 600,000 related jobs and an annual contribution to North Carolina’s economy of $70 billion. The Legal Update at the link below provides details on what the executive order requires.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/06/north-carolina-a-little-late-to-east-coast-offshore-wind-race-goes-8gw-by-2040-large?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

A district judge has temporarily suspended with general effects the amendment to the Hydrocarbons Law eliminating PEMEX’s asymmetric regulation.  Please see Legal Update at link below for all details.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/06/mexico-district-judge-suspends-amendment-of-hydrocarbons-law-that-repealed-pemexs-asymmetric-regulation?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

 

In the wake of the May 2021 ransomware attack on a major US oil pipeline, the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has released a security directive (the “TSA Directive”) to better “identify, protect against, and respond to threats to critical companies in the pipeline sector.” The TSA Directive was released on May 27, 2021, and effective the next day. The Legal Update at the link below discusses what the TSA Directive requires of critical pipeline or facility owner/operators and related considerations.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/06/critical-pipeline-cybersecurity-directive-released?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

This month the UK Government issued an updated timetable and submissions guidance for cluster sequencing for Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) deployment. With this paper came a number of updates across its CCUS programme including:

 

  • the CCS Infrastructure Fund (CIF);
  • the Industrial CCUS Business Models;
  • Power CCUS Business Models;
  • T&S Business Models; and
  • CCUS Supply Chains: a roadmap to maximise the UK’s potential.

A “cluster” is defined as a transport and storage (T&S) network and associated first phase of at least two CO2 capture projects.

The full article is at the link below.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/-/media/files/perspectives-events/publications/2021/05/a-summary-of-beis-cluster-sequencing-for-carbon-capture-usage-and-storage-deployment-phase-1_may21.pdf

After China’s annual Two Sessions in March, policy directives by departmental ministries and provincial governments on energy transition have come into shape. The first quarter of 2021 saw the country experiencing a steady upsurge in renewable energy capacity with a total installed capacity of renewable energy amounting to 948 million kilowatts from 794 million kilowatts by the end of 2019. As China progresses towards the carbon neutrality goal of peaking carbon emissions before 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality in 2060, the local directives supply more details to the 14th Five Year Plan (the “Plan”).

Continue Reading PART II. Key Policy Directives for China’s Energy Transition: Implementation of the National 14th Five Year Plan