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

The Texas House of Representatives and Senate are considering three similar, but not identical, legislative drafts that could impose substantial grid charges directly on renewable generation businesses. The Legal Update at the link below provides further detail.

https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/perspectives-events/publications/2021/04/texas-bills-would-burden-renewable-gen?utm_source=vuture&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign={vx:campaign%20name}

On March 31, 2021, the Biden administration released the American Jobs Plan (the “Infrastructure Plan”), which is a proposal that, if ultimately enacted, aims to modernize outdated infrastructure, create additional jobs and increase the United States’ global competitiveness. Alongside the Infrastructure Plan, the Biden administration released a Made in America Tax Plan (the “Tax Plan”),

On March 17, 2021, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and U.S. Representatives Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) introduced the Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act. The bill is intended to help develop infrastructure buildout to transport CO2 from the capture site to be used as feedstock for the manufacture of other products, to oilfields where it is injected to enhance oil recovery, or to underground storage locations.  CO2 capture projects are expensive and the EPA permitting process for storage facilities is lengthy.  Thus, project financing and permitting are key drivers to determine the speed and scope at which global climate goals with respect to greenhouse gas reduction are achieved.  The 45Q tax credit for carbon capture and sequestration incentivizes carbon capture but is not by itself economically sufficient to provide the necessary equipment and transportation infrastructure.

Continue Reading US – Storing CO2 And Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act

The Polar Vortex 2021 Fallout continues to be in the news in Texas.  In the Legal Update below you will see the most recent developments.

https://connect.mayerbrown.com/391/8308/compose-email/more-polar-vortex-2021-fallout–2nd-puct-commr.-resigns–lt.-gov.-calls-on-puct-or-ercot-to–fix–$16b–error-.asp?sid=blankform

 

On January 20, 2021, US President Joseph Biden signed a series of executive orders, including one titled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” This executive order contains a series of directives to federal agencies and departments that will significantly impact the energy sector and signals the high

cybersecurity imageOn January 26, 2021, members of the Mayer Brown cybersecurity and data privacy practice will be joined by members of Dragos—a leading industrial security firm—to describe practical steps that members of the energy sector—and other relevant businesses—can take to mitigate cyber risks to operational technology. The webinar – Managing OT Cyber Risk: Lessons from the Front Lines – will discuss how legal teams can work with other stakeholders in their businesses to manage associated legal risk.

The energy sector faces significant and growing cyber threats. In particular, many businesses in the energy sector operate safety critical machinery that is increasingly connected—and subject to cyber attacks. Whether located on an oil rig, in the electric grid, at a refinery, or on a pipeline, these systems—often referred to as “Operational Technology” or “Industrial Control Systems”—sit at the backbone of countless critical processes in the energy sector. Cyber threats to these systems continue to grow, including from highly sophisticated nation-state actors. Potential attacks against these systems threaten to stop production, impair the integrity of safety-critical systems or even cause physical damage or personal injury. The corresponding legal risks facing the energy sector, whether from litigation or regulatory action, are equally significant and will continue to grow in the coming years.


Continue Reading Operational Technology Cyber Risk in the Energy Sector

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”  A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

As 2020 ends and the festive season is dampened by a growing number of COVID-19 infections, one might say “Bah Humbug” to an unforgettable year that one might wish to forget. What does 2021 hold for the world beyond COVID-19 and the future of the US-China relationship? Will the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come be “dark and mysterious”, “faceless” and present “the unknown, and the fear inherent” or can the world come together again for a better Christmas in 2021?


Continue Reading Belt and Road Initiative – The Green and Clean Road Beyond COVID-19