New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday unveiled a $300 million buyout program that will use federal funding to purchase 1,300 homes that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy or lie in the flood-prone Passaic River basin from willing homeowners, creating open spaces that can ease future flood damage.
The Australian government has approved roughly AU$24 billion ($23.6 billion) in transportation infrastructure spending over the next six years, bringing its total investment under an infrastructure program unveiled in 2008 to nearly AU$60 billion.
Senate lawmakers on Tuesday grilled the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy on the president's $28.4 billion budget proposal for the agency, demanding more details about an international nuclear research fusion project that could cost the government more than $3 billion.
The U.S. Senate approved a water resources law in an 83-14 vote Wednesday, sending the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water projects spending bill to the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 2007 and clearing a Texas senator's amendment aimed at holding Mexico to water treaty obligations.
Lawmakers fuming over cuts to a minerals revenue sharing program floated legislation Tuesday that would allow royalty payments from energy projects on federal land to bypass the U.S. Treasury and go directly to states.
While buyouts for some New York homeowners smacked by Superstorm Sandy are still in the offing, the relocation program's scale has shrunk from the size initially envisioned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, leading some environmentalists to lament the potential for a costly repeat of the hurricane's damage.
A leading House Democrat said Friday that BP PLC hasn't turned over information detailing how it misled Congress about the amount of oil released during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and urged regulators to keep the company's federal contracts ban in place until it adequately responds.
Bipartisan legislation authorizing several major U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water projects moved a step closer to approval on Thursday, with the Senate adopting a handful of amendments and one of the bill's sponsors pledging to present a final version for vote in a matter of days.
U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., introduced a bill Thursday that would fast-track the federal permitting of natural gas pipeline projects, including automatically issuing a permit if the government doesn't act on its application within the accelerated timeframe.
The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday that they would strengthen their shared oversight of the offshore oil industry by developing joint policies in the areas their authorities overlap, including joint inspections and evaluations of offshore operations.
The European Union recently lifted its oil embargo against Syria in the hopes of financially boosting rebels in the war-torn Middle East nation, but attorneys warn that European companies contemplating doing business with the opposition risk lawsuits over purchasing illegitimate oil and could easily trip over a U.S. embargo still in effect.
New U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Tuesday warned a Senate panel that sequestration would slow down federal approval of both fossil and renewable energy projects, even as her agency finalizes rules governing hydraulic fracturing on federal lands and drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
Energy policy experts and regulators told House lawmakers Tuesday that TransCanada Corp.'s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline will serve as an environmentally safe oil transportation alternative compared to the current methods of truck and rail it is expected to replace.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently urged the U.S. Department of State to put a price tag on the social costs of greenhouse gas emissions when preparing its final environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline, a recommendation attorneys say could open the door to lengthier federal reviews and additional legal challenges for future projects.
The chief judge of Manhattan's federal court gathered with elected officials Monday to unveil plans for a $10.4 million glass-and-steel security pavilion project that, despite deep budget cuts in Washington, will see the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse become a harder target by 2015.
The U.S. House of Representatives is gearing up to take a vote this month on a controversial bill to greenlight TransCanada Corp.'s construction of the Keystone XL pipeline without presidential approval, according to several Friday reports.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Friday urged the U.S. Government Accountability Office to probe an international nuclear fusion research project partially funded by the U.S., expressing concern that its spiraling costs may hamper other fusion projects as federal budgets tighten.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley on Thursday signed into law a bill allowing natural gas companies to claw back the cost of infrastructure projects through a customer surcharge, a measure designed to help speed replacement of the state’s aging pipelines and other gas infrastructure.
A Virginia judge on Wednesday threw out a contentious toll plan to help fund a $2 billion tunnel project, ruling that the Virginia Department of Transportation couldn't set toll rates without explicit guidance from lawmakers.
California state lawmakers and regulators' recent bids to rein in hydraulic fracturing may give energy developers second thoughts about tapping the state's rich Monterey Shale, but attorneys say the region's promise of billions of gallons of shale oil means many won't abandon hope of ever putting a well in the ground.
Recently, the D.C. Circuit surprisingly overturned a decision that invalidated the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to veto a Clean Water Act “dredge and fill” permit, putting several construction projects under threat of losing permit authorization. Although the case specifically refers to a coal mining operation in West Virginia, it has serious implications beyond the coal industry and state, say attorneys with Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
Recently, the National Ocean Council released its final national ocean policy implementation plan, identifying specific actions for federal agencies to undertake to bolster the nation's ocean economy and improve ocean health. These actions could broadly impact a wide range of ocean uses, including offshore energy development, shipping, recreation, fishing and aquaculture, say attorneys with Van Ness Feldman LLP.
Must a public project receive environmental clearance before an agency may begin acquiring property for it? In Golden Gate Land Holdings LLC v. East Bay Regional Park District, the California Court of Appeal answered no, permitting an agency to file an eminent domain action prior to complying with the California Environmental Quality Act, but the holding appears limited, say attorneys with Nossaman LLP.
Alongside legal reform and a consolidation of institutions, self-regulatory initiatives have promoted a real improvement in corporate governance practices in Brazil. Such factors have also led to the creation of a more diffuse control of capital in Brazilian companies and the increased participation of active minority investors demanding professional, independent and transparent management bodies, says Silvia Fazio of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.
The Internal Revenue Service's recently published Notice 2013-29 provides two new "begun construction" tests used to determine whether certain projects qualify for a production tax credit or investment tax credit. While these tests are very similar to the U.S. Department of Treasury's Section 1603 rules, practitioners should take note of the important differences, says Forrest Milder of Nixon Peabody LLP.
While the challenge of development in many African countries should not be underestimated, the rising middle class and ensuing breadth of needs across industries ― including power generation and distribution, transportation, telecommunications, agribusiness, oil and gas, financial services, health care, education, housing and consumer goods — provide an array of prospects for foreign investment, say experts with AlixPartners and Dentons.
While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Second Circuit ruling on the reach of the Alien Tort Statute, the court's narrow holding in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, issues raised in concurring opinions and the submission of voluminous amicus briefs all suggest a strong likelihood of continued challenges regarding overseas violations of international law. Mining, oil and pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and financial institutions doing business on foreign soil should take note, say Benjamin Haglund and Barbara Yu of Day Pitney LLP.
In order to incentivize foreign pension funds to invest in U.S. infrastructure projects — such as oil and gas fields, pipelines, real estate development and toll roads — the Obama administration has proposed putting foreign pension funds on equal footing with U.S. pension funds that are permitted to invest in certain real estate assets on a tax-exempt basis. The proposal, if enacted, would open up certain classes of investment assets effectively unavailable to foreign pension funds, say James Reardon and Elizabeth Behncke of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
Despite it being the most common type of off-take contract in a large-scale energy project, the take-or-pay contract is still often poorly drafted. Parties entering into such contracts should be aware of the essential features of the take-or-pay obligation and understand the potential lumpiness of such contracts in worst-case scenarios, say attorneys with King & Spalding LLP.
In declining to authorize a transaction among MACH Gen LLC, Saddle Mountain Power LLC and New Harquahala Generating Company LLC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has provided some guidance regarding when the transfer of control is sufficient to mitigate the failure of FERC’s horizontal market power screens but with little clarity, say attorneys with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.