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As of July 3, single-use plastic products marketed in the EU/EEA must comply with the requirements and restrictions of Directive 2019/904 on the Reduction of the Impact of Certain Plastic Products on the Environment (“Single-Use Plastic Directive” –  “SUPD”).  To help Member States implement the SUPD into their national laws and apply its requirements, on May 31, 2021, the European Commission published its long-awaited Guidelines on the Scope of the SUPD.  The Guidelines take different and controversial approaches on the scope the SUPD and the nature of plastics and continue to leave important issues unanswered.
Continue Reading New EU Restrictions on Single-Use Plastic Products to Enter into Force

This post is the ninth in a series, “The ABCs of the AJP.”

Virtually every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has pursued a national “infrastructure” project of some kind.  From the New Deal and the Federal-Aid Highway Acts, which created today’s interstate highway, to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government has made significant investments toward a “system of public works,” a standard definition for the word “infrastructure.”  In this way, the AJP is just the latest major infrastructure initiative, even if the proposed amounts for modernizing surface transportation, airports, and waterways are unprecedented.
Continue Reading Infrastructure Reimagined: From Roads and Country to People and Planet

COP 24 negotiations culminated in the 2018 “Paris Rulebook” (“Rulebook”) but fell short of resolving all issues implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement (“Agreement”).  In 2019 and subsequent years, we expect dynamic debates between negotiators on at least five key issues:

  1. How to implement voluntary market mechanisms under Article 6 of the Agreement,
  2. How to increase collective ambition through each country’s voluntary pledges,
  3. How to recognize the IPCC 1.5◦C Report’s scientific findings,
  4. Setting a new climate financing goal for developed nations to meet, and
  5. Continuing discussions on “loss and damage” issues for vulnerable nations.

Continue Reading COP 24 Round-Up Part Two: Looking Ahead from Katowice

On December 15, 2018, climate negotiators in Katowice, Poland reached agreement on a “Paris Rulebook” (“Rulebook”) which will implement the Paris Agreement (“Agreement”).  Reactions to the ambitiousness of the Rulebook have been mixed.  Although negotiators found some common ground on specific reporting and transparency rules, they could not reach consensus on implementing more ambitious voluntary market mechanisms, including the linking of global carbon markets.

This is the first of a two-part series discussing the results of the COP 24 summit.  Part Two will address unresolved issues for climate negotiations in 2019 and future years.  
Continue Reading COP 24 Round-Up Part One: The Paris Rulebook

Power shortages in India, transportation costs in Africa, the poor grades given to US infrastructure, pollution in China, and the devastation to old and sub-par infrastructure in places like Nepal when disaster strikes are clear reminders that the world needs more and better infrastructure.  Infrastructure is the talk of governments, of bodies such as the

At the first in a series of technical conferences, industry and government stakeholders yesterday strongly urged FERC to be proactive in helping to shape the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (“CPP”).  What remains unclear, however, is precisely how the Commissioners can and will seek to influence a rulemaking over which the Commission lacks jurisdiction.

FERC

On April 22, EPA issued a direct final rule to revise the 2013 cellulosic biofuel renewable fuel standard (“RFS”) that it had originally issued on August 15, 2013.  The new rule reduces the cellulosic biofuel RFS to 0.0005%, which reflects the number of cellulosic biofuel renewable identifications numbers (“RINs”) that were actually produced and available

Norman Bay, Director of FERC’s Office of Enforcement, testified yesterday before the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection regarding regulations for financial holding companies and physical commodities.

In prepared remarks, Mr. Bay stated that FERC has the “tools necessary to effectively police FERC-regulated markets” but identified two regulatory limitations to its

Barclays Bank and four of its traders (collectively, “Barclays”) moved on December 16, 2013 to dismiss charges of market manipulation brought by FERC’s Office of Enforcement.  FERC’s complaint seeks to affirm a combined $488 million in civil penalties and disgorgement in federal court for the Eastern District of California based on its claim that Barclays

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on December 16 unanimously elected Commissioner Mark Wetjen to serve as Acting Chairman when current Chairman Gary Gensler departs, which could be as soon as January 3, 2014.  President Obama has nominated Timothy Massad, Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the Treasury Department, to succeed Chairman Gensler.

Commissioner Wetjen