Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Analyzing the critical energy and environmental issues of the day

Craig Gannett

Craig Gannett focuses his practice in the fields of renewable energy and climate change. He advises clients on a broad range of regulatory matters, including those relating to the licensing of hydroelectric dams, biomass energy development, transmission siting, energy efficiency projects, and funding for energy-related projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He also advises regarding pending federal cap and trade legislation, EPA regulations addressing the emission of greenhouse gases, and federal and state legislation regarding renewable portfolio standards and renewable energy credits. Craig also teaches Climate Change Law and Policy at the University of Washington’s School of Law and Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

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Climate change regulation starts to take shape in Washington State

Posted in Climate Change, Northwest
In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.  Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as well as the people themselves, have engaged in what looks like a massive brainstorming session on how to limit Washington’s greenhouse gas… Continue Reading

Is Carbon Capture and Sequestration the Best or Even an Achievable Control Technology To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants?

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal, Rulemakings
EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas emission standards for new power plants rest on the agency’s finding that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies are “achievable” and the “best system” for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.  This finding is highly debatable and will likely be the focal point of political and legal… Continue Reading

EPA Reissues Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for New Power Plants

Posted in Climate Change, EPA, Federal, Renewables, Rulemakings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has re-proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for new fossil-fuel power plants, exercising existing authority under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act.  Proposed rule re Electric Utility Generating Units.  The key proposal is an emission standard for new coal-fired power plants that would require the incorporation of substantial… Continue Reading

Sweeping Overhaul of Federal Energy Tax Credits Is Unveiled

Posted in EPA, Federal
This week, Senator Max Baucus, the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee who has been developing a comprehensive overhaul and simplification of the federal income tax, introduced a bill that would scrap 42 existing federal energy tax credits and replace them with two new credits applicable to clean electricity and clean transportation fuels.  Senator… Continue Reading

THE PACIFIC COAST ACTION PLAN ON CLIMATE AND ENERGY – WILL IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Quality, Northwest
By Craig Gannett and Mark Perlis Late last month, the Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington joined with the Premier of British Columbia to sign a Pacific Coast Climate Action Plan on Climate and Energy (PCAP).  Like its ill-fated predecessor, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), the PCAP attempts to fill the void created by Congress’ failure… Continue Reading

CPUC Rejects Constitutional Challenge to RPS Rules

Posted in California, Renewables
In a matter of great interest to owners of renewable generating facilities throughout the West, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) has finally responded to the constitutional challenge raised by Cowlitz PUD against the CPUC’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) rules.  In a decision issued on November 1, two and one-half years after Cowlitz raised the challenge,… Continue Reading

DOE Asserts More Control Over BPA

Posted in BPA, Federal
In the wake of the Bonneville Power Administration’s recent hiring controversy, the Department of Energy’s headquarters has issued a memo announcing its exercise of more control over BPA’s decision-making.  The stimulus for this DOE action was the earlier issuance of a DOE Inspector General’s report highly critical of BPA’s personnel actions and policies.  In addition to… Continue Reading

Rep. Waxman, Sen. Whitehouse & Rep. Markey Form Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change

Posted in Climate Change, Federal
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), today announced the formation of a bicameral task force on climate change.  Their letter essentially urges the President to aggressively pursue GHG emission reductions under existing law, implicitly recognizing that no new legislation is possible for at least the next two years… Continue Reading

Bill Drummond named as new BPA Administrator

Posted in BPA, Federal
Bill Drummond has been named as the new Administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), succeeding long-time Administrator Steve Wright.  Drummond has a long history in Northwest public power, and is well-regarded within the region.  Recruited to serve as the Deputy BPA Administrator in 2011, his ascendancy to the Administrator role strongly suggests a continuation… Continue Reading