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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Washington State Aims for 100% Clean Electricity

Posted in Sustainability
The Washington State Legislature is completing work on major legislation that would require the state’s electric utilities to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from their generating fleet within the next quarter century.  Governor Jay Inslee, who is making climate change the focus of his recently-launched Presidential campaign, would undoubtedly sign the legislation with enthusiasm. The… Continue Reading

Energy Efficiency Resource Advocates Challenge ISO-New England Attempt to Reduce Compensation

Posted in FERC, Sustainability
Energy efficiency resource advocates recently petitioned FERC to block an attempt by the ISO New England to reduce the compensation paid for energy efficiency in its Forward Capacity Auctions. Advanced Energy Economy and Sustainable FERC Project, FERC Docket No. EL19-43-000, Petition for Declaratory Order filed Feb. 13, 2019. Energy efficiency resources are products such as… Continue Reading

Children’s Climate Crusade Litigation: Trump Administration Files Opening Brief in 9th Circuit

Posted in Climate Change, Trump Track
The Juliana v. U.S. climate change litigation (better known as part of the Children’s Climate Crusade) is back in the spotlight. The case was filed in Oregon U.S. District Court in 2015 on behalf of future generations to force governmental action on climate change. In a previous post from November 2016, our colleague Rick Glick… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Sinks FERC Hydro License for Failure to Adequately Consider Past Environmental Harm

Posted in Electric Power, FERC, Natural Resources, Renewables, Water Law
Last Friday, the D.C. Circuit torpedoed a hydroelectric license issued in 2013 to Alabama Power Company because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) “declined to factor in the decades of environmental damage already wrought by exploitation of the waterway for power generation and that damage’s continuing ecological… Continue Reading

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


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