On August 22, 2023, the Department of the Interior (“DOI”) announced that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) has issued the final Well Control Rule for drilling, workover, completion and decommissioning operations. This final rule clarifies blowout preventer (“BOP”) system requirements, modifies certain specific BOP equipment capability requirements, and builds upon the regulatory reforms that were originally implemented by the DOI after 2010. The BSEE is setting an effective date of 60 days following publication of the final rule, by which time oil and gas operators in the federally regulated outer Continental Shelf will be required to comply with most of the final rule’s provisions. Operators have a one-year deferred compliance date following publication of the final rule to equip subsea BOP stacks with the remotely operated vehicle intervention capability to both open and close each shear ram, ram locks, and one pipe ram as required by 30 CFR § 250.734(a)(4). The final rule:Continue Reading BSEE Announces New Well Control Rule
On June 5, 2023, the US Department of Energy (DOE) published its US National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap. This report addresses the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) requirement that the DOE “develop a technologically and economically feasible national strategy and roadmap to facilitate widespread production, processing, delivery, storage, and use of clean hydrogen.” Notably, in developing this strategy, Congress instructed the DOE to focus on clean hydrogen production and use from a variety of sources—including natural gas, coal, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and biomass.Continue Reading Department of Energy Establishes Clean Hydrogen Roadmap
On June 3, 2023, President Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act to temporarily suspend the United States’ debt limit. The legislation also amends the National Environmental Policy Act with the intent of streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects. …
Continue Reading Amendments to NEPA Following Debt-Ceiling Deal Would Improve Permitting for Major Infrastructure Projects
On May 17, 2023, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted summary judgment to federal government defendants and intervenor Vineyard Wind in the first of four lawsuits pending in that court challenging the development of Vineyard Wind, a 62-turbine offshore wind project being built off the coast of Massachusetts.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Rules for Vineyard Wind in First of Four Pending Actions
On March 21, 2023, the US Department of Energy (DOE) released three reports as part of its ““Pathways to Commercial Liftoff,” articulating its vision on how the private sector and policymakers can reach full-scale commercialization for advanced nuclear, clean hydrogen, and long-duration energy storage.
Continue Reading DOE Identifies Pathways for the Large-Scale Commercialization of Clean Energy Technologies
On February 22, 2023, the US Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) released its first-ever proposed notice for an offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.
Continue Reading First Offshore Wind Energy Lease Sales in the Gulf of Mexico
On January 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Energy Management published its proposed Renewable Energy Modernization Rule – which is intended to update and modernize the regulations governing wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) – in the Federal Register, opening a 60-day comment period.
Continue Reading BOEM Publishes Proposed Renewable Energy Modernization Rule
On January 12, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) announced the signature of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) addressing the regulations governing wind energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). As BOEM notes in the NOPR, the first OCS renewable energy regulations were promulgated in 2009 by the Minerals Management Service, the predecessor to BOEM. Through the NOPR, BOEM intends to modernize its regulations by implementing reforms identified by the agency and recommended by stakeholders since 2010, when BOEM was established. Continue Reading BOEM Proposes New Regulations for Offshore Wind
This article follows up on two prior articles published by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP attorneys focusing on the Department of the Interior’s (“DOI”) funding of state orphaned well programs and the Biden Administration’s promise of a greater emphasis on consulting with indigenous people and acknowledging their communities’ cultures, customs, sacred sites, and historical knowledge in the contexts of environmental planning, sustainability, and justice, and in ongoing and forthcoming federal decision making and regulatory rulemaking.Continue Reading Biden Administration Makes $50 Million in Funding Available for Orphaned Well Clean Up on Tribal Lands
We summarize recent developments for Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Lease Sale 258 (in Alaska’s Cook Inlet), Lease Sale 259 (in Gulf of Mexico), and subsequent opportunities available to upstream oil and gas companies.
Continue Reading BOEM Resumes OCS Lease Sales 258 and 259