On May 9, 2013, the daily concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa monitoring station for the first time ever at least at one monitoring location according to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. A separate monitoring location on Mauna Loa measured 399.9 ppm. (more…)
Filed under: Sustainability | Tags: construction, contaminated property, EPA, Renewable Energy, Sustainability Practices
EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, a program that has been the subject of previous posts on this blog and a Pepper Hamilton webinar, was selected May 1, 2013, for recognition as one of the Top 25 Innovations in American Government by Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. A copy of the press release can be found here.
The RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative encourages the placement of renewable energy facilities on contaminated and remediated sites. EPA has supported this effort with revised enforcement policies, various kinds of technical assistance, and coordination of resources for project developers. Since the program began in 2009, more than 70 renewable energy projects have been developed on contaminated properties. More information about the RE-Powering program is available here.
Filed under: Sustainability | Tags: Alternative Energy, Incentives, IRS, Renewable Energy, Sustainability Practices, Tax Credits
As discussed previously on the blog, the IRS released Notice 2013-29 on April 15 which provided guidance on determining when construction has begun on a qualified renewable energy facility for purposes of the production tax credit. The Notice provided that when determining whether construction has begun, work performed for the taxpayer by other persons under a binding written contract is taken into account. The Notice defined a written binding contract as qualifying if it is enforceable under local law against the taxpayer or a predecessor and does not limit damages to a specified amount, such as by use of a liquidated damages provision. This was a slight departure from the 1603 grant rules which had a similar provision but the liquidated damages could qualify if the damages equaled or exceeded 5 percent of the total contract price. (more…)
When the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued its opinion in Butler v. Charles Powers Estate in 2011, it seemed to cast doubt on the ongoing applicability of either the longstanding Dunham Rule or the rule announced in United States Steel Corporation v. Hoge. On April 24, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision in Butler v. Charles Powers Estate, No. 27 MAP 2012, 2013 Pa. LEXIS 789 (Pa. April 24, 2013), walking a narrow path to reaffirm the viability of these seminal cases regarding the ownership of natural gas and coalbed methane gas in Pennsylvania. (more…)
Filed under: Sustainability | Tags: Events, Green Building, LEED®, Sustainability Practices, USGBC
As Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (the “DVGBC”) gear up to host Greenbuild 2013 in November, the Greenbuild 2013 Host Committee is seeking volunteers for several Greenbuild committees. The committees are supervised by DVGBC staff and managed by a committee chair (who has already been appointed). The Greenbuild committees include Community Engagement and Outreach, Greening, Legacy Project, Greenbuild Partners, Sponsorship, and Tours & Education. (more…)
Filed under: Climate Change, Sustainability | Tags: Carbon, Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest report on United States (U.S.) annual emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) (available at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport.html) confirms the trend seen over the latest few years — the U.S. emitted 1.6 percent fewer tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2011 than in 2010. In fact, 2011 emissions were 6.9 percent lower than the amount emitted in 2005 (which was the baseline used in the failed federal climate change legislation). However, the U.S. 2011 emissions were 8 percent higher than in 1990 (the baseline year for the Kyoto Protocol) and will need to be reduced another 10.1 percent to meet the Administration’s goal of a 17 percent reduction in U.S. emissions from 2005 to 2020. (more…)
On Tuesday, April 16, the European Union Parliament rejected an emergency fix to its cap-and-trade program that would temporarily remove some of the oversupply of carbon permits. Immediately following the vote, carbon prices dropped steeply, nearly 40%, hitting a record low of 2.63 euros/metric ton. (more…)