The 2023 Babst Calland Report – Legal and Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities for the Energy Industry

Babst Calland today published its 13th annual energy industry report: The 2023 Babst Calland Report – Legal & Regulatory Perspectives for the Energy Industry. The Report provides insights on some of the most critical issues facing the industry.

This edition of The Babst Calland Report also features a special video briefing from U.S. Senator Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who is at the forefront on federal energy policy.

Joseph K. Reinhart, shareholder and co-chair of Babst Calland’s Energy and Natural Resources Group, said, “The U.S. energy sector remains as dynamic as ever. New energy policies and legislation are changing the regulatory landscape and affecting all parts of the energy value chain. It is more important than ever for energy executives and their counsel to stay on top of federal, state, and local regulatory developments, legal risks, and the related business implications.”

This year’s Report highlights various challenges and opportunities in the energy sector, including:

  • Hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are getting a boost as tools for reducing carbon emissions. The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provided billions in funding in the form of tax credits, grants, and loans for hydrogen and CCS technologies.
  • Climate policy and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-related practices may trigger new reporting requirements imposed by federal and state regulatory agencies. With increased focus on reducing greenhouse gas, particularly methane emissions from the energy industry, several proposed federal agency rules could make ESG reporting mandatory for certain sectors.
  • Environmental Justice (EJ) efforts continue to expand as a priority for federal and state agencies following directives from the Biden Administration. The IRA made about $3 billion in funding available for EJ grants. While adoption of the EPA’s proposed budget for 2024 is far from guaranteed, it demonstrates the current administration’s commitment to funding EJ efforts.
  • Despite the federal government’s policy drive for growth in the low carbon energy sector, practical issues remain. Grid interconnection and project permitting are driving substantial costs and delays. And many of these problems aren’t limited to just renewables, with permitting headwinds facing all types of energy projects, including CCS, pipelines and oil and gas development. Absent significant reforms to reduce permitting timelines and serial litigation, many of these unprecedented federal incentives may go untapped.
  • The Appalachian Basin, like most of the energy producing regions of the U.S., continues to see a variety of novel litigation. The influx of “new” entrants to the energy litigation field has resulted in many new suits asserting variations on traditional energy litigation themes.
  • Pennsylvania’s Amended Breach of Personal Information Notification Act (BPINA) went into effect on May 2, 2023. Any companies that do business in Pennsylvania, maintain data belonging to Pennsylvania residents, or do business with the Commonwealth or its agencies, should become familiar with these new data requirements, and review their security-related policies, practices, and incident response plans to ensure compliance with the Amended BPINA.

To request a copy of The 2023 Babst Calland Report, click here.

The Babst Calland Report is provided for informational purposes for our clients and friends and does not constitute legal advice.