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Byron R. Brown is a senior counsel in the Washington D.C. office. He is in the firm’s Government Affairs and Environment & Natural Resources groups. Byron has almost two decades of experience working at the intersection of law and policy and has experience negotiating legislation, drafting regulations, managing congressional investigations, preparing regulatory comments, and developing and executing government affairs strategies before Congress and the executive branch. Earlier in his career, Byron worked for more than a decade as an attorney in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel, including several years as associate deputy general counsel during both the Bush and Obama administrations. After leaving EPA, Byron served as senior counsel and director of oversight and investigations for the Committee on Natural Resources for the U.S. House of Representatives and then as senior counsel for the Committee on Environment and Public Works in the U.S. Senate. He also has experience as a legislative fellow in the personal office of a U.S. Senator. Prior to joining the firm in August 2018, Byron served as deputy chief of staff for policy at the EPA, where he coordinated the agency’s work on infrastructure and led several rulemaking initiatives.

President Biden will soon sign into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides $750 billion in funding and major federal policy changes impacting the U.S. energy, environment, healthcare and tax sectors. On August 7, 2022, the IRA passed the U.S. Senate by an all-Democrat 50-50 party line vote, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie and ensuring passage. On August 12, 2022, the IRA passed the U.S. House by a vote of 220 to 207. The President’s signature, will make the bill law, and allow President Biden, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to claim a major victory while making progress on a portion of the President’s Build Back Better agenda just three months before the mid-term elections on November 8, 2022.

The Crowell and Moring LLP and Crowell & Moring International (CMI) teams have put together this Client Alert with two main purposes. The first is to provide a summary of the highlights of the bill, which is included in Section I, and the second is to provide a more detailed section-by-section review of the bill, which is provided in Section II.

Continue Reading President Biden To Sign New Inflation Reduction Act

Last week, the United States Congress passed the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (CHIPS Act)[1] to bolster domestic semiconductor and microchip manufacturing in the United States. The bipartisan legislation will facilitate federal investments in the form of grants, loans, and loan guarantees to eligible entities and create significant business opportunities for companies in the U.S. The legislation also provides funding and new programs to boost advanced workforce training and research and development in a range of scientific and technology areas. The legislation now awaits the signature of President Biden, who hailed its passage as “exactly what we need to be doing to grow our economy right now.”

The legislation seeks to reverse the decades-long decline in U.S. microchip and semiconductor manufacturing and counter the rise of China as a source for technologically advanced manufacturing processes and products. By boosting domestic manufacturing and supply chains, the legislation also aims to relieve the global semiconductor shortage that has plagued manufacturers of a diverse set of products – everything from automobiles to children’s toys – and has contributed to the nation’s supply chain woes for more than two years.

The cornerstone of the legislation is $52 billion that will be allocated to the U.S. Department of Commerce semiconductor initiative to develop and expand domestic manufacturing capacity. Implementation of that program was already underway at the Department of Commerce[2], following Congressional authorization in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (FY21 NDAA), and the legislation passed last week now provides the critical funding needed to commence direct federal incentives for the construction, expansion, or modernization of semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

Continue Reading The CHIPS Are Down and Incentives Flow as Congress Attempts to Vitalize the U.S. Semiconductor Industry

In an effort to boost the domestic mining industry for critical minerals, on March 31, 2022, President Biden issued Presidential Determination 2022-11, the Memorandum on Presidential Determination Pursuant to Section 303 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (“Presidential Determination”).  The Presidential Determination states that sustainable and responsible domestic mining, beneficiation, and

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Infrastructure Act”)[1] signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021 includes funding for research and development of critical minerals mining, recycling, and reclamation and permits loan guarantees for domestic critical minerals supply projects in an effort to eliminate U.S. reliance on critical minerals sources susceptible to supply disruptions. 

At an event in Pittsburgh, PA, yesterday, President Biden unveiled his plans for creating jobs and growing the economy by investing more than $2 trillion in infrastructure, improving access to childcare and educational opportunities, and reforming the corporate tax system. Dubbed the American Jobs Plan, the proposal fulfills a number of campaign promises and incorporates many of the legislative proposals for transforming the power generation and transportation sectors, improving racial equity and economic opportunity for all Americans, and strengthening the country’s labor force and communities that have passed the Democratic led House of Representatives over the past two years.
Continue Reading Biden First 100 Days Update: The Biden Infrastructure and Jobs Plan: Highlights of $2 Trillion Proposal That Would Remake Transportation and Energy Sectors, Address Inequality, and Increase Taxes on Corporations

On April 7, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on federal procurement guidelines that designate products that are or can be produced with “recovered materials” and set forth recommended practices for purchasing such items. Recovered materials are those waste materials that have been recovered or