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On August 31, 2022, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) released instructions to federal agencies for implementing Executive Order (“EO”) 14057 Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.  As we have covered previously, EO 14057 identified ambitious sustainability goals for federal agencies, including:

  • 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030;
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle fleet by 2035;
  • net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045;
  • 65 percent reduction in Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) Scope 1 and 2 emissions from Federal operations; and
  • net-zero emissions from federal procurement, including a “Buy Clean” policy to promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions.


Continue Reading Further Federal Action on Government-Wide Sustainability Goals

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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

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On July 7, 2022, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPR”) seeking public comment on revising GSA policies and procedures to reduce single-use plastics in purchased products and their packing and shipping materials.  GSA is acting in furtherance of the directives set forth in Executive Order 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability (discussed here), which, among other things, directed GSA to use federal procurement policy as a way to support a recycled content market.  Thus, for purchases under the Federal Supply Schedule program, as well as GSA’s construction, concession, and facility maintenance contracts, GSA seeks to reduce reliance on single-use plastics and move toward what the Administration considers to be “environmentally preferable” materials.

Continue Reading GSA Exploring New Regulations to Reduce Single-Use Plastic in Federal Procurement

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On June 6, 2022, President Biden issued a White House Fact Sheet (“Fact Sheet”) outlining President Biden’s “Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing” along with five related Defense Production Act (“DPA”) Presidential Determinations[1] (“Presidential Determinations”) and a Declaration of Emergency and Authorization for Temporary Extensions of Time and Duty-Free Importation of Solar Cells and Module from Southeast Asia (the “Declaration”).  The Fact Sheet states the President is (1) authorizing use of the DPA to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies; (2) encouraging domestic solar manufacturing capacity through the use of master supply agreements with enhanced domestic preferences; and (3) creating a two-year trade regulation bridge as domestic manufacturing for solar products scales up.  The White House stated that these actions are being taken to lower energy costs, reduce risks to the power grid, and mitigate climate change.  The Department of Energy (“DOE”) also released a statement on June 6 about the DPA Presidential Determinations which describes DOE’s concerns with regard to each material or technology for which a determination was issued.  The statements made by the White House and DOE also make clear that these actions to employ the DPA are part of the Administration’s broader “all of government” approach to addressing Environmental Justice, with the intention to “strongly encourage projects with environmental justice outcomes that empower the clean energy transition in low income communities historically overburdened by legacy pollution.”

Continue Reading President Biden Employs Defense Production Act and Tariff Act in Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing Push