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CLEAN ENERGY SERVICES

Many companies are turning to their outside counsel for advice as they navigate the rapidly expanding clean energy transition. The United States and many other countries are in the midst of perhaps the most rapidly evolving and disruptive period of energy, environmental, and social transition in history. Diminishing and ultimately eliminating carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the U.S. and global energy systems have become a priority of the government, energy providers, consumers, and investors here at home and around the globe. 

Our attorneys and advisors are helping clients evaluate their opportunities to create climate solutions and, in some instances, repurpose assets to capture value in the clean energy markets. Some clients are seeking our advice as they consider changes to operating and reporting practices to meet the expectations of customers, investors and government agencies.

Thompson Coburn’s advisors on energy and environmental policy, the legislative process and government regulation, and our energy, environmental, corporate, and tax attorneys are well-versed in the various agencies, regulations and laws that affect companies involved in and affected by the clean energy transition. We are working with clients on carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting, renewable energy, blue and green hydrogen and ammonia production, net-zero LNG, emissions reduction verification and trading, and the modernization of our nation’s physical, IT, and social infrastructure. The Thompson Coburn team has a deep understanding of the laws, policies, regulations, markets, technologies and politics that will shape the new clean energy infrastructure.

Our people have served in senior roles at the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Departments of the Interior and Transportation, the Treasury and IRS.  Thompson Coburn attorneys have also worked at federal and state environmental protection agencies, as staff on key committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and State Legislatures, worked with Governors across the country, and have served as state and local government officials.

Clean Energy Project Development

  • Successfully assisted an industrial facility in its conversion from grid electricity to onsite solar power. The representation included negotiating a ground lease for the installation of the solar project. Once operational, the client expects a 90% reduction in use of grid electricity.
  • Currently working with a group of developers to create a zero-emission industrial complex that will integrate natural gas and renewable electricity generation and CCUS technologies to manufacture “blue” and “green” hydrogen and ammonia and capture and store 5 million tons of CO2 each year.
  • Helping a company to secure government backing and tax credits to support financing for the construction of the first low-carbon ammonia plant with a grass- roots ownership model.
  • Assisted with the development of a carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) advisory services business.
  • Effectively assisting a forest products company with the evaluation of their 70,000 acres of forests under management and of implementing a carbon sequestration project to obtain marketable carbon credits. Worked with the farm’s forester to evaluate the potential amount of carbon sequestered in the forests and with different carbon registries and aggregators to evaluate the number of carbon credits that could be issued.
  • Assisted landfills in evaluating the feasibility of implementing voluntary emissions reduction projects consisting of a landfill gas-fired waste-to-energy project to obtain marketable carbon credits. We worked with the landfill’s consultants to evaluate the potential carbon reductions from the projects and with different carbon registries to assess the number of carbon credits that could be issued.

 

GHG Emissions Policy Development and Implementation and Regulatory Compliance

  • We assisted companies in creating environmental policies and business practices to address the accelerating demands of governments, investors and customers to eliminate the use of energy and technologies that contribute to climate change.
  • On a regular basis, we analyze climate change legislative proposals, regulatory changes, and policy considerations on behalf of clients, industry groups, municipal leagues, and chambers of commerce to help them develop strategies to effect new requirements and manage GHG regulations and other related climate change considerations.
  • Our people have extensive experience working with clients in the development of federal and state CO2 storage requirements with regard to the implementation and use of the Section 45Q tax credit for carbon capture and storage.
  • A leading carbon management and enhanced oil recovery client has asked us to help navigate the laws and regulations that affect their desire to achieve net negative emissions, including the emissions from the use of its products (Scope 3 emissions), within this decade.

 

Emissions Credit Certification and Value Management

  • Helped multiple clients evaluate GHG emissions tracking and reduction projects following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision.
  • Successfully working with several clients to evaluate the viability, cost, and means of production and acquisition of agricultural and forestry offsets to meet the regulatory requirements for the GHG emissions markets of California, Europe, and other regions of the globe.
  • Working with clients in the development of a monitoring, reporting and verification program for calculating carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) credits for the manufacture and sale of “blue” and “green” hydrogen and ammonia.
  • Assisted a developer of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the management of a regulatory pathway to enhance the value of the net-zero carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emission characteristics of its process for making netzero emission (LNG) for global export.
  • Assisted a higher education institution in establishing a GHG emissions bank that would function similarly to a wetlands conservation bank with evaluation of potential carbon credits available for wetlands and related water storage projects.
  • Evaluated various U.S. and international carbon credit standards to see what carbon credit (if any) might be available for water/wetlands banking projects and how the GHG reduction from such projects could be compared to other, more standard GHG reduction projects.
  • Effectively assisting the work of world-class energy research and analysis firms to  develop a nonprofit clearinghouse of centralized, normalized, and certified oil and natural gas industry methane emissions data for use in energy, financial, and government activities around the globe. The clearinghouse will provide data for transparent, immutable and consistent reporting and disclosure to validate industry performance and ensure the value of investments in low or zero-emission hydrocarbon projects, operations, and products.

Publications

EPA incorporates environmental justice into enforcement policy: How can regulated industries prepare?

SEC emphasizes ESG by establishing new website and taking public comments on climate disclosure

New administration, new priorities: Preparing for the Biden-Harris Administration’s key environmental focus areas

EPA recommends new requirements in NPDES permits to address PFAS in wastewater and stormwater

EPA Final Rule may keep projects at existing major sources from triggering stringent pre-construction permitting requirements

2020 ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule narrows federal authority and may open opportunity for development

How the Atlantic Richfield decision may impact the EPA Model Consent Decree template

Supreme Court expands reach of Clean Water Act to cover some discharges to groundwater

EPA Inspector General sends message to EPA: Communities must have better access to health risk information

CSB’s new accidental release reporting rule expands facilities’ reporting obligations

‘Dark Air': Why industries should prepare for regulation of PFAS air emissions

The sky’s the limit as the EPA releases a flurry of 2019 air permitting guidance and proposals

DOJ curtails use of supplemental environmental projects in environmental settlements

EPA formalizes approach to avoid federal and state duplication of inspections and enforcement

Air rules to watch for in second half of 2019

EHS voluntary compliance prevents injuries and saves money

Kina Hart’s message to EHS leaders: ‘Don’t leave safety to others’

‘Waters of the United States’ rule from EPA, Corps may make real estate development more easily achievable and less costly

EPA announces ‘adjacent’ under Clean Air Act now limited to physical proximity

Uh-oh, y’all: EPA’s action against ‘Fixer Upper’ stresses importance of lead paint rules

5 points to remember before relying on the EPA’s new NSR guidance on projected future emissions

EPA Regional Counsel and MDNR General Counsel discuss environmental enforcement under new administrations

What to do when the government comes calling: A checklist for handling facility inspections

Environmental deregulation under President Trump: Business as usual?

5 tips for environmental due diligence in business transactions

New circuit split raises questions about ‘permit shield’ defense in Clean Water Act cases

EPA reveals first 10 chemicals to be reviewed under a more robust toxic substances act

Missouri Supreme Court resets the rules for collecting leaking underground storage tank cleanup costs in litigation

Do you need a Section 404 permit for your real estate development?

Former head of OSHA discusses workplace injury policies, DOJ enforcement

Missouri municipal entities must follow statutorily-required steps before executing settlement agreements

DOJ shifts enforcement of worker safety violations to Environmental Crimes Section

Chemical Safety Board investigator outlines discoveries from West Fertilizer, Charleston water incidents

Supreme Court overturns EPA’s 'Tailoring Rule,' upholds GHG BACT for 'anyway' sources

Top Region 7 attorney details EPA’s biggest enforcement, compliance priorities

TCLE

Law and Order in the Time of COVID-19: Does EPA’s Temporary Enforcement Policy Apply to Me?

Blog Posts

Downstream drama: Iowa utility can’t recover damages from county drainage districts

No-GMOs are a no-go in Oregon and Hawaii

9th Circuit sends herbicide debate back to the EPA

Can the California A.G. limit those incessant Prop 65 lawsuits?

News

St. Louis Boys & Girls Club announces plans for youth golf facility at former Superfund site

Congratulations to our 2021 Best Lawyers ‘Lawyers of the Year’ and ‘Ones to Watch’

Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2020 Chambers USA

Former Director of Illinois EPA Renee Cipriano joins Thompson Coburn

St. Louis litigators John Galvin, Suzanne Galvin join Thompson Coburn

Congratulations to our 14 ‘Lawyers of the Year’ for 2020

17 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2019 Chambers USA

Peter Strassner talks to Best Lawyers about Thompson Coburn’s environmental practice

Thompson Coburn earns 11 national top-tier rankings in U.S. News 2019 ‘Best Law Firms’ survey

Thompson Coburn’s Environmental practice group celebrates top rankings

Congratulations to our 14 ‘Lawyers of the Year’ for 2019

Barry Klinckhardt, Susan Myers among 2018 Corporate Counsel Award winners

Crystal Kennedy inducted into the Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame

Thompson Coburn earns 12 national top-tier rankings in U.S. News ‘Best Law Firms’ survey

Ryan Russell Kemper named to St. Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list

Congratulations to our 2017 ‘Lawyers of the Year’

Ryan Russell Kemper to head United Way fundraising effort

23 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2016 Chambers USA

Eric Boyd hosts discussion with retired EPA official to kick off Clean Air Act seminar

25 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2015 Chambers USA

Congratulations to our 15 St. Louis ‘Lawyers of the Year’

St. Louis Business Journal covers Thompson Coburn’s work on unique Superfund settlement

Chemical Safety Board investigator shares insights from two high-profile environmental incidents

27 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2014 Chambers USA

Ryan Kemper, Thompson Coburn environmental practice featured in St. Louis Lawyer

EPA, Boys & Girls Club announce $30 million cleanup of Superfund site

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis honors Thompson Coburn for pro bono work on Superfund cleanup site

Eric E. Boyd joins Thompson Coburn's Environmental Group

Thompson Coburn attorneys to collaborate with St. Louis City Counselor’s office on problem properties

Real Estate group supports $51 million apartment complex purchase

19 Thompson Coburn partners named 2013 St. Louis Lawyers of the Year

Paul Sonderegger appointed chair of environmental law committee for St. Louis bar

Thompson Coburn wins Illinois Supreme Court victory for ExxonMobil Coal

Peter Strassner named St. Louis Environmental Lawyer of the Year

Partner
Chicago

Eric represents clients in litigation, regulatory compliance, and transaction matters with respect to all of the major environmental programs.

Eric represents clients in litigation, regulatory compliance, and transacti...

Eric Boyd
Partner
St. Louis

Sara defends clients in a variety of environmental litigation and regulatory enforcement matters.

Sara defends clients in a variety of environmental litigation and regulator...

Sara Chamberlain
Partner
Los Angeles

Jason uses his years of experience in leading real estate transactions and financings to navigate his clients through the Los Angeles real estate market.

Jason uses his years of experience in leading real estate transactions and ...

Jason Grinnell
Advisor
Washington, D.C.

Jack combines his policy and communications experience to help clients meet their legislative and regulatory goals.

Jack combines his policy and communications experience to help clients meet...

Jack Jacobson
Partner
St. Louis

Ryan is a problem-solver who works to create opportunities for clients dealing with environmental and energy issues, property disputes, commercial litigation, and governm...

Ryan is a problem-solver who works to create opportunities for clients deal...

Ryan Russell Kemper
Partner
St. Louis

Michele is Co-Chair of the Firm's Corporate and Securities Practice Group and serves on the Firm's Management Committee.

Michele is Co-Chair of the Firm's Corporate and Securities Practice Group a...

Michele Kloeppel
Partner
St. Louis

Jeff is a litigator and ag insider who works with the country's largest agribusinesses to develop effective litigation strategies on a national and global scale.

Jeff is a litigator and ag insider who works with the country's largest agr...

Jeff Masson
Partner
Washington, D.C.

Erica guides clients and litigates in regulatory matters concerning natural gas and oil pipelines and electric utilities.

Erica guides clients and litigates in regulatory matters concerning natural...

Erica Rancilio
Senior Advisor
Washington, D.C.

Kyle works with clients at the intersection of energy and environmental project development, policy and regulation.

Kyle works with clients at the intersection of energy and environmental pro...

Kyle Simpson