Replacing Coal Plants with Renewables Is Cheaper 80% of the Time
May 31, 2021 — Leslie Kaufman - Bloomberg
About 80% of U.S. coal plants are now more expensive to keep running than to swap out for new wind and solar capacity, according to a report from Energy Innovation, a non-partisan climate and energy think tank.
While renewables cost more than fossil energy for much of the last century, prices for new wind and solar have dropped so quickly in recent years that they were already cheaper than new coal. This report shows that the price differential holds true for a growing amount of existing coal, as well. “This is becoming true for more and more plants moving forward—and at an accelerating pace,” said Eric Gimon, a senior fellow with Energy Innovation and a co-author of the report.
Coal has been steadily declining as a fixture of the U.S. energy mix for more than a decade due to combined pressure from activists and market forces. The Sierra Club, which runs the Beyond Coal campaign aimed at eliminating coal power in the U.S., says that 339 plants have either been retired or are on their way to retirement since 2010, leaving just 191 still operating indefinitely. (Michael R. Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has committed $500 million to launch Beyond Carbon, a campaign aimed at closing the remaining coal-powered plants in the U.S. by 2030 and slowing the construction of new gas plants.) Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Leslie Kaufman, Bloomberg
How Palm Beach Balances Mansion Politics Against Climate Change
July 05, 2021 — Amanda L. Gordon - Bloomberg
It feels like a precipice moment for Palm Beach, a Florida town in the throes of a waterfront mansion-building mania just as the impacts of climate change start pushing in.
At the town council’s regular meeting this past week, officials talked about the need to raise the grade of a beloved bike trail—and, at the same time, somehow add height to the privately-owned seawalls running alongside it. Raising both together would help preserve views and accessibility.
But if individual sections of the public bikeway and the mansion-fronting seawalls are raised piecemeal and go out of sync, it would weaken the defense against flooding and make for uneven pedaling. As the town’s director of public works Paul Brazil put it, “We don't want our bike trail to become a mountain bike trail.” Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Amanda L. Gordon, Bloomberg
NYT Points to Foreign Minister and Carlos Slim for Collapse of Mexico City Metro
July 11, 2021 — Amy Stillman - Bloomberg
The collapse last month of a section of a Mexico City metro line that killed 26 people was likely due to poor construction by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s Grupo Carso while foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard was mayor, according to a New York Times investigation.
Problems were identified in the original construction by Slim’s company Carso Infrastructure and Construction, and the collapse was probably caused by bad welding of the steel studs that served as linchpins of the structure, the report revealed. The job may have been rushed because Ebrard sought to open the subway before his mayoral term ended in 2012, the Times said. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Amy Stillman, Bloomberg
Lewis Brisbois Ranks Among Top 25 Firms on NLJ’s 2021 Women in Law Scorecard
July 25, 2021 — Jana Lubert - Lewis Brisbois
Lewis Brisbois has been ranked among the top 25 law firms included in the National Law Journal's (NLJ) 2021 Women in Law Scorecard (Women’s Scorecard), moving up from 27th place to 23rd place this year. In addition, of the top 25 firms in the Women’s Scorecard, Lewis Brisbois had the highest number of female minority partners.
The Women’s Scorecard is produced as part of the annual NLJ 500 firm head count report, and only the largest 350 firms are eligible to be included on the scorecard. A firm’s score is determined by adding the percentage of female attorneys and percentage of female partners. Diversity staffing counts were based on a firm’s average full-time attorneys in 2020, excluding contract and temporary attorneys. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Jana Lubert, Lewis Brisbois
Ms. Lubert may be contacted at Jana.Lubert@lewisbrisbois.com
NJ Supreme Court Declines to Review Decision that Exxon Has No Duty to Indemnify Insurers for Environmental Liability Under Prior Settlement Agreement
November 29, 2021 — Patricia B. Santelle & Laura Rossi - White and Williams
On November 1, 2021, in a single-sentence Order, the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied a request for review of a decision that ExxonMobil Corporation (Exxon) did not have to indemnify certain of its insurers over environmental liabilities as required by a previous settlement agreement. The case, entitled Home Insurance Company v. Cornell-Dubilier Electronics Incorporated, et al., has a unique and convoluted procedural history but, in short, the denial of review leaves standing a holding by the intermediate appellate court that the insurers’ “untimely notice actually prejudiced Exxon, violated the no-prejudice rule, and breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” The court declined to consider the question framed by the insurers: whether the importance of enforcing settlement agreements outweighs New Jersey’s entire controversy doctrine.
The matter dated back almost thirty years, when the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection notified the Appearing London Market Insurers (ALMI) of the potential liability of Cornell-Dublier Electronics (CDE), a former indirect subsidiary of Exxon, for pollution at a site in New Jersey. Coverage litigation followed in New Jersey, which ALMI defended under policies issued to CDE. Exxon was not named in the CDE suit nor were the policies which ALMI issued to Exxon at issue in that case; Exxon instead had its own pollution coverage case pending in New York. In June 2000, Exxon and its insurers, including ALMI, entered into a settlement agreement which (a) required Exxon to indemnify the insurers for any environmental liability claims involving its subsidiaries, and (b) provided for application of New York substantive law and litigation in New York City court for any dispute between the parties under it.
Reprinted courtesy of Patricia B. Santelle, White and Williams
and Laura Rossi, White and Williams
Ms. Santelle may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Rossi may be contacted at email@example.com Read the full story...
Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Insurance Recovery Practice, Partners Larry Bracken and Mike Levine Receive Band 1 Honors from Chambers USA in Georgia
June 14, 2021 — Walter J. Andrews - Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog
The 2021 Chambers and Partners rankings for Georgia insurance recovery practices and lawyers are out and Hunton Andrews Kurth has received top honors. The rankings include Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Insurance Recovery practice and partners Lawrence J. Bracken II and Michael S. Levine, with all receiving Band 1 honors – the organization’s top-tier ranking. “The top-level ranking of our practice in Georgia, and the work that Larry and Mike bring to our clients in Georgia, specifically, is emblematic of the work our team is doing nationwide,” said Insurance Recovery Practice Head, Walter J. Andrews. “The Firm and I could not be more proud,” he added.
Chambers and Partners is an independent research company operating across more than 200 jurisdictions delivering detailed rankings and insight into the world’s leading lawyers. Its rankings are viewed as one of the most credible and reliable industry benchmarks. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Walter J. Andrews, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Mr. Andrews may be contacted at wandrews@HuntonAK.com
Project Team Upgrades Va. General Assembly
September 29, 2021 — Bruce Buckley - Engineering News-Record
From pre-pandemic labor and material shortages to COVID precautions and social unrest concerns, the design and construction team on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s new General Assembly Building (GAB) project in Richmond has navigated the breadth of recent industry challenges. Set on Capitol Square and neighboring the Virginia State Capitol, the site of the new 414,000-sq-ft GAB is as high profile of a location as you can find in the state.
Reprinted courtesy of Bruce Buckley, Engineering News-Record
ENR may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the full story...
Maybe California Actually Does Have Enough Water
September 06, 2021 — Francis Wilkinson - Bloomberg
It’s hard to know how much to panic over California’s dwindling water supplies. The state has never really had enough water, after all, yet lawns in Beverly Hills somehow remain perpetually green. Earlier this month, however, came a sign that life might soon be getting more uncomfortable for more Californians.
On Aug. 3, the State Water Resources Control Board voted 5 to 0 to issue an “emergency curtailment” order for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed. Last week the order was submitted to the state’s Office of Administrative Law, which is likely to approve it.
The watershed covers about 40% of the state, stretching roughly from Fresno to Oregon, and is California’s largest source of surface water. About 5,700 holders of water rights, largely in agriculture and business, will be affected by the reduction in water access. Although many farms have already drawn most of the water they need for the season, the board’s move was a sign that ancestral water rights won’t be a guarantee of actual water if drought persists. Read the full story...
Reprinted courtesy of Francis Wilkinson, Bloomberg