Climate change poses degrees of risk to every business—and is one of the most challenging issues of our time. Clean energy technology promises to play a key role in fighting climate change.
The solar and renewable energy industries account for more than a third of the venture capital invested in the U.S. energy sector, and, as the industries continue to evolve, new technologies and regulations, and expanded funding opportunities, will require heightened legal and regulatory support.
Where there is risk, there is also opportunity.
Our climate change team harnesses Manatt's strengths in environmental regulation and energy project development. Our professionals apply a sophisticated understanding of the legislative and administrative arenas in turning a complex regulatory system to your competitive advantage.
We don't just react to policy—we help make it. We provide government relations and policy development activities that are crucial to energy and natural resources policy development.
By properly accounting for climate-induced risks, businesses can safely finance or insure a wider variety of concerns, squeezing more out of increasingly competitive markets.
And in an area as controversial as climate change, litigation will inevitably result. Our litigators stand ready to assist you if the need arises.
Our team has been actively engaged in the regulatory and legislative debate over the implementation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction legislation.
Many on our team have academic backgrounds in science and technology, including degrees from prestigious institutions in chemical engineering, marine biology and environmental studies. We can accurately anticipate and strategically approach a wide range of cutting-edge issues.
The range of technologies being deployed to reduce or eliminate emissions is expanding rapidly. We can help you not only with project siting but also to fully exploit complex energy- and utility-oriented regulations. We have complementary experience in representing the energy industry and in siting sizable projects locally.
Before a project can be sited, it must be financed. We can identify capital market investment sources and leverage government and other incentives that make previously impossible projects feasible.
In energy development transactions, we help you evaluate the risks and rewards, decide which concerns are most important, and complete the transaction to the maximum advantage of everyone involved.
Who we work with
We have been advising companies, large consumer groups and governmental entities affected by the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
What we do
Our team has provided advice and support in the following areas:
- Land use
- Real estate
- Intellectual property and patent
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Corporate governance
- Commercial transactions
We have represented and advised:
- A foreign energy company in the initial stages of financing a wind generation project in Montana
- A large-scale provider of solar product installation and grid sellback services in connection with construction licensing agreements in 15 states; M&A and entity formation in Delaware and California; and energy research, including tariff analysis, in Hawaii and California
- A limited partnership seeking tax advice on wind and solar energy projects
- A crude-oil producer in the development and financing of alternative energy facilities in California, including oil fields, cogeneration projects and geothermal power plants
- A limited partnership in the development of a project to create natural gas through clean coal gasification technology using a retrofitted coal-fired electric generation unit
- A private equity fund in connection with a workout and auction liquidation of a foreign lender's interest in a California hydroelectric portfolio
- A commercial developer of solar thermal electric projects in the construction of nine power plants in California
- A real estate developer in connection with the development of a green building project that included the installation of solar panels on units, water containment and small hydroelectric usage, and a large-scale solar farm
- A rooftop solar panel manufacturer/installer in the siting and building of its headquarters and manufacturing facilities
- A hydrogenation and decarbonization joint venture in connection with a large project to convert coal and petroleum coke to hydrogen-powered electricity with carbon capture and storage
- Represented real estate developments featuring green building design (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED), storm water containment, small hydroelectric usage and a large-scale solar farm
- Represented a large-scale commercial provider of solar product installation and grid sellback services in construction licensing agreements in 15 different states; corporate mergers and acquisitions and entity formation in Delaware and California; and energy research, including tariff analysis, in California and Hawaii
- Represented a business in a project to create natural gas in a clean coal gasification technology to be used by a retrofitted coal-fired electric generation unit
- Advised a business in its efforts to remove hydrogen and other gases from coal and petroleum coke for use in electric generation and for carbon dioxide sequestration to enhance oil recovery
- Advised businesses on how to properly advertise and maximize the value of green claims
- Advised on changes to corporate governance to detect and deal with impending risk from climate change regulation
- Prepared affirmative public relations messages and required disclosures concerning efforts to protect the climate
- Represented an entertainment industry association in conjunction with its solid waste packaging initiative to reduce the waste associated with compact disc packaging and to adopt environmentally sustainable packaging material
- Successfully defended a well-known discount store in a high-profile litigation brought by a well-funded environmental group challenging the siting of a store in Riverside County, California. The environmental group advanced claims under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), claiming that the project did not adequately describe and mitigate impacts of the project on climate change. These claims were universally rejected by the Superior Court of Riverside County.
- Advised multiple energy company clients on federal lawsuits alleging nuisance claims for climate change-related damages, including substantial analysis and pretrial motion work on political question, nonjusticiability and causation issues.
- Defended challenges alleging upstream and downstream climate change impacts of issuing a permit for a petroleum coke facility.