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Friday, July 19, 2024

Regulations News

01 Jul 2024

US Supreme Court Curbs Federal Agency Powers, Overturning Chevron Deference

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The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a major blow to federal regulatory power on Friday by overturning a 1984 precedent that had given deference to government agencies in interpreting laws they administer, handing a defeat to President Joe Biden's administration.The justices ruled 6-3 to set aside lower court decisions against fishing companies that challenged a government-run program partly funded by industry that monitored overfishing of herring off New England's coast. It marked the…

21 May 2024

US Probes Canadian Ballast Water Regulations After Shipping Companies Cry Foul

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U.S. regulators are investigating potential unfair trade practices within pending Canadian regulations governing ballast water management systems of ships in the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes trade.The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Tuesday said it launched the probe to determine if the pending regulations have a disparate effect on U.S. flagged vessels and constitute a Foreign Shipping Practices violation under 46 U.S.C. Chapter 423.U.S.-based companies operating ships in the…

07 May 2024

DNV to Publish New Offshore Rules and Standards in July

Torgeir Sterri, Director of Offshore Classification, DNV (Photo: DNV)

Classification society DNV said it is set to publish its new set of rules and standards for the offshore industry.The new rules, which cover several segments, including underwater systems and installations, offshore units, diving systems, structural design, and drilling systems, will be published in July and enter into force on January 1, 2025. They have been developed with extensive industry feedback, undergoing an external hearing process before their publication and entry into force.“The offshore sector is one of the most innovative in the world…

18 Mar 2024

Pressure Builds for Charge on Shipping Sector's CO2 Emissions

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The European Union, Canada, Japan and climate-vulnerable Pacific Island states are among 47 countries rallying support for a charge on the international shipping sector's greenhouse gas emissions, documents reviewed by Reuters showed.The documents, being discussed at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting now entering a second week, outline four proposals with a combined 47 backers for imposing a fee on each tonne of greenhouse gas the industry produces.Support for…

01 Mar 2024

New US Sanctions More Likely to Curb Indian Imports of Russian Coal

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New U.S. sanctions on Moscow are more likely than previous ones to cut Indian imports of thermal coal from Russia because they specifically cite top exporters SUEK and Mechel, three major traders of Russian coal said.Russia, historically a minor exporter of the fuel to India, began boosting shipments to the south Asian country after Western sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.The latest U.S. sanctions also include Russia's payment system, financial institutions and energy production."With the new sanctions…

09 Jan 2024

Norway Parliament Votes in favor of Seabed Mining

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Norway's parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of allowing Arctic seabed mineral exploration, in line with a deal reached between the government and key opposition parties last month, overcoming objections from environmental campaigners.The decision comes as Norway hopes to become the first country to make deep-sea mining happen on a commercial scale and secure critical minerals and jobs despite concerns over the environmental impact and international calls for a moratorium.There is yet no set timeline for when exploration could begin, although the plan is to award companies exclusive rights to

27 Nov 2023

Biden's Clean Energy Agenda Faces Mounting Headwinds

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Canceled offshore wind projects, imperiled solar factories, and fading demand for electric vehiclesA year after the passage of the largest climate change legislation in U.S. history, meant to touch off a boom in American clean energy development, economic realities are fraying President Joe Biden’s agenda.Soaring financing and materials costs, unreliable supply chains, delayed rulemaking in Washington and sluggish permitting have wrought havoc ranging from offshore wind developer Orsted’s project cancellations in the U.S.

27 Oct 2023

U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Sale Expansion, Pending Appeal

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A U.S. appeals court on Thursday temporarily paused a federal judge's order last month that had required the Biden administration to expand a planned offshore oil and gas auction in the Gulf of Mexico by 6 million acres (2.4 million hectares).The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit stayed the September decision pending an appeal, according to a court document. Oral arguments are scheduled for Nov. 13 in New Orleans.The order was the latest in a legal fight over offshore drilling and federal protection of an endangered species of whale.

02 Oct 2023

Biden Angers All Sides with Scaled Back Offshore Oil Drilling Plan

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The Biden administration's plan to slash offshore oil and gas leasing drew fire from both the fossil fuel industry and environmentalists on Friday, with energy companies saying it will raise fuel prices and greens saying it undermines efforts to stop global warming. The criticism from both sides reflects the difficulty Biden's White House has had in dealing with U.S. oil extraction policies, as it seeks to balance national energy security with the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change.

29 Sep 2023

US Plans Sharp Reduction in Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Sales

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The Biden administration on Friday unveiled a plan to phase down oil and gas auctions in federal waters with the release of a long-awaited leasing schedule that includes a maximum of three sales in the Gulf of Mexico through 2029.The Interior Department's plan includes by far the lowest number of sales since the agency began producing Congressionally-mandated five-year oil and gas leasing schedules in 1980. Previous programs have ranged between 11 and 41 sales, according to Interior's U.S.

28 Sep 2023

No Restart for ExxonMobil's California Offshore Platforms as Judge Upholds Tanker Trucks Ban

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A U.S. judge on Wednesday refused to overturn a California county's decision to block Exxon Mobil Corp from using tanker trucks to ship crude oil from coastal facilities to inland refineries while a ruptured pipeline is fixed.U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles denied Exxon's bid to reverse the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors' denial of a trucking permit in early 2022, saying the board's decision was substantially supported by evidence that transporting crude…

22 Sep 2023

U.S. Judge Orders Expansion of Gulf of Mexico Oil Lease Auction

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A federal judge in Louisiana has ordered an expansion of next week's sale of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico, saying the Biden administration must include additional acreage, according to a court ruling issued late on Thursday.The oil and gas industry, which had sued the administration,  welcomed the decision to restore 6 million acres to the auction after the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management earlier reduced the area available for lease in an effort to protect an endangered whale.U.S.

07 Sep 2023

Wrong Approach to Protect the Right Whale

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Pilot groups and port authorities have worked together to grow East Coast ports in a safe and environmentally responsible way. This growth has happened under strict safety and environmental regulations, including seasonal vessel speed regulations imposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to protect North Atlantic right whales (NARW). Last year, however, without sufficient scientific or economic impact data, NOAA proposed radical changes to these regulations.

05 Sep 2023

How Serious a Problem is the Cost Issue in U.S. Offshore Wind?

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Much has been written recently about the challenges facing U.S. offshore wind projects, resulting in requests to terminate or renegotiate contracts to sell power to states. Examples of these challenges can be found from Massachusetts to Virginia. Coming on top of last week’s somewhat disappointing events of the Gulf of Mexico lease auction, speculation has mounted around the longer-term prospects for U.S. wind. But how serious is this problem, and what does it mean to the longer-term goals of the federal administration to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 203 and 110 GW by 2050?Below…

20 Jul 2023

US Announces First Offshore Wind Rights Sale in Gulf of Mexico

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The United States announced the first offshore wind power development rights sale in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, which President Joe Biden will discuss during a trip to highlight the administration's efforts to boost renewable energy.In February, the United States proposed to expand offshore wind power developments into the Gulf of Mexico, introducing the nascent clean energy industry into a major hub for oil and gas production.The Interior Department said the sale will take place on Aug.

18 Jul 2023

Panama's Arsenio Dominguez Elected as IMO Secretary General

Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco (Photo: IMO)

The International Maritime Organization's Council (IMO) has elected Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco from Panama as its secretary-general, the UN shipping agency said on Tuesday.Dominguez beat six other contenders from China, Turkey, Kenya, Finland, Dominica and Bangladesh in a vote and will take office on January 1, 2024, for a four-year term, subject to the approval of the IMO Assembly.Dominguez will take the helm at a crucial time as the shipping industry grapples with challenges including pressures to speed up decarbonization.A trained naval architect…

03 Jul 2023

EU Weighs Concession to Russian Bank over Black Sea Grain Deal

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The European Union is considering a proposal for the Russian Agricultural Bank to set up a subsidiary to reconnect to the global financial network as a sop to Moscow, the Financial Times said on Monday.With the bank under sanctions, the move aims to safeguard the Black Sea grain deal that allows Ukraine to export food to global markets, the newspaper said.The European Commission had no comment while the Kremlin on Monday, in response to a question about the report, said it had…

03 Jul 2023

UN Chief Urges Net Zero Emissions Agreement for Shipping by 2050

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for agreement to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at crunch shipping talks in London this week and urged decarbonisation efforts to move faster.China, however, is pushing back on the targets, according to a diplomatic note issued by Beijing.Shipping, which transports around 90% of world trade and accounts for nearly 3% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, is facing calls from environmentalists and investors to deliver more concrete action…

26 Jun 2023

Canada Clamps Down on Cruise Liners Dumping Sewage

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Canada on Friday banned cruise ships from dumping sewage and dirty water close to shore, and said it would impose fines of up to C$250,000 ($190,000) for offending vessels.A range of anti-pollution measures introduced on a voluntary basis in April 2022 will become obligatory with immediate effect, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement.Environmental groups said Ottawa had ignored the largest source of liquid pollution from cruise ships: the water used to clean exhaust gas cleaning systems…

26 Jun 2023

Countries Push for CO2 Shipping Levy as Crunch Talks Loom

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Maritime nations including Denmark and the Marshall Islands are rallying support for a global carbon dioxide emissions levy on shipping, with talks at a critical stage ahead of a U.N. agency meeting next month that could back the measure.The levy could provide funds to help countries cope with climate change and help curb emissions from shipping - a sector that transports about 90% of world trade and accounts for nearly 3% of global CO2 emissions, but whose international nature means it often avoids national CO2-cutting regulations.Member countries of the U.N.

23 Jun 2023

After Titanic Sub Disaster, Industry Faces Scrutiny

(Photo: OceanGate Expeditions)

The first fatal accident aboard a deep-sea tourist submersible is certain to raise calls for additional safety regulations, but industry experts say any new measures may be impossible to enforce given the international nature of the business.Moreover, they say the tragedy of the Titan submersible that imploded during its expedition to the wreckage of the Titanic was an outlier, given that the maker of the vessel opted against certifying the vessel, defying industry convention.All five people aboard the Titan…

20 Jun 2023

Norway Moves to Open Its Waters to Deep-sea Mining

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The Norwegian government on Tuesday proposed opening its waters to deep-sea mining despite opposition from green campaigners and some countries, as it seeks to shift from a reliance on hydrocarbons to new sources of economic activity.Norway, whose vast oil and gas reserves made it one of the world's wealthiest countries, has taken a leading role in the global race to mine the ocean floor for metals that are in high demand as countries transition away from fossil fuels."We need minerals to succeed with the green transition…

30 May 2023

BOEM Completes Environmental Review of Gulf of Mexico Wind Lease Areas

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The United States' Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Tuesday issued a final environmental assessment (EA) on potential impacts from offshore wind leasing on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, marking another step toward the potential first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf.The assessment, completed with the help of the Gulf of Mexico Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force—a collaboration between Tribal, Federal, state, and local government agencies—found "no significant impacts to environmental resources"…