December 5, 2012
We thought friends of The Wendel Forum might be interested in this upcoming event. The Air & Waste Management Association will be hosting a program to be held at the Wendel Rosen law firm on December 12, 2012. Registration by December 10 is required to attend.
Come learn more about the first carbon allowance auction, which was held in November, from the perspective of participating industry experts and financial market players.
The speakers will cover auction process, logistics, carbon pricing, the reaction of the markets and various industries, and the motivation behind the legal challenge filed by the California Chamber of Commerce, as well as the implications for future auctions and markets. We will leave ample time for Q&A from the audience.
Pursuant to AB 32, implementing regulations for California’s cap and trade were adopted on December 13, 2011. They are contained in Article 5: “California Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based Compliance Mechanisms.”
After several postponements, and in the face of a last-minute legal challenge, on November 14, 2012 the Air Resources Board conducted the first auction of allowances for the first compliance period starting on January 1, 2013 and for vintage year 2015.
Those affected by the program include electricity generators, carbon dioxide suppliers, petroleum and natural gas facilities and large industrial sources that emit 25,000 metric tons of CO2 (equivalent) per year or more. On November 13th, the California Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit challenging certain provisions of ARB’s cap-and-trade program.
Jonathan Redding, Environmental Partner at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
Brad Neff is Manager of AB 32 Cap and Trade Imple
mentation for PG&E. Brad’s responsibilities at PG&E include coordinating the overall cap and trade implementation effort—including regulatory affairs, market readiness, and customer impact. Brad graduated top of his class from the University of Utah in both Finance and Economics. Brad also holds an MBA from HEC Paris where he was the president of the Sustainability Club and developed a renewable energy business plan for EDF’s green energy services group.
He will be introducing the basics of the Auction process and PG&E’s perspective on cap and trade.
Loren Kaye is President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, an affiliate of the California Chamber of Commerce, and a Gubernatorial appointee to the Little Hoover Commission. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2006, Loren served in senior policy positions for Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, including Cabinet Secretary to the Governor and Undersecretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency.
He will speak on the motivations for and reasons why the Chamber of Commerce opposes the auction and filed the lawsuit. In short, the lawsuit does not challenge any of the provisions of AB 32 nor the merits of climate change science. The only issue addressed in the litigation is the portion of CARB’s regulatory program that seeks to permit the Board to allocate to itself GHG emissions allowances and to profit by selling them to GHG emitters.
Dusty Granet is a Broker with BGC Environmental Brokerage Services L.P. (BGC). He joined BGC in January 2012 from Evolution Markets where he spent three years advising the environmental marketplace on California emissions and U.S. water markets.
He will be speaking about pre action and post auction carbon pricing and market reactions on the process and the pricing; options within the secondary market for future transactions involving allowances and offsets; and how to minimize risks through the OTC market.
IMPORTANT: Pre-registration is required for this event.
– 5:00 pm – Arrival/Reception
– 5:30 pm – Dinner
– 6:00 pm – Presentation
– 8:00 pm – Adjournment
To register visit: http://www.awma-gws.org/events/20121212/index.html
In Episode 68 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on June 30, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show moderator Bill Acevedo, chair of Wendel Rosen’s sustainable business practice group, welcomes Councilmember Damon Connolly of San Rafael and Councilmember Tom Butt of Richmond.
Connolly is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Marin Energy Authority (MEA). The MEA is the not-for-profit public agency formed by the County of Marin and several Marin cities and towns in 2008. MEA administers the Marin Clean Energy program.
MEA is the first operational example of a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program in the state of California. In California, Community Choice Aggregation was developed through legislation (AB 117) in 2002 as a response to the rolling blackouts of several years ago (remember Enron?). It’s a system that allows cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts.
MEA’s program is a hybrid to traditional utility models, which might include a municipal utility or privately-owned utility (such as PG&E in Northern California). In MEA’s model, the public agency purchases or produces the energy, but a third-party energy company handles distribution and maintenance of the energy transmission infrastructure.
In 2002, California addressed base renewable energy goals through SB 1078, which set the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). These goals were expanded in 2011 under SB 2. California, under the RPS program, requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers and CCAs to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resource to 33% of total procurement by 2020.
MEA’s plan is considerably more ambitious than the state requirement. They plan to get to 100% renewable procurement in the next 10 years. Today they are at 28% (8% more than the current RPS requirement). The program is getting a tremendous response from new renewable energy suppliers, and MEA has initiated an “Open Season” procurement process to manage proposals.
So, how does it work?
When a community joins, all of the residents are included in the CCA program. If they do not want to participate in it, however, they are free to opt out. If they choose to participate, the MEA offers two plan levels – a “Light Green” and a “Dark Green” option. The first delivers energy to customers with 50% coming from renewable energy sources. The latter offers energy to customers that is 100% sourced from renewable energy. The dark green plan costs the average customer $5-10 more per month and currently includes 8% of their customer base.
The City of Richmond is one of the latest cities to join the MEA. So how did a city in Contra Costa County get involved in a program from Marin? City Councilmember Tom Butt explains that Richmond’s General Plan 2030 includes multiple environmental goals, including offering a CCA toRichmond residents and businesses. When analyzing how best to go about implementing a CCA, the City decided it just didn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel, according to Butt. MEA, as a clear leader in the space, was a logical partner. As Richmond comes online, the MEA expects to add about 30,000 new customers – a significant influx of new customers, which will give MEA even more purchasing power with energy producers going forward.
Would you pay $10 more on your energy bill each month to know that the energy was made up of 100% renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass?
Listen to the interview with Councilmembers Connolly and Butt: Episode 68 of The Wendel Forum (27:18 mins; mp3)
Marin Energy Authority: http://www.marinenergyauthority.org/
960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com
Bill Acevedo’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/wacevedo
In Episode 53 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on March 10, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show host Dick Lyons visits Natural Products Expo West 2012 in Anaheim. The show sees 60,000 attendees and more than 2,000 exhibitors showcasing their products including a wide range of natural living products, specialty foods, natural ingredients, supplements, and health and beauty aids. In addition there are numerous seminars and presentation, as well as informal discussions on topics from fair trade and supply chain issues to organic labeling and greenwashing.
While attending the Expo, Dick had the opportunity to speak with Sarah Roquemore, Outreach Coordinator with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), on the topic of palm oil, a product that appears in nearly 50% of the food on your grocer’s shelves and in products as diverse as toothpaste and laundry detergent.
Although palm oil is a widely-used product, most people have no idea how prevalent it is in our food stream. Nor do they realize the environmental impact its cultivation has on our planet. In recent years, the high demand for palm oil has contributed to the deforestation of many tropical regions. UCS claims that 15% of emissions that cause global warming come from tropical deforestation (more than all cars, planes, trucks and ships combined). The connection between deforestation and emissions is not obvious. However, trees can be viewed as big carbon storage devices. They absorb carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow. When trees are cut down and burned or left to rot, the carbon they have stored is released back into the atmosphere. In addition, deforestation has destroyed habitat for numerous animals and leads to loss of biodiversity.
Of course balancing the needs of the supply chain, the environment and local economies in (often) poor regions of the world is a challenging proposition. But there are some bright spots. Sarah suggests that there is movement on multiple fronts to address this problem, including promoting changes to the way we grow and produce vegetable oil, local jurisdictional controls on farming practices, and consumer campaigns that have changed the practices of companies who use the oil.
A relatively recent example of a successful consumer-driven corporate shift on palm oil sourcing happened in 2010 with Nestlé. After being targeted for their use of palm oil from sources of deforestation in a public campaign, led largely by Greenpeace, Nestle has adopted Responsible Sourcing Guidelines. The company has committed to “ensuring that its products do not have a deforestation footprint,” according to its website.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is another growing resource in the fight to produce palm oil in a more responsible way. This group actively looks to improve the sourcing options, simplify the distribution channels and verify the supply chain for palm oil. But it’s a complex problem, and some feel that the group has not gone far enough in establishing guidelines and certifications.
In the meantime, the Union of Concerned Scientists will continue their program to publicize the issue, taking knowledge to product manufacturers and the public.
Listen to the interview with Sarah Roquemore: Episode 53 of The Wendel Forum(27:53 mins; mp3)
UCS Report “Recipes for Success: Solutions for Deforestation-Free Vegetable Oils”: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/forest_solutions/deforestation-free-vegetable-oils.html
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil website: http://www.rspo.org/
Greenpeace follow up story on Nestle campaign (dated 5/23/2011): http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/One-year-after-Nestle-committed-to-giving-rainforests-a-break–what-has-been-achieved/
Nestlé Responsible Souring Guidelines: http://www.nestle.com/Common/NestleDocuments/Documents/Media/Statements/2011-Nestle_Responsible_Sourcing_Guidelines.pdf
Natural Products Expo West 2012 website: http://www.expowest.com/ew12/public/enter.aspx
960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com
Dick Lyons’ online profile: http://www.wendel.com/rlyons
February 9, 2012
What does the Iberian Lynx have to do with a bottle of wine? The Cork Forest Conservation Alliance.
In Episode 48 of The Wendel Forum(originally aired on January 28, 2012, on 960 KNEW AM radio), show host Bill Acevedo welcomes Patrick Spencer, Executive Director of Cork Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA).
Originally founded in 2008 as Cork ReHarvest, the Oregon-based CFCA is a nonprofit that campaigns globally for the protection and preservation of the Mediterranean cork forests, its inhabitants (including the Iberian Lynx) and biodiversity, through education, direct action, and partnerships with communities, businesses and governments. In addition to the group’s educational campaigns, a major piece of their work is to collect and recycle cork before it reaches a landfill. Bill and Patrick discuss the group’s four main areas of focus, and the new “Real Cork Inside” program.
CFCA has developed a distribution network to collect used wine natural corks and recycle them close to where they are collected, thereby reducing the carbon footprint in the recycling circle. Whole Foods Markets, with drop off locations in their 300 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., is by far their largest partner. There are many other locations in the network with drop-off locations from Surry, British Columbia to Austin, Texas. Once collected, the cork is recycled into products including cork floor tiles and numerous industrial and consumer products.
A primary mission of the organization is to educate the wine community, various manufacturers and consumers regarding the sustainability of cork. The group frequently participates in outreach, sustainability seminars and conferences, and hospitality industry programs to correct some common misperceptions about the harvesting of cork. Cork is actually the bark of certain oak trees. Patrick explains that, contrary to popular belief, the trees are not cut down in order to harvest the cork. It is harvested by hand by individual family farmers working the 6.6 million acres in the Mediterranean cork forest region. The bark re-grows and is harvested about every 9 years from trees that can live up to 300 years.
CFCA works with local governments and with other nonprofit organizations throughout the world to become a central hub for information, education and advocacy related the harvest of cork.
Environmental business development
To further the mission of the organization, CFCA actively works with companies looking to up-cycling spent wine cork. Using natural cork in other products diverts large quantities of waste from landfills and offers many businesses a more sustainable alternative in the production of goods and products. By working with business leaders in a variety of industries, the group is able to identify new opportunities to create all kinds of environmentally favorable applications – from flooring in schoolyard playgrounds to bobbers for fishing.
The “Real Cork Inside” ™ certification program was developed to help wineries let consumers know that they have committed to using natural cork in bottling their wines. Because most wineries put foil or plastic capsule over the top of the bottle, a consumer often can’t see if the bottle uses natural or synthetic cork. Now consumers can look for an acorn symbol on the bottle that indicates the winery is committed to using natural cork closures. This trademark logo is licensed by CFCA to certified wineries in the program and gives the consumer the power of choice.
Listen to the interviews with Patrick Spencer: Episode 48 of The Wendel Forum (27:41 mins; mp3)
Cork Forest Conservation Alliance website: www.corkforest.org
Whole Foods Market cork program press release: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/blog/2010/04/06/whole-foods-market%c2%ae-partners-with-cork-reharvest-to-recycle-wine-corks-help-save-mediterranean-cork-forests/
960 KNEW AM Radio website: http://www.960KNEW.com
Bill Acevedo’s online profile: http://www.wendel.com/wacevedo
December 9, 2011
[Note: Thanks to Wendel Rosen attorney Greg Jung for this update and guest post. You can be sure we'll be watching what happens with cap-and-trade in California.]
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Superior Court Judge who had previously ruled in March 2011 that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had not adequately considered alternatives to its plan to create a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions found that CARB has demonstrated satisfactory compliance with adequately complied with his prior orders. (ASSOCIATION OF IRRITATED RESIDENTS et al VS. CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD et al , case no. CPF-09-509562.)
This order paves the way for California to implement the cap-and-trade program. CARB approved and submitted its final cap-and-trade regulations to the California Office of Administrative Law in October 2011. The program is scheduled to take effect in 2013 and is part of the regulations implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32), which requires California to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, Register of Actions in case: http://webaccess.sftc.org/Scripts/Magic94/mgrqispi94.dll?APPNAME=IJS&PRGNAME=ROA22&ARGUMENTS=-ACPF09509562
CARB website info on AB 32: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/ab32/ab32.htm
In my humble opinion, one of the things that sets Wendel Rosen apart from other firms in the green space is our desire to move the needle forward. Not only do we represent clients who focus on sustainability as an operating principle, but we also take part in legislative initatives that are designed to expand the principles of sustainability to all.
Today, I am proud to state that SB 582 passed through the California State Legislature on Wednesday. SB 582 – a commuter benefits bill – was modeled on a San Francisco ordinance that required employers to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, and air pollution by offering employees options to pay for alternative commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars (e.g., commuter checks to buy high-value BART or Muni passes). This legislation doesn’t just benefit employees, however. There is a financial benefit to the employer, as well, because participation in this initiative is sweetened through a reduction in the payroll taxes that the employer pays.
It is estimated that approximately forty percent (40%) of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions is due to commuting. Reducing vehicle miles traveled by the sole driver is a priority to reducing these emissions. By offering commuter benefits, such as those outlined by SB 582, employers and employees can work together to consider alternatives to simply driving alone to the office.
Wendel Rosen, like other mission-driven businesses, happily supported SB 582 (as you can see from the Wendel Rosen Letter of Support for SB 582). We’ve been offering commuter benefits to our employees for years. We’re proud of that track record, and we are equally pleased to have assisted in the passage of this bill.
We can’t wait for Governor Jerry Brown to sign it into law.
July 8, 2011
In the second part of our two part series, show host Dick Lyons chats with three more finalist companies from this year’s San Francisco Business Times Cleantech & Sustainability Awards, held on June 16, 2011. In Episode 22 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on Green 960 AM radio on July 2, 2011), Dick learns more about the following companies:
Winner: Cleaire (interview with Brad Edgar, President and CTO, and Gale Plummer, CEO)
Description: Based in San Leandro, Cleaire designs and manufactures diesel engine filtration systems that could be used to remove particulate matter from exhaust in one million diesel engines in California –- and an estimated potential universe of 40-50 million vehicles already in service world wide. They distribute and service the technology through a qualified dealer network whose customers include fleets of buses, construction equipment and trucks.
Winner: Solazyme (interview with Harrison Dillon, Co-Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer)
Category: Sustainable Fuels/Chemicals
Description: Solazyme makes oil – all kinds. Their renewable oils are used in applications ranging from jet fuel to food products. Dillon and his partner, CEO Jonathan Wolfson, started the company eight years ago in a garage in Palo Alto (where have we heard a story like that before?), originally setting out to make a diesel oil substitute from algae. Since then, they’ve expanded to be able to custom design oils that can be used in a multitude of products. Their oil can even be found in natural products carried by retailers such as Whole Foods and GNC. By putting these healthy oils into food products, they are able to take out the saturated fat and keep the products both low fat and satisfying.
Winner: Driptech (interview with Peter Frykman, CEO)
Description: Driptech makes affordable drip irrigation systems that allow small-plot famers in developing countries to have access to the same water-efficient irrigation that large plot farmers have used for decades. The key to the technology (which includes some nifty precision laser manufacturing technology) is distributed local manufacturing. Amazing what a class project at Stanford might turn into!
Coming up this week:
Tune in Saturday morning (July 9) to hear from a company that gives collective buying power to individual employees in organizations for home energy improvements (such as solar panels, insulation and water heaters). If you’re out of radio signal range, remember you can always click the “Listen Live” button on the station’s website at www.green960.com.
Listen to the Interviews: Episode 22 of The Wendel Forum(22.17 mins)
Cleaire website: http://www.cleaire.com
Solazyme website: http://www.solazyme.com/
Driptech website: http://driptech.com/
Green 960 AM radio website: www.green960.com
About show host Dick Lyons: www.wendel.com/rlyons