Sustainable Energy and Climate Change
Bryan Cave’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Team advises clients on the broad range of issues related to energy development, production and use designed to achieve sustainability, energy independence, greenhouse gas controls and carbon management. Team lawyers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from multiple legal disciplines to this growing field.
Bryan Cave’s clients include businesses of all sizes, energy users in many industries, energy suppliers and producers of traditional energy sources working to achieve sustainability. Clients are developers and owners of renewable fuel refineries and operators of energy technologies and sources, including ethanol, biodiesel, geothermal and wind power.
Our multidisciplinary team can address client interests in sustainable energy, renewable energy, energy independence, energy efficiency, energy conservation, energy security, carbon contributions, carbon tracking, greenhouse gas control, emission reductions, emission reduction credit documentation, registration of emission reduction credits and credit trading. The services relate to:
Business and management strategies for energy production, supply and use;
Fiduciary responsibilities and shareholder relations;
Strategic planning for energy conservation, efficiency, security and renewables;
Identifying, tracking and managing greenhouse gas emissions, reductions and credits;
Documenting, banking and trading of emission credits;
Carbon footprint and energy use disclosure and reporting;
“Green” building land use and sustainable development;
“Clean” technologies for energy development, production, transmission and use;
Tracking and considering federal, state and local adaptation strategies;
Adaptive management and business strategies;
Intellectual property protection for proprietary energy strategies, equipment, materials and processes;
Intellectual property due diligence regarding third-party energy strategies, equipment, materials and processes;
Licensing in and out of intellectual property concerning energy strategies, equipment, materials and processes;
Product and content management and labeling;
Supply chain assessment and vendor content management;
Product recovery programs;
Tracking, addressing and complying with federal, regional, state and local initiatives, legislation and regulatory programs;
Dispute and litigation management and resolution;
Risk assessment and risk management through casualty insurance coverage;
Insurance coverage disputes related to climate change nuisance and other tort claims;
Project financing for renewable energy projects;
Development of ethanol facilities;
Corporate, construction and lending for development of ethanol plants;
Federal and state tax credit programs for sustainable energy projects;
Geothermal energy production and permitting;
Hydroelectric power generation;
Natural gas fired power generation;
Uranium recovery and nuclear energy production;
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other regulatory approvals for wind farm development;
Drafting of construction contracting, including contracts with: engineering service providers, industry professional advisory contracts, process designers, construction contractors, equipment suppliers and peripheral service providers;
Construction contracts negotiation services;
Construction project services, including project scope definitions, project scheduling issues, project structuring, project management strategy and budgetary advisory services;
Construction insurance structuring and counseling;
Full array of counseling and legal services on construction related issues;
Grain and feed stock supply contracts, utility contracts, transportation agreements, output agreements and power purchase agreements;
Public offerings for construction of new fuel plants.
Bryan Cave lawyers assist clients in promoting potential contributions to sustainable energy development and the energy security of clean electric power production technologies from coal and other fossil fuels and from nuclear energy. We do this by helping clients improve energy efficiency, reduce environmental impacts and consider energy security risks and risk mitigation strategies. Abundant coal resources can help to assure a sustainable future through the development and application of clean coal technologies that support near zero emission coal-fueled power plants. This can be achieved using carbon capture and geologic storage or by supplying enhanced oil recovery operations with carbon dioxide that otherwise would be emitted to the atmosphere. Such efforts are designed to secure the long-term future of coal-fired power generation and coal production, optimize economical use of coal reserves and stimulate investment in clean coal technologies by supporting energy security and improving the environmental performance of coal. This includes carbon capture and storage, zero emissions technologies for fossil fuels, coal-to-liquids technologies, coal gasification and improving the thermal efficiency of coal combustion and the development of coal methane resources.
Our practice also provides a strong foundation for the promotion, development, use and permitting of enhanced hydrocarbon recovery techniques. Helping clients achieve reductions of greenhouse gas and other emissions from oil and gas exploration and production operations, as well as from downstream operations, will achieve greater sustainability for continuing reliance while these resources remain available and will support the transition to greater use of renewable energy resources.
For clients working with nuclear energy, we can focus on the permitting of solution mining for uranium recovery and the development of methodologies and regulatory frameworks for long-term waste management to ensure the sustainability of this clean and increasingly safe energy resource.
Bryan Cave has lawyers throughout the United States with experience advising clients in all aspects of renewable energy development including start-up, organization, equity and debt financing, construction, development and day-to-day operational issues. Our team represents local co-op driven investments, large public corporations, ethanol plants of all sizes and innovative wind generation farms. Clients also include construction companies, industry consultants, developers, banks and other financing sources involved in the renewable energy industry. We routinely handle the often complex real estate and zoning requirements that come with renewable energy developments of all types.
Many of our lawyers started their careers in the construction field before going to law school and have significant experience overseeing large-scale construction projects. Others started in various other closely related fields, such as chemical process engineering with a focus on developing coal gasification and cogeneration alternatives for energy production. Bryan Cave’s energy lawyers also call upon their colleagues in various disciplines and offices to bring clients transactional, counseling, regulatory and litigation support. As needed, the firm assembles multidisciplinary teams to tackle mergers and acquisitions, antitrust work, corporate investigations, environmental and employment law, among other specialties.
In addition, we serve electric, nuclear, oil, natural gas and water industry clients in regulatory matters before state commissions and federal agencies. This means the firm’s energy lawyers know how to successfully resolve high-stakes regulatory and commercial disputes that may involve alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, administrative agency litigation or litigation before state and federal courts.
Bryan Cave has more than 30 years of experience advising clients on the development and implementation of environmental policies and corporate energy initiatives designed to protect, sustain and enhance the environment in which we live. We work with our clients to develop a strategic approach to the emerging issues related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
Our lawyers can help clients anticipate and address effects that government climate change policies may have on their business activities. For example, working with a team of other professionals, we can assess whether company operations may be unduly affected by the imposition of governmental restrictions on the emission of greenhouse gases or by escalating fossil fuel costs associated with impending climate change regulations. Among other topics, the team can work with technical consultants to assist our clients in assessing the state of a company’s energy needs and efficiency, developing a program for tracking energy use and identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption over the short and long term. The resulting plan can address anticipated operational constraints caused by climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions.
We can work with companies to maximize their chances of gaining credit in future regulatory programs for reductions achieved before such programs are put into place. Particular emphasis can be placed on identifying and tracking carbon emissions, identifying specific changes that could be made to reduce company contributions to carbon emissions, quantifying those reductions in a manner consistent with accepted protocols and recording them in one or more recognized registries.
Through our experiences with the regulation of air emissions and the use of emissions offsets, banking and trading over the years, we are able to advise clients on how to maximize the benefits of any emission reductions achieved. We also advise on how to establish programs to offset the impact of client operations on greenhouse gas emissions. The Bryan Cave Sustainable Energy and Development Team also can call on the resources of our more than 40 environmental lawyers who have experience throughout the United States and in other parts of the world.
Bryan Cave experience in commercial and industrial construction spans over fifty years. Bryan Cave's construction law group is an inter-office, multi-disciplinary team with a broad knowledge of all areas of construction law and the ability to provide timely, responsive and practical answers in a fast moving industry which involves complex contracts and arrangements with tiers of lenders, owners, architects, engineers, process designers, labor unions, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
While the firm has significant experience in all types of construction transactions, Bryan Cave’s experience within the ethanol and energy sectors is unique. Services include drafting, negotiating and consulting on all aspects of construction and project execution. The group has extensive experience with all forms and structures of construction contracting, including EPC turnkey contracts, EPT contracts, General Construction (GC) contracts, procurement contracts (including engineered equipment procurements), technology licenses, technology transfer agreements, labor agreements, trade agreements, engineering agreements, consulting and advisory services agreements, plus a wide variety of other agreements. These agreements can be structured as lump sum contracts, cost-plus GMP contracts, time & material contracts, and a broad array of combinations. The firm routinely develops its own manuscript contract documents tailored to individual client needs to best position our clients in their various markets. Our actual construction industry, engineering and industrial commerce experience provides our firm a unique ability to effectively draft and negotiate contractual terms to satisfy even the most demanding and challenging construction projects. Additionally, Bryan Cave stays current on, and often leads, developments in construction, architectural and engineering law and the related impacts of emerging industrial markets.