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Clean Energy & Sustainability

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Group helps clients navigate the legal landscape of clean energy options and sustainability guidelines designed to promote a healthier future for people and the planet.

Clean Energy

DGS attorneys have broad experience in assisting clients with clean energy projects from start to finish, including project financing, project siting and permitting, and contractual agreements. These projects encompass green and renewable energy, including wind, solar, geothermal, green hydrogen, and biomass, as well as other forms of zero-emissions energy sources, namely renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and e-mobility. DGS attorneys are also well-versed in the legal issues surrounding renewable energy storage and carbon capture, use, and sequestration.

Our multidisciplinary approach and geographic proximity to many of the region’s leading renewable energy ventures make DGS uniquely situated to help our clients plan, finance, permit, construct, operate, and expand their operations and businesses in the clean energy sector.

The firm’s capabilities related to clean energy include:

  • Advising on project financing, including non-recourse bankruptcy-remote special purpose entity formations and structures, loan agreements, and operating agreements.
  • Providing regulatory opinions to lenders and developers.
  • Assisting with project site acquisitions, including drafting leases, navigating complex title issues, and negotiating and obtaining necessary easements, options, rights, and licenses.
  • Securing rights-of-way and leases for projects on federal and tribal lands and advising on associated compliance with federal environmental, historic preservation, and wildlife laws.
  • Counseling on state and local permitting requirements on state and private lands, including local land use requirements.
  • Arranging contractual risk mitigation measures through engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, operations and maintenance contracts, vendor warranty agreements, master service agreements, insurance, and tax equity partnership arrangements.
  • Representing clients in proceedings before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
  • Drafting interconnection agreements and offtake contracts.
  • Counseling clients on income, property, and sales and use tax incentives.
  • Briefing clients on legislative developments and new opportunities.
  • Negotiating franchise agreements, supply agreements, solar subscription agreements, power purchase agreements, and grid interconnection and transmission contracts.
  • Advising on the acquisition and divestiture of developed and operating renewable energy projects.

Sustainability

DGS is skilled at assisting companies committed to advancing the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda in a way that also makes good business sense. Our lawyers advise clients on ESG, sustainability indicators and tracking, carbon tax markets, green building and LEED certification, and Superfund site cleanups, among other topics. As a full-service business law firm, we are well-positioned to provide sound and strategic counsel to both developers and regulators.

DGS Clean Energy Newsletters

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John R. Jacus

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Lamont C. Larsen

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Joel Mayo

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Almira Moronne

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Kathleen C. Schroder

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Judith M. Matlock

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News & Events

Colorado’s GHG Emission Reduction Roadmap Version 2.0

In the 2019 legislative session Colorado passed House Bill 19-1261, the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution (“Climate Action Plan”)...

AQCC Regulation 27 Revisions – Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy Management for Manufacturing Phase 2 Rulemaking

On Friday, October 20, 2023, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (“CDPHE”), Air Quality Control Commission (“AQCC”) voted...

Regulation 28: New Energy Efficiency Requirements Impact an Estimated 8,000 Buildings in Colorado

Effective October 15, 2023, Colorado’s Air Quality Commission (the “Commission”) approved Regulation 28, titled “Building Benchmarking and Performance Standards,” which...

Proposed Rule Would Allow the U.S. Forest Service to Authorize Carbon Capture and Storage Beneath National Forest System Lands

On November 3, 2023, the United States Forest Service announced a proposed amendment to its special use regulations at 3...

Permian Basin Lizard Proposed to be Listed as an Endangered Species

On July 3, 2023, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered...

BLM Proposes Revised Regulations for Wind and Solar Rights-of-Way and Leases

On June 16, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a proposed rule that would revise the agency’s existing...

DGS Hybrid Event: Colorado's New Energy & Carbon Management Commission Webinar

Governor Polis recently signed Senate Bills 23-16 and 23-285 into law after they passed both houses in the most recent...

USFWS Delays Threatened and Endangered Statuses of Lesser Prairie-Chicken and Northern Long-Eared Bat

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) extended the effective dates of its decisions to list populations of...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hopes to Increase Efficiency of Eagle Take Permitting with New Rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that, if adopted, would revise...

Major Fines for Stormwater Violations at Solar Farms

Four solar farm owners agreed in November 2022 to pay major fines in settlements with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”)...

DGS Ranks Among 2023 Best Law Firms

Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP was named among the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” by publisher...

Like Inflation, Investment in Critical Minerals Isn’t Transitory

As part of ongoing attempts by the U.S. government to promote domestic availability of “critical minerals,” certain provisions of the...

North Dakota Supreme Court Invalidates Key Provisions of Statute Governing Rights to Pore Space

In Northwest Landowners Association v. State, No. 20210148, 2022 N.D. Lexis 152 (N.D. Aug. 4, 2022), the North Dakota Supreme...

USFWS Proposes to List the Tricolored Bat as Endangered, Citing Wind Energy-Related Impacts

On September 14, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a proposed rule to list the tricolored bat...

Senate Releases Permitting Bill to Expedite Infrastructure Projects

Senate Legislative Counsel, Draft copy of ELT22557 0PR Released September 21, 2022 This week, Senator Joe Manchin released an updated...

The Phase I Decision Regarding Public Service 2021 Electric Resource Plan & First Clean Energy Plan

Our June 2022 Clean Energy and Sustainability Group Newsletter included a status report on the Application of Public Service Company...

Governor Polis Signs Bills to Require Disclosure of Chemical Additives in Oil & Gas Operations & Reduce the Use of PFAS Chemicals

Last month, Governor Jared Polis signed two bills into law in response to growing public concern in Colorado and elsewhere...

The Superfund Program Goes Green – Part III

In Parts I and II of this series, we discussed EPA’s “Climate Resilience” and “Greener Cleanups” initiatives, programs aimed at...

Colorado's First Clean Energy Plan - Status Report

As this newsletter goes to print, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission will have just concluded a further evidentiary hearing in...

Army Corps Reissues and Revises Nationwide Permits under CWA Section 404 Program and NWP 12 Again Under Attack

On December 27, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) issued a final rule regarding its Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”)...

Colorado's Energy-Related Bills in the 2022 Legislative Session

The Colorado General Assembly wrapped up its 2022 legislative session on May 11, 2022. In our February newsletter, we provided...

The Superfund Program Goes Green – Part II

As the Biden Administration continues to prioritize climate change mitigation, EPA has renewed its focus on more environmentally friendly remedies...

FWS Increases Take Limits for Eagle Permits

On February 1, 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that...

Colorado's Energy-Related Bills in the 2022 Legislative Session

The Colorado General Assembly began its 2022 lawmaking term on January 12, 2022. The legislature, which consists of 65 representatives...

Five Federal Agencies Lead by the Department of Interior Aim to Prioritize & Expedite Permitting for Renewable Projects

On January 6, 2022, a Memorandum of Understating (MOU) between the Department of Interior (DOI) and the Department of Agriculture...

Energy & Environment: What's Changed & What's Coming Under the Biden Administration Seminar

Amidst its many challenges and priorities, the new Administration has already initiated major changes to public lands and environmental policies...

Not Just Roads – Infrastructure Act Offers Opportunities and Funding for Carbon Capture, Oil and Gas Infrastructure, Critical Minerals, and Mining Communities

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Public Law No: 117-58, a piece of...

The Superfund Program Goes Green – Part I

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is addressing the impact of climate change at Superfund sites through three main initiatives: (1)...

Recent Wildlife Developments Affecting Clean Energy

In the last few months, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) initiated a variety of regulatory efforts that may...

BLM Announces Competitive Lease Sales for Clean Energy on Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (the “BLM”) recently announced competitive lease sales for solar and geothermal development on public lands...

CEQ Proposes First Phase of Revisions to NEPA Regulations

On October 7, 2021, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published proposed revisions to the regulations implementing the National Environmental...

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Reinstates Interpretation of MBTA Prohibiting Incidental Take and Initiates Rulemaking for Permitting Process

On September 29, 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released a final rule (“Final Rule”) that revoked a...

Pore Space Ownership and Carbon Capture, Use & Sequestration Projects

More than ever before, companies are seeking to reduce their carbon emissions into the atmosphere. One solution that energy developers...

Governor Polis Signs Bill to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Gas Utilities

On June 24, 2021, Governor Polis signed into law a bill to advance the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas...

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