September 2011

Solyndra Takes the Fifth and Mascoma Prepares for an IPO: A Down-and-Up Day for Renewable Energy

September 26, 2011 19:50
by J. Wylie Donald
  It was a sobering moment Friday. Two executives of Solyndra LLC, after being honored by the President, receiving vast sums of money from investors, and earning kudos and accolades from industry and government,  asserted their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to testify before a congressional committee investigating the solar cell manufacturer's bankruptcy and potential improprieties in the procurement of loan guarantees.  We are not privy to the corporate planning but are comfortable stating that that was definitely not in the business plan. ...

Renewable Energy | Solar Energy

Connecticut v. AEP - The End Is Very Near

September 21, 2011 20:38
by J. Wylie Donald
Not with a bang, but with a whimper. So (we predict) will be the resolution of Connecticut v. American Electric Power, of Supreme Court provenance and now remanded to the Second Circuit. And it is not because we have inside information. Rather, it is because the plaintiffs have asked to be dismissed. On September 2 counsel for the State of New York, on behalf of all of the governmental and public interest group plaintiffs, wrote the clerk of the Second Circuit and requested:  "These appellants have decided to withdraw their complaints, ... and would like to request that the Court remand...

Climate Change Litigation

Ceres and a Series of Serious Thoughts About the NAIC Climate Disclosures - Part III

September 19, 2011 05:15
by J. Wylie Donald
This is the last of three parts concerning Ceres’ recently released Climate Risk Disclosures by Insurers:  Evaluating Insurer Responses to the NAIC Climate Disclosure Survey.   We already have looked at the first two Recommendations to Regulators.  Today we finish with number 3:  more clarity in disclosure expectations.  Id. at 51.  It is always easier to make apples-to-apples comparisons when everyone is speaking the same language.  Uniform and detailed disclosure requirements would help achieve that goal.  However, the down side of specifyi...

Climate Change Litigation | Insurance | Regulation

Virginia Supreme Court Decides First Climate Change Insurance Case

September 16, 2011 14:32
by J. Wylie Donald
This morning the Virginia Supreme Court decided the first climate change liability insurance coverage case:   The AES Corp. v. Steadfast Ins. Co., Record No. 100764 (attached). It held that there was no covered “occurrence” and that therefore the trial court properly dismissed the insured’s claim for coverage. Followers of this blog are well familiar with Steadfast and the underlying Kivalina case.  For those new to this subject, this coverage case arose out of the climate change nuisance damages case, Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., CV 08-1138...

Carbon Dioxide | Climate Change Litigation | Insurance

Ceres and a Series of Serious Thoughts About the NAIC Climate Disclosures - Part II

September 16, 2011 05:09
by J. Wylie Donald
We wrote yesterday to introduce Ceres’ report on the disclosure of climate risks by insurers and considered its first Recommendation to Regulators concerning mandatory and public disclosures.  We address today the second recommendation in Climate Risk Disclosures by Insurers:  Evaluating Insurer Responses to the NAIC Climate Disclosure Survey.    Ceres’ second recommendation is to "[c]reate shared resources around the implications of climate trends on enterprise risk management."  Id. at 51.  In other words, more research should be made available ...

Climate Change | Insurance | Regulation

Ceres and a Series of Serious Thoughts About the NAIC Climate Disclosures - Part I

September 15, 2011 20:42
by J. Wylie Donald
Ceres released last week the first analysis of the insurer climate change disclosures submitted to state regulators pursuant to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners rule.  The report is eye-opening.  The authors have combed through the disclosures of 88 insurance companies and offer thoughtful insights on, for example, investment practices, management structure and modeling.  Those seeking to advance their bottom line will find nuggets of information directly related to competitive advantage.  In this post, we outline the report and discuss its first recommen...

Climate Change | Climate Change Effects | Insurance | Regulation

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The Sun No Longer Shines on Solar Panel Maker Solyndra LLC - Bankruptcy and the FBI

September 9, 2011 07:36
by J. Wylie Donald
Well, it was only a matter of time before renewable energy hit the mainstream. By which we mean that the bloom comes off the road as the rubber hits the rose.  Yesterday the FBI raided the headquarters of bankrupt Solyndra LLC, which formerly "led the way to a brighter future", to quote President Obama (4:00).  It seems that some questions have arisen over its bankruptcy filing and whether it misled the government in the procurement of loan guarantees. Those questions are the focus of a criminal investigation. What is the taxpayers' share?  Potentially over half a bil...

Renewable Energy | Solar Energy

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