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With a team of energy, environmental and IP attorneys who work closely with our government relations and strategic communications teams, Bracewell LLP is a leading law and advocacy firm in the field of carbon capture, sequestration and reduction technologies. Our firm understands the scientific thinking behind these technologies, the role of IP protection, the importance of government funding and regulation in their development, and their application to electric power providers, energy technology developers, and a wide range of industrial and manufacturing entities.

Federal policy debates indicate a willingness to allocate billions of dollars for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) research and development. In addition, the White House has created an interagency task force to coordinate and develop a federal CCS policy to speed commercialization. From U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantees and the Clean Coal Power Initiative to other R&D grants, such as those from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Bracewell follows these developments closely on behalf of our clients.

On Capitol Hill, our government relations team has worked extensively on legislative amendments and original provisions dealing with energy and environmental technologies, such as fuel-oxygen, low-carbon and motor-vehicle carbon standards, alternative and renewable fuels standards, geothermal applications and franchisor protection.

Our IP attorneys help clients develop, protect, deploy and fund innovative energy technologies in the CCS and carbon reduction sectors. We also assist clients in identifying marketing and advertising opportunities associated with “green” and “carbon neutral” business practices, and in developing methodologies for identifying carbon footprints and measuring reductions. Our attorneys also help businesses weigh potential liabilities, including issues related to Federal Trade Commission regulations, and to explore alternatives such as carbon pipelines within and between states.

Bracewell's energy and infrastructure transactional group provides experienced counsel for clients in the development, acquisition and financing of cutting-edge power plants, pipelines, gas storage and other energy and infrastructure projects. We assist clients with all issues required to take a project from initiation through operations, including joint venture formation, site arrangements, permitting, construction, engineering and equipment supply contracts, offtake contracts, fuel supply and transportation arrangements, operations and asset management agreements and all forms of public and private financing. Our transactional team is familiar with the complex issues to be addressed in negotiating arrangements for the implementation of carbon capture technology at a plant and sequestering and/or transporting carbon for further use.

Selected Experience

Represent a venture-backed company that has developed a new process for use at power plants to capture CO2 and sequester it in cement for use in construction projects. On behalf of this company, Bracewell has evaluated climate change and energy legislation and prepared legislative amendments related to carbon capture and sequestration, identified federal funding opportunities arising from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act relating to the company's technology, and assisted in preparing federal funding applications for submission to the DOE.

Provided strategic advice to a major industrial gases company relating to their applications for DOE funding for CCS projects that utilize oxy-combustion.

Performed legislative analysis on CCS in federal climate change legislation on behalf of major energy companies such as refiners and oil & gas exploration and production firms.

Assisted a major power generating company in its Clean Coal Power Initiative application to develop and install CCS capabilities and a CO2 pipeline for a proposed 1500 MW power plant in the desert Southwest.

Analyzed CCS-related aspects of power generation in connection with the FutureGen public-private partnership project and the Virginia Tech Center for Coal & Energy Research.

Represented a European company which invested in a U.S.-based company that develops carbon emissions reduction projects in the U.S. domestic and international CDM markets. The U.S. company specializes in projects in industrial gases, renewable energy and cement.

Preparation of a consulting services agreement for analysis of CCS potential at an IGCC plant under development.

Negotiated a joint venture agreement for CCS-related project development efforts between a CCS technology developer and a land and energy development holding company owned by a major renewable energy entrepreneur.

Represent an energy technology company that develops technology to conserve energy and reduce environmental and GHG impacts from oil refining. Our work includes representing the client before U.S. and state regulatory agencies to obtain an interpretation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that reflects the environmental and carbon-related benefits of the technology.

Represent low-carbon, geothermal heat pump developers in obtaining coveted "Energy Star" energy-efficiency ratings from the EPA, federal grant funding from the DOE, legislation to promote the technology in federal government buildings, and federal research and development funding to assist in development of these environmentally clean and energy-efficient heating systems.

Other Selected Carbon-Emission Related Experience

Counsel businesses in the construction industry on carbon-emission and air-quality matters relating to in-use engines, off-road equipment and other construction equipment.

Developed strategy, provided representation before the EPA and drafted comments on greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation on behalf of a major industrial products trade association. This representation included legislative and regulatory work on how cement will be regulated as the EPA seeks to address climate change under the existing Clean Air Act authority.

Developed and implemented a high-level media relations campaign on behalf of a coalition of major wind energy developers in the Middle Atlantic region, describing both the carbon benefits for individual projects as well as the overall issue of energy-project development in the region.

Worked with transmission line developers to address local concerns raised by development issues, including linkage of project development to efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Represented major corporations in developing and implementing public outreach campaigns to characterize carbon emissions in the context of the benefit of development of major new coal-fired power plants in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and elsewhere.

Advised an independent power producer on climate change issues related to the construction of three new coal-fired power plants in Texas, Arkansas and Georgia. We counseled the client on how it would be affected under existing and proposed climate change legislation and on climate change and permitting issues relating to air quality standards under the Clean Air Act.