On May 29, 2024, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the IRS released proposed rules for the section 45Y clean electricity production tax credit (“Section 45Y Credit”) and the section 48E clean electricity investment tax credit (“Section 48E Credit”).  These credits are informally referred to as tech-neutral credits because they do not specify particular technologies eligible for credits, unlike the existing production and investment tax credits.  Below we summarize certain important provisions in these proposed rules and some of their implications for project finance for constructing facilities with net-zero greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, such as a need for emissions accounting and monitoring. Comments are due on August 2, 2024, and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on August 12 and 13.

On May 30, 2024, the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) handed down its rulings in several cases (C-665/22, Joined Cases C‑664/22 and C‑666/22, C‑663/22, and Joined Cases C‑662/22 and C‑667/22) concerning the compatibility with EU law of certain Italian measures imposing obligations on providers of online platforms and search engines.  In doing so, the CJEU upheld the so-called “country-of-origin” principle, established in the EU’s e-Commerce Directive and based on the EU Treaties principle of free movement of services.  The country-of-origin principle gives the Member State where an online service provider is established exclusive authority (“competence”) to regulate access to, and exercise of, the provider’s services and prevents other Member States from imposing additional requirements.

We provide below an overview of Court’s key findings.

On June 10, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in Consumers’ Research et al. v. Federal Communications Commission et al.  In its petition, the advocacy group Consumers’ Research, along with a small carrier and a five individuals, sought the Supreme Court’s review of the constitutionality of

The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to hear two cases that could dictate the future of climate change tort suits.  Such suits have proliferated in recent years: several dozen active cases assert state tort law claims—like nuisance, trespass, and strict liability—against oil and gas companies for fueling and misleading the public about climate change.  The two pending cases go to the very foundations of these claims.

Earlier this week, the FCC released a Second Report and Order revising and expanding requirements to identify and disclose whether any “leased” broadcast program is sponsored by an agent of a foreign government.  The new order followed a decision in 2022 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to strike down a component of the original rule adopted by the FCC.  The new rule was adopted on a 3-to-2 vote, with the FCC’s two Republican members dissenting.  While the FCC has underscored that these rules are intended to provide broadcasters with flexible and simple options for compliance, failure to comply with these new information gathering and retention requirements could lead to enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures. 

On May 28, the Biden-Harris Administration issued the Voluntary Carbon Markets Joint Policy Statement and Principles (Policy Statement).  You can find Covington’s analysis of the Policy Statement here.  Jointly announced by the U.S. Secretaries of Treasury, Agriculture, and Energy, and senior White House climate officials, the Policy Statement describes a three-pronged approach to responsible carbon market development and participation: (1) credit or supply integrity, including protections regarding climate and environmental justice; (2) demand integrity, to ensure the credible use of credits; and (3) market-level integrity, including facilitating efficient market participation and lowering transaction costs.  The Policy Statement builds on other recent federal actions, including the Commodities Futures Trading Commission’s 2023 proposed guidance for voluntary carbon credit derivatives and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s final climate risk disclosure rule, which requires certain disclosures related to carbon offset purchases, in the Administration’s attention to and elevation of the voluntary carbon market as an important element in the nation’s climate policy. 

In this post, we dive deeper into the voluntary carbon market landscape, implications for business, and additional recent developments. 

On June 7, 2024, the Federal Circuit issued a major decision addressing bid protest jurisdiction and standing at the Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”).  In Percipient.ai, Inc. v. United States, the court found that COFC has jurisdiction to hear a protest challenging a matter of contract administration — even where the matter arose in connection with a task order — and articulated a new test for standing applicable to the facts presented in that case. 

A.    Starting point in Germany

Why is the classification of employees relevant? In Germany, this has considerable consequences: These range from the applicability of employee protection standards (the classic: protection against dismissal) to potential criminal law consequences for the client who turns out to be the employer and has not paid social security contributions. Compliance