Akin Gump-Led Cap-And-Trade Deal for Passamaquoddy Tribe Achieves Standout Recognition at California Climate Policy Conference

(Washington, D.C.) –The Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine will receive an award at this week’s Navigating the American Carbon World Conference in San Francisco as “Project Developer of the Year” for registering the most offset credits with the Climate Action Reserve during 2016. The award is for a project—one of the largest tribally owned cap-and-trade projects in the U.S.—that was initiated by the Tribe in 2014 under California’s cap-and-trade program.

This groundbreaking award represents the first such recognition for a tribal project by the Reserve. A team from Akin Gump’s American Indian policy and regulation practice, including associate (and Passamaquoddy Tribal member) Corey Hinton, advised the Tribe on all aspects of the deal.

The Tribe is being honored for registering the removal of 3.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through measured tree growth over a 98,000-acre project area on tribal land in Maine. Every ton removed from the atmosphere can be converted to one credit, which can, in turn, be sold by the Tribe to offset carbon emissions in California under a program overseen by the Climate Action Review Board.

“This is a tremendous honor for the Tribe and a testament to their forward-thinking determination to see this project through,” stated Mr. Hinton. “The program also presents a true win-win scenario: fostering economic development for the Tribe while also serving to protect our natural resources and our environment. I am thrilled to be able to play a role in this project.”

“The Passamaquoddy Tribe is grateful to the Climate Action Reserve for recognizing our commitment to sustainable forest management as well as to the law firm of Akin Gump for its steadfast support of the Tribe in our pursuit of opportunities in the California cap-and-trade program,” stated Chief William Nicholas of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. “This award is significant to the Tribe because it exemplifies how tribal nations can pursue self-determination while also adhering to our solemn commitment to environmental stewardship.”

In November 2016, the Tribe successfully registered its entire 3.2 million sum of offset credits after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. Of this amount, the Tribe has sold approximately 484,000 credits and is currently marketing an additional 2.25 million.

In addition to Mr. Hinton, the Akin Gump team advising the Tribe on the transaction included American Indian policy and regulation practice head Donald Pongrace, partner Michael Rossetti and consultant Kenneth Markowitz.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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