Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Stoel Rives LLP

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USDOT Proposes New Rules for Rail Transport of Fossil Fuels

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“Administration”), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) for...more

7/25/2014

DOGGR to Review Well Stimulation Regulations to Ensure Compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act

On Friday, July 18, 2014, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) announced that it will review California’s Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) Program to ensure compliance...more

7/23/2014 - DOGGR Drinking Water EPA Oil & Gas Proposed Regulation Public Comment Safe Drinking Water Act Underground Injection Wells Wastewater

DOGGR Well Stimulation Regulations Implementation Extended to July 1, 2015

On Friday, June 20, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a public resources “trailer bill:” Senate Bill 681 (“SB 681”). Section 5 of the Bill extends the implementation deadline for the Department of Conservation’s Division of...more

7/18/2014 - DOGGR Energy Policy Geothermal Energy New Legislation Oil & Gas Public Comment

EPA Delays Potential Fracking Chemical Disclosure Mandates

On Friday, July 11, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) extended the public comment period for its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (“ANPR”) for hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure rules. The...more

7/16/2014 - Chemicals Disclosure Requirements EPA Fracking Public Comment Rulemaking Process TSCA

Water Board Announces Meeting to Develop SB 4 Groundwater Monitoring Criteria

On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) announced that it will be holding a “Stakeholder Meeting to Develop Groundwater Monitoring Model Criteria for Oil & Gas Areas.” The meeting...more

7/11/2014 - Environmental Policies Groundwater Water Water Resources Control Board

Department of Conservation Issues Revised, Proposed Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations

On June 13, 2014, the Department of Conservation (“Department”) issued a public notice and posted the latest version of the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production (“Revised Proposed...more

6/18/2014 - Conservation Energy Fracking Oil & Gas

Yet Another Proposed Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Fails: SB 1132 (Oil and gas: well stimulation treatments)

Yesterday, Senate Bill 1132 failed in the Senate. In a 18-16 vote, SB 1132 fell three votes short of the necessary majority. The bill was introduced by Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno on February 20,...more

5/30/2014 - Energy Energy Policy Fracking Fracking Bans Natural Gas Oil & Gas Shale Gas

Oil Severance Tax Law (SB 1017) Dies in the Senate Appropriations Committee

Last Friday, May 23, 2014, Senate Bill 1017, the Oil Severance Tax Law, failed to pass through the Senate Appropriations Committee. As a result, the bill is effectively dead for the year. SB 1017 was introduced by Senator...more

5/28/2014 - Business Taxes Corporate Taxes Energy Oil & Gas Severance Tax

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Approves Moratorium on All Oil and Gas Activities

This past Tuesday, May 20, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a permanent moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development. Santa Cruz becomes the first county in the state of...more

5/27/2014 - Energy Energy Policy Environmental Policies Fracking Fracking Bans Moratorium Oil & Gas

Under Scrutiny from All Sides, Brown Taps Ph.D. in Geology to Lead the DOGGR: What This Means for the Industry and SB 4's Rollout

At last, the new Supervisor of the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) has been announced. Steven Bohlen, currently Program Director at the Lawrence Livermore...more

5/15/2014 - DOGGR Energy Energy Policy Geothermal Energy Oil & Gas

Current Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills in California's Legislature

There are a number of California State Senate and Assembly bills that could impact oil and gas operations this year, if passed. Stoel Rives has a dedicated team of professionals tracking these bills. Below you will find...more

5/6/2014 - Carbon Taxes Energy Fracking Legislative Agendas Oil & Gas State Taxes

Carson, CA City Council Refuses to Enact Two-Year Moratorium on Oil and Gas Activity, Including Well Stimulation

This past Tuesday, the Carson City Council voted against a local moratorium on new oil and gas activity within its city limits. Last month, Carson passed a 45-day ban on all oil and gas operations, as reported in our March...more

5/2/2014 - Environmental Policies Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas

Baker Hughes' Policy to Disclose Chemical Components in Well Stimulation Fluids Designed to "Increase the Public Trust"

One of the largest oil-field services companies in the world, Baker Hughes, has revised its long-standing policies on disclosing the contents of hydraulic fracturing fluids on FracFocus.org - a non-profit database designed to...more

4/30/2014 - Baker Hughes Fracking Oil & Gas Public Disclosure

More Well Stimulation Bans in Southern California

The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban well stimulation treatments within city limits by a unanimous vote in February, and is in the process of drafting ordinances to put that decision into effect. Carson, California has...more

4/30/2014 - Environmental Policies Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas

Amendments to SB 1132 Would Have Moratorium on Well Stimulation Treatments Extend Far Beyond 2014

As reported in our April 11, 2014 post, SB 1132 - the bill that seeks a moratorium on well stimulation during oil and gas development, thereby rescinding portions of SB 4, which was enacted just a few months ago - passed its...more

4/25/2014

A Resurgence in U.S. Manufacturing Requires a Sensible Mining Permitting Process

A new short video found at the website for Minerals Make Life - a National Mining Association initiative - illuminates the close ties between the widespread resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and the need for...more

4/24/2014 - Manufacturers Mining Natural Resources Permits

Study Suggests EPA Underestimated Natural Gas Methane Emissions, But Not for Fracking, and EPA Releases Study Examining Fracking...

In several recent studies on methane emissions relating to the natural gas industry, scientists concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underestimated the quantity of methane the industry releases to the...more

4/18/2014 - Carbon Emissions EPA Fracking Methane Natural Gas Oil & Gas VOC

Second Chance at a Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Moves Past First Major Obstacle

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and other supporters of SB 1132 cleared their first major hurdle in their renewed effort to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other forms of well stimulation treatment in...more

4/14/2014 - Energy Environmental Policies Fracking Fracking Bans Moratorium

Is There a De Facto Moratorium on Well Stimulation in California?

SB 4 did not place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing or other well stimulation treatments. SB 4 specifically states that so long as an operator complies with the notification and documentation requirements...more

4/8/2014 - DOGGR Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas

New Information on Demand for Rare Earths Demonstrates Need to Increase Efficiency in U.S. Mining Permitting Processes

Minerals Make Life - a national, non-profit mining association - has recently developed an illuminating infographic indicating the increased demand for rare earth minerals. Presence of these minerals in the earth’s crust is...more

4/4/2014 - Mining Natural Resources Rare Earth Metals

Ten Things To Know About California's New Industrial Storm Water Permit

On April 1, 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously adopted a new Industrial Storm Water permit (2014 Permit). You can find the new Industrial Storm Water permit and supporting documents here, along with a...more

4/4/2014

Governor Brown's Promised SB 4 Amendments: Proposals Should Appease Environmental Critics by Closing Potential CEQA Loopholes

In his SB 4 signing message (see September 20, 2013 post), Governor Brown promised certain “clarifying” amendments for SB 4, and his administration has begun the process of seeking those amendments....more

3/27/2014 - CEQA CEQA Reform Environmental Liability Environmental Policies

Carson, California Bans All New Oil & Gas Drilling Activity - Takes LA's Hydraulic Fracturing Ban to the Next Level

The City Council of Carson, California has unanimously (by 5-0 vote) approved a moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling within its city limits. The moratorium is set to last 45 days for now, and the City Council will...more

3/21/2014 - Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas

California High Speed Rail Authority Gains New Approvals to Move Project Forward: Eminent Domain Proceedings Commenced on Eight...

Despite recent obstacles, the California High Speed Rail Authority (the “Authority”) remains steadfast in its determination to complete the high-speed rail project (the “Project”), bolstered by recent approvals from various...more

3/18/2014 - Clean Water Act High-Speed Rail Infrastructure Public Projects Railways Water

Home Rule on Display in Los Angeles: First Oil-Producing City in California to Enact a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

It was only a matter of time before a city banned hydraulic fracturing in California - a “home rule” state, where cities and localities are permitted by constitutional amendment to enact and enforce their own zoning laws as...more

3/4/2014 - Energy Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas

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