Michael Mills

Michael Mills

Stoel Rives LLP

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Two County Fracking Prohibitions Succeed While One Fails: What the Voting Results in Santa Barbara, San Benito, and Mendocino...

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, three counties in California presented voters with measures to ban hydraulic fracturing and other forms of intensive oil and gas operations. Voters in Santa Barbara County rejected the...more

11/7/2014 - Election Results Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas

State Bar, Environmental Law Section Presents Update on Fracking Regulations

The California State Bar, Environmental Law Section hosts an annual conference which welcomes attorneys and students from across the state to learn and discuss cutting edge environmental law issues. This year’s Environmental...more

10/23/2014 - Bar Associations Energy Policy Fracking Professional Conferences Professional Development

Update on the California High Speed Rail System

James Andrew, Assistant Chief Counsel for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”), spoke Tuesday, October 14, at the Sacramento County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Luncheon. He stated that High-Speed...more

10/20/2014 - CEQA High-Speed Rail ICCTA Infrastructure

High-Speed Rail Authority May Use Bond Funds – Supreme Court Rules

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”) is gaining more steam in keeping the High-Speed Rail Project (the “Project”) on track. Today, the California Supreme Court issued a decision declining to review an appellate...more

10/16/2014 - Bonds High-Speed Rail Infrastructure Public Transit Railways

Oil & Gas Law Alert: SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations - Second Revised Text of Proposed Regulations

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, the California Department of Conservation ("Department") issued public notice of the Second Revised Proposed Regulations for SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations ("Second Revised...more

10/13/2014 - Department of Conservation Oil & Gas Proposed Regulation Public Comment Underground Injection Wells Water Water Resources Control Board

Railroad Companies Allege Federal Law Governing Petroleum Transport Preempts SB 861

Railroad transportation of raw petroleum, often referred to as “crude-by-rail,” has received increasing media attention in recent months, due to health and environmental concerns. California took a stab at legislating rail...more

10/9/2014 - DOT Federal Railroad Administration Federal Railroad Safety Act ICCTA Oil & Gas PHMSA Railroads

Senators Critique Proposed Federal Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On September 30, 2014, a block of twelve Democratic U.S. Senators presented a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), urging stricter fracking regulations. The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”),...more

10/3/2014 - Bureau of Land Management Fracking Oil & Gas OMB Public Land Regulatory Agenda Regulatory Standards Tribal Lands

California Governor Signs Bill Regulating Oil by Rail

On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide...more

9/29/2014 - Emergency Response Hazardous Substances New Legislation Oil & Gas Railroads Reporting Requirements Surface Transportation

Drilling Bill Fails in Assembly

SB 1096 (Jackson), which sought to foreclose the possibility of oil drilling in state waters from wells that could be drilled at Vandenberg Air Force Base, was defeated in the Assembly on Tuesday...more

8/28/2014 - Coastal Real Estate Legislative Process Oil & Gas Well Drilling

SB-1281 Amended to Remove Requirement for Oil, Gas Drillers to Use Recycled Water

SB-1281 faced strong industry opposition due to the bill’s requirement that oil and gas drilling companies use recycled water for new operations during drought emergencies. Industry representatives have stated that such...more

8/27/2014 - Drought Oil & Gas Pending Legislation Recycling Water Well Drilling

Zinc: It's Not Just for Lifeguards

Minerals Make Life - an initiative created by the National Mining Association - has recently developed an infographic explaining the importance of the mineral zinc....more

8/18/2014 - Minerals Natural Resources

Full Steam Ahead for Eminent Domain Actions after High Speed Rail Authority Negotiations End in Impasse

The State Public Works Board (the “Board”) adopted four Resolutions of Necessity approving the High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) use of eminent domain for public necessity to acquire four parcels in Fresno and...more

8/18/2014 - Eminent Domain High-Speed Rail Infrastructure Public Projects Takings

SB 1281 (Pavley): Oil & Gas Production; Water Use Reporting

SB-1281 was amended in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on August 4, 2014. A scheduled hearing on August 6 was postponed and held on suspense under Joint Rule 62(a). As of this writing, a hearing has not yet been...more

8/15/2014 - Energy Environmental Policies Fracking Oil & Gas Water

Court Signals Green to $8.6bn California High-Speed Rail Bond Issuance

The Third District Court of Appeal reversed a Sacramento Superior Court Judge’s ruling that prohibited the High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) from selling bonds under Proposition 1A to construct the High Speed Rail Project...more

8/6/2014 - Bonds High-Speed Rail HRSA Infrastructure Railways

Report Recommends Update of USEPA UIC Program Citing Hydraulic Fracturing Concerns

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report yesterday, July 28, 2014, that presents a need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) to update the Underground Injection Control class II...more

7/30/2014 - Energy Fracking GAO Oil & Gas Popular USEPA

U.S. House Hearing Supports Legislation for Development of Domestic Minerals (H.R. 761)

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing, titled "American Metals and Mineral Security: An examination of the domestic critical...more

7/28/2014 - Legislative Agendas Minerals Mining Mining Contracts Proposed Legislation

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

7/28/2014 - DOGGR Fracking Fracking Bans Oil & Gas Popular Western States Petroleum Association

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 - Department of Transportation Ethanol Oil & Gas Railroads Railways Rulemaking Process Storage Tanks

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

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