Administrative Agency Energy & Utilities

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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California PUC Set to Address Handling of Confidential Records

On August 14, 2015 California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Rafael Lirag extended the deadline for public comment in the CPUC Confidentiality/Public Records Act rulemaking proceeding. This...more

While New Methane Rules Get Most of the Attention, EPA Also Proposes New Site Aggregation Policies for the Oil and Gas Sector and...

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") released and asked for comments on a number of proposed rules affecting the oil and gas industry. While the methane emission regulations have received the...more

Walton EMC Prevails in “reconstruction in substantial kind” Georgia Territorial Act Case

A hearing officer of the Georgia Public Service Commission recently decided in favor of Walton EMC in a Territorial Act dispute with Georgia Power over the right to provide electric service to a CVS drugstore in Athens,...more

EPA’s Estimate of the “Social Cost of Methane” Used to Justify New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas...

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued proposed New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) under the Clean Air Act covering methane and volatile organic compound (“VOC”) emissions...more

Court Rejects 30 Year Eagle Permit Rule on NEPA Grounds

On August 11, 2015, the US District Court for the Northern District of California remanded a US Fish & Wildlife Service’s (FWS) 2013 final rule that had extended the maximum duration of eagle take programmatic permits under...more

Blog: New GAO Report On Conflict Minerals Compliance

By coincidence, the same day that the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit struck down (again) a portion of the conflict minerals rule (see this post), the GAO issued a report to Congressional Committees entitled “SEC...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 44

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 44 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, Louisiana, and Maryland. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide...more

EPA Hits Oil and Gas Industry With a Flurry of Proposed Methane Regulations

EPA took major steps on August 18, 2015 to curtail methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by simultaneously releasing four new proposed rules. These actions are part of the Obama Administration’s larger climate...more

Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Next Step, Landfill Methane

Having gotten the Clean Power Plan out the door, EPA has moved on to another target of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: landfill methane emissions. Late last week, EPA proposed both new emission guidelines for...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ESA 60-Day Notice "Adequate" and Resurrects Challenge to Suction Dredge Mining Suit

On August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court order dismissing an Endangered Species Act ("ESA") lawsuit on the grounds plaintiffs provided inadequate notice. Klamath-Siskiyou...more

Initial Decision Finds that BP Manipulated 2008 Natural Gas Market in Texas

On August 13, 2015, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued an initial decision in which she found that BP America Inc. et al. (“BP”) manipulated the natural...more

BP Case May Again Test Limits of FERC’s “In Connection With” Enforcement Jurisdiction

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law Judge last week issued an Initial Decision finding that BP America (BP) and certain related BP entities violated FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule. Following a...more

Open Meeting Of The Biomass Research And Development Technical Advisory Committee Announced

On August 10, 2015, the Federal Register included a notice announcing an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in Washington D.C. on August 27, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - 15 states sue to block enforcement of Obama administration climate change rules: Bloomberg - Aug 13: Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia – but not including California - asked...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, August 2015

EPA Issues Direct Final Rule On Significant New Use Notification Electronic Reporting: On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act...more

Clean Power Plan Finalized by Obama Administration and EPA — What's Next?

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new set of final regulations aimed at reducing carbon output from power plants. The sweeping new Clean Power Plan (CPP) sets limits...more

EPA Clean Power Plan – Final GHG Rule for New and Existing Power Plants

On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced its “Clean Power Plan”: the final version of its proposed rule issued in June 2014 to set carbon dioxide (“CO2”) standards for existing power...more

Energy Insights: An Update from the Second Quarter of 2015

In this edition of Seyfarth Shaw’s Energy Insights Newsletter our Energy and Clean Technologies team covers important developments in Q2 2015 for the energy industry including court protection for companies using hydraulic...more

MSHA Increases Scrutiny

If you operate or work at a metal/nonmetal mine be ready for significant changes on how the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will enforce its workplace examination standards.The MSHA recently issued a policy...more

EPA Issues Suite of Final and Proposed Regulations for Carbon Emissions from Power Plants

On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued three separate but related actions to address carbon pollution from power plants: 1) the final Clean Power Plan, President Obama’s signature effort to...more

CPUC Likely to Hold Verizon Responsible for its Share of Costs Related to Underground Communications Facilities

The California Public Utilities Commission will decide whether Verizon is improperly shifting costs to California cities by refusing to pay its share of expenses related to the installation of underground service facilities....more

San Francisco Cannot Sue Federal Agency For Gas Explosion Under APA

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit issued its Opinion in City & County of San Francisco v. US Department of Transportation, holding the City may not proceed against the Secretary of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous...more

Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of...more

MSHA Workplace Examination “Clarification” Places Enforcement Target Squarely on Operators

Over the years, the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) has tried on two different occasions to overhaul the workplace examination standard at 30 CFR §56/57.18002 by issuing program policy letters. The agency’s primary...more

First Water Curtailment Action Filed in California

In the first of possibly many enforcement actions this year, the State Water Resource Control Board issued a draft cease-and-desist order against West Side Irrigation District in Tracy, Calif., demanding the District curb its...more

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