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2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December...more

Residential Development in California: New Density Bonus Law Makes New Affordable Housing Difficult to Build

Governor Brown signed into law on September 27, 2014, AB2222, which amends the State's Density Bonus Law ("DBL"), Gov't Code §§ 65915, et seq. to establish significant constraints upon the use of the incentives provided by...more

Transportation Funding Issue Heats Up

Right out of the gate, both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature put forward transportation funding packages. It has been called the issue of the session. The need for reliable, efficient transportation touches everyone in...more

New Laws of 2015: New Tax Infrastructure Financing Tools

The final article in the New Laws of 2015 series focuses on new legislation that makes it easier for municipalities and special districts to harness tax increment — the future incremental growth in property tax revenues — for...more

Keystone Pipeline May Be First Clash between President and New Congress

So the new Congress has been sworn in back in Washington, and the nation gears up for the first big clash between the Republican-controlled Congress and President Obama.  What will the first major battle be:  health care;...more

Congress Passes Major Public Lands Package

For the first time in nearly six years, Congress passed a major package of public lands and natural resource bills, which was signed into law by President Obama on December 19, 2014. The package combined dozens of bills...more

New Water Reporting Requirements for Oil and Gas Operators

A new oil and gas reporting bill, Senate Bill 1281, sponsored by State Senator Fran Pavley, was signed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2014. The California Department of Conservation – Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal...more

US Presidential Permits for cross-border infrastructure

As the U.S.'s international trade in energy grows, so too has interest in the process for securing a federally required approval known as a Presidential Permit. The construction, operation, and maintenance of...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 11/24/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - Prior to recessing for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House and Senate both took several votes and introduced numerous pieces of legislation on energy and environment related issues last...more

The Unintended Effects of Protecting the Environment – How Banning Fracking Can Lead San Benito County To Bankruptcy

On November 4, 2014, San Benito County voters went to the poles to vote on Measure J, the measure designed to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and related gas and oil extraction activities, as well as other...more

Fracking Preemption Fight to Play Out in San Benito County

It appears that San Benito County will be the venue for the much-anticipated legal battle over whether local jurisdictions in California can ban hydraulic fracturing. In early November, San Benito County passed a...more

Arlington/Fairfax Streetcar Halted in Its Tracks

This latest move follows recent projections increasing the total cost of the project by tens of millions of dollars and, perhaps as a result, Arlington County election results expressing strong voter opposition to the...more

Ohio Elections Yield Mixed Results on Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

Last week’s Election Day in Ohio produced victories for fracing supporters and opponents alike. Proposed hydraulic fracturing bans were on the ballot in four different municipal contests. Voters in one city, Athens, approved...more

Governor Brown Signs into Law AB 229 and SB 628, Giving New Life to Tax Increment Financing

In late September, Governor Brown signed into law AB 229 and SB 628, which are intended to finance public capital facilities or other specified projects of communitywide significance previously financed by redevelopment...more

Election Scoreboard: Frackers 4, Anti’s 4

Hydraulic fracturing bans had eight at-bats last Tuesday. Here are the results. Denton, Texas - YES 58.64%... NO 41.36%...more

Changes in Congress Affect California Water Interests

Last week’s Midterm elections shifted the political landscape toward the Republicans as they captured the majority in the Senate and increased their votes in the House....more

Shuffle Up and Deal: Casino Licenses Officially Awarded After Casino Law Repeal Fails

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously voted to formally award the Regions A and B resort casino licenses to Wynn MA LLC and MGM Springfield, respectively, a process which had been delayed until after the election on...more

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment Defeated, but Zoning Issues Loom for Charlotte’s Web Law

In our previous post about the legal challenges that have been raised in the wake of the State of Florida’s establishment of selection rules for the issuance of licenses for growing and selling medical marijuana pursuant to...more

Los Angeles County Ballot: "P" is for Parks, Prevention and Protection – or Profligacy?

The full title of Measure P is: Safe Neighborhood Parks, Gang Prevention, Youth/Senior Recreation, Beaches/Wildlife Protection Measure. The initiative seeks to ensure continued funding for these listed concerns via a $23 tax...more

Proposition 48: A North Fork in the Road for Tribal Casinos

Continuing our series on the 2014 California election ballot, we now turn to Proposition 48, the Referendum on Indian Gaming Compacts. If voters approve the referendum November 4th, Native American tribes may be able...more

What’s Going On in Denton, Texas?

As you probably know, the Denton City Council denied a petition signed by several thousand citizens to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. The denial sent the question to the November 4 general election ballot. ...more

Continuing Efforts to Ban Single-Use Plastic Carrier Bags In Massachusetts And Beyond

Over the last several years, a number of municipalities across the nation have passed ordinances imposing bans, fees, and/or taxes on single-use plastic carrier bags distributed by retailers. In the most recent 188th...more

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

Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts: New Hope for Cities and Counties

On September 29, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 628 (Chapter 785) which provides a mechanism for cities and counties to form Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) to divert property tax...more

Dr. Seuss Explains "Zoning Reform"

It's not every day that an adult discussion about zoning reform begins with a reference to children's poetry, but so be it. Most [Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts] REBA members have at least a passing...more

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