Energy & Utilities Constitutional Law

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Air Quality Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Blocks EPA Coal Plant Air Toxics Standards

Earlier today the US Supreme Court issued a 5 to 4 decision in Michigan v. EPA that struck down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule. The MATS rule imposes stringent...more

Supreme Court Update: Michigan V. EPA (14-47) And Arizona State Legislature V. Arizona Independent Redistricting Comm'n (13-1314)

The last day of school is always anticlimactic, with finals done and yearbooks already signed. That may have described the atmosphere on First Street yesterday, but make no mistake: The Court ended October Term 2014 term with...more

Irrigation District Sues, Says State Board Lacks Jurisdiction to Curtail Senior Water Rights

On June 26, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) filed a petition for writ of mandate in Contra Costa County Superior Court requesting that the Court set aside the State Water Resources Control Board’s June 12, 2015...more

Wyoming Federal District Court Stays BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

On June 23, a coalition of industry, states, and tribal interests convinced a federal judge to stay the effective date of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule. The stay demonstrates the first step...more

Blog: This Year’s Conflict Minerals Filings Show Some Improvement, According To Early Review

An early review of conflict minerals filings for the 2014 reporting period shows improvement in “detail, clarity and quality,” according to this article in BNA. As reported by Elm Sustainability Partners, a conflict minerals...more

Energy Newsletter - June 2015

In This Issue: - The "Preliminary Agreement" – Framing or Frustrating the Deal? - Recent Maritime Cases Illustrate the Different Legal Risks Involved with Conducting Offshore Oil and Gas Operations - Texas...more

City's Revenue Transfer From its Wastewater Utility to its General Fund Is Justified

California Appellate Court Holds that Transfer Did Not Violate Proposition 218 - In a challenge to the transfer of revenues from a city’s wastewater utility to its general fund, a California Appellate Court held Tuesday...more

What is “Just Compensation” for Gas Station Acquisitions?

Gas stations and car washes are primarily owner-occupied convenience businesses, typically located near freeway off-ramps and at the intersections of well-traveled roadways. As a result, they’re frequently involved in...more

Senate adopts Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act

On May 7, 2015, the US Senate voted 98-1 to adopt the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (the "Act"). The Act is the culmination of months of legislative maneuvering and a debate over foreign policy and separation of...more

Does Voter Initiative Drain Water Providers' Power to Respond to Drought?

As reported on Nossaman's Endangered Species Law & Policy blog, on April 1, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown issued a landmark executive order mandating water cutbacks for urban residents to address the state's historic drought....more

Supreme Court Preserves States' Power to Protect Consumers But in the Process Blurs Federal Preemption Analysis

The Supreme Court once again showed that, when it comes to the antitrust laws, the consumer is king. In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, the Court was asked to decide where state antitrust laws end and federal regulation begins. The...more

Justices Spar Over Pre-Emption as High Court Allows State Law Antitrust Claims to Proceed Against Interstate Pipelines

On April 21, 2015, in a 7-2 decision authored by Justice Breyer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state law antitrust claims brought against interstate pipeline companies by a group of manufacturers and other retail buyers...more

Justices Spar Over Pre-Emption as High Court Allows State Law Antitrust Claims to Proceed Against Interstate Pipelines

The recent 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oneok, Inc. et al. v. Learjet, Inc. et al. ruled that state law antitrust claims brought against interstate pipeline companies by a group of manufacturers and other retail buyers...more

ONEOK, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc.: The Supreme Court Holds that Natural Gas Jurisdictional Sellers are Subject to State Antitrust...

On April 21, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in ONEOK Inc. v. Learjet, Inc. addressing the extent to which the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) preempts state antitrust claims brought against...more

California Court of Appeal Holds City's Tiered Water Rate Structure Violates Proposition 218

But City May Charge Potable Customers for the Costs of Developing Alternative Supply Projects, Such as Recycled Water - In an opinion anxiously awaited by many water agencies throughout California, the Fourth District...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Democrats Take their Budget Plan on the Road While Governor Pushes For Constitutional Amendment...more

San Juan Capistrano Tiered Water-Use Rates Decision

The Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision finding that San Juan Capistrano’s tiered water-use rates structure violated Proposition 218 generated a lot of news coverage, as these structures are likely to be a tool water...more

Update on Two Recent California Eminent Domain Cases

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal. The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an...more

In Non-precedential Case, Third Circuit Affirms Fracking Trade Secrets Trump Physician’s Right to Know, Absent Actual Harm

Fracking in Pennsylvania continues to create work for the courts. On March 16, 2015, in a non-precedential opinion in Rodriguez v. Secretary of Pennsylvania Environmental Protection of PA et al., the Third Circuit issued a...more

Are Groundwater Extraction Fees Property Related or Regulatory Fees? It Depends

Two new Proposition 218-related cases published in March come to opposite conclusions in determining whether groundwater extraction and replenishment fees are “property-related” fees subject to Article XIII D of the...more

NC Legislative Update for April 2015

This Week - In the midst of bill filing deadlines, some time was reserved for entertainment and fun this week on April fool’s Day. The NCGOP arguably won top honors, duping many across the state on social media when it...more

Mexico’s Energy Revolution Series: Mexico's Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

In This Issue: - Introduction - A Monumental Constitutional Amendment - Understanding the New Risk Contracts - Navigating the Regulatory Environment - Investment...more

Final Rules Released for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Tribal Lands

The Bureau of Land Management contends that its new rules are consistent with state regulations and industry standards, but stakeholders believe that the rules are unnecessary or simply miss the mark. ...more

Gas Lines to Pipelines: The Case for Comprehensive Federal Energy Legislation

We’ve struggled with the consequences of an insufficient federal energy policy for nearly half a century. From the gas lines of the 1970s to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy of the past several years, the federal and...more

Real Estate and Land Use - March 2015

Be Careful What You Agree To (City of San Marcos v. Loma San Marcos, LLC) - Why It matters: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision upholding an agreement between the City of San Marcos and a property owner...more

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