Energy & Utilities Constitutional Law

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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

New Source Review Update: Courts Limit Aggregation for Major Source Determination and Challenges to NSR Pre-Project Emissions...

Pennsylvania Court Limits NSR Permit Aggregation - In February, the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down an environmental group’s challenge that Ultra Resources should have aggregated eight compressor stations...more

Conflict Minerals Filings—Round Two

It’s that time of year again. Form SD filings are due June 1st (May 31st falls on a Sunday). For those who have been diligently working on your company’s annual report and proxy statement, it is time to turn your attention...more

Denbury Part II: Big Changes Coming in Texas Pipeline Condemnations ?

Is Denbury’s Green Pipeline a common carrier? That question is alive and well in Texas. In Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green-Texas Pipeline, LLC, the Beaumont court of appeals reversed a summary judgment granted...more

Alabama Department of Revenue Gets a Second Chance to Justify Diesel Fuel Sales Tax Against Rail Carriers

In the State of Alabama’s and CSX Transportation’s second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held in a 7-2 decision on March 4 that Alabama’s sales tax on diesel fuel purchased and used by rail carriers—where motor and...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Berkeley Hillside: New Supreme Court decision defines limits of CEQA exemption challenges to development: Allen Matkins - Mar 2: On March 2, the California Supreme Court issued the...more

Blog: Will Congress Revisit The Conflict Minerals Rule?

According to a Bloomberg BNA report, a representative of the Chamber of Commerce, one of the plaintiffs in National Association of Manufacturers, Inc. v. SEC, the conflict minerals case currently pending in the DC Circuit,...more

Three Strike and You are Out: District Court Grants Summary Judgment on Lack of Standing, No Infringement and Invalidates the...

Plaintiff NOV filed a patent infringement action asserting that defendant Omron had infringed NOV's patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,474,142 or the '142 Patent). Specifically, NOV alleged Omron's oil rig automation control system...more

California’s Fracking Preemption Battle Moves Forward in San Benito County

Oil company Citadel Exploration, Inc. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against San Benito County, arguing that the County’s voter-sponsored ban on various types of well stimulation—often referred to generally as hydraulic...more

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