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California’s New Energy Efficiency Challenge

California Governor Jerry Brown, sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term, recently revealed an ambitious new plan to address the impacts of climate change over the next 15 years. The Governor’s bold initiatives include a...more

Court Strikes Down Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement

Surcharge Collected for General Revenue Purposes Under a Franchise Agreement must be Approved by Voters - A surcharge on electric utility bills collected by a power company pursuant to a franchise agreement and remitted...more

Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

February 27, 2015 was the deadline for lawmakers to introduce legislation to the 2015-2016 California Legislative Session and several bills related to oil and gas activities were introduced.  Below is a summary of those...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

South Carolina Legislative Update

Due to last week’s extreme weather, the South Carolina General Assembly met only on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Senate gave second reading to the criminal domestic violence bill and the House passed legislation regarding...more

The Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Much Ado ...

When one talks of pipelines in recent days one hears nearly an incessant buzz about Keystone XL, as if that is where the real action is. But it isn't, notwithstanding the histrionics over President Obama's veto of S.1, the...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

Energy & Environment Update - February 2015 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Defense - Department...more

Crude Oil Exports: A View from the 114th Congress

The 114th Congress convened January 3 with energy at the top of its agenda. Both the House and the Senate kicked off the new session with approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. That was just the start. Senator Lisa Murkowski...more

Municipal Utility’s Recurring Budget Transfer to General Fund Requires Voter Approval

On February 19, the Third District Court of Appeal issued an order denying requests by both parties for a rehearing of its recent decision, Citizens for Fair REU Rates v. City of Redding. This decision held that a municipal...more

The Keystone Pipeline Cleared Hurdles in Congress, But Was Tripped Up by Presidential Veto

This new year has been marked with a flurry of activity surrounding the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Following the changing of the guard in a new Republican-led Congress, Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski led...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview - 2/15

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, beginning at 9:00 am, the Supreme Court of Texas will hear argument in the following three cases...more

The President’s FY2016 Federal Budget Request: Programs Relevant to Tribal Energy Development

The White House transmitted its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request to Congress on February 2, 2015. Overall, the budget includes over $7.4 billion in funding for clean energy technology programs across the federal agencies. ...more

House Energy and Commerce Committee Releases Energy Policy Framework: Architecture of Abundance

“Our energy landscape has changed, but our national energy policy has not kept pace. Outdated and inadequate energy policies are preventing us from taking full advantage of America's energy abundance.” As President...more

DOE Increases Funding For Clean And Renewable Energy In 2016 Budget Request

On February 2, 2015, the White House released the 2016 fiscal year budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Under this proposed plan, DOE would receive $29.9 billion, an increase of $2.6 billion from the 2015...more

Canada Imposes Additional Sanctions, Including Against Rosneft

On February 17, 2015, the Government of Canada announced a new round of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities, including leading Russian oil firm NK Rosneft OAO....more

Key Energy-Related Tax Provisions in the 2016 Budget Proposal

In This Issue: - Modify and Permanently Extend the Production Tax Credit - Enhance and Make Permanent the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit - Provide Carbon Dioxide Investment and Sequestration Tax...more

Renewable Energy Update - February 2015 #2

Renewable Energy Focus: Dianne Feinstein pushes California desert protection: The Desert Sun - Feb 10: The political landscape has changed, with Republicans now controlling both the House and Senate, but Democratic...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Energy and Commerce Hearing Examines ICD-10 Preparedness... HHS Announces Oncology Care Model Initiative... Pennsylvania Governor Abandons Alternative Medicaid Expansion Approach for Traditional Plan....more

NC Legislative Update - February 2015 #2

Budget Season Comes Early - On Tuesday and Wednesday, the various Appropriations committees met for their first round of joint House and Senate meetings to review their respective provisions of the previous year’s base...more

U.S. Government Agency Narrows Scope of Crude Oil Export Ban

On December 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS") issued answers to six FAQs regarding the longstanding U.S. crude export oil ban. In these FAQs, BIS stated that lease condensate...more

California State Senators Announce Suite of Aggressive Climate Legislation

On Tuesday, February 10, several members of the California Senate proposed a package of four bills that would expand the state’s climate change and renewable energy programs, and extend those programs through 2050. If...more

Energy & Environment Update - February 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Environmental Protection Agency -...more

2/15: Nothing in Life is Certain but Death and Tax Extenders: The Corporate Tax Provisions of H.R. 5771

When Congress met at the end of last year, the primary objective for the meeting was clear - to prevent taxes from slowing the recovery that the economy has enjoyed for the last several years. ...more

The President’s Groundhog’s Day Budget Casts a Shadow on Some but Offers Sunshine for Others

On February 2nd, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress. Along with the budget, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released a volume called “General Explanations of the...more

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