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Debates Continue Over Taxes And Fees On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio And Pennsylvania

In exchange for a $2.6 billion cut to Ohio’s state income taxes, Gov. John Kasich has proposed a package of tax increases in other areas. Included among those increases would be the gradual implementation of a 2.75 percent...more

Colorado Group Submits Another Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Petition For Consideration

Colorado voters may have yet another anti-fracking statewide ballot initiative to consider this November. The proposed constitutional amendment that was submitted to the Colorado Legislative Council on February 21 would...more

An Unprecedented Change in Mexican Energy Politics

In an unprecedented change in Mexican energy politics, the government has amended its Political Constitution to allow the participation of private capital in its upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas businesses. The...more

President Obama's Fifth State of the Union Address – A Little Something for Everyone

As required by Article II, Section 3, of the United States Constitution, President Obama appeared last night before members of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Judiciary, certain members of his...more

Pennsylvania Governor Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider Decision Striking Down Act 13

Governor Tom Corbett is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider its December 19, 2013 decision striking down key provisions of Act 13 — a bill aimed at regulation of drilling activity in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus...more

Revisiting the Mexican Energy Reform Part 1 of 3

I made an early review of the Mexican Energy Reform. Now it is time to revisit in full. This is part 1 of 3 for a series of posts trying to construe the recently approved Mexican Energy Reform. Despite the political opinions,...more

Political Trends in Latin American Oil: Mexico and Venezuela

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has responded to over a decade of declining oil and gas production with vocal support of reform of the Mexican energy sector. While the Mexican Constitution provides PEMEX a monopoly in...more

Taxpayer Settlement Agreement Waives Future Claims and Judicially Estops Contradictory Claims

After challenging a 1991 Utility User Tax, taxpayers negotiated a monetary settlement agreement with Los Angeles County. The settlement agreement also provided for an election to validate the tax. After the election, a...more

New California Law Establishes Additional Requirements for Conducting Elections Involving Stormwater and Flood Control Service...

Public Agencies Must Adhere to New Steps By Next Summer - Public agencies that handle water, sewer, and solid waste services in California are required to comply with certain mailed notice and majority protest public...more

The Renewable Resources Coalition Case: Pleading Around California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

The California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Renewable Resources Coalition, Inc. v. Pebble Mines Corporation, et al., 218 Cal.App.4th 384 (July 20, 2013), illustrates perfectly the importance of careful drafting of...more

The Atomic Energy Act Preempts Vermont’s Efforts To Close Vermont Yankee: Sometimes, Legislative Intent Is Just Too Clear To...

Last week, in Entergy v. Shumlin, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals largely struck down Vermont’s efforts to close Vermont Yankee. Although three separate Vermont statutes were at issue, and Entergy made both preemption and...more

Local Initiative Measures May Not Set Water Rates Lower than Amount Needed to Cover Required Costs under the Water Code

After a county water district raised its water and sewer rates, opponents of the rate hikes qualified two initiatives for the ballot to reverse the increase. The district filed a court action for declaratory relief, arguing...more

Proposition 26 Does Not Apply Retroactively to Existing Local Assessments, Fees, or Charges

Proposition 26 expanded the definition of the term “tax” for purposes of article XIII C of the California Constitution in order to halt evasions of Proposition 218. A Court of Appeal recently addressed whether Proposition 26...more

Court Rules Voter Initiative Cannot Force Water District to Set Rates Below Level Mandated by State Statute - Water Districts Must...

In Mission Springs Water District v. Verjil, a California appellate court invalidated voter initiatives that had proposed to reduce a water district’s recently adopted rate increases and limit the amount the district could...more

Peña Nieto starts debate on Energy Reform in Mexico

Yesterday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto officially presented his proposal to reform the energy sector (oil and electricity). Here is a quick preview of the hard debate to come...more

American Suspicions Could Deter Chinese Investment

Chinese officials have long complained about American national security reviews, insisting they are an obstacle to Chinese investment in the United States....more

After Expensive Campaign, Proposal 3 Rejected By Voters

The renewable energy initiated constitutional amendment on the November 6 statewide ballot (Proposal 3) was defeated 62 percent to 38 percent. The proposal would have constitutionally mandated that by 2025, 25 percent of the...more

California Cap and Trade to Launch End of the World, Brave New World or Carbon Tax?

Six years after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) holds its first auction of emissions allowances on November...more

Substantial Justice in Eminent Domain Proceedings: The New Date of Valuation for Privately-Owned, Public Utility Companies By:...

Originally published in the Mississippi Bar Litigation Section Newsletter - May 2012. In 2011, amid much fanfare, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to amend the Mississippi Constitution to...more

Legislature Adjourns Without Senate Vote on HB 2789

The Arizona Legislature adjourned last week without a Senate floor vote on Rep. Lesko's (R-Glendale) controversial House Bill 2789. This bill, as amended in the Senate, would have prohibited the State from increasing its...more

Arizona House of Reps. Approves Potentially Unconstitutional Energy Bill

The Arizona House of Representatives voted today to pass Rep. Lesko's HB 2789. This is the bill that would require the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to get legislative approval of "all rules or amendments to existing...more

HB 2789 Moves Forward Despite Legislative Council's Finding of Unconstitutionality

Earlier today, the Rules Committee of the Arizona House of Representatives passed Rep. Lesko's (R-Glendale) HB 2789 despite an opinion issued by the Arizona Legislative Council on Monday concluding that the bill is...more

ACC's Top Attorney Concludes HB 2789 is Unconstitutional

In a letter to the Commissioners last week, Janice Alward, Chief Counsel for the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), analyzed a bill currently pending in the Arizona Legislature and concluded that it is unconstitutional. ...more

3 Proposed Changes to New Mexico PRC Approved by Legislature; Go to Voters in November

Yesterday, the New Mexico legislature completed its 30 day session and approved three changes to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC). The changes were the result of attempts to reform the Agency following...more

Township Solicitor Asks Court to Take Initiative Banning Drilling off the Ballot

Voters in Pennsylvania's Peters Township will never see a referendum banning oil and gas drilling if a Common Pleas judge sides with the township solicitor and blocks the question from appearing on the November...more

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