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Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

Taking A Look At Significant Environmental Legislation This Session:

SB 38 – Amend Environmental Laws started as Emergency Management Amendments. The House added environmental amendments. The House sent the bill back to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate Clerk’s Office is holding the bill...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - SENATE ENR COMMITTEE VOTES TO APPROVE FERC NOMINEES, KEYSTONE XL BILL - On Wednesday, June 18, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a business meeting in executive...more

New York State Assembly Passes Three-Year Fracking Moratorium – Senate Vote Unlikely

On Monday, the New York State Assembly voted 89-34 in favor of a three-year statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. But with the legislative session ending in just a few days, the Senate appears unlikely to take up the...more

Senate Committee Passes Legislation Approving Keystone XL Pipeline and Pushes Full Senate Vote

On June 18, 2014, the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources (“Committee”) passed in a 12-10 bi-partisan vote a bill that would approve TransCanada’s application to build Keystone XL pipeline, which has been pending...more

Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). The statute begins to address ways to fund the billions of dollars necessary to update the country’s drinking water...more

Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and...more

Will The Legislature Have The Final Word On Groundwater Contamination? Looks That Way

Legislators are outmaneuvering School House Rock. Folks my age got a great civics lesson in how a bill becomes a law on Saturday mornings while eating sugary cereal in front of the tv. But a crucial element was missing from...more

How Local Drilling Regulations May Impede Business Development in WV

As governor, Senator Joe Manchin famously declared West Virginia to be “Open for Business.” Whether motivated by environmental or other concerns, however, some groups believe that, when it comes to the natural gas industry,...more

WIFIA: New $350 Million Water Project Federal Financing Program

After seven years of effort, Congress passed H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. President Obama is poised to add his signature. This is a vitally important piece of legislation for BB&K clients and...more

Carson, CA City Council Refuses to Enact Two-Year Moratorium on Oil and Gas Activity, Including Well Stimulation

This past Tuesday, the Carson City Council voted against a local moratorium on new oil and gas activity within its city limits. Last month, Carson passed a 45-day ban on all oil and gas operations, as reported in our March...more

More Well Stimulation Bans in Southern California

The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban well stimulation treatments within city limits by a unanimous vote in February, and is in the process of drafting ordinances to put that decision into effect. Carson, California has...more

The State of Fracking

Fracking is not new to California - it has been used in oil fields for decades - but it has recently become a hot political and legal issue with increasing news reports about alleged environmental damage associated with...more

BakerHostetler’s Shale Oil and Gas Industry 2013 Year-in-Review and 2014 Look Forward

With Congress and the White House mired in partisan gridlock and preoccupied by issues like the federal debt ceiling, the Affordable Care Act rollout, and the Edward Snowden leak investigation, states again took the lead on...more

Governor Brown's Promised SB 4 Amendments: Proposals Should Appease Environmental Critics by Closing Potential CEQA Loopholes

In his SB 4 signing message (see September 20, 2013 post), Governor Brown promised certain “clarifying” amendments for SB 4, and his administration has begun the process of seeking those amendments....more

Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. First, a couple of jurisdictions took actions...more

Carson, California Bans All New Oil & Gas Drilling Activity - Takes LA's Hydraulic Fracturing Ban to the Next Level

The City Council of Carson, California has unanimously (by 5-0 vote) approved a moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling within its city limits. The moratorium is set to last 45 days for now, and the City Council will...more

Illinois Voters Defeat Local Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing after Controversial Campaign

On Tuesday, Voters in Johnson County, Illinois rejected a local referendum designed to pressure county commissioners into enacting a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, the referendum—technically a non-binding...more

Oil & Gas Summary Of Final Senate Bill 373

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC was very active during the West Virginia Legislative session on behalf of the natural gas industry regarding interest in the above referenced bill that was introduced in reaction to a chemical...more

Los Angeles City Council Clears Way for Fracking Ban

A vote taken by the Los Angeles City Council last week could set the stage for a city-wide ban on hydraulic fracturing. During its session on Friday, February 28, the ten-member council unanimously approved a motion to draft...more

Los Angeles City Council Votes to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing: Home Rule or Preemption

Following a string of bans enacted by municipalities in New York, Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico (a countywide ban was enacted), Vermont and New Jersey, the Los Angeles City Council approved the adoption of a local ordinance...more

Broomfield Fracking Ban Upheld

On February 27, 2014, Colorado District Court Judge Chris Melonakis ruled that Broomfield’s five-year fracking ban would remain in effect. The ban passed by a mere twenty votes. The results of the November 2014 election were...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

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