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Efforts to Avoid Ballot Measures on Fracking Fail in Colorado

Faced with the potential for two anti-fracking measures on the Colorado ballot this November, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and state lawmakers have been working for weeks to develop a legislative compromise to avoid...more

New Definition of Waters Protected Under the Clean Water Act Proposed

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have proposed a new rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA)....more

An Update On Standing — Some Specifics Really Are Required

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s approval of Nevada’s State Implementation Plan for regional haze against a challenge by WildEarth Guardians. The decision isn’t earthshaking. However, because it...more

Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States” Under the...

On April 21, 2014, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (collectively the “Agencies”) released a proposed rule to define the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act...more

Only When a Permit is Required: The Supreme Court Caps the EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stationary...

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA et al. 573 U.S. ____ (2014) - On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act...more

White House Weighs Higher EPA 2014 RFS Targets To Help Climate Efforts

On July 15, 2014, Inside EPA reported that "the White House is examining options for reversing EPA's proposed cuts to several renewable fuel standard (RFS) production targets in order to promote biofuels that create fewer...more

DOE Bio Projects Among Winners In R&D 100 Awards For 2014

On July 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that several biobased DOE research projects were recognized by R&D magazine as the most outstanding technology developments with promising commercial potential....more

Regulatory Threat to Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

A federal inter-agency Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group has called for the elimination of an exemption currently enjoyed by water and wastewater treatment facilities from the Chemical Facility and...more

Water, Water everywhere …

There were two court decisions this week regarding regulation of Maine rivers, one from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Watts v. BEP, and one federal, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC. ...more

Biobased Companies Among Recipients Of EPA Funding

On July 14, 2014, EPA announced recipients of funding to develop and commercialize innovative, sustainable technologies to address current environmental issues. Among the recipients were the following companies pursuing...more

EU Launches € 50 Million Public-Private Biobased Industries Partnership

In a July 9, 2014, press release, the European Union (EU) announced the launch of seven public-private partnerships, established under the EU's new research funding program Horizon 2020. They represent a total investment of €...more

New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Fracking Bans

The New York Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 decision, held that the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”) does not preempt municipal zoning authority. The Court explained that land use regulation is among the...more

CEQA Exemption Update: Westland Water District Two-Year Contract Renewals Ruled Exempt from CEQA Requirements

In North Coast Rivers Alliance v. Westlands Water District, No. FO67383 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. July 3, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld the Westland Water District and its related distribution districts’ (Water...more

PTC “Start of Construction” Clarifying Guidance Expected in a Week or Two

General Electric (GE) stated on its quarterly earnings call today that it expected that the clarification to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) production tax credit (PTC) “start of construction” guidance would be released...more

Iowa Supreme Court Decision Boosts Renewable Energy Development

A recent Iowa Supreme Court decision may give a boost to small-scale renewable energy development in that state. On July 11, the court issued its opinion in SZ Enterprises, LLC vs. Iowa Utilities Board (link to decision),...more

California Air Resources Board-Commissioned Report Recommends Ways to Avoid Price Volatility in California’s Cap and Trade Market

Concerned about the potential for price volatility in its cap and trade program, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) commissioned the Market Simulation Group (MSG) at the University of California Energy Institute to...more

State Water Resources Control Board Adopts Emergency Water Conservation Regulation in Response to Drought

Regulation Requires Agencies to Restrict Outdoor Irrigation and Prohibit Certain Uses of Water - The State Water Resources Control Board has adopted an emergency regulation requiring local agencies to restrict potable...more

Australian Tax Update: Repeal Of The Carbon Tax - Easy Come Easy Go?

The Federal Government has fulfilled its election promise when the Senate passed the carbon tax repeal legislation on 17 July 2014. The Government achieved the repeal of the carbon tax after 2 weeks of negotiations with the...more

Smooth Operator

The successful financing, negotiation and construction of a utility-scale solar power plant are significant achievements for all parties. However, owners and providers face an entirely new set of challenges once the plant is...more

Monthly Update for July 2014

Limited Space Still Available For Sustainable Futures Training Workshop: There are still spaces available for the Sustainable Futures Training workshop scheduled for August 5-7, 2014, at the George Washington University...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

REGULATORY ACTIVITY - GREENHOUSE GAS - Pursuant to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon propose to prohibit certain chemicals contributing to emissions of...more

Multistate ZEV Plan Looks to Increase the Use of Zero-Emission Vehicles Through Infrastructure Development, Standardization, and...

On May 29, 2014, the ZEV Program Implementation Task Force issued a 32-page action plan detailing the efforts that eight states will undertake to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in use. ZEVs are battery...more

ML Strategies’ Energy & Environment Update: July 2014 #2

During the past several years, Europe has installed about 2,000 offshore turbines (6,500 MW of offshore wind generation capacity), with capacity doubling since 2010. Offshore wind provides almost 1% of total power in Western...more

Atlantic offshore wind energy targeted

A report released by the National Wildlife Foundation highlights the potential of U.S. states on the Atlantic Ocean to generate electricity from offshore wind -- and calls upon state leaders to take action to promote offshore...more

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Calls Proposed Denton Fracking Ban ‘Extremely Misguided’; Asks City Council to Reject Measure

On July 11th, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman sent a letter to the mayor and city council members for Denton, Texas asking that the council reject a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton. Chairman...more

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