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Pennsylvania Joins Oklahoma, Bans Homeowners Insurers From Attributing Earthquakes to Fracking

Last month we reported that the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner had issued a bulletin cautioning earthquake insurers against denying claims on the basis that the quake was attributable to a man-made cause, which is to say oil...more

State Board Issues Curtailment Notices of Surface Water Rights Diversions

Just as it did in 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board has issued several notices of curtailment for surface water rights holders in various watersheds because California’s extreme drought has resulted in...more

Five Georgia Environmental Bills to Watch in 2015

Georgia legislature warms up to solar panels, gets protective of coastal marshes, withdraws support for electric cars, and sacrifices LEED certifications in favor of jobs. April 2, 2015 marked final adjournment of the 2015...more

Construction Law Update - May 2015

Today’s newspapers in the central Pennsylvania area have been fraught with concerns and questions regarding the construction of the William’s gas pipeline running from the Marcellus Shale areas of Pennsylvania to the east...more

June Expiration of Select New York City Residential and Commercial Incentive Programs

Four major New York City based incentives programs for residential and commercial property owners and tenants are scheduled to sunset in June. Depending on individual circumstances, there may be an opportunity to vest...more

California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Over City’s Inclusionary Housing Set-Aside

On April 8, 2015, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose (Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County et al.), S212072, a case with statewide...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

Recent Court of Appeals Decision Guts Force Majeure Clauses in Most Oil and Gas Leases

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Walter R. Beardslee, et al. v. Inflection Energy, LLC, et al., interpreting the applicability of force majeure clauses to extend the...more

Senator Allain Proposes Mandatory Mediation in Legacy Lawsuits

Legacy litigation refers to hundreds of lawsuits in Louisiana seeking damages allegedly related to environmental harm caused by oil and gas exploration and production activities. These lawsuits have been likened to winning...more

Colorado Court Ruling Confirms Role of Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Resolving Royalty Disputes

It is not uncommon for royalty disputes between mineral lessors and operators to increase as oil and natural gas prices decrease. Before mineral lessors go running to the courthouse in Colorado, however, and before operators...more

New York State Passes Budget that Continues Tax Incentives for Solar Installations

Last week, New York State enacted a budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 (i.e., April 1, 2015 to Mar. 31, 2016) that continues two tax incentives for the installation of solar energy systems: (1) tax credits...more

Duty to Consult Not Triggered for Exploration Dispositions: Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

The grant of exploration dispositions for oil sands located beneath treaty lands did not trigger the Crown’s duty to consult, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal held recently in Buffalo River Dene Nation v Ministry of Energy...more

New Mandate: If you like your water heater you can keep it; but replacing it will be expensive.

Effective April 16, 2015, there will be significant changes to water heater energy factor requirements as the result of updates to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (“NAECA”). The new requirements call for higher...more

Two California Appellate Court Rulings Demonstrate that Groundwater Pumping Fees are in the Eye of the Beholder

One Holds that the Fee is Subject to Prop. 26 and Another that it is a Property-Related Fee Subject to Prop. 218 - Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down this month address whether or not a local water...more

PACE Financing to Jump-Start Rooftop Solar?

PACE loans can cover up to 100% of the cost of a project, depending on the specific program and the particular project. Similar to other assessments, a PACE assessment runs with the property and can be transferred to a...more

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner: Don’t Deny Earthquake Claims as Man-Made by Linking Them to Fracking

The jury is still out on whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes, but carriers whose policies afford coverage for quakes have recently been denying such claims, asserting that they are excluded because...more

Upcoming Energy Efficiency Requirements in the Rented Sector

The UK government has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to the 1990 baseline. Since energy use in buildings is a major source of UK carbon emissions, improving their energy...more

New Jersey Spill Act: No Statute of Limitations After All

Several months ago we wrote about a then-pending challenge before the New Jersey Supreme Court over the question of whether the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (the “Spill Act”), N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. was...more

A Lesson in Lease Administration

What must a Louisiana lessee do to avoid statutory penalties for non-payment of royalty, and what must a royalty owner do to put the lessee on notice that royalties are not being paid? The answers are, more than the lessee...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - EPA emissions rules face Supreme Court test: NPR - Mar 25: On April 1, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Obama Administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and...more

Law Amends Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs in Virginia

On March 25, 2015, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed into law Chapter 389 of the 2015 Acts of Assembly (the Amendments). The Amendments modify Virginia's existing laws regarding property assessed clean energy (PACE)....more

Ship on course but choppy waters abound! UK Budget 2015: 10 key measures impacting business

Before the Budget was announced, there was natural apprehension that, given the impending general election, the Chancellor would pander to the electorate and sail off course from this Government’s carefully navigated path...more

If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

Are you a developer or landlord of commercial or residential multi-let premises? Are those premises supplied with heat by either a communal heating system or a district heating system?...more

Subsurface Trespass Claims Remain an Open Question in Texas

On February 6, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court released its unanimous and long-awaited opinion in the case Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., 2015 WL 496336 (Tex. 2015), which did not surprise many...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

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