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Energy Companies’ Interest in Drones Gains Momentum as FAA Reacts to Comments on Proposed Small UAS Rules

On March 24, 2015, NextEra Energy became the latest energy company granted a Section 333 Exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration. NextEra Energy, whose subsidiaries Florida Power & Light and NextEra Energy Resources...more

EPA Releases Notice On The GHG Emissions Of Pennycress Oil

On March 12, 2015, Christopher Grundler, Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, signed the Notice Of Opportunity to Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and...more

California Crude Trains: How Much Oil Is Actually Coming In and Where Is It Coming From?

California has become ground zero for legal opposition to crude-by-rail projects. Opponents decry derailments, toxic vapors, and other ills. Yet despite the dire images painted by crude-by-rail’s opponents, the reality on the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown, top lawmakers unveil emergency drought legislation: Los Angeles Times - Mar 19: Governor Jerry Brown and top lawmakers from both parties announced Thursday a $1 billion...more

Coal and Transportation Companies Challenge Ninth Circuit Decision Limiting CWA Permit Shield Defense

On March 3, 2015, Aurora Energy Services, LLC and the Alaska Railroad Corp. filed a petition for writ of certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split regarding the scope of the Clean Water...more

Is California Really Going to Mandate an 80% Reduction in Greenhouse Gases Below 1990 Levels by 2050?

The California Supreme Court has elevated the stakes even further on what has already developed into a critically important question for the future of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation in the state. On March 11, 2015, the...more

Energy and Infrastructure Companies Aren’t Waiting for the FAA’s New Drone Rules

With a little over one month to go in the comment period on the FAA’s proposed rules for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and facing the prospect of at least another year before those rules...more

CEQA Alert UPDATE: Petitions for Review Filed in Greenhouse Gas and ICCTA Preemption Cases

As previously reported, two decisions by California’s Fourth Appellate District in late 2014 highlighted CEQA compliance challenges facing local governments charged with implementing state and local greenhouse gas emissions...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, March 2015.

EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Updates EDSP Comprehensive Management Plan: On February 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP)...more

Energy Industry News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Oil companies may need to prepare for more regulation of rail shipments of...more

Texas Legislature Takes Further Aim at Local/Municipal Fracking Bans

On Tuesday, March 11, 2015, the Texas Legislature’s 84th Session gained another bill directed at combating future local and municipal fracking bans. State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Chairman of the Texas House Energy...more

New Pipeline Safety Rules: What You Need to Know

Executive Summary - New regulations for pipeline construction, safety and transportation issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is an agency of the Department of...more

ISO and RTO Responses to FERC Data Requests Fail to Provide Clear Support for Proposed Gas Day Rulemaking

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently employed the somewhat unusual device of issuing data requests to electric power industry participants in an attempt to obtain information that might support a...more

Anticipating PHMSA's Crude by Rail Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's much-anticipated crude by rail rule will address over 3,000 comments, spanning a wide range of public opinion on crude by rail safety. PHMSA must address vast...more

Denbury Part II: Big Changes Coming in Texas Pipeline Condemnations ?

Is Denbury’s Green Pipeline a common carrier? That question is alive and well in Texas. In Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green-Texas Pipeline, LLC, the Beaumont court of appeals reversed a summary judgment granted...more

Alabama Department of Revenue Gets a Second Chance to Justify Diesel Fuel Sales Tax Against Rail Carriers

In the State of Alabama’s and CSX Transportation’s second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held in a 7-2 decision on March 4 that Alabama’s sales tax on diesel fuel purchased and used by rail carriers—where motor and...more

Loss of cargo due to piracy held not to be an “in-transit loss”

Trafigura Beheer BV v Navigazione Montanari SpA [2015] EWCA Civ 91 - The subject vessel was chartered to carry a cargo of oil from Abidjan, Ivory Coast to Lagos, Nigeria. Clause 46 of the charter (on an amended BPVOY3...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Berkeley Hillside: New Supreme Court decision defines limits of CEQA exemption challenges to development: Allen Matkins - Mar 2: On March 2, the California Supreme Court issued the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - President Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline, leaving it in limbo: Reuters - Feb 24: President Barack Obama on Tuesday, as promised, swiftly vetoed a Republican bill approving the...more

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

Supreme Court Decides Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 13-553, holding that a rail carrier can prove discrimination under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2015

Renewable Energy Focus: California to spend $20 million on building part of 'hydrogen highway' - Los Angeles Times - Feb 22: The California Energy Commission is spending $20 million to build nearly half...more

Opportunity for Utility and Energy Companies to Comment on Proposed UAV Rules

Reactions to the FAA’s proposed rules for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems have been mixed since their release on February 15, 2015. Some stakeholders have lauded the FAA’s action as a...more

A Novel Cause of Action Coming Down the Track and Other Railway Legislation Changes

Late last month, the federal government introduced Bill C-52, which, if enacted, will amend both the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) and the Railway Safety Act (RSA). The federal government also proposed new Railway Safety...more

EPA Announces It Will Release New Guidelines on Vehicle MPG Ratings

The EPA announced, on February 23, 2015, that it will release new guidelines for vehicle fuel economy testing. The new guidelines will apply next year and will address how vehicles should be prepared and broken in before fuel...more

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