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Enactment of SB 785 Clears Caltrain Electrification for Design-Build

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has signed California Senate Bill (SB) 785. As my colleague Nancy Smith has observed, enactment of SB 785 is a major step forward for the State of California, because now many more...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 10/14

EPA Schedules SAP Meeting On Endocrine Activity: On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has scheduled a four-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Obama to designate portion of San Gabriel Mountains a national monument: Los Angeles Times - Oct 8: President Obama plans to announce Friday that he will set aside roughly half of the...more

Railroad Companies Allege Federal Law Governing Petroleum Transport Preempts SB 861

Railroad transportation of raw petroleum, often referred to as “crude-by-rail,” has received increasing media attention in recent months, due to health and environmental concerns. California took a stab at legislating rail...more

First District Holds CEQA’s Application To Public Agency’s Approval of Railroad Operations Is Preempted By Federal Law Despite...

The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), a public agency established by state law, contracted with Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company (NWPRC) to allow NWPRC to conduct freight services on tracks controlled by NCRA....more

Natural Gas Infrastructure Development in Focus to Support Shift from Traditional Supply and Flow of Gas

Last year we started our discussion of the developing shift in flow of natural gas from the traditional South-to-North/West-to-East path to a North-to-South/East-to-West path as a result of the abundance of natural gas now...more

Environmental Groups Ramp-up the Crude-by-Rail Fight in the Courtroom

Bakken crude producers and midstream transportation companies already experience transportation woes related to inadequate pipeline infrastructure, railroad capacity, tank car supply, rail accidents, and new regulations. But...more

Southwest Airlines Announces Agreement To Purchase Renewable Jet Fuel From Red Rocks Biofuels LLC

On September 24, 2014, Southwest Airlines (Southwest) signed an agreement with Red Rocks Biofuels LLC (RRB) to purchase renewable jet fuel to use in their Bay Area Operations. The agreement "covers the purchase of...more

State of the Union Talking Points from the White House

The President is going to talk directly to the American people about restoring security for middle class families after a lost decade of declining wages, eroding retirement security and escalating health care and tuition...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Housing and Urban Development - Department of Interior -...more

California Governor Signs Bill Regulating Oil by Rail

On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide...more

NextEnergy: Incubating Technology for Tomorrow's Homes and Cars

Two major forces are reshaping the cars that people will drive in coming years: the push to create a smarter (and eventually, even an autonomous) car, and the push for better fuel efficiency. Smarter cars are seen as a way to...more

Real Estate and Land Use - Sep 2014

Evidence of Economic Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Explained (SPRAWLDEF v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) - Why it matters: In upholding the approval of a 260-acre expansion to the...more

The Latest Update on Aviation Regulatory Matters Involving DOT, FAA, TSA, and Other Federal Agencies

Congressional Action Impacting Aviation - Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Requests Airline Information on Ancillary Service Fees, Consumer Privacy Protection: Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV, chairman of the...more

FERC Issues Declaratory Orders in Shell and Pivotal Proceedings Related to LNG Production Facilities

On September 4, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued declaratory orders in response to two petitions, each seeking a jurisdictional determination under the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”)...more

Is the U.S. Prepared Legally and Operationally to Protect Its Arctic Interests?

The answer to this question is a resounding “no.” The U.S. is not prepared to protect its interests in the Arctic over the next decade. The primary legal regime that is being relied upon by all members of the Arctic...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (September 2014)

Health Activists' Petition Seeks Sunset Of CBI Claims: On August 21, 2014, six environmental health organizations filed a petition under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The petition urges the U.S....more

House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing On Characteristics Of Bakken Crude Oil

On September 9, 2014, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittees on Energy and Oversight held a joint hearing entitled Bakken Petroleum: The Substance of Energy Independence. The hearing examined the...more

Texas Railroad Commission Proposes New Rules Related to Pipeline Eminent Domain Claims

The November 2011 issue of the Energy Newsletter addressed the case of Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. v. Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC, in an article titled Texas Supreme Court Ruling May Slow the Installation of Certain...more

Texas Environmental Update

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania Environmental Health Perspectives, September 10, 2014 - "We conducted a hypothesis...more

Renewable Energy Update -- September 2014

Renewable Energy Focus - Communities going into power business to cut cost, carbon footprint: Los Angeles Times - Aug 1: Sonoma County is at the forefront among eco-minded communities plunging into the power business...more

Recent FERC Orders Address the Jurisdictional Status of LNG Facilities Targeting Vehicular Fuel, Marine, High Horsepower Engine...

North America’s new-found wealth in natural gas is driving energy industry participants to seek out new markets for the suddenly abundant fuel. Among these are markets for vehicular and marine fuels, other applications...more

PHMSA Proposes Regulations Claimed to Make Business Easier for Retailers and Transporters and Finalizes a Regulation that Could...

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently published two proposed regulations that may positively affect retailers and transporters, if implemented as proposed. In addition, PHMSA finalized a...more

Texas Railroad Commission Proposes Regulation to Address Earthquake Risks from Disposal Wells

In the August 29, 2014 issue of the Texas Register (39 Tex. Reg. 6775), the Railroad Commission of Texas proposed several amendments to the regulations governing saltwater and other oil and gas waste disposal (SWD) wells (16...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #7

Environmental and Policy Focus - Former inspector calls for state's last nuclear plant to be closed: Los Angeles Times - Aug 25 -- A former federal inspector has urged regulators to shut down California's last...more

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