Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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The Importance of Independence: The Ninth Circuit Provides Helpful Clarification on Connected Actions in the Energy Project...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a right-of-way for an access road over Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to connect a wind project to a state highway did not trigger formal consultation under the...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. General Effective Date Clarification - Around 6 pm on Thursday, July 16, the First Regular...more

Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”)....more

California State Water Board Flexes Its Enforcement Muscle With Water Diverters

The fact that California is suffering its fourth year of drought conditions is not a new story — how the State should address this water shortage is the subject of much debate. The California State Water Resources Control...more

Top 6 at 6 - Climate Change Legal Highlights of the First Six Months of 2015

Some might say that the Clean Power Plan is all one needs to talk about in any highlights article on recent climate change legal issues. When final the CPP will expand the scope of the Clean Air Act profoundly, impact the...more

UK Government Announces Further Shake-up to RO and FIT Regime for Solar PV

Following the closure of the RO regime to new solar ground mounted projects with a capacity of more than 5MW which were commissioned after 31 March 2015, the government has today announced a further shake-up of the subsidy...more

Toilet to Frac: Legal and Practical Aspects of Using Municipal Effluent for Fracing in Texas

Thus far, the idea of using purified municipal sewage effluent—“reclaimed water” in industry parlance—for city water supplies has proven a tough sell. Human psychology poses significant barriers to overcoming the “toilet to...more

Pipeline Task Forces May Slow Energy Development

Despite their good intentions, quasi-governmental task forces that are set up to review proposed pipeline projects often add complexity that can hobble the approval process at a time when demand for natural gas is...more

FERC Rejects Requests for Clarification but Provides Additional Details Regarding Pipeline Modernization Surcharge Mechanisms

On July 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued an order (“July 16 Order”) denying the request by the Process Gas Consumers Group (“PGC”) and the American Forest and Paper...more

Fracking, Trigger Warnings, and a Safe Room

First, an apology. I have brought shame to my own self and this blog for failing to invoke trigger warnings about activities I will mention again, after the appropriate trigger warning. (I had no idea there were so many.)...more

An Oft-Forgotten Detail in Infrastructure Deals – Telecom Licenses

Much of the nation’s infrastructure, from energy to transportation, depends upon telecommunications for safe and efficient operation. The facilities that provide such communications services generally are proprietary...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Tenth Circuit Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Colorado’s Renewable Energy Mandate

On July 13, the Tenth Circuit upheld Colorado’s renewable energy mandate against a claim that it impermissibly interferes with interstate commerce. This decision, addressing a state’s power to encourage or require the...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

Government Response to Drought Conditions in B.C. Creates Potential for Water Use Curtailment

On July 15, the British Columbia government announced a Level 4 drought rating for the South Coast and Lower Fraser areas of the province, which could lead to orders to temporarily reduce or cease water use and put rights...more

Penn Study Unlikely to Result in Flood of Fracking Lawsuits

A recently released study from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for gas and oil and cardiac and neurological illnesses. Whether the report triggers a rash...more

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 43

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 43 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, New York, and Ohio. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide...more

EPA Oil and Gas GHG and Source Aggregation Rules Coming Soon

Soon the Environmental Protection Agency will propose greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for the oil and gas industry sector. The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has begun formal review of an EPA proposal to cut...more

Illinois Appellate Court Concludes No Irreparable Harm From Implementation of New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

The nascent Illinois shale oil and gas industry won a preliminary victory in the courtroom last week. The Appellate Court of Illinois for the Fifth District affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction against the Illinois...more

Expanded Significant Environmental Hazard Requirements for Connecticut Site Owners: Changes, Pitfalls, and Impacts

As of July 1, 2015, significant changes took effect for the Significant Environmental Hazards (SEH) program established by Conn. General Statutes §22a-6u. This program requires reporting to the Connecticut Department of...more

Supreme Court Rejects EPA Mercury Emissions Rule

On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court cast serious doubt upon the future of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”) by finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) failed to adequately consider the costs of...more

Another Lease Termination Case, a Different Ending

We recently discussed failure to produce in paying quantities. Another decision involving the same lessee had a different result. Why? The question in both cases was whether the well was capable of producing in paying...more

Who Can Sue Polluters? New Texas Law HB 1794 Stirs Debate

A perspective on new Texas legislation HB 1794 by Gerald Pels one of the leaders of the Texas environmental legal community for over 30 years....more

Creative Lawyering In RCRA Criminal Action Fails to Find Favor with the Ninth Circuit

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the federal law that regulates management of hazardous waste, is complicated and compliance can be tricky... but not impossible. Our experience is that good faith efforts to comply...more

BLM Responds To Ute Indian Tribe’s Injunction Motion In Fracking Rule Litigation

Following a court hearing and order temporarily delaying the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal public lands, the BLM submitted its response brief opposing the Ute Indian...more

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