Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use Constitutional Law

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New York’s Highest Court Affirms Zoning Ordinances Banning Hydrofracking

The Insurance Law Blog has been following decisions related to hydraulic fracturing for potential impacts on insurance coverage issues. As we previously reported in May 2013, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,...more

First District Court of Appeal Holds State Water Board May Restrict Beneficial Water Use by Senior Water Rights Holders, Relying...

Most Californians are well aware of the restrictions currently being placed on water use throughout the state. The ongoing drought and dwindling water supplies in California are dramatically affecting those with rights to...more

Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Stationary Sources – But Scolds EPA For...

On Monday, June 23, in a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency partially invalidated and partially upheld U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA")...more

The Koontz Decision; Back to Florida

In the recent landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Mgmt. Dist., 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court majority held that exactions sought by local governments, which are not rationally...more

Sixth Circuit Greenlights Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held this week that the Department of Energy (DOE) complied with its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in providing funding for a cellulosic ethanol...more

Light at the End of the Cape Wind Tunnel? Judge Stearns Proclaims the Opponents “Vexatious”

On Friday, Judge Richard Stearns dismissed the latest challenge to Cape Wind, ruling that claims that the Massachusetts DPU coerced NSTAR into purchasing power from Cape Wind, and that such coercion violated the dormant...more

California’s LCFS Surviving Challenges As Major Changes Loom

The Air Resources Board proposes to merge court-mandated re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with other significant program changes. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to generate uncertainty due to...more

Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Statutes Challenged as Unconstitutional Takings

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action. ...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update

Environmental and Policy Focus - DWR must acquire properties before testing tunnel for diversion of water to Southern California - CourtHouse News - Mar 17: A California appellate court ruled last week that, before...more

Continuing Uncertainty About the Exercise of Eminent Domain in Pennsylvania

The proliferation of unconventional natural gas production in the last few years has been an economic and energy boom to Pennsylvania and other key stakeholders, like local municipalities, exploration and production firms,...more

Home Rule on Display in Los Angeles: First Oil-Producing City in California to Enact a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

It was only a matter of time before a city banned hydraulic fracturing in California - a “home rule” state, where cities and localities are permitted by constitutional amendment to enact and enforce their own zoning laws as...more

Oral Argument Recap: Ohio Supreme Court Considers Home Rule in Challenge to Zoning Ordinances Restricting Drilling

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held oral argument to determine the scope of Ohio’s constitutional guarantee of municipal “home rule.” The case—brought by the city of Munroe Falls, Ohio against Beck Energy Corp. for...more

Colorado Group Submits Another Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Petition For Consideration

Colorado voters may have yet another anti-fracking statewide ballot initiative to consider this November. The proposed constitutional amendment that was submitted to the Colorado Legislative Council on February 21 would...more

Nebraska Court Stalls Keystone XL Pipeline, Declares Governor’s Approval Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, a Nebraska trial court struck down a state law allowing Governor Dave Heineman’s to approve the proposed route for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline. The decision comes just weeks after the State...more

Contrary Legal Winds At Cape Wind - Opponents Of Offshore Wind Sue Asserting Preemption

Would you care to hazard a guess at how long it takes to bring online an offshore wind farm in the United States? At the moment, it is 12+ years and counting. A recent court filing arguing constitutional questions is...more

Fracking: A New Contact Sport

One of the more interesting developments coming from the rise in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the efforts by municipalities to prohibit or limit fracking in their backyards, and the ensuing debates on the...more

Pa. Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Provisions of Act 13

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held unconstitutional several key provisions of Act 13 — the legislature’s broad amendment to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. The Supreme Court invalidated Section 3304 of Act 13, which placed...more

The Shale Play Today - January 2014

In This Issue: - Pa. Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Provisions of Act 13 - Midstream Remains a Hot Spot in Marcellus & Utica Region - Marcellus Shale Responsible for $1.14 Billion in Deals - Marcellus Shale...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas...

On December 19, 2013, in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared portions of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13), commonly known as the “Marcellus Shale Act,” unconstitutional. As...more

Pennsylvania Governor Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider Decision Striking Down Act 13

Governor Tom Corbett is asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider its December 19, 2013 decision striking down key provisions of Act 13 — a bill aimed at regulation of drilling activity in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus...more

Drilling Down: A Look at the State of Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation, Legislation and Litigation in 2013

Hydraulic fracturing remained one of the most controversial environmental issues of 2013. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of injecting water, chemicals and “proppants,” oftentimes sand, under...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Shale Development

On December 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its decision on the constitutionality of Act 13—a comprehensive set of amendments to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. The court declared unconstitutional certain...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Industry Law

In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the energy industry. By a 4-2 decision the Court struck down a 2012 law (commonly known as “Act 13”) aimed at...more

A River Runs Through It: North Dakota Supreme Court Finds State Government Owns Minerals In Disputed "Shore Zone"

The North Dakota Supreme Court issued an opinion last week resolving a constitutional question of public vs. private ownership of mineral interests in the area between the high and low water marks along navigable waters...more

PA Supreme Court Holds Portions of Oil and Gas Act Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that several provisions of Act 13 of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act are unconstitutional as it gives Marcellus Shale and natural gas drillers unfettered access to drilling...more

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