Environmental Updates

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New York Bans Hydraulic Fracturing

The ban comes in light of a report from the New York State Department of Health claiming there is insufficient information to understand the health risks....more

Energy Tax Alert: Congress Extends Renewable Energy Credits

Congress this week passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which extends a number of expired or expiring tax provisions through the end of 2014. The President is expected to sign the Act soon. The Act renews several...more

Senate Approves Energy Tax Extenders

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the U.S. Senate passed the tax extenders bill by a vote of 76-16, extending a number of energy tax incentives through the end of the year. The Senate’s passage of H.R. 5771 followed the U.S....more

Proof and Causation Matter: District Court Declines to Penalize ExxonMobil in Texas Citizen Suit

On Wednesday, Judge David Hittner, of the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in a decision long enough to require two separate pdfs, declined to impose an injunction or penalties (plaintiffs sought...more

Real Estate and Land Use - December 2014

San Diego Regional Sustainable Strategies Plan Invalidated; SANDAG Has Requested Supreme Court Review - Cleveland National Forest Foundation et al. v. San Diego Association of Governments (November 24, 2014) Fourth...more

Fresno County Aggregate Mine Fends Off Court Challenge

In Friends of the Kings River v. County of Fresno, No. F068818 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist., Dec. 8, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District upheld Fresno County’s (County) approval of the Carmelita Mine and Reclamation Project...more

Senate passes Tax Extender Package at 11th hour

The Senate passed the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014? (H.R. 5771) on Tuesday night just before Congress adjourned for 2014. As Molly Bryson described in her December 5, 2014 post following the House’s passage of the...more

Minnesota Stakes its Claim as a National Leader on Energy Regulatory Reform with Release of e21 Report

Today marks the release of the highly anticipated report from the Minnesota e21 Initiative (e21 stands for 21st Century Energy System). The Great Plains Institute assembled a diverse range of stakeholders, including...more

District Court Limits Tiering of Biological Opinions

On December 5, 2014, a federal district court held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it relied entirely on existing programmatic biological opinions to...more

Utah Prairie Dog Could Narrow Endangered Species Act

A Utah federal court has created the potential for a constitutional showdown that could result in a significant narrowing of the Endangered Species Act and further limiting Congress’ power to legislate. In an unprecedented...more

December 2014 - Real Estate FOUNDATION

In this issue - The CERCLA Divisibilty Defense: Back from the Dead? - Springing Recourse for Breach of Solvency and Debt Payment Covenants? Does New York Need Cherryland Legislation? - Mid-Construction...more

What Now? Why Maryland's Decision to Recognize the International Green Construction Code May Signal a Major Shift in the Means...

There is little doubt that the U.S. Green Building Council (the “Council”) and its established Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, green building certification program have had a major impact on the United...more

Where next for EU climate change policy? From Lima to Paris

2014 ended with a number of significant developments affecting EU climate change policy. In October 2014, the EU agreed on its 2030 ‘Climate and Energy Goals’ and, in the same month, the European Commission (“Commission”)...more

Solar Installer Alert: US Dept. of Commerce Issues Affirmative Final Determinations in Chinese and Taiwanese Solar CSPV Products...

On December 16, 2014, the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) issued Affirmative Final Determinations in the alleged unfair subsidy investigation against Crystalline Silicon...more

Aviation & Aerospace and Surface Transportation Quarterly Newsletter

In This Issue: - Update on Developments in California Drone Law - One Community Gets Relief from Aircraft Noise - California Once Again Relinquishes Clean Air Act Enforcement Responsibility to the...more

High Speed Rail Moves Forward Without CEQA Review

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) issued a declaratory order in a 2-1 vote last Friday, finding that the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) is categorically preempted by federal law, as it relates to the...more

Upcoming Listing Decision on Northern Long-Eared Bat May Have Far-Reaching Impacts on Industry

On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) announced the reopening of the comment period on the Service’s proposed rule to list the northern long-eared bat (“NLEB”). 79 Fed. Reg. 68657. ...more

To Need or Not to Need, that is the Question: MN PUC Answers in the Affirmative

On Monday, the MN PUC addressed whether ‘tis nobler in the pocketbook to suffer the slings and arrows of the MISO market or to invest in new generating units against a sea of uncertainty....more

Hazardous Waste Recycling Regulations – the Latest Chapter

“A long time ago in a [May 19, 1980 Federal Register] far, far away [or so it seems],” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared its authority to regulate all hazardous secondary material, whether discarded or...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

Virginia Proposes Nutrient Trading Regulations: Established Concept, New Medium

This week, Virginia formally proposed Nutrient Trading Certification Regulations. The program will establish a market in phosphorus and nitrogen removal credits. Although the program is welcome news, it should be neither...more

Senate Passes PTC Extension for 2014

The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, H.R. 5771, was passed by the Senate on December 16 and by the House on December 3. The President is expected to sign the bill in the coming days. ...more

Energy Storage Update: 2014 California Storage RFO

Orrick and Clean Energy Pipeline have launched a series of reports dedicated to exploring investment opportunities and challenges in the global renewable energy sector. In the first issue, we analyzed the investment...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 12/15/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - Energy and environmental issues abounded on the congressional as well as international fronts last week, and they will continue to play a prominent role in the last couple of weeks of 2014....more

Cole Porter Was Right: The Economic Cost of Climate Change

There has already been significant discussion of the economic impacts of climate change. Damage from catastrophic events, the cost to build adaptation measures such as sea walls; these have all been examined. ...more

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