Environmental Constitutional Law Elections & Politics

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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. Committee Deadlines Set - While it seems just a few weeks ago that committees were...more

California’s Fracking Preemption Battle Moves Forward in San Benito County

Oil company Citadel Exploration, Inc. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against San Benito County, arguing that the County’s voter-sponsored ban on various types of well stimulation—often referred to generally as hydraulic...more

Senate Poised to Debate Keystone XL Pipeline, Other Key Energy Issues

In the wake of the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of legislation to approve the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate now stands poised to take up the measure beginning this week, opening the door to other key...more

The Unintended Effects of Protecting the Environment – How Banning Fracking Can Lead San Benito County To Bankruptcy

On November 4, 2014, San Benito County voters went to the poles to vote on Measure J, the measure designed to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and related gas and oil extraction activities, as well as other...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

Governor Brown Is Not CEQA “Public Agency,” Holds Third District In Indian Casino Case

In a published decision filed September 24, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal (per Justice Robie) held that CEQA’s definition of a “public agency” that is subject to its requirements (see Pub. Resources Code, § 21063)...more

SB-1281 Amended to Remove Requirement for Oil, Gas Drillers to Use Recycled Water

SB-1281 faced strong industry opposition due to the bill’s requirement that oil and gas drilling companies use recycled water for new operations during drought emergencies. Industry representatives have stated that such...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2014

Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition, et al. v. Donna Norris, et al. - Why it matters: With land use issues and development projects increasingly the subject of local ballot initiatives, it is imperative...more

Governor Christie Vetoes New Jersey Fracking Ban

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the treatment, discharge, and disposal of fracking wastewater in the state, arguing that the bill violated the United States...more

Schoenbrod: SCOTUS Ruling Helps EPA Deal With a "Stupid Statute" [Video]

May 15, 2014 -- David Schoenbrod, professor at New York Law School, talks about the recent ruling at the United States Supreme Court preserving the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate power plant pollution...more

Debates Continue Over Taxes And Fees On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio And Pennsylvania

In exchange for a $2.6 billion cut to Ohio’s state income taxes, Gov. John Kasich has proposed a package of tax increases in other areas. Included among those increases would be the gradual implementation of a 2.75 percent...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

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

Opposition to Genetically Engineered Crops Goes Local: Municipal Laws Seek to Ban GMOs

A recent effort by two Los Angeles city councilmen to ban the sale and cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) signals an emerging trend in the attack against crop biotechnology. Municipalities in a number of...more

Last-Minute CEQA Bill Brings Significant Changes for Major Infrastructure Projects and Projects within Transit Priority Areas

This session's California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") reform bill, Senate Bill 743 ("SB 743") packs a potentially large punch, but only for a narrow group of projects. SB 743 is the brainchild of Senator Darrell...more

The Atomic Energy Act Preempts Vermont’s Efforts To Close Vermont Yankee: Sometimes, Legislative Intent Is Just Too Clear To...

Last week, in Entergy v. Shumlin, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals largely struck down Vermont’s efforts to close Vermont Yankee. Although three separate Vermont statutes were at issue, and Entergy made both preemption and...more

California Cap and Trade to Launch End of the World, Brave New World or Carbon Tax?

Six years after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) holds its first auction of emissions allowances on November...more

Minnesota Legislature Takes A Break

The Minnesota Legislature had another busy week in St. Paul with hours-long floor sessions that included the passage of many omnibus bills and approval of conference committee reports. Lawmakers are now headed home for their...more

Added Wrinkle to Lead Shot Issue

The week after the second funnel was relatively uneventful. Dozens of bills died as a result of Joint Rule 20 and can only be resurrected as amendments to another bill, joint leadership sponsorship or as part of the standing...more

CEQA Mitigation On Conservation Easement Lands: How a Plea to Legislators Killed a Threat to Farmers’ Property Rights (For Now)

Shortly before the close of the last legislative session, I found myself writing a strongly-worded letter (on behalf of myself and interested clients of Miller Starr Regalia) to Governor Brown, the authors of proposed SB 436...more

Proposition 26 Has Potentially Significant Implications for the Building Industry

California voters last week approved Proposition 26, a far-reaching amendment to the California Constitution with potentially significant implications for the building industry. While most pre-election attention focused on...more

2010 Propositions

This election cycle, voters have been focused on the highly competitive and record spending top-of-the-ticket races for California Governor and U.S. Senate. The candidates’ ads have dominated the press, radio and television...more

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