Environmental Elections & Politics

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News & Analysis as of

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations...more

Minnesota Session Ends With Governor Threatening Veto

The Minnesota legislature concluded its business last evening with Governor Mark Dayton threatening to veto a $17 billion public education funding bill – a threat he carried through with earlier today. The governor issued the...more

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its business late Monday night, meeting a constitutional deadline to finish its work for 2015 by midnight. Adding to the pressure to end on time, as part of the ongoing renovation of the...more

Pollinator Health Task Force Issues National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

On May 19 2015, President Obama’s interagency Pollinator Health Task Force -- co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- issued its long awaited and...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

The state House unveiled their budget proposal last week and while the full plan will come out early this week, the nearly $22 billion proposal reflects a clear upswing in the economy, with less cuts to major policy areas....more

Governor Signs Legislation Ending the Development of Regional Impact Program for New Development

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, Governor Scott signed into law CS/CS Senate Bill 1216, now Chapter 2015-30, Laws of Florida. This historic piece of legislation eliminates the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) process...more

TSCA Reform: House Subcommittee Holds Markup of Revised Draft TSCA Bill and Passes Amended Draft

On May 14, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a markup of a revised discussion draft of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, prepared by Subcommittee Chair John Shimkus (R-IL)...more

U.S. House Passes Bill to Revise Corps and EPA Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed rule published in the Federal...more

Energy & Environment Update - May 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Education - Department of State - Department of Treasury -...more

Salazar Says Draft NEPA GHG Guide Leaves Host Of Unresolved Issues

Former Obama administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is warning that the White House’s proposed guide for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) leaves open a host of...more

North Carolina General Assembly Active on Renewable Energy Issues in 2015 Long Session

Two bills with significant renewable energy provisions were among those that survived the North Carolina General Assembly’s self-imposed “crossover” deadline of April 30, 2015. Most substantive bills must pass at least one...more

Five Georgia Environmental Bills to Watch in 2015

Georgia legislature warms up to solar panels, gets protective of coastal marshes, withdraws support for electric cars, and sacrifices LEED certifications in favor of jobs. April 2, 2015 marked final adjournment of the 2015...more

TSCA Reform: Detailed Analysis of Substitute Version of Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

A new version of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was considered for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on April 28, 2015. ...more

News from Second & State

It was all hands on deck this week, with two bills to amend the Tax Reform Code on the House voting schedule. These bills, if called up, would have been perfect vehicles for Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed changes to the...more

State Officials Welcome Clean Energy Advocates to State House for NECEC Clean Energy Day, Weigh in on Hot-Topics Facing the State

On Tuesday May 5th, members of state government, clean energy advocates, and business representatives assembled at the Massachusetts State House for the New England Clean Energy Council’s (NECEC’s) fourth annual Clean Energy...more

California Water Board Signs Off on Emergency Urban Water Use Restrictions

On May 5, 2015, the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) adopted Emergency Regulations implementing a statewide 25% reduction of potable urban water use, which includes commercial, industrial, and institutional...more

Senate Holds Hearing on ESA Reform Bills

On May 6, 2015, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on several Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills, including at least three that are similar to bills introduced in 2014 in the House of...more

Executive Order B-30-15 And CEQA GHG Analysis: Evolving Uncertainty At The Intersection Of Law, Policy And Science

I recall that Mike Zischke, co-author of CEB’s excellent CEQA treatise, used to be fond of saying the “normal” or “usual rules” for analyzing cumulative impacts should apply to analysis of a project’s greenhouse gas (GHG)...more

Maryland Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Maryland’s annual legislative session ended on April 13, 2015, and with the close of the session came new legislation that affects environmental regulation in Maryland....more

Tough Mandatory Water Restrictions of up to 36 Percent Retained in Draft Emergency Drought Regulation for California

State Water Resources Control Board Cites Need to Avoid Potential “Catastrophic Impacts” - The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to its draft emergency regulations to restrict overall potable urban...more

U.S. Senate EPW Committee Passes TSCA Reform Legislation

On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW Committee) passed by a 15-5 vote a version of S. 697, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act....more

White House Reboots Draft Guidance on Evaluating Climate Change Impacts

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has restarted the process for formal advice on how best to evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the impacts of climate change under the National Environmental...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - May 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus: Governor Brown touts aggressive plan to cut greenhouse gases: KPCC - Apr 29: California would aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 under a plan announced Wednesday by...more

California Governor Brown Orders 40% Decrease in Carbon Emissions by 2030

California’s new greenhouse gas target requires California agencies to take implementing actions and aligns California with the European Union’s recently adopted standard....more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015

Renewable Energy Focus: SolarCity says new fund will finance $1 billion in commercial solar: Silicon Valley Business Journal - Apr 22: SolarCity is activating a fund that will finance more than $1 billion in commercial...more

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