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Environmental Energy & Utilities Constitutional Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.

Cap and Trade Auction Credits: Taxes, Regulatory Fees or “Something Else”? California Third District Court of Appeal Hears...

by Nossaman LLP on

A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal for the Third District heard oral argument last week in the longstanding companion cases challenging the legality of AB 32’s cap and trade auctions. California Chamber of...more

Oregon Federal Court Issues Remarkable Decision Finding Constitutional Right to Stable Climate

by Liskow & Lewis on

On November 10, 2016, a federal district judge in Oregon issued a remarkable decision in which she found that a climate system “capable of sustaining human life” is a fundamental constitutional right. Juliana v. United States...more

Italian Constitutional Court declares the question of constitutional legitimacy on the “Spalma-Incentivi” Decree ‘groundless’

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

On December 7, 2016 the Italian Constitutional Court (the “Constitutional Court”) rejected the appeal filed by four solar energy operators against Art. 26, paragraphs 2 and 3 of Italian Law Decree no. 91, dated June 24, 2014,...more

Endangered Fish v. Humans: The Fight Over Competing Water Needs

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The struggle to allocate scarce water resources between endangered and threatened fish and humans is not new. But droughts in the Southwest, which lower stream flows, and population increases, which raise demand, have...more

Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Robinson Township v. Commonwealth – Is Any of Act 13 Left?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck four additional portions of Act 13 of 2012 in its much anticipated second decision in the Robinson Twp. v. Com. litigation (Robinson IV) on September 28, 2016. While the decision and its...more

The Saga of Pennsylvania's Act 13 Comes to an End

With a bang, rather than a whimper, the saga of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 appears to have finally come to an end. On September 28, 2016, nearly three years after giving teeth to the long-dormant environmental rights amendment to...more

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

by Dentons on

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

Nasi joins Texas and West Virginia attorney generals at TPPF event about Clean Power Plan

by Jackson Walker on

Mike Nasi, partner in our Austin office, joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey at a Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) event to discuss the Clean Power Plan rules in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #4

by Allen Matkins on

Environmental and Policy Focus - Lawmakers and Governor Brown claim major victory on climate change bills - Sacramento Bee - Aug 24 - California lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a pair of bills to sustain the...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains Deferential: The Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21 Survives Review

Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21, which allows small surface mining projects to proceed without individual permits under § 404. ...more

Alameda Fracking Ban: All Bark with No Bite

by Stoel Rives LLP on

On July 19, 2016, Alameda County, California (“County”) became the first county in the Bay Area to approve a ban on hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”). The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the ban through...more

US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delays oral arguments in Clean Power Plan litigation

by Dentons on

On May 16, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it was delaying scheduled June 2 oral arguments before a three-judge panel in litigation over the Clean Power Plan. Instead, the DC...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

by McCarter & English, LLP on

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

Subpoenas and SLAPP Motions to Dismiss

by LeClairRyan on

If an individual or entity believes a subpoena is aimed at silencing debate on a matter of public interest, can it invoke the DC anti-SLAPP statute in response?  That is the question presented by a recent anti-SLAPP motion...more

Minnesota May Not Prohibit Power Sales That Would Increase Statewide CO2 Emissions. Why Not? Pick Your Reason.

If you needed any further proof that energy law is very complicated, Wednesday’s decision in North Dakota v. Heydinger should convince you. The judgment is simple – the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Minnesota...more

If You Don’t Like Nukes, Petition Congress: The D.C. Circuit Affirms the NRC’s GEIR On Nuclear Waste Storage

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges by several states and the NRDC to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the impacts of continued on-site storage...more

More Than Chickens, Lizards and Polar Bears – Environmental Case Law Update (Dec. 2015 – Mar. 2016)

This blog, although not brief, is a brief report on some of the significant environmental law and administrative cases decided in late December and the first quarter of 2016. U.S. SUPREME COURT - FERC Final Rule re...more

Court of Appeal Turns a Careful Eye Toward Challenges to California’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System

by Reed Smith on

A California Court of Appeal signaled it is moving closer to making what could be a far-reaching decision in the consolidated cases of California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board (Case No. C075930) and...more

State AGs Announce Climate Change Investigations - ExxonMobil Challenges Subpoena on Constitutional Grounds

by King & Spalding on

Several state attorneys general (“state AGs”) have recently announced investigations into energy companies’ securities disclosures about the risks climate change poses to their businesses. In November 2015, Peabody Energy...more

A Substantive Due Process Right to Climate Change Regulation? What’s a Lonely Apostle of Judicial Restraint To Do?

Late last week, Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin concluded that the most recent public trust case, which seeks an injunction requiring the United States to take actions to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 parts per...more

Gas Company May Challenge Local Ordinance Prohibiting Deposit of Flowback Water into Underground Injection Wells

by Saul Ewing LLP on

A Federal Magistrate Judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that an oil and gas exploration company may challenge a township ordinance that makes it unlawful to deposit flowback water into underground injection wells within the...more

Federal Court Refuses To Reinstate Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing: What Now, And What’s Next?

by Locke Lord LLP on

Last fall a federal court in the Western District of Texas upheld a challenge to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (Service) decision to list the lesser prairie chicken (LEPC) as a threatened species under the federal...more

To “SIB” or Not to “SIB” – That Is the Question on How to Timely Fund Necessary Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements

by Snell & Wilmer on

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Survey showed that $271 billion is needed for the Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure, including for investor-owned utilities regulated by state public utility commissions....more

Newhall Case Applies Proposition 26 to Wholesale Water Rates

by Nossaman LLP on

Newhall County Water District v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (2016) 243 Cal.App.4th 1430 (“Newhall”) - Case Disposition - Plaintiff Newhall County Water District (“Newhall”), a retail water purveyor, challenged a...more

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