Environmental Energy & Utilities Elections & Politics

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Texas Town Repeals Voter-Approved Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

Just seven months after voters in Denton, Texas, approved a measure banning hydraulic fracturing within city limits, the Denton City Council voted 6 to 1 to repeal the ban. Council members called the move a “strategic repeal”...more

Governor Selects David Bunn to Lead Department of Conservation

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown appointed David Bunn, a former fish and game official and U.C. Davis academic, to lead the California Department of Conservation. The appointment comes after the departure of Director Mark...more

EPA and the Army Corps Issue Final Clean Water Rule, but Does This New “Line in the Water” Clarify, Expand or Narrow Clean Water...

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a final rule (the “Clean Water Rule”) redefining the scope of their shared jurisdiction under...more

Summary of H.40: An Act Relating to Establishing a Renewable Energy Standard

On June 11, 2015, Governor Shumlin signed into law H. 40, An Act Relating to Establishing a Renewable Energy Standard (the “RES”). This significant renewable energy law establishes a mandatory renewable energy standard for...more

Maryland's Pilot Program for Community Solar Approved

Maryland has taken a critical step forward to encourage solar energy in the state. On May 12, 2015, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan approved a law creating a pilot program for community solar projects, joining 10 other states...more

Chairmen of U.S. Congressional Environmental Committees Criticize EPA’s Failure to Consult Regarding the Potential Impacts of...

On June 15, 2015, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a...more

Energy & Environment Update - June 2015 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate - Congress - Administration - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Department of Treasury - Environmental Protection Agency - Federal...more

Texas Becomes First State to Ban Fracking Bans

On May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, putting restrictions on the ability of municipalities to regulate the oil and gas industry in their jurisdictions. Because the bill passed both the...more

Gov. Dayton Signs 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law

On Saturday, June 13, Governor Dayton signed the 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law. The following amendments were made after the Governor’s veto: - New definitions for “propane,” “propane storage facility,” and...more

MN Special Session Jobs and Energy Bill Posted

As a follow up to our prior coverage, Governor Dayton vetoed the jobs and energy bill that passed in the final few minutes of the 2015 regular legislative session. Governor Dayton’s veto letter can be found...more

Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 5, 2015 marked the deadline for lawmakers to pass bills out of their house to the opposite house. Bills that did not pass in their house of origin by that date have effectively died (unless such bill has been identified...more

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act Of 2015 Includes Cuts To Clean Energy Research Funding

On May 20, 2015, the House voted to pass the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) (COMPETES), a research funding bill that was originally enacted in 2007 to further U.S. scientific and technological...more

States Show Their True Colors on Fracking – One Enacts a Ban, While Two Others Prohibit All Local Bans

Three states have recently taken a stand for or against controversial bans on hydraulic fracturing. Oklahoma, Texas, and Maryland have all passed laws within the past month relating to hydraulic fracturing bans....more

May Trade Legislation Tracker

Global Free Internet Act of 2015 Sponsor: Lofgren (D-Calif.) A bill to combat trade barriers that threaten the maintenance of an open Internet, that mandate unique technology standards as a condition of market...more

EPA Releases Long-Awaited Renewable Fuel Rule

On May 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-awaited proposed volume obligations for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014, 2015 and 2016, as well as volume obligations for...more

News from Second and State

It was a quiet week in the capital city, with Monday being a national holiday and no voting session for either chamber. That’s not to say that nothing newsworthy happened. On Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the creation of a...more

Oklahoma Follows Texas’ Lead in Prohibiting Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

In the wake of Texas’ recent “ban on banning hydraulic fracturing,” Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a similar law—SB 809—prohibiting municipal governments from regulating oil and gas drilling at the local level. The bill now...more

Looks Like Frack is Back, Governor Abbott Signs House Bill 40

Yesterday, Governor Gregg Abbott signed into law House Bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, which leaves municipalities with minimal power to regulate the oil and gas industry. The bill takes effect immediately...more

The NEPA Sky Is Not Falling: Why the Hand-Wringing Over CEQ’s GHG Guidance?

From the halls of Congress to the pages of mainstream environmental media, numerous warnings of increased regulatory burdens and litigation mischief stemming from the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Revised Draft...more

New Executive Order on Federal Sustainability Promotes Responsible Government Procurement Policies

In March, President Obama issued Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.” It replaces and updates a number of Executive Orders and Memorandums, most notably replacing Executive Order...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

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

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

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

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