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Updates: Federal Government's Efforts to Review and Devise Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

(1) GAO Report: EPA Can Do More To Protect Groundwater from Pollutants Associated with Fracking - On Monday, July 28, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report stating that EPA can do more to...more

California Economic Development Leaders Urge Peer Review of New CEQA Guidelines

The California Economic Summit announced this week that its leaders, such as the president of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and the president of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, have written...more

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

Regulatory Activity - EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CLEAN POWER PLAN - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold public hearings in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh to...more

Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban

On July 16, 2014, the City Council of Denton, Texas rejected an ordinance that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing. The initiative will now be considered by the Denton residents in the November election. Earlier this year,...more

Efforts to Avoid Ballot Measures on Fracking Fail in Colorado

Faced with the potential for two anti-fracking measures on the Colorado ballot this November, Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and state lawmakers have been working for weeks to develop a legislative compromise to avoid...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

REGULATORY ACTIVITY - GREENHOUSE GAS - Pursuant to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon propose to prohibit certain chemicals contributing to emissions of...more

Water Issues Reframe State Fracking Debate

The debate over fracking continues nationwide, but in California there is an increasing focus on one major issue: water supply. With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record and water regulators tightening...more

President Obama Signs Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014 #2

President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 ("WRRDA"). The President's action follows Congressional approval of the Conference Agreement reached in May by House and Senate...more

Taking A Look At Significant Environmental Legislation This Session:

SB 38 – Amend Environmental Laws started as Emergency Management Amendments. The House added environmental amendments. The House sent the bill back to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate Clerk’s Office is holding the bill...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY - SENATE ENR COMMITTEE VOTES TO APPROVE FERC NOMINEES, KEYSTONE XL BILL - On Wednesday, June 18, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a business meeting in executive...more

New York State Assembly Passes Three-Year Fracking Moratorium – Senate Vote Unlikely

On Monday, the New York State Assembly voted 89-34 in favor of a three-year statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. But with the legislative session ending in just a few days, the Senate appears unlikely to take up the...more

Governor Jindal Signs Bill Aimed at Ending Suit by Levee Board

On June 6, 2014, by signing into law SB 469, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal took an aggressive step towards stymieing the lawsuit recently filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East against 97 oil and...more

Will The Legislature Have The Final Word On Groundwater Contamination? Looks That Way

Legislators are outmaneuvering School House Rock. Folks my age got a great civics lesson in how a bill becomes a law on Saturday mornings while eating sugary cereal in front of the tv. But a crucial element was missing from...more

Will the California Supreme Court Close the Door to a CEQA Exemption the Legislature Has Refused to Close?

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court, No. S207173 (case submitted May 28, 2014), a case that gives the Justices the opportunity to determine...more

CEQA “Late Hit” Reform Bill (SB 1451) Is Withdrawn By Author

Earlier this month, I posted an entry regarding the latest legislative effort at meaningful CEQA reform. See New CEQA Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps and Extend...more

Carson, CA City Council Refuses to Enact Two-Year Moratorium on Oil and Gas Activity, Including Well Stimulation

This past Tuesday, the Carson City Council voted against a local moratorium on new oil and gas activity within its city limits. Last month, Carson passed a 45-day ban on all oil and gas operations, as reported in our March...more

New CEQA Standing Reform Bill (SB 1451) Proposes Positive Changes That Would Reduce “Late Hit” Document Dumps And Extend...

A CEQA reform bill (SB 1451) introduced and authored by seven (7) Democrats (Senators Correa, Galgiani, Hill, Hueso, Roth, and Steinberg, and Assembly Member Mullin) would amend Public Resources Code § 21177 to heighten...more

More Well Stimulation Bans in Southern California

The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban well stimulation treatments within city limits by a unanimous vote in February, and is in the process of drafting ordinances to put that decision into effect. Carson, California has...more

The State of Fracking

Fracking is not new to California - it has been used in oil fields for decades - but it has recently become a hot political and legal issue with increasing news reports about alleged environmental damage associated with...more

BakerHostetler’s Shale Oil and Gas Industry 2013 Year-in-Review and 2014 Look Forward

With Congress and the White House mired in partisan gridlock and preoccupied by issues like the federal debt ceiling, the Affordable Care Act rollout, and the Edward Snowden leak investigation, states again took the lead on...more

Governor Brown's Promised SB 4 Amendments: Proposals Should Appease Environmental Critics by Closing Potential CEQA Loopholes

In his SB 4 signing message (see September 20, 2013 post), Governor Brown promised certain “clarifying” amendments for SB 4, and his administration has begun the process of seeking those amendments....more

Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. First, a couple of jurisdictions took actions...more

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