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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

Carson, California Bans All New Oil & Gas Drilling Activity - Takes LA's Hydraulic Fracturing Ban to the Next Level

The City Council of Carson, California has unanimously (by 5-0 vote) approved a moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling within its city limits. The moratorium is set to last 45 days for now, and the City Council will...more

Illinois Voters Defeat Local Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing after Controversial Campaign

On Tuesday, Voters in Johnson County, Illinois rejected a local referendum designed to pressure county commissioners into enacting a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, the referendum—technically a non-binding...more

Los Angeles City Council Clears Way for Fracking Ban

A vote taken by the Los Angeles City Council last week could set the stage for a city-wide ban on hydraulic fracturing. During its session on Friday, February 28, the ten-member council unanimously approved a motion to draft...more

Los Angeles City Council Votes to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing: Home Rule or Preemption

Following a string of bans enacted by municipalities in New York, Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico (a countywide ban was enacted), Vermont and New Jersey, the Los Angeles City Council approved the adoption of a local ordinance...more

Broomfield Fracking Ban Upheld

On February 27, 2014, Colorado District Court Judge Chris Melonakis ruled that Broomfield’s five-year fracking ban would remain in effect. The ban passed by a mere twenty votes. The results of the November 2014 election were...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

Obama’s Climate Change Strategy In Supreme Court’s Hands

Two years ago, the Supreme Court upheld the major domestic policy initiative of President Obama’s first term, ruling that the Affordable Care Act passed constitutional muster. This coming June, the Court will determine the...more

Specific Plan EIRs and Exemptions for Follow-On Actions

The 2013 legislative session began with high hopes that California’s landmark environmental law – the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) – would be reformed. Developers, builders, and public agencies across the state...more

New York Landowners Sue Governor Cuomo Over Fracking Review

A large group of New York property owners have filed suit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the state concludes its five-year-long assessment of whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The group, called...more

New Law Eliminates Any Clean Water Act NPDES Permit Requirement For Logging Road Stormwater Runoff

On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the 2014 Farm Bill, H.R. 2642. Section 12313 of the Bill (Silvicultural Activities) amends the Clean Water Act to make clear that a National Pollutant Discharge...more

State Department Paves Way for Keystone XL Pipeline Approval

On Friday, State Department officials released the final environmental impact statement for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, concluding that the project would not substantially increase carbon emissions, and clearing the...more

Infrastructure Alert - January 30, 2014

In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to pass a reauthorization for the Water Resources Development Act. President Obama also called for corporate tax reform as a method to finance...more

Will 2014 Finally Be The Year For Long-Awaited CEQA Reform?

The 2013 legislative session began with a flurry of political jockeying and high hopes for CEQA reform, but the results left parties on both sides of the aisle unsatisfied. In early 2013, Senate President pro Tem Darrell...more

Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2013

In This Issue: - Proposed EPA Water Rule Could Expand Regulatory Authority Over Streams and Wetlands - USDA Finalizes Import Regulations for "Mad Cow Disease" - Organic Farmers Effected by Farm Bill Extension...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

GMO Laws Take Root in Hawai‘i

Recently, two counties in the State of Hawai‘i passed laws that restrict the growth and cultivation of genetically modified crops (“GMO”). Kaua‘i County passed Bill 2491 after overriding a mayoral veto on November 16, 2013....more

New Laws Affecting Public Agencies in California

A Recap of BB&K Legal Alerts & Articles - During the 2013 legislative session, Gov. Brown signed into law new legislation affecting California public agencies, most of which will go into effect in less than six weeks....more

Secretary's Order Encourages Mitigation Efficiency and Predictability for Infrastructure Development Projects on Federal Lands

On October 31, 2013, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued Order No. 3330 to establish a Department-wide mitigation strategy that focuses on mitigation opportunities at the landscape level. Order No. 3330 is part of a...more

Polanco Act 2.0 Set to Commence in 2014

When Governor Brown eliminated California’s redevelopment agencies with one swipe of his pen (OK, fine, he had a bit of help from the California Supreme Court as well), one of the things that got a bit lost in the ensuing...more

Local Agencies Empowered to Order the Cleanup of Contaminated Properties - Assembly Bill 440 Provides Agencies Immunity from...

Gov. Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 440 into law, providing an important tool for local agencies to force the cleanup of contaminated properties within their borders. AB 440 builds upon the Polanco Redevelopment Act...more

Capital Thinking: Energy

Legal Activity - Supreme Court Sets Up Limited EPA Greenhouse Gas Challenge - On Tuesday, October 15, the Supreme Court granted and consolidated six petitions for certiori to hear a limited appeal of the...more

Court Holds Groundwater Augmentation Charge is Not Subject to Voter Approval Requirements of Proposition 218

Notice of a Public Hearing for a Property-related Fee or Charge Must Only be Mailed to the Record Owners of Each Affected Parcel - A California court of appeal recently held that a groundwater management agency’s...more

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