Transportation Energy & Utilities

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Energy & Environment Update - November 2014 #4

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

The Keystone Pipeline – It’s About Time

Representative Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) continue to fall over themselves to see who can be more supportive of legislation forcing President Obama to approve construction of the Keystone Pipeline....more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress: Los Angeles Times - Nov 10: Heat and extreme drought have worsened smog in California over the last year, stalling...more

In 2014, Will Congress Pass Any Maritime Legislation?

Following its usual summer break over August 2014, Congress came back from its five-week summer recess and spent a whopping eight days or so back in session before recessing once again, approximately a week early, to hit the...more

RE: Bakken Crude-by-Rail: Environmental Groups Ask New York State to Regulate DOT-111 Tank Cars

A recent state-law challenge by environmental groups to an aspect of crude-by-rail transportation has teed up the question of federal supremacy over railroad regulation. Because federal law generally preempts state regulation...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act, 33 C.F.R. Part 328 - - In connection with its proposed rule regarding the definition of...more

Bakken Crude-by-Rail Update: Transloading Projects Dealt a Setback in California

Recently, we covered environmental groups’ increasing array of state-law challenges to midstream and end users of Bakken crude that transport or receive oil by rail. Since then, a California regulator has admitted to...more

Derailing an Expert in the Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation: What Every Litigator Needs to Know

The business of buying, selling, investing in, and arbitraging legal claims continues to grow, and carries with it hidden pitfalls. This is particularly the case when a litigation expert has a business relationship with a...more

Railroad Commission Chairwoman: “It’s My Job to Give Permits, Not Denton’s”

At a November 6 event, Texas Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick unequivocally stated that the Commission would continue to issue drilling permits to operators in Denton, despite the November 4 vote making it the...more

Sea level rise and coastal LNG terminals

Should federal agencies consider climate change and sea-level rise as they review the environmental impacts of liquefied natural gas terminals? Yes, according to letters recently filed with the Federal Energy...more

LNG Export Tolling Facilities – New Frontiers, New Solutions

Tolling and other similar payment-for-services commercial structures for processing goods have been around since at least the Industrial Revolution in Europe, and thus have historical precedents that make the basic economic...more

BPT Not Prohibited on Freight Brokerage Services

A divided panel of the Commonwealth Court held that a city was not prohibited from imposing its Business Privilege Tax on the gross receipts of a freight broker. S & H Transport, Inc. v. City of York, No. 165 C. D. 2014 (Pa....more

Boeing And The Commercial Aircraft Corporation Of China Open Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project

On October 22, 2014, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) opened the China-U.S. Aviation Biofuel Pilot Project, a demonstration facility that will turn used cooking oil into aviation biofuel at a...more

Texas Railroad Commission Adopts Rules for Disposal Wells in Potential High-Risk Seismic Areas

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, the Texas Railroad Commission unanimously adopted amendments to rules concerning disposal wells in areas that have experienced or are likely to experience seismic activity. As covered by the...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Department of Energy - Department of Transportation - Department of Treasury - Environmental Protection Agency - Nuclear...more

Canada's Energy East Pipeline Project

A subsidiary of Canadian energy company TransCanada has proposed a crude oil pipeline running 4,600 kilometers from Alberta and Saskatchewan to Saint John, New Brunswick. The proposed Energy East Pipeline Project would...more

Federal Court Orders DOT to Respond to Sierra Club’s Unsafe Tank Car Lawsuit

A Federal Court has ordered the Department of Transportation (DOT) to respond to a lawsuit filed by three environmental organizations—Earthjustice, Sierra Club and ForestEthics—in which the parties asked the court to order...more

Environmental Groups Seek to Derail Bakersfield Crude-by-Rail Project

A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit challenging Kern County’s approval of the first substantial oil-by-rail expansion project at a California refinery, alleging that the comprehensive Environmental Impact...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Environmental groups fight Southern California tar sands oil project: Courthouse News Service - Oct 13: Kern County illegally approved expansion of a local refinery that will let it...more

Enactment of SB 785 Clears Caltrain Electrification for Design-Build

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has signed California Senate Bill (SB) 785. As my colleague Nancy Smith has observed, enactment of SB 785 is a major step forward for the State of California, because now many more...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, 10/14

EPA Schedules SAP Meeting On Endocrine Activity: On September 16, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has scheduled a four-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Obama to designate portion of San Gabriel Mountains a national monument: Los Angeles Times - Oct 8: President Obama plans to announce Friday that he will set aside roughly half of the...more

Railroad Companies Allege Federal Law Governing Petroleum Transport Preempts SB 861

Railroad transportation of raw petroleum, often referred to as “crude-by-rail,” has received increasing media attention in recent months, due to health and environmental concerns. California took a stab at legislating rail...more

First District Holds CEQA’s Application To Public Agency’s Approval of Railroad Operations Is Preempted By Federal Law Despite...

The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), a public agency established by state law, contracted with Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company (NWPRC) to allow NWPRC to conduct freight services on tracks controlled by NCRA....more

Natural Gas Infrastructure Development in Focus to Support Shift from Traditional Supply and Flow of Gas

Last year we started our discussion of the developing shift in flow of natural gas from the traditional South-to-North/West-to-East path to a North-to-South/East-to-West path as a result of the abundance of natural gas now...more

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