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The Myth of the Regulatory Gap: BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Compared to Existing State Law

For the better part of the last decade, oil and natural gas production from domestic wells has increased steadily. Technical advancements in identifying promising sources of oil and gas and extracting hydrocarbons from...more

Denton Becomes First Texas City to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 59 percent of voters elected to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing (“fracing”) in the city of Denton, which sits on top of the hydrocarbon-rich Barnett Shale. Although the ban does not...more

Southwest Power Pool to expand

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has largely accepted a proposal to expand the geographic footprint of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional power market that will soon include a significant portion of the Upper Great...more

Massachusetts Climate Adaptation Policy: How Broad Will It Be?

Yesterday, I suggested that Massachusetts EOEEA may not have authority to issue its “MEPA Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency Policy.” However, since I also conceded that Massachusetts courts are unlikely to agree with...more

Summary of FERC Meeting Agenda - November 2014

In This Issue: - Administrative Items - Electric Items - Gas Items - Hydro Items - Excerpt from Hydro Items: H-1: Hydraco Power, Inc. and Warren David Long (Docket No. P-12588-010) - On...more

Is Green Sukuk a Viable Option for Clean Energy Initiatives in the GCC?

A number of GCC governments, including those in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have set ambitious clean energy and energy efficiency targets. As the fastest growing region in the world, the GCC’s population is expected to grow...more

Environmental Impact Analysis — The Impact of a Project on the Environment or the Impact of the Environment on a Project?

Traditionally, environmental impact analysis, under NEPA and state analogs, has focused on the impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment. In Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental...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

Ohio Elections Yield Mixed Results on Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

Last week’s Election Day in Ohio produced victories for fracing supporters and opponents alike. Proposed hydraulic fracturing bans were on the ballot in four different municipal contests. Voters in one city, Athens, approved...more

Supreme Court Asked to Allow Immediate Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations

A landfill developer has asked the Supreme Court to review a decision of the Fifth Circuit holding that a jurisdictional determination by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not final agency action subject to judicial review....more

NYC tidal energy project in question

The future of a proposed New York City tidal energy project is in question. New York Tidal Energy Company's (NYTEC) East River Tidal Energy Pilot Project would be located in the East River at Hell Gate, in New York City, New...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

Upcoming Deadline for 2-year Extensions of Development Orders and Building Permits

Bilzin Sumberg's Land Development & Government Relations Group wants to remind you that if you have a current permit or development order that is scheduled to expire between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2016, you have until...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

Court of Appeal Finds: Environmental and Natural Resources Existing Flood Danger Was Not An Impact Of Proposed Dam Upgrade...

In Paulek v. California Dept. of Water Resources (2014) (October 31, 2014, E060038) __ Cal.App.4th __, the Court of Appeal upheld the final environmental impact report (“EIR”) prepared by the California Department of Water...more

Meet Your Deadlines: West Virginia AST Act Challenges

In This Presentation: - How We Got Here - Aboveground Storage Tank Act - Key Definitions - Key Elements - Upcoming Deadlines - AST Registration Stats - Interpretive Rule (47 CSR 62) -...more

High Stakes Out on the Range: Gunnison Sage-Grouse Listed as an Endangered Species

In the first salvo of a larger environmental-industry showdown impacting Western shale development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday (Nov. 12, 2014) that the Gunnison Sage Grouse would be granted...more

Surveying the Oil & Gas Industry Landscape: Acquisitions, Divestitures and Joint Ventures

In the rapidly evolving global oil and gas market, changes in composition of assets, financing, market players and types of transactions are among the many emerging industry trends. These topics were part of the discussion at...more

CEQA Lawsuit to Enforce Climate Change Mitigation Measure Prevails

On October 29, 2014 the California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s judgment enforcing a mitigation measure adopted by a county in its program environmental impact report (PEIR). As of the date of this blog post,...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

Chicago-area battery storage projects announced

Energy developer Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. has announced two grid-scale energy storage projects near Chicago. Battery-based energy storage projects can offer benefits to the electricity grid by keeping the...more

The Shale Play Today - November 2014

In This Issue: - Latest Aboveground Storage Tank Act Developments: Interpretive Rule Adopted and Comments Filed on Draft Emergency Rule: On October 21, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental...more

Dominion Resources Sending "Final" Requests for Permission to Survey Land for 550-Mile Pipeline

We've blogged in the past about the efforts of Dominion Resources, Inc. to construct a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia, through Virginia, leading to southern North Carolina. We've also blogged about the anticipated...more

Election Scoreboard: Frackers 4, Anti’s 4

Hydraulic fracturing bans had eight at-bats last Tuesday. Here are the results. Denton, Texas - YES 58.64%... NO 41.36%...more

The impact of off-lease drilling in light of the San Antonio Court of Appeals recent decision in Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko

On October 29, 2014, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued its decision in Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko, holding that Lightning Oil was not entitled to a temporary injunction enjoining Anadarko from drilling through...more

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