News & Analysis as of

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - December 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: State court may tighten review process for building super-sized homes - SFGate.com - Dec 8: In a case that could redefine the scope of California’s environmental laws, the state Supreme...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

New Wave of State Law Air Pollution Torts?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Bell v. Cheswick could pave the way for more state common law air pollution tort suits and greater exposure for emitters. A new wave of state common law air pollution...more

EPA Is Holding Flare Users’ Feet To The Fire

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned industry using flaring for pollution control that it is targeting flaring violations nationwide to reduce the release of hazardous air pollutants. Originally...more

LNG As A Marine Fuel – The Speed Of Change

“When I was asked if I might speak about the use of LNG as fuel for ships, two thoughts came to mind. Firstly, the old Latin maxim: volenti non fit injuria. Or in my vernacular: “well, you asked for...more

EPA’s Next Generation Compliance Initiative – The Agency’s Latest Proposed Rule for Refineries Shows the Initiative in Action and...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a proposed rule that illustrates several of the agency’s Next Generation Compliance ideas in action. The proposed rule concerns hazardous air pollutant (HAP)...more

EPA Up 3-0 in Clean Air Cases: What it Means for Greenhouse Gas Regulations

The D.C. Circuit, by majority decision, upheld MATS, which requires coal- and oil-fired power plants to reduce emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, and other air pollutants. When the EPA adopted MATS in 2011, it did not...more

Texas Environmental Update

Gunnison Sage Grouse Continues Its Wobbly Path Toward Listing Energy Legal Blog, May 14, 2014 - Last week, the Gunnison Sage Grouse took another detour on its road to being listed under the Endangered Species Act...more

"Hydraulic Fracturing" Verdict in Texas State Court -- Texas family recovers $3 million based on nuisance theory

On April 22, 2014, a six-person jury in Dallas awarded a Texas family $2.925 million in a trial based on medical problems allegedly caused by natural gas development. While the case involved gas wells that had been...more

Barnett Shale Drilling Increased North Texas Ozone – Fact Or Fiction?

It’s been said that if you torture numbers, they will confess to anything. Perhaps we should call in a UN peacekeeping force to address the treatment of hydraulic fracturing in North Texas....more

The Shale Play Today - May 2014

In This Issue: - Climate Action Plan Breathes New Life into Oil & Gas Air Regulations - Major Natural Gas Power Plant Announcement Indicates Different Uses for Marcellus & Utica Shale Gas - Natural Gas Expanding...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

Texas Environmental Update

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - February 21, 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - White House proposes new fuel efficiency rules to reduce emissions from heavy trucks: Los Angeles Times - Feb 18 - President Obama moved ahead Tuesday with plans to further tighten...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - January 2014

Gov. Brown wants to use cap-and-trade fees to fund high speed rail project - Insurance For Less - Jan 8: Gov. Jerry Brown announced plans to provide new funding for California’s high speed rail project from corporate...more

Industry Groups Petition D.C. Circuit for Review of Revisions to Air Pollution Standards for Oil & Gas Production Sources

On November 22, industry groups filed in the D.C. Circuit five petitions for review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final amendments to new source performance standards (NSPS) governing the oil and natural gas...more

Renewable Energy Update -- October 18, 2013.

Renewable Energy Focus -- 3 models that could help utilities make money from solar power - Green Tech Solar News - Sep 30: Much like tech companies of the 1990s, utilities face an “unavoidable shift” and don’t have any...more

Third Circuit Holds “Source State” Common Law Tort Claims Not Preempted by Federal Clean Air Act

In an opinion filed on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit held that the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) does not preempt common law tort claims grounded in state law and brought against a...more

What’s Up with Noise, Light, Dust and Volatile Organic Compounds?

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) released its report to the West Virginia Legislature in May on the study of “noise, light, dust and volatile organic compounds generated by the drilling of...more

Energy Newsletter - July 2013

In This Issue: - The President's Climate Action Plan - Mixed Messages for the Energy Sector - As Coal Exports Hit Record Highs, Interior Inspector General Questions Lease Valuations - U.S. Supreme Court Agrees...more

Combine New Gas Plants, Lower Gas Prices, and More Stringent Emission Controls and What Do You Get? Lower Emissions

ISO New England has just released its Electric Generator Air Emissions Report for 2011. The bottom line?...more

EPA To Revisit Oil and Gas Air Rules, Requests Stay Of Suit Challenging Regulations

Two weeks ago we reported that Texas withdrew from a multi-party lawsuit challenging USEPA’s new air pollution standards regulating the oil and gas industry (including hydraulic fracturing operations)....more

Texas Withdraws From Federal Challenge To USEPA’s Air Standards For Oil And Gas

On January 10, 2013, the State of Texas and two of its agencies (the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) filed a joint motion in the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia to...more

EPA Will Continue to Apply the "Functional Interdependence" Test for Air Quality Source Determinations Outside of the Sixth...

Introduction - On December 21, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a new guidance memorandum (the “Page Memorandum”) on single source determinations for the oil and gas industry under the Clean...more

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