News & Analysis as of

Fracking Alert: Home Rule Prevails In New York's Highest Court

On Monday, New York’s Court of Appeals, its highest court, upheld the power of municipalities to prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) within their boundaries....more

Are Oil and Gas Producers Protecting the Environment?

In their search for Utopia, some opponents of oil and gas drilling ignore innovation … What’s harmful now will forever be that way....more

Surprise -- EPA's Proposed CO2 Control Regulation Would Affect More Than Just Coal Utility Boilers

Anyone who has read the newspaper or watched the news in the past month will know that EPA has proposed a regulation that would require coal-powered plants to reduce greenhouse gas (primarily carbon dioxide (CO2)) emissions. ...more

D.C. Circuit Ruling Has Potential Implications for Natural Gas Pipeline and LNG Projects Under FERC Environmental Review

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This...more

More Pipeline Development Projects: What America Needs

National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) challenges to pipeline projects and other natural gas infrastructure have become a commonplace tool in recent years for environmental groups seeking to defeat or delay midstream...more

Climate Change Mitigation: The New Energy Policy

The Administration's Clean Power Plan (the "Plan"), released on June 2 and published on June 18, confirms that climate change mitigation goals are now a key driver of both environmental and energy policy. By imposing total...more

EPA Publishes its Proposed Regulations for Existing Power Plants – Starting the Public Comment Period

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its June 2, 2014, proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The act of publication...more

Is RGGI in New Jersey's and Pennsylvania’s Future?

With the release of EPA’s proposed regulation of CO2 from existing sources on June 2, there has been a lot of speculation that states will look to cap-and-trade schemes as a means of complying with EPA’s mandate that the...more

The Third Piece of EPA’s Clean Power Plan: GHG Emission Limits for Modified and Reconstructed Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for “new” and “existing” power plants have received substantial media attention, but regulated parties should also be aware of the third...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Kings County lawsuit challenges Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed rail: Fresno Bee - Jun 5: The Kings County Board of Supervisors, the Farm Bureau, and a group of county residents filed...more

EPA Releases Significant Proposed Rule to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing Power Plants - Proposed Rule Is Part of...

EPA's proposed rule is focused on limiting the carbon intensity of fossil fuel-fired power plants (commonly referred to as electric generating units or EGUs) by adopting goals to limit overall carbon dioxide (CO2)...more

Environmental Working Group Report On Corn Ethanol

The report concludes that "[t]he Environmental Protection Agency's pending proposal to cut the amount of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline in 2014 by 1.39 billion gallons would lower U.S. greenhouse gas...more

Shell Oil Co. v. United States -- A Divided Federal Circuit Identifies An Exception To The Rule That "No Good Deed Goes...

It would be almost impossible to identify all of the individuals and companies that were critical to America's war efforts during World War II. The sacrifices of those who fought on the foreign battlefields in the European...more

DOE Releases Two New Reports on the Environmental Impacts of LNG Exports

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two new reports on the potential environmental impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the United States to countries that do not have a free...more

Anti-Fracking Bill Defeated in California Senate

Yesterday, the California State Senate rejected a bill that would have put a moratorium on fracking until a state-commissioned study determined that it was safe. The bill, Senate Bill 1132, would have prohibited all “well...more

A Proposal Requiring Study on Fracking and Its potential Hazards Put in Suspense File; Bill Headed to Senate

Senate Bill (SB) 1132, sponsored by Sens. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and last amended May 6, 2014, was put into the “Suspense File” (a holding place for bills that require appropriations...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - May 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96% - Los Angeles Times - May 23: Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96 percent the estimated amount of...more

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Approves Moratorium on All Oil and Gas Activities

This past Tuesday, May 20, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a permanent moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development. Santa Cruz becomes the first county in the state of...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

Denton (TX) City Council Enacts Drilling Moratorium and Will Consider Possible Ban on Fracking

Amidst complaints from citizens, the Denton, Texas city council unanimously enacted a drilling moratorium, which will be in effect until September 9th. The ordinance, which was adopted by the council at its May 6th meeting,...more

EPA Seeks Public Comment on the Potential Nationwide Regulation of Fracking Chemicals and Mixtures

On May 9, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) signed an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (“ANPR”) seeking public input on whether the Agency should collect and publicly...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

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 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

Hydraulic Fracturing, Uncooperative Federalism, and Technological Innovation

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”), the “[h]andling and disposal of [waste] water is the single greatest environmental impediment to domestic oil production.” In particular, hydraulic fracturing (“HF”)...more

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