Railways

News & Analysis as of

CEQA Roundup – Recent Developments

Numerous CEQA-related developments have recently been in the news. Some of possible interest include: Kings and Kern Counties, the Kings County Farm Bureau, and a number of other groups filed a petition on February 9 with the...more

Amtrak Bill Aims To Keep Northeast Corridor Profits on the Northeast Corridor

The House Transportation Committee has approved the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act, a bill that would reauthorize Amtrak and other rail programs. The bill is substantially the same as the 2014 legislation and is...more

Week in Review - February 2015 #2

Pay Raises - Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican House are sparring over state agency commissioner pay. Last month, Dayton increased pay for 26 commissioners and department heads by a total of $802,000. Republicans say...more

When Oil Prices Head South, So Do the Bakken Oil Trains

Bakken crude oil increasingly heads south as low oil prices erode its competitive advantage in the U.S. East Coast market. The price of WTI crude oil—the benchmark price for most U.S. shale crudes—is moving toward parity with...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Rail case heading to state Supreme Court: Willits News - Jan 27: The Supreme Court of California has accepted review of a lower court decision holding that federal law implemented by...more

Valuing Rail Corridors

In the aftermath of last year’s Rails-to-Trails Decision, Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, 572 U.S. ___ (2014), the valuation of rail corridors may become increasingly necessary.  Typically there are three...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Ground broken on controversial California bullet train project - Los Angeles Times - Jan 8: On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown and other California leaders launched the state’s...more

Justices Probe Limits of Non-Delegation Doctrine and Express Due Process Concerns

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Dep't of Transp. v. Ass'n of Am. Railroads. At issue is whether Congress may grant Amtrak, a private entity created by Congress, the power to co-author regulations...more

DOT Denies Request to Prohibit Shipment of Bakken Crude Oil on Older Tank Cars; Environmental Groups Push Battle to Courtroom

On December 2, 2014 following the Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) November 7, 2014 denial of their request for an immediate ban on use of older DOT-111 or CTC-111 railcars for the shipment of crude oil from the Bakken...more

Transportation Policy In The 114th Congress

After their overwhelming success in the 2014 mid-term elections, Republicans are preparing to assume their new majority in the Senate, while their House colleagues have secured an expanded majority that exceeds their World...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

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

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Investment Outlook 2014

In this issue: - Bridging the Gulf - Integration brings investment - Investment focus - Investment activity - Country focus - Structure type - Feature: Positioning the Region for more...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

Developments in EU Transport Law - October 2014

Excerpts from this Newsletter: European Commission: Violeta Bulc as new Transport Commissioner-designate - On 15 October 2014, the Council of the European Union today adopted the list of...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

High-Speed Rail Authority May Use Bond Funds – Supreme Court Rules

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“CHSRA”) is gaining more steam in keeping the High-Speed Rail Project (the “Project”) on track. Today, the California Supreme Court issued a decision declining to review an appellate...more

OCC Releases Interpretive Letter Regarding National Bank’s Authority to Engage in Railcar Leasing and Meet the OCC’s ‘Net Lease’...

The OCC released an interpretive letter (“Letter #1142”) in which it concluded that a national bank’s proposal to arrange for third-party repair and maintenance service providers to service on-lease railcars and act as an...more

The Future of Rail 2050

California’s High-Speed Rail project is . . . well . . . very California. Mix some forward, independent thinking (it was first proposed by then (and now) Governor Brown back in the 1980s), with a dash of high tech...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

Texas Railroad Commission Proposes New Regulations for High-Risk Seismic Areas

On Tuesday, amidst claims that hydraulic fracturing could be causing earthquakes in some parts of Texas, the Texas Railroad Commission proposed amendments to permitting regulations for injection wells. The proposed rules...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Appellate court upholds environmental work for high-speed rail via Pacheco Pass: Fresno Bee - Jul 24 -- State appeals justices on Thursday upheld a lower court's approval of an...more

Secretary Foxx Holds Virtual National Town Hall, Addresses Transportation Policy

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx chaired a “virtual” town hall meeting, entitled “Moving from Uncertainty to Long-Term Transportation Investment,” on August 6, 2014. The town hall was open to the general public, as...more

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