By

Jim Wedeking

25 September 2017

Tenth Circuit Dismissal of BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Leads to Regulatory Uncertainty

A September 27, 2017 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit has created significant confusion on whether federal regulations governing hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands are now in effect. At first blush, the decision appeared to be a victory for the states and industry groups that sued to block the regulations, but the court’s remedy — vacating a lower court decision striking down the rule — has left the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), states, industry and environmental groups with very different views about the current legal obligations for oil and gas companies operating on federal and Indian lands.  (more…)

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15 September 2017

District Court Rules It Lacks Jurisdiction Over Claims for Future Climate Change Injuries

The U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts dismissed, in part, an environmental group’s challenge to a Boston Harbor terminal’s stormwater permit, claiming that the permit fails to protect the group’s members from future harm from climate change. The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit in September 2016. Among other things, they argued the Everett Terminal’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan, and Facility Response Plan failed to account for petroleum product discharges that would occur in the future from sea level rise, storm surges, severe weather events and flooding caused by climate change. (more…)

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06 September 2017

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Environmental group brings Clean Water Act citizen suit against Shell and Motiva that alleges climate change-related harms.
  • District court stays CERCLA unilateral administrative order.
  • District court overturns Department of the Interior stay of rule governing royalties for oil, natural gas and coal production on federal and Indian lands.
  • Second Circuit upholds New York State’s decision to deny Clean Water Act certification to proposed pipeline.
  • C. Circuit holds that FERC should consider power plant emissions in pipeline environmental impact statement.
  • Hurricane Harvey affects Gulf Coast energy and chemical resources.

(more…)

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24 August 2017

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Federal agencies reopen comment on Obama administration auto fuel efficiency standards.
  • Environmental groups file legal challenges to TSCA rules.
  • Tenth Circuit vacates EPA denial of small-refinery renewable fuels exemption.
  • EPA begins revisions to power plant wastewater rules.
  • DC Circuit rules EPA’s hydrofluorocarbon rule exceeds statutory authority.

(more…)

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03 April 2017

President Issues Executive Order on Energy and Climate

On March 28, President Donald Trump issued an executive order called Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (Order). The Order charts a new course for United States energy policy by directing agencies to reverse actions taken by the Obama administration to address climate change, including the Clean Power Plan. Specifically:

(more…)

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15 February 2017

Challenge to “Two-for-One” Executive Order Raises Questions About How the Order Will Affect Regulations

On January 30, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13771 (EO), requiring executive branch agencies to repeal two rules for every one issued. Entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” the EO also directs that all new agency regulations promulgated during fiscal year 2017 should not impose a net increase in costs.

(more…)

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