Category Archives: Legislative

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California Counties and City Sue Energy Companies over Climate Change, Sea Level Rise

Using a legal strategy resembling the one that won multi-billion dollar awards from tobacco companies, two California counties and one California municipality filed coordinated environmental lawsuits in California state court, blaming 37 oil, gas and coal companies for causing climate change and rising sea levels that threaten communities on the California coastline. In separate lawsuits … Continue Reading

House Approves 8-Year Delay of Obama-era Ozone Standards

On July 18th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill updating the Clean Air Act and delaying implementing Obama-era ozone reduction regulations until 2024. The “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017” H.R. 806 passed the House 229 to 199 with bipartisan support. The bill delays ozone standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing on “Developing and Deploying Advanced Clean Energy Technologies.” Date: Tuesday, July 25, 10 a.m. Place: 406 Dirksen Bldg. Witnesses: TBA House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Energy joint hearing on “Examining Advancements in Biofuels: Balancing Federal Research … Continue Reading

House Passes Energy Legislation

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a series of energy bills, including several aimed at advancing the nation’s pipeline infrastructure. Meanwhile, efforts to revive more comprehensive energy legislation – considered, but not passed, during the last Congress – continue, particularly in the Senate. Pipeline Infrastructure On July 19, the House passed H.R. 2910, … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Overturns West Virginia District Court’s Order Requiring EPA to Evaluate Clean Air Act Employment Impacts

On June 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (“the Fourth Circuit”) ruled that a West Virginia federal district court had erred in concluding that it had jurisdiction to consider a lawsuit filed by Murray Energy Corporation and its affiliates that sought to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to conduct … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

House Rules Committee meets to formulate a rule on H.R.806, the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017.” Date: Monday, July 17, 5 p.m. Place: H-313, U.S. Capitol HR 806 — Ozone Standards Implementation Act House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing on “Powering America: Examining the State of the Electric Industry through Market Participant … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Rejects Trump EPA’s Delay of Methane Reduction Rules

On July 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) cannot delay implementation of methane restrictions and oil and gas drilling sites.  The 2016 methane rules are the centerpiece … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Rescinds the Waters of the United States Rule

On Tuesday, June 27, the Trump administration announced its withdrawal of the “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) Rule, which called for a dramatic and unprecedented expansion of the federal government’s permitting jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The WOTUS Rule was published in June 2015 by the Obama administration, but opponents, including dozens of … Continue Reading

Energy Hearings This Week

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee markup to vote on the nominations of Annie Caputo to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; David Wright to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Susan Parker Bodine to be assistant EPA administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; and to markup … Continue Reading

Energy Hearings This Week

Senate Appropriations  Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies hearing on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2018 for the Environmental Protection Agency. Date: Tuesday, June 27, 9:30 a.m. Place: 124 Dirksen Bldg. Draft Bill — Fiscal 2018 Interior-Environment Appropriations (Senate) Witnesses: Scott Pruitt – administrator, Environmental Protection Agency Holly Greaves, senior adviser to … Continue Reading

Energy Hearings this Week

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development hearing on the budget for the Energy Department. Date: Tuesday, June 20, 1 p.m. Place: 2359 Rayburn Bldg. Agenda and Witnesses    Draft Bill — Fiscal 2018 Energy-Water Appropriations (House) Witnesses: Rick Perry – secretary of Energy  Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on proposed FY2018 budget … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of Kristine Svinicki to be a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Annie Caputo to be a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; David Wright to be a member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and Susan Bodine to be assistant EPA administrator … Continue Reading

House Energy and Commerce Committee Markup

House Energy and Commerce Committee Markup Date: Wednesday, June 7, 10 a.m. Place: 2123 Rayburn Bldg. HR 1109 — A bill to amend section 203 of the Federal Power Act. HR 2457 — J. Bennett Johnston Waterway Hydropower Extension Act HR 951 — A bill to extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee markup to vote on the nominations on David Bernhardt to be deputy Interior secretary; Dan Brouillette to be deputy Energy secretary; Neil Chatterjee to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Robert Powelson to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Date: Tuesday, June … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Calls for the Solicitor General’s View on California’s Suction Dredge Mining Ban

On May 15, the Supreme Court called for the views of the United States’ Solicitor General on Rinehart v. California, a challenge to California’s ban on suction dredge mining.  The case raises important questions about federalism, preemption, and state regulation of federal lands. In 2009, California adopted a blanket ban against suction dredge mining through … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

House Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Environment hearing on “Expanding the Role of States in EPA Rulemaking.” Date: Tuesday, May 23, 10 a.m. Place: 2318 Rayburn Bldg. Witnesses : Misael Cabrera, director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Deborah Swackhamer, professor emerita with the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and professor emerita … Continue Reading

Energy Related Hearings This Week

House Foreign Affairs — Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere hearing on “Energy Opportunities in South America.” Date: Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. Place: 2172 Rayburn Bldg. Witnesses: Jorge Pinon, director of the Latin America and Caribbean Program in the University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences Lisa Viscidi, director of Inter-American Dialogue’s Energy, Climate … Continue Reading

Environmental Organization Challenges Constitutionality of the Congressional Review Act

As we previously reported on this blog, Congress and the Trump administration have revived the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and set about rescinding a series of regulations promulgated during the Obama presidency.  Congress’ authority to invalidate an executive agency rule is rooted in Article I of the Constitution, which vests “[a]ll legislative Powers [t]herein granted” … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

The House is not in session the week of May 8. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on “Conservation, Consultation, and Capacity: State Views on the Need to Modernize the Endangered Species Act.” Date: Wednesday, May 10, 10 a.m. Place: 406 Dirksen Bldg. Witnesses: TBA Pending Legislation Senate Energy and Natural Resources — Subcommittee … Continue Reading

Energy-Related Hearings This Week

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on federal payments to local governments provided through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program and the need to provide greater fiscal certainty for resource-dependent communities with tax-exempt federal lands. Date:    Tuesday, May 2, 10 a.m. Place:   366 … Continue Reading

Hearings This Week

  Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on “A Review of the Technical, Scientific, and Legal Basis of the WOTUS (Waters of the United States) Rule.” Wednesday, April 26, 10 a.m. 406 Dirksen Bldg.   House Transportation and Infrastructure — Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials hearing on “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure … Continue Reading

Hearings: Week of April 3

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on efforts to protect U.S. energy delivery systems from cybersecurity threats. Date: Tuesday, April 4, 10 a.m. Place: 366 Dirksen Bldg. Witnesses: Patricia Hoffman, acting assistant secretary of Energy for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Andrew Bochman, senior cyber and energy security strategist at Idaho National … Continue Reading

Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee is a Chevron Skeptic

On January 31, President Trump introduced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia.  Gorsuch, who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, has been widely-praised for his lucid, well-reasoned opinions on a wide range of federal law questions.  Like Scalia, his … Continue Reading
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