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Oil, Gas Trade Groups Join Defendants In NEPA Exclusion Suit

MOBILE, Ala. - Oil and gas trade associations who stand to lose drilling rights have been allowed to intervene as defendants in an environmental group's effort to halt drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico under an exclusion to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In Defenders of Wildlife...

Coast Guard stumbles as it tries to preempt Massachusetts state law

The Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act (OSPA) was enacted following an oil spill in Buzzards Bay. [As the appellate court notes, Buzzards Bay is a scenically beautiful body of water. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buzzards_Bay_map.png.] OSPA requires a tugboat escort for all tank vessels...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Environmental Impact Analysis and the Keystone XL Pipeline Project

On June 6, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its latest comments and rating on the State Department's Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Keystone XL project, a major new oil pipeline being developed by Transcanada, a Canadian firm, that would, if...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New Report Published on Carbon Offshoring: The Legal and Regulatory Framework for U.S. Coal Exports

By Daniel Firger, Associate Director, Center for Climate Change, Columbia Law School Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel, releasing far higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and conventional air pollutants-including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury-per unit of energy than either oil...

Energy Exploration in Pennsylvania Emerges Victorious

William Perry Pendley September 20, 2011 - DENVER - Energy operators in Pennsylvania celebrated today's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia that affirmed a ruling by a Pennsylvania federal district court ( Minard Run Oil Company v. United States Forest Service...

Feds Ignore Law, Court Rulings In Pennsylvania, Legal Foundation Asserts

By William Perry Pendley DENVER - Energy operators in Pennsylvania, after a victory at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in September 2011, on March 15 urged a Pennsylvania federal district court to ignore a brief filed by federal lawyers and to issue a final ruling in their lawsuit...

Jenner & Block: EPA Issues New NEPA Mapping Tool

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block EPA has issued a new online mapping tool, NEPAssist, to assist federal agencies in evaluating possible NEPA environmental review obligations. NEPAssist is one of five pilot projects selected by the White House Council on Environmental Quality to advance...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Mineral Owners Against the U.S. Forest Service

In Minard Run Oil Co. v. United States Forest Serv . , C.A. No. 09-125 Erie (W.D. Pa. September 6, 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Judge Sean J. McLaughlin of the Western District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment to plaintiff mineral owners in the ongoing litigation...

Roadless Rule Emerges Victorious From Decade of Legal Challenges

By Mr. Michael Anderson Get the latest expert analysis on the federal "Roadless Area Conservation Rule," which bans road building and logging on millions of acres of national forest land in numerous states. This article includes an overview of the extensive roadless rule litigation and...

Miner Battles Forest Service’s Attempt to Moot Lawsuit

DENVER - A Colorado man who owns 10 valuable mining claims in the White River National Forest in north-central Colorado on June 19 filed legal documents to resist an attempt by the federal government to dismiss his lawsuit in federal district court challenging the refusal of the U.S. Forest Service to...

California Energy Group Defends Oil and Gas Leasing

DENVER - A California nonprofit, non-partisan trade association that represents some 450 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, royalty owners, and service and supply companies on Juje 25 filed its brief with a California federal district court defending federal oil and gas leasing in the nation’s...

Export-Import Bank Sued by Environmental Groups for Coal Export Loan Guarantee

Numerous environmental groups, represented by attorneys from Earthjustice, have filed a lawsuit against the Export-Import Bank over the Bank’s approval of a $90 million loan guarantee in support of Xcoal’s mining, transport, and export of coal without preparing an environmental impact statement...

Environmental Impact Statements Addressing Resiliency and Adaptation

Ethan I. Strell, Associate Director & Fellow, Columbia Center for Climate Change Law In a subtle but meaningful shift, the environmental impact review process in New York City is beginning to more systematically consider the potential effects of a changing climate on proposed projects, not...

DLA Piper Energy Alert: Federal District Court Decision Appears To Clear Way For Cape Wind

By Robert J. Alessi and Jeffrey D. Kuhn | The Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., has issued a lengthy ruling that appeared to substantially clear the way for Cape Wind, a large proposed offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The decision...

DLA Piper: DOE Proposed Major Changes To LNG Export Rules, Comments Due July 21

By: Lee A. Alexander and Philip Angeli The US Department of Energy is proposing to change its rules and procedures for reviewing applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the US (non-FTA countries). The proposed change, announced...

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, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This turn of events...

Council on Environmental Quality Declares That Climate Change is Already Covered in Environmental Impact Review, and No New Regulations Needed

By Michael B. Gerrard The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, was the first U.S. environmental statute of the modern era. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements (EISs) for major federal actions that may...

Adaptive Management Workshop Brings Together Academics and Federal Agency Representatives for Discussion on Barriers to Adaptive Management in Federal Programs

On September 19, the George Washington University Law School, Society for Risk Analysis, USDA Risk Forum and Environmental Law Institute co-hosted a workshop on the role of adaptive management in government decision-making. Representatives from federal agencies, civil society organizations and academic...

FERC Directs LNG Facility Applicant To Disclose Climate Change Impacts, As Urged By Sabin Center

Jennifer M. Klein, Esq. Associate Director & Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) recently directed a company seeking to build a natural gas facility to submit information regarding potential climate change impacts on the...

CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance on Addressing Climate Change under NEPA: Federal Agencies Should Analyze Both GHG Emissions and Impacts of Climate Change on Proposed Action

On December 24, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Revised Draft Guidance on how federal agencies should evaluate GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).[1] The revised guidance is significantly...

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Issues Revised Guidance for Climate Change Analysis in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Reviews

By Mr. Al Herson Get the latest analysis on the Council on Environmental Quality's revised draft guidance on climate change analysis in NEPA reviews. The article reviews the major provisions of the draft guidance, including analyzing greenhouse gas impacts of proposed actions and the effects of...

Possible Shift of Perspectives on Breadth of NEPA Review; CEQ's Draft Greenhouse Gas Guidance

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),[1] and the corresponding NEPA regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)[2] and the respective reviewing agencies, federal agencies are required to consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions— i.e...

Pope Francis On Environmental Law

By Michael B. Gerrard The remarkable Encyclical Letter issued last month by Pope Francis could be read as a primer on the importance and idealized operation of many of our environmental laws. The headings below are mine; the text is from the Vatican. National Environmental Policy Act 183...

Sabin Center Convenes Workshop on Development of Model Protocols for Assessing Climate Change Impacts during NEPA Reviews

By Jessica Wentz, Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow Climate change and its effects on temperature, precipitation, storm patterns, sea level rise, and other environmental processes have important implications for the construction, maintenance, and operation of buildings and infrastructure...

Sabin Center Files Comments on Alaska LNG Project

By Justin Gundlach, Climate Law Fellow The Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project is enormous. It is designed to link natural gas drilling operations on the North Slope of Alaska to liquefaction facilities in Nikiski (south of Anchorage) via an 800-mile pipeline. The Natural Gas Act assigns the...