Despite significant growth of renewable energy, study suggests fossil fuels will continue to be predominant source of energy

In its annual International Energy Outlook study (available HERE ), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) concluded that petroleum and similar liquids would remain the world leader in energy consumption over the next decades, with natural gas and coal following. While renewables are the world’s fastest-growing energy source, the EIA estimates that fossil fuels will still […]

First District Court of Appeal: City not Required to Consider Compliance with the Subdivision Map Act Prior to Certifying CEQA Document or Issuing Entitlements

The First District Court of Appeal reversed a lower court decision setting aside the City of Redwood’s decision to certify an EIR and approve a planned development permit for 4.75 acres in the case Save Laurel Way v. City of Redwood City (August 29, 2017, Case No. A147942). Project opponents raised multiple claims, including violation […]

New Federal Order Limits Length and Time of NEPA Studies

On August 31, a memo from the Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhard was made public and directed that the Department’s environmental impact statements (“EIS”) to not be more than 150 pages, or 300 pages if the project is unusually complex. The Interior Department imposed this controversial new restriction citing a need to reduce paperwork. Additionally, […]

Hurricane Irma Likely to Extend Harvey’s Impacts on U.S. Petroleum Production

Hurricane Irma is the second major hurricane to hit the U.S. in two weeks. Irma follows Hurricane Harvey, which shut down a quarter of U.S. refineries and 8 percent of U.S. oil production. Crude prices have slumped, as the outages reduce demand for crude. The trend continued into the weekend as of Friday, 9/8/17. Recovery […]

Department of the Interior Issues Order Streamlining NEPA Analysis for Energy Projects.

In response to President Trump’s August 15, 2017 Executive Order directing administrative agencies to review and approve infrastructure approvals in a more expeditious manner, the Department of the Interior issued Order No. 3355 imposing page and time limits on Environmental Impact Statements. On August 15, 2017, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt issued Order […]

Recent court decisions clash with President Trump’s directive to limit consideration of climate change in NEPA analyses

The U.S. District Court for Montana and U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia have both issued decisions suggesting that the “social cost” of greenhouse gas emissions must still be considered under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) – despite President Trump’s desire otherwise. In 2009, President Obama instructed federal agencies to create […]

Interior Secretary Zinke recommends contraction, but not rescission, of national monuments

In response to President Trump’s request for an auditing of national monuments, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended redrawing the boundaries of certain national monuments rather than a wholesale rescission of the monument status. Details on the recommended cuts have not yet been publicized, though in the past few months, Zinke declined to adjust the boundaries […]

Watchdog Groups Seek to Enjoin President Trump’s 2-for-1 Regulatory Mandate

On August 10, 2017, Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America, and Earthjustice appeared before Judge Randolph Moss of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to overturn President Trump’s mandate that each new regulation must be counteracted by repeal of two similar regulations. President […]

Central Valley Farmer John Duarte Reaches Settlement with Federal Government

Just before the penalty phase of trial was set to begin on Tuesday, Northern California farmer John Duarte reached a settlement with the federal government, after being fined for plowing over disputed wetlands on his property. With the government seeking a $2.8 million fine and tens of millions of dollars in mitigation expenses, Duarte agreed […]

California Landowner Ordered to Restore Public Access to Beachfront Property

This week, a California court created an important precedent for public right-of-way access cases, when it ordered a billionaire to reopen access to a formerly public beach in San Mateo County. The First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 3-0 that Vinod Khosla violated state law when he closed access to Martins Beach […]

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