On January 31, 2020, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), together with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Representative Darren Soto (D-Fla.) unveiled a bill (the “Bill”) that, if passed, would prohibit hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) nationwide. Specifically, the Bill would immediately prohibit any federal agency from approving any federal permit for fracking. The […]
Businesses in the construction industry are concerned about how the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact planned and future construction projects. Since no one can predict the full impact from the effects, the advice for contractors is to continue like normal. Chinese government containment efforts and quarantines have slowed or shut down factories in dozens […]
The Trump administration’s challenge against California’s agreement with Quebec to share cap-and-trade markets to reduce greenhouse gases survived its first federal court test on March 12, 2020. The federal government sued California over its cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec in October 2019, asserting the state has no right to pursue “an independent foreign policy” about the […]
The International Energy Agency data released earlier this month showing that U.S. emissions dropped by 2.9% last year, which failed to make an impression with Democrats, environmentalists and climate activists, who either shrugged off the data or argued that Mr. Trump’s climate-denialism was somehow thwarted. Full article from the Washington Times HERE.
Fifth District Court of Appeal Overturns EIR and Streamlining Ordinance for Oil and Gas Well Permits.
Three oil and gas industry associations proposed an amendment to the Kern County Zoning Ordinances to streamline permitting for oil and gas exploration and production. The amendments would create a ministerial review process for permit applications, with mitigation measures incorporated. The mitigation measures would come from the EIR prepared to consider the potential environmental impacts […]
Federal Regulations Demanding More Water in California Central Valley gets Challenged…by California?!
On February 19, 2020, President Trump signed new federal regulations allowing more water from Northern California to flow into the Central Valley. President Trump additionally signed a new biological opinion that found minimal environmental impacts resulting from the water transfer. However, California environmentalists and politicians view the water transfer as weakening environmental protections for populations […]
President Trump announced a proposed rule package of National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) regulatory changes that are designed to speed up approvals for projects ranging from pipelines to roads and dams. According to the president, this rule was prompted by the unfairly long amount of time it takes to approve projects. NEPA is the federal […]
On January 9, 2020, President Trump announced his intention to update the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) regulations and further stated that such updates were a top priority. This reform would be the first major change NEPA has experienced in over 40 years. As proposed, the NEPA regulations would expedite NEPA requirements by clarifying, modernizing, […]
CEQA exemptions provide a streamlined path to entitlement for projects and are almost always preferred if available. On January 16, 2020, the Office of Planning and Research released updated to two technical advisories. One is related to application of CEQA exemptions in disaster recovery efforts, and the other addresses CEQA review of housing projects. The […]
On January 23, 2020, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”) for the proposed Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area Project in Inyo County, California. The FEIS analyzes the proposed leasing of 22,800 acres of publicly owned land for geothermal exploration, development, and utilization. The FEIS provides a comprehensive analysis of the […]