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About this Blog

Welcome to the S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Law Blog. This blog is a resource for the regulated community to stay current on new developments impacting the environmental, natural resources and energy sectors. It provides timely updates on a broad range of federal, state and local environmental topics — including proposed legislation and government rulemakings — that impact regulated industries throughout the southwest and the nation as a whole.

Texas Supreme Court Rules Pipeline Can Take Land by Eminent Domain

by Rachel M. Lynn On January 6, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC (“Denbury Green”) could take private property by eminent domain. In Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd., the decision turned on the question of whether or not Denbury Green qualified as a “common carrier” […]

| 3 min read
RL
Former Associate

Trump Cabinet Selections Signal Potential Changes to Environmental Regulations

By Chris Colyer As previously reported here, President-elect Donald Trump’s victory could have profound implications for federal environmental regulation. Although the scope of the intended regulatory changes remains uncertain, President-elect Trump’s recent Cabinet nominations—most notably Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy, and Ryan Zinke as Secretary […]

| 2 min read | Tagged: , , , ,
CC

Final BLM Planning 2.0 Rule Released

by Stephen Smithson The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) has released its final Planning 2.0 rule for publication in the Federal Register.  It will be effective 30 days after publication.  The rule is here. The rule represents a comprehensive change to the planning process because it focuses on planning on a landscape scale. One of […]

| 1 min read | Tagged: , , , ,
RH
Former Partner

Federal Appeals Court to Determine Tribal Reserved Rights to Groundwater

by Christopher W. Payne The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon determine whether the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has a federal reserved right to groundwater in a water rights case that could set a precedent for tribes across the West.  The case is entitled Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella […]

| 4 min read | Tagged: , , ,
SB
Web Developer

What the Trump Presidency Means for the Environment

by Patrick J. Paul To the victor belong the spoils, and President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election (get used to it) and Republican Congressional control will significantly impact environmental programs and priorities going forward.  Among other campaign commitments, President-elect Trump promised to increase fossil fuel production and to repeal numerous environmental initiatives of […]

| 3 min read

Regulatory Burdens On Retailers Continue to Evolve

by Michael C. Ford In the run up to the Presidential Election, you may have missed some of the following regulatory developments that might impact your business. Prop 65 Amendments. If your company sells consumer products in California (the 6th largest economy in the world!)[1], it will want to be familiar with recent amendments to the […]

| 5 min read | Tagged: , , , ,

Hot Topics in Utility Regulation and the Spread Option Offense (Yes, American Football Can Be an Analogy for Anything)

by Jason D. Gellman In the 1980s, legendary head coach Joe Gibbs for the Washington D.C. franchise was tortured about how to deal with ferocious pass-rushing force and elite outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor for the New York Giants (#2 overall pick in the ’81 NFL draft out of UNC).  Using his coaching genius, Gibbs inserted stalwart […]

| 8 min read
RK

EPA Must Consider Regulatory Impacts on Coal/Utility Industry Jobs and Plant Closure

by Denise A. Dragoo On October 17, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia granted summary judgment to Murray Energy Corporation and its subsidiary coal companies, including UtahAmerican Energy, Inc. The decision requires the U.S. EPA to follow the mandate of Section 321 of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. […]

Arizona Corporation Commission Takes a Step Closer to Determining the Value of Distributed Generation for Arizona

by Michael W. Patten On October 7, 2016, the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Hearing Division issued a Recommended Opinion and Order (“ROO”) in the Commission’s Investigation of the Value and Cost of Distributed Generation docket (Docket No. E-00000J-14-0023). The ROO follows an extended evidentiary hearing and post-hearing briefing that took place earlier this year. The ROO proposes […]