Category: Legislation

Subscribe to Legislation RSS Feed

Idaho Modifies Oil and Gas Statutes (Again)

Both houses of the Idaho Legislature unanimously approved House Bill 301a last week following a seven-hour negotiation and two days of hearings earlier this month.  Supported by Governor Otter, this bill will (among other things) amend the forced pooling provisions enacted just 12 months ago.  In fact, House Bill 301a is the latest in a … Continue Reading

Oil Transportation and Suction Dredge Mining Legislative Topics in Washington Too

Following up on last week’s post about Oregon legislative proposals, here are some of the mineral-related bills currently pending in the Washington State Legislature: Oil and Gas SB 5462 and HB 1611 – These two almost identical bills are follow-ups to the Oil Transportation Safety Act that was enacted in Washington two years ago. Among other … Continue Reading

Mineral-Related Bills Pending Before Oregon Legislature

The Oregon Legislature’s 2017 session officially kicked off last week. A variety of mineral-related bills have been introduced.  Here are some of the ones to follow: Mining SB 3 – SB 3 is primarily focused on suction dredge mining.  It would build on the 2013 enactment of a moratorium, currently in effect until 2021, on … Continue Reading

Why California’s New Groundwater Management Law is a Game Changer for Mine Operators

Ready or not, California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) is here and mine operators should be vigilant in monitoring and actively participating in developments under the law. Previously, the use of groundwater was largely unregulated.  Now local agencies are in the driver’s seat when it comes to addressing a very complex problem: managing groundwater … Continue Reading

Utah Congressmen Unveil Landmark Public Land Bill

On January 20, Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveiled a “discussion draft” of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. The proposed bill undertakes the difficult task of balancing economic development and conservation on public land in the State of Utah. Congressmen Bishop and Chaffetz began working together on the bill in February 2013. Since … Continue Reading

Congress Repeals Crude Oil Export Ban, a Legacy of 1970s Oil Embargo

Before leaving Washington, D.C. for the holidays, President Obama signed H.R. 2029 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016), which repealed the ban on U.S. exports of crude oil.  The repeal occurred just few days before today’s 40th anniversary of President Ford signing the ban into law.  According to historical data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, when … Continue Reading

New Law Streamlines Federal Permitting and Environmental Review Processes

6738-Sacramento state capitolMajor infrastructure developers received a notable holiday gift from Capitol Hill and the White House earlier this month with the December 4, 2015 enactment of the Highway Authorization Act. Title XLI of the Act promises to streamline both the authorization (license, permit, approval, etc.) and environmental review processes for covered projects. Who Benefits? To benefit … Continue Reading

States Show Their True Colors on Fracking – One Enacts a Ban, While Two Others Prohibit All Local Bans

Three states have recently taken a stand for or against controversial bans on hydraulic fracturing. Oklahoma, Texas, and Maryland have all passed laws within the past month relating to hydraulic fracturing bans. Oklahoma Last Friday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 809, which prohibits local governments from choosing whether to have oil and gas … Continue Reading

New State Oil-By-Rail Regulations Take Effect, While Rail Capacity Is Squeezed

As we reported earlier, consideration of proposed federal rulemaking concerning crude oil-by-rail transportation recommended by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and Federal Railroad Administration is underway, and, after receiving more than 3,000 submissions, the comment period closed on September 30.  Nevertheless, and despite the possibility of preemption challenges in litigation, state governments in … Continue Reading

With Increased Federal Scrutiny, State Governments Look To Expand Oil-By-Rail Oversight

With the federal Department of Transportation’s recent emergency order impacting those who transport crude oil by rail, state governments are likewise considering additional regulatory oversight that could affect the industry in the wake of recent train derailments such as the one yesterday in Virginia. In Minnesota, where more than 800 tank cars carrying oil from … Continue Reading

Debates Continue Over Taxes And Fees On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio And Pennsylvania

In exchange for a $2.6 billion cut to Ohio’s state income taxes, Gov. John Kasich has proposed a package of tax increases in other areas.  Included among those increases would be the gradual implementation of a 2.75 percent tax on oil and gas extracted through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Ohio, which is estimated … Continue Reading

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board Approves Model Standards For Local Silica Sand Mining Regulations

On March 19, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved its proposed model standards for local silica sand mining regulations and planning.  The standards are intended to serve as guidelines for city and county governments as they work to develop their own local ordinances for mining, processing, and transporting silica sand.  The Minnesota Legislature mandated … Continue Reading

Draft Of Model Silica Sand Mining Regulations Released By Minnesota Environmental Quality Board

Update: The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board extended the public comment period for the draft model guidelines by two weeks.  The deadline for public comments is now January 27. On December 13, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) – in collaboration with several other state agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution … Continue Reading

Leniency for California Miners — And a Call for “Top to Bottom” Reform of California Surface Mining Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 447 on Saturday, September 28, 2013, which modifies the Office of Mine Reclamation’s (OMR) authority to list or delist a mine from its list of “good mines” under Cal. Public Resources Code Section 2717 (more commonly referred to as the AB 3098 List).  Mines on the AB 3098 List … Continue Reading

Services Propose New Regulations For Incidental Take Under the Endangered Species Act

On September 4, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) jointly proposed new regulations governing the issuance of “incidental take statements” (ITSs) under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The purpose of these proposed regulations is to codify existing agency practices regarding the identification of take … Continue Reading

Oregon Mining Operations Benefit from New Sage Grouse Habitat Law

Over 40 percent of the lands in Malheur County have been designated as core habitat for sage grouse by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (“ODFW”). Other counties in southeastern Oregon are also heavily affected. ODFW’s approach was to simply recommend against any development in core habitat, without consideration whether off-site mitigation could result … Continue Reading

BLM California State Office Cancels Statutorily-Required Oil & Gas Lease Auctions for 2013

The third Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas sales scheduled for the 2013 fiscal year should have been held today for federal lands in California. However, last month the BLM California office issued a short notice stating that it would cancel remaining 2013 oil and gas lease sales planned for May, June, … Continue Reading

Two House Bills Would Eliminate Regulatory Breaks for Oil and Gas Industry

On March 14, 2013, two bills were introduced in the United States House of Representatives that would amend the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act to eliminate certain exclusions for oil and gas operations. In short, these bills would remove current exemptions under federal laws for oil and gas operations, including fracking operations, and would result in further regulation of air emissions and stormwater discharges associated with these activities.… Continue Reading

Stoel Rives Opens Office in Washington, D.C.

We are pleased to announce that we have opened a satellite office in Washington, D.C. Our new address, effective immediately: Stoel Rives LLP 1020 19th Street NW, Suite 375 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 398-1795 / Fax: (202) 621-6394 The new office is headed by firm partner Greg Jenner, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of … Continue Reading

Featuring Hydraulic Fracturing: Highlights from our California Environmental Law Blog

Interested in news involving hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in California? Our sister blog, California Environmental Law Blog, actively keeps readers informed on the latest legal, business and regulatory developments on fracking. Highlights from the past year include: Environmental Groups Sue Over Fracking Permits Fracking Study Finds No Harm to Environment San Benito County Moves Toward … Continue Reading

Update: One Step Closer to a Better Permitting Process

Following a recent post (link), I wanted to provide you with an update regarding H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012. On May 16, 2012, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed the bill, offered by Rep. Amodei (R-Nev.), where it received strong support in the committee. The bill now … Continue Reading

Sequoia ForestKeeper v. Tidwell Subjects Mineral Exploration Within National Forests to Additional Process and Delay

Last week a federal district court in California issued a nationwide injunction that may have significant impacts on exploration activities within National Forests.  For years activities that were categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) were also exempt from U.S. Forest Service regulations concerning public notice, comment, and administrative appeals (36 … Continue Reading

Administration’s Proposed Mining Tax Threatens Health of U.S. Minerals Mining

As the stalled economy pushes Washington closer to a decision on how to manage America’s wealth of mineral resources, two paths have emerged. One offers the possibility of increased domestic minerals production and the potential for long-term growth. Through legislation that would assess America’s mineral needs, we can maximize opportunities in mining, one of the … Continue Reading
LexBlog