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Environmental Blog

EPA Issues Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking That Will Increase the Burdens of Non-Exempt Refiners Beginning in 2020

Making good on President Trump’s promise to corn-growing farmers, on October 28, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (Supplemental Proposal) that will effectively increase the renewable fuel obligations of non-exempt refiners and other obligated parties beginning in compliance year (CY) 2020. The EPA held a public hearing regarding the Supplemental Proposal in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on October 30, 2019, and will accept comments until November 29, 2019. EPA currently plans to issue a final rule in 2019. 

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Trump Administration Plans to Ramp Up Total Renewable Fuel Volumes Under the RFS Program for 2020

On October 4, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signaled an abrupt change to the status quo, by announcing plans to issue a final rulemaking that will increase total renewable fuel volumes under the federal Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program beginning in 2020 to compensate for volumes lost whenever the EPA grants waivers to “small refiners,” who successfully claim a disproportionate economic hardship under the program. This change will greatly benefit farmers growing corn to produce corn-based ethanol, a “conventional” biofuel that supplies the bulk of total renewable fuel volumes required under the RFS program.

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  • 01
  • May
  • 2019

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BOEM Announces Increased Civil Monetary Penalties for 2019

As has been reported on in the past, federal agencies with oversight over offshore regulated activities, including oil and gas exploration and production operations, continue to increase the maximum civil penalty amounts they may assess for violations of applicable law, with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) being the latest agency to do so. Spurred on by increases in the Consumer Price Index, on March 26, 2019, BOEM adjusted its civil penalty amount to account for inflation.

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  • 26
  • November
  • 2018

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Round Three: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Agrees to Review Briggs in Deciding Whether the Rule of Capture Defeats a Claim of Trespass for Drainage Arising from Hydraulic Fracturing

On November 20, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to review the April 2018 intermediate appellate court decision, Adam Briggs et al. v. Southwestern Energy Production Company, which held that the “rule of capture” did not bar a claim for trespass when an operator’s hydraulic fracturing activity resulted in the drainage of gas from an adjoining tract that was not a part of the operator’s lease.

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Collision Course: Colorado Initiative #108 Seeks to Blunt Private Property Owners’ Damages Occasioned by State and Local Government Through Initiative #97

A petition for ballot Initiative #108 was submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State in advance of the August 6, 2018 deadline for proposals to be considered for inclusion on Colorado’s general election ballot on November 6, 2018. Touted as a “property rights” measure, Initiative #108 proposes to amend the Colorado Constitution in order to provide an equal playing field for private property owners seeking just compensation when state or local government takes action diminishing the “fair market value” of their properties.

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