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The recent decision by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove hundreds of thousands of acres of federal land from its December 13th oil and gas auction is at least a temporary victory for environmentalists, whose efforts to protect the Greater Sage Grouse have led them to challenge the Trump administration’s policy of accelerating drilling on public lands.…
California has taken a conservative step on the path to greater regulation of blockchain technology or legal recognition of blockchain-secured data.  On May 18, an amended bill was referred to the State Assembly Appropriations Committee for review that would provide for the establishment of a blockchain working group to evaluate “the potential uses, risks, and benefits of the use of blockchain technology by state government and California-based businesses.”  The amended bill also provides a legal…
California has taken a conservative step on the path to greater regulation of blockchain technology or legal recognition of blockchain-secured data.  On May 18, an amended bill was referred to the State Assembly Appropriations Committee for review that would provide for the establishment of a blockchain working group to evaluate “the potential uses, risks, and benefits of the use of blockchain technology by state government and California-based businesses.”  The amended bill also provides a legal…
Earlier this week, President Trump released the outline of his infrastructure plan, which includes over three dozen proposals intended to reduce delay, inefficiency and redundancy in the project permitting process.  The plan contemplates amendments to major federal environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. The chief goal of the proposed reforms—highlighted in both the President’s recent State of the Union Address and an earlier…
California continues to cement its position as a global leader in renewable energy policy and climate change reform.  This session, California State Senate President, Kevin de León, authored Senate Bill 100 (S.B. 100), which would require California utilities to procure 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2045.  S.B. 100 has been approved in the State Senate as well as two key committees in the State Assembly.  The Assembly Appropriations Committee and…
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.  The law establishes ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals for California, including increasing from 33% to 50% the procurement of California’s electricity from renewable sources and doubling the energy efficiency savings through energy efficiency and conservation. Key provisions of the new law: Renewable Energy: California’s existing Renewables Portfolio Standards Program aims to increase the amount of electricity…
In a recent Delaware Chancery Court case, the court declined to grant a preliminary injunction to enforce a noncompetition covenant against a California resident and former employee, finding the covenant would be unenforceable under California law, despite an explicit choice of law provision in the relevant contract designating Delaware law as the governing law of the contract.  This serves as a reminder that choice of law provisions cannot save otherwise unenforceable noncompetes.  For more information,…
On March 19, 2014, the California Energy Commission, the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, announced that it was initiating a regulatory process leading to the regulation of 15 categories of consumer appliances as to usage of electricity, natural gas, and water.  This comes in part in response to the three-year drought period in California, which has reduced hydroelectric production of electricity. The Commission provided the following schedule with expected release dates of draft…