Court Strikes Nebraska Law on Keystone XL Siting Approval Process
A district court held that a Nebraska law passed in 2012 to expedite the approval of a new route for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline through the state is unconstitutional. Article IV, §20, of the Nebraska Constitution commits exclusively to the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) the authority over common carriers and the regulation of common carriers when regulation is necessary. But the law divests the PSC of control over the routing decisions of oil pipelines subject to the act and is therefore unconstitutional.
Hydraulic Fracturing Wells Are Not "Injection Wells" Under Michigan Law
A Michigan appellate court held that Mich. Admin. Rule 324.102(x), which defines the term “injection well,” does not include wells completed using hydraulic fracturing. Accordingly, "frack" wells are not subject to the environmental regulations applicable to injection wells.
The March issue of ELR's News & Analysis features a variety of issues, including climate change legislative efforts in China, the siting of shale gas development here in the states, and regulating air emissions from new heavy-duty road vehicles under the Clean Air Act. The issue also looks at cooperative federalism and the Clean Water Act, takings liability for rails-to-trails conversions, and reimagining environmental regulation for the 21st century.