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A Sibling Rivalry: Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation

In the mid-1970s, the United States adopted its first significant policies aimed at meeting energy needs by reducing demand rather than increasing supply.  So began the energy efficiency movement. Despite the many similarities between the energy and water sectors, a decade passed before the country started to manage the demand side of water.  And so… Full Story

Texas Water Planning and the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) — the federal agency charged with implementing the Endangered Species Act — is required by a court order to decide the regulatory fate of more than 700 species of plants and animals by the end of 2018. As part of a 2011 settlement agreement between the Service… Full Story

New Colorado Methane Emissions Rules

On February 23rd, Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) adopted the nation’s first statewide limit on emissions from natural gas fracking operations, including methane. An unusual coalition of energy companies and environmentalists crafted the regulations over the last year in the hopes of raising the quality of Colorado’s air, which has failed for years to… Full Story

Transitioning from Environmental Due Diligence to Auditing

Although environmental due diligence can be critical to the valuation of an asset prior to purchase, following purchase, compliance is of paramount concern.  A new owner must quickly transition from viewing operations from the perspective of a buyer trying to value a purchase appropriately to viewing operations from the perspective of an owner trying to… Full Story

Immigration Reform vs. Environmental Protection: The Border Wall and DHS’s Waiver Power

Almost a year has gone by since the Senate passed its most recent comprehensive immigration bill.  In that time, the House has not considered the legislation, though a range of politicians and stakeholder groups have continued to press vigorously for comprehensive reform. The bill—S.B. 744—included allocations for enhanced border security, and called for the construction… Full Story

Looking Ahead at State-Local Conflicts Over Fracking

A recent UT Energy Center Law Blog post by Samantha Blons focused on a case brought by a natural gas producer against the City of Dallas, after the city denied the company a natural gas production permit.  (A new city ordinance restricts production within the city limits.)  The Dallas case is an early example of… Full Story

Battle Over Fracking in Dallas Continues With Takings Lawsuit

The City of Dallas is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the City’s refusal to authorize gas drilling by a company that had leased mineral rights on city property. The lawsuit—which alleges takings, fraud, and breach of contract claims—comes as the latest development in a seven-year saga over the status of urban gas drilling and… Full Story

TWDB Proposes Method for Solving Ward Timber Conflict

Last  year, a Texas appellate court raised doubts about the certainty and reliability of the state’s water planning process when it found that two key planning documents impermissibly conflicted with each other. This week, staff for the state agency that oversees water planning – the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) – submitted a memo to… Full Story

Texas’ Increasing Reliance on Conservation

While the threat of water scarcity has always been present, Texas but did not begin water planning at the state level until 1957.  At that time, as part of the policy response to the 1950s drought of record, voters approved a constitutional amendment creating the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), which was given a mission… Full Story