Blog

Ninth Circuit Rules Against PACE Proponents; Texas Bill Shows Way Forward

Back in December, we blogged about PACE litigation and predicted that the sole court that sided with challengers to a federal rule limiting PACE-financing on residential real estate – the Northern District of California – would be overturned.  This week, the Ninth Circuit did just that, snuffing any short-term hopes that may have remained for broad-scale PACE… Full Story

Conservation and Confidentiality: Are the Concepts Compatible?

The dune sagebrush lizard is a light brown, 3-inch long reptile that lives in sand dunes that support low, shrubby shinnery oaks in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas.  The lizard’s habitat overlies a small portion of the Permian Basin, which happens to be the largest onshore oil and gas field in the United States. … Full Story

Scarcity and the Safe Drinking Water Act: When Could an Aquifer Serve as a Source of Drinking Water?

The local Farm Bureau chapter and other Goliad County interests recently petitioned the Fifth Circuit to review an EPA action that would exempt a portion of the Goliad Aquifer from certain provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”). The exemption would allow a Corpus Christi company, Uranium Energy Corp., to mine uranium near the town of Anders by pumping oxygenated water… Full Story

Psychological and Cultural Biases Distort Fracking Debates

Energy law is the product of energy politics, and politics can be emotional and contentious.  At the same time, many energy policy disputes turn on questions amenable to scientific study — the fight over acid rain in the 1980s, the long-running battle over climate change, and the current fight over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), to name… Full Story

Limited by Day Decision, Texas Will Have to Move Toward Correlative Rights Regime for Groundwater

In the past few years, the drought in Texas has created urgency in the market for privately controlled water.  Postcard fliers are slipped under front doors in residential neighborhoods announcing deals: “$6/foot—No Water—No Pay.” The Supreme Court of Texas did its part, too. In the long-awaited case of Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, the court decided… Full Story

University Study Finds San Antonio Is Most Water-Vulnerable City

The State Water Plan (SWP) and the impacts of the current drought have painted an unsettling portrait of water in Texas.  And giving still more reason for concern, a new study has found that San Antonio has less water available per capita than any big city in the country. The University of Florida surveyed metropolitan areas with populations of greater than 100,000.  Its authors started… Full Story

A Maritime Doughnut Hole in the Caribbean Sea: The International Court of Justice Establishes Maritime Boundary between Nicaragua and Colombia

On November 19, 2012, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) unanimously resolved a multi-year maritime boundary dispute between Nicaragua and Colombia, establishing a single maritime boundary between the two States and elaborating on the jurisprudence relating to maritime boundary disputes. The Court’s decision was complicated by the issue of sovereignty over certain islands located about 100 to… Full Story

Interior Department Should Maintain Focus on Conservation

The tone and priorities of the Department of Interior will no doubt shift somewhat when Sally Jewell replaces Ken Salazar this March.  But the department should take care to maintain its commitment to water conservation under its new secretary. While other federal agencies such as the Department of Energy and the EPA regulate water, none… Full Story