Colorado Liquor Law Working Group Releases Report on Changes to Retail Liquor Licenses

On December 29, 2017, the SB 16-197 Working Group released its report to the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee and the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee making recommendations on the implementation of the sweeping changes to Colorado Liquor Law that were signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper in 2016. SB-197 addressed the regulation …

Multiple Parties Enter Rate Case Negotiations to Benefit New Mexico Utility Customers

A proposed reduction of $4.4 million to Public Service Company of New Mexico’s capital investment requirement combined with savings from the recently enacted tax legislation may still yield a fee increase for consumers of approximately 2% spread over two years. In response to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) Revised Order Partially Adopting Certification …

Will New Mexico Utility Customers Be First in Country to Benefit from the Recently Passed Corporate Tax Bill?

On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC), in a 3-2 vote, accepted a modified stipulation in an electric rate case for Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). The approval by the Commission, if accepted by the stipulation signatories, would result in a 2% increase, spread over two years, for …

EPA Declines to Impose CERCLA Financial Assurance Regulations on Hardrock Mining

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a final action declining to impose financial assurance regulations on the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This proposal was directed at managing the financial cost of hardrock mining, particularly the cost of cleanup in situations where the …

Supreme Court Declines Review of Ninth Circuit Agua Caliente Decision – Reserved Tribal Water Rights Include Groundwater

On November 27, 2017, the Supreme Court denied review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water Dist., 849 F.3d 1262 (9th Cir. 2017). In that case, an Indian tribe brought an action against a California water district and desert water agency seeking a declaration that it …

EPA Directive Provides Additional Opportunities for Stakeholder Participation in Consent Decree Negotiations

On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt released a directive that instructs the agency to follow new procedures related to the settlement of lawsuits against the agency. Specifically, the directive requires EPA to: Publish online any notices of intent to sue that it receives from potential litigants. Publish complaints and petitions in which it …

Challenge to Electrical Generation Property Valuation Must Be Filed Timely

State agencies are often given broad powers to adjudicate disputes, with the courts having the responsibility to review agency decisions. The timeline to review agency decisions may seem obvious, but the facts sometimes may create confusion, and in turn thwart the timely initiation of the action, which is essential for judicial review to be sought. …

Pueblo Hits Turn Signal for Black Hills Off-Ramp

By a resounding seven to zero vote, the City Council in Pueblo, Colorado recently passed a resolution to explore if and how the city could extricate itself from its franchise agreement with Black Hills Energy (BHE), clearing the way for the city to pursue creation of a municipal utility. The South Dakota-based BHE signed the …