Energy Legislation in the 2017 Colorado General Assembly

The First Regular Session of the Seventy-First General Assembly adjourned sine die on May 10th, wrapping up 120 days of work for the people of Colorado. The session was primarily dominated by two big issues: budget and transportation. After years of debate, legislators reached a compromise on the infamous hospital provider fee. By moving the …

Chevron Deference in Arizona?

In Arizona, like in Washington, a debate is unfolding about how courts should determine “questions of law”, and whether an agency’s construction of statutes is entitled to deference by the courts.  Some refer to this deference as Chevron Deference, stemming from a 1984 U.S. Supreme Court decision. The recent confirmation proceedings of Justice Neil Gorsuch triggered a spirited debate among policy makers and opinion writers about whether an agency’s reading of its statutes should be given any weight …

Appeals Court Throws-Out Utility Easement Damages Award – For Now

In responding to rumors of his own demise, Mark Twain quipped, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”  While the 1897 rumors were premature, Mark Twain did eventually die on April 21, 1910.  In similar fashion, the 2015 jury verdict of more than $79 million for an electric utility’s misuse of electric transmission line …

U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources Discusses Expedited Permitting for Mines

Good news for infrastructure, including mining projects!  On March 21st, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources chaired by Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) held a hearing on infrastructure and discussed permitting timeline delays in the U.S.  Notably, Gosar stated: “Aggregates such as crushed stone, sand and gravel are the literal foundation of many of …

Wind Reaches “High Water Mark”

A recent American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) report indicates that in 2015, wind surpassed hydroelectricity in U.S. installed capacity. The nation’s hydroelectric generating facilities had long been the largest source of renewable energy capacity. Thanks to the extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind generation resources through 2019 (with a gradual phase down …

Onward for Oncor

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, the Delaware bankruptcy judge overseeing the Energy Future Holdings Corp. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stated that the most recent plan for emergence from Chapter 11 met the standards for confirmation. While two objections to confirmation remain to be resolved, Judge Christopher S. Sontchi said Thursday that the plan met the requirements …

New Merchant Transmission Line Approved in Arizona

At its February 7, 2017 Open Meeting, the Arizona Corporation Commission (“Commission”) approved a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (“CEC”) for the Southline Transmission Project (“Project”).  Docket No. L-00000AAA-16-0370-000173.  The Commission adopted the CEC approved on December 22, 2016 by the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee (“Committee”). The Commission added a new condition …