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 …

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 …

DAPL Developer Sues Environmental Groups

In a remarkable development around the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the developer of the project, Energy Transfer Equity and Energy Transfer Partners, sued the environmental groups that opposed DAPL. Energy Transfer sued  Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Inc., BankTrack, and Earth First! alleging that the: group of co-conspirators (the “Enterprise”) manufactured and disseminated …

The Eclipse Will Test Utilities’ Solar Grid Integration

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Earth and the sun, thereby obscuring the sun from Earth’s view and creating a shadow on Earth’s surface below. While a partial solar eclipse …

NV Energy’s Latest Net Metering Filing Offers a Cost-Based Solution to the Distributed Generation Industry

Pursuant to the timelines set forth in Assembly Bill 405, NV Energy has recently filed new tariffs that affect Nevada’s net metering (NEM) and full requirement customers.  Passed by the Nevada Legislature in June 2017 and supported by the rooftop solar industry, Assembly Bill 405 is the latest manifestation of Nevada’s policy to support rooftop …

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 …