Environment

On February 1st, Texas will join a growing list of states that require drilling operators to disclose the chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing processes. The pending rule by the Texas Railroad Commission mirrors other states like Montana, Louisiana, Colorado, and North Dakota which require disclosure of well-by-well data on the website FracFocus.org.

Last Friday President Obama rolled out a proposal to reorganize and streamline various agencies and roles within the sprawling reach of the Department of Commerce. One aspect of the plan would move the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the jurisdiction of the Department of Interior. The move has sparked debate over reducing the federal government's size and concern that key functions of national fisheries and oceans policy will be diminished.

Few issues generate as much passion as those surrounding energy and environmental policy. In  2012, states and territories (“the states”) will continue to grapple with the challenges, opportunities and benefits of new Clean Air regulation and historic expansion of domestic energy production. Expect the focus of energy and environmental policy debates to become more granular and focused at the state level as election-year politics in Washington likely will produce little federal legislation. States will have added pressure and face new complexities to incentivize alternative energy as weak economic recovery persists and public opinion has hanged substantially on the proper and best role of government involvement in supporting renewable energy development. Here are the top five energy and environment issues states will face in 2012:  

Few issues generate as much passion as those surrounding energy and environmental policy. In 2012, states and territories ("the states") will continue to grapple with the challenges, opportunities, and benefits of new Clean Air regulation and historic expansion of domestic energy production. Expect the focus of energy and environmental policy debates to become more granular and focused at the state level as election-year politics in Washington will likely produce little federal legislation. States will have added pressure and face new complexities to incentivize alternative energy as weak economic recovery persists and public opinion has changed substantially on the proper and best role of government involvement in supporting renewal energy development. Below is a brief snapshot of the major energy and environment issues states will face in 2012:

The political, environmental and economic battle over the future of laws and regulations governing ballast water discharges has taken some new turns during the latter half of 2011.

TransCanada has faced many hurdles in its multi-year effort to get a new 1,700-mile oil pipeline built. But this fall, the energy infrastructure company ran up against perhaps its stiffest opposition yet — from concerned residents and lawmakers in the state of Nebraska.

The West is running out of water … well, almost. Northwestern and Northcentral Western states are seeing an increase in precipitation and the Southwestern and Southcentral areas are, as expected, experiencing decreased rain. Add to this a temperature increase of five to seven degrees Fahrenheit in key river basins, a lower-than-predicted snowpack—a key feeder of Western water—and you end up with the perfect mixture of short-term events and long-term impacts that are likely to decrease Western stream flow up to 20 percent across several river basins. This session focused on the critical issue of Western water, how states can work and are working together, and what the federal government is doing to assist.

The West is running out of water … well, almost. Northwestern and Northcentral Western states are seeing an increase in precipitation and the Southwestern and Southcentral areas are, as expected, experiencing decreased rain. Add to this a temperature increase of five to seven degrees Fahrenheit in key river basins, a lower-than-predicted snowpack—a key feeder of Western water—and you end up with the perfect mixture of short-term events and long-term impacts that are likely to decrease Western stream flow up to 20 percent across several river basins. This session focused on the critical issue of Western water, how states can work and are working together, and what the federal government is doing to assist.

The West is running out of water ... well, almost. Northwestern and Northcentral Western states are seeing an increase in precipitation and the Southwestern and Southcentral areas are, as expected, experiencing decreased rain. Add to this a temperature increase of five to seven degrees Fahrenheit in key river basins, a lower-than-predicted snowpack—a key feeder of Western water—and you end up with the perfect mixture of short-term events and long-term impacts that are likely to decrease Western stream flow up to 20 percent across several river basins. This session focused on the critical issue of Western water, how states can work and are working together, and what the federal government is doing to assist.

The West is running out of water … well, almost. Northwestern and Northcentral Western states are seeing an increase in precipitation and the Southwestern and Southcentral areas are, as expected, experiencing decreased rain. Add to this a temperature increase of five to seven degrees Fahrenheit in key river basins, a lower-than-predicted snowpack—a key feeder of Western water—and you end up with the perfect mixture of short-term events and long-term impacts that are likely to decrease Western stream flow up to 20 percent across several river basins. This session focused on the critical issue of Western water, how states can work and are working together, and what the federal government is doing to assist.

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