Laws & Regulations

Justice Dept. Ditches Its Proposal To Lie About Existence of FOIA Records

The regulatory proposal was part of a large package of revised FOIA regulations, which will go forward without it. The Justice Department did not rescind the 1987 Meese memo the proposal was based on; instead it identified ways in which agencies could be unresponsive and uninformative without actually lying.

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"Admiral To Oversee U.S. Offshore Drilling Safety"

"A Coast Guard admiral who led the government's response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster is taking over as the nation's chief overseer of offshore drilling safety, the Obama administration said Monday. Rear Adm. James Watson begins his post as director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on Dec. 1."

Source: Houston Chronicle, 11/15/2011

Does Government Regulation Really Kill Jobs? Economists Say Hardly

As Republican politicians pound the narrative theme that government regulations are killing jobs, employment data show that the GOP story simply isn't true. Economists who are used to this argument don't expect the facts to change many people's minds.

Source: Wash Post, 11/15/2011
November 17, 2011

Wind Energy, Wildlife, and Endangered Species

Co-sponsored by Patton Boggs LLP and the Environmental Law Institute, this seminar in Washington, DC will address the issues of wind power's adverse effects on birds and other wildlife, and related legal issues, from several points of view, including developers, environmental groups, and the federal government.


Obama Administration Trying To Speed up Transmission Line Approvals

As part of its push to improve the nation's power system, the Obama administration is trying to expedite construction of 7 transmission lines, in various stages of planning and design, spanning 3,100 miles in 12 states.

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Controversial Pesticide Rule Might Protect Waterways

US EPA, under a court-ordered deadline of Oct. 31, 2011, is to release a final rule establishing a Pesticides General Permit process, which would establish ways to reduce certain pesticide applications on or near waterways for control of mosquitoes, other flying insects, weeds, algae, animals, and forest canopy pests.

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"Court to Rule If Abuses Abroad Can Lead to Suits"

"The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider a lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell PLC to decide whether corporations can be sued in U.S. courts for allegedly aiding human-rights abuses overseas. The case examines whether corporations can be held liable under a 1789 law passed by the first U.S. Congress. The law, the Alien Tort Statute, allows foreign citizens to file U.S. lawsuits based on alleged violations of international law."

Source: Wall St. Journal, 10/18/2011

Feds Cite BP, Transocean, Halliburton on Gulf Oil Spill Violations

"NEW ORLEANS -- Federal regulators on Wednesday cited oil company BP PLC and two other companies – Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton – for alleged safety and environmental violations stemming from last year's rig explosion and massive Gulf oil spill.

The companies have 60 days to appeal the citations issued by the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The bureau says the alleged regulatory violations could result in civil penalties once the appeal period has ended.

Source: AP, 10/13/2011


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