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Roy Brandys

We've included some notable new stories below that might be of interest:


Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Suggests Federal Override of State Regulations on Pipelines


Secretary of Energy Rick Perry expressed frustration with some state regulation of pipelines, suggesting that regulators should consider national security as part of the regulatory process. “Do states have the right to block a pipeline across their state that will have a national security implication or an economic implication on individuals?” Perry asked during testimony on Capitol Hill. Perry’s comments are likely related to the denial of pipeline permits from states like New York.
https://thinkprogress.org/perry-cites-national-security-in-defense-of-pipelines-446a7fcf088b/.


U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Environmental Impact Statement on the Dallas-Houston Bullet Train


The draft Environmental Impact Statement, released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, doesn't necessarily endorse the so-called Utility Corridor. The U.S. Department of Transportation still has 60 days to hear from the public before a final decision is made at a date undetermined. Ten public hearings will be scheduled in the next two months in the 10 counties affected by the 240-mile, $15 billion project privately funded by Texas Central Partners. Texas Central hopes to begin construction in late 2018 or early 2019, with service beginning in 2023. But the massive report released Friday is still limited in information. After the public comment period, a more detailed environmental study will follow, along with a final record of decision that fills in the big picture. On Friday, Texas Central said it has acquired just 30 percent of the parcels along the proposed route.
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/2017/12/15/feds-pick-preferred-route-dallas-houston-bullet-train/.


Article from Texas Tribune and ProPublica Highlights Problems with Prior Border Wall Takings


A thorough article authored by the Texas Tribune and ProPublica analyzes the last round of federal takings as part of the border wall and the effect the current border wall has had on landowners in south Texas. The article also identifies many instances in which the federal government made procedural missteps or other errors as part of the large number of takings in the early 2000s for the border wall.
https://www.texastribune.org/2017/12/14/border-land-grab-government-abused-power-seize-property-fence/.


Notorious Keystone Pipeline leaks 210,000 gallons of crude oil in South Dakota


The notorious Keystone Pipeline, which was the subject of protests and fierce opposition during the acquisition of right-of-way and construction, has leaked a total of 210,000 gallons of crude oil in South Dakota. An investigation regarding the cause of the leak is ongoing.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/16/us/keystone-pipeline-leak/index.html.


Plans detailing the US/Mexico border wall expansion obtained by the Texas Observer


Documents obtained by the Texas Observer detail where the federal government plans to expand the existing US/Mexico border wall, totaling 33 miles in 15 different segments. The documents obtained by the Texas Observer also detail which segments are considered challenging or not challenging, with the challenging designations related partly to the ease in which land acquisition is anticipated. Some of the proposed segments would bisect the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and the National Butterfly Center. https://www.texasobserver.org/map-trump-border-wall-locations-texas/.


FERC issues permit for valley crossing pipeline


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a permit on Monday, October 23, 2017 to the Valley Crossing Pipeline as part of an international pipeline project. The 168-mile pipeline runs from the Agua Dulce hub near Corpus Christi to the Port of Brownsville and then into the Gulf of Mexico where it will connect with another natural gas pipeline from Mexico. https://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2017/10/23/trump-administration-issues-presidential-permit.html.


Dakota Access protest marker post to be featured in the Smithsonian


A 12-foot tall marker post that constructed by protesters during the Dakota Access Pipeline protest will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. The marker post was built by protestors to show the distances they had traveled from around the globe, from Fort Buffalo about 50 yards away to Sapmi in the Arctic, some 3,900 miles away. In 2016, more than 12,000 protestors formed a camp to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. http://www.nhregister.com/news/texas/article/Smithsonian-museum-to-exhibit-post-from-pipeline-12298699.php.


Judge allows Dakota Access pipeline to keep running


On October 11, 2017, a federal judge ruled that the $3.8 billion, 1,200 mile Dakota Access pipeline may continue operating while environmental studies are simultaneously completed. Lawyers representing several Native American tribes had challenged the continued use of the pipeline while environmental studies remained pending. The judge has indicated he will hear argument on the matter and scheduled a status conference for October 18, 2017. http://www.nhregister.com/news/texas/article/Judge-allows-Dakota-Access-pipeline-to-keep-12270163.php.


United States Supreme Court rules against property owner on takings claim


The United States Supreme Court handed down an opinion on June 23, 2017 that addressed how a parcel would be viewed for purposes of a takings claim. The landowner owned two lots on a lake in Wisconsin and a governmental ordinance effectively precluded the sale or use of one lot. The United States Supreme Court held that there was no taking because the landowner’s adjoining lot could be considered when defining the affected property. A more thorough discussion of the case can be found here: http://www.scotusblog.com/2017/06/opinion-analysis-regulatory-takings-case-court-announces-new-test/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/23/a-loss-for-property-rights-in-murr-v-wisconsin/?utm_term=.26827b64b705


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Modified by Nicholas Laurent on May 10, 2018

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