Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
January 17, 2019
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation.
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Oregon Plays Key Role in $171 Million Settlement with Fiat Chrysler and Robert Bosh for Environmental Breaches
January 11, 2019

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a landmark $171 million settlement with 49 states, the District of Columbia and Guam with Fiat Chrysler and Robert Bosch for equipping, selling or leasing environmentally non-compliant vehicles. Oregon helped lead the investigation, and will receive $7.23 million of the settlement. Fiat Chrysler equipped certain trucks and SUVs with illegal emissions defeat device software. Bosch supplied and helped program the illegal emissions “defeat device” software used by both Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen in their diesel vehicles. Attorney General Rosenblum worked on this settlement in coordination with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

This settlement is the result of a two-year investigation led by the Attorneys General of Oregon, Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Washington. The settlement covers cars that had unlawful defeat device software or undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices (“AECDs”) installed in 2,176 Model Year 2014-16 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles sold in Oregon. Chrysler misled consumers by falsely claiming the “EcoDiesel”-branded Jeep SUVs and Ram 1500 trucks were environmentally friendly and compliant with the law in all 50 states. Fiat Chrysler cheated federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the vehicles’ software to conceal that the vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) in real-world driving conditions.
National Security Center Launches Program to Help US Firms Guard Against Foreign Hackers
The HIll
January 7, 2019

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) on Monday launched a program aimed at helping U.S. companies protect themselves from cyber attacks or other threats from foreign nation-state actors.

The NCSC, housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), is now sharing materials on how firms can guard themselves against threats to the supply chain — or components manufactured outside of the U.S. — spear-phishing campaigns and economic espionage, like the theft of intellectual property.
CA Attorney General Becerra Leads Bipartisan Coalition of 21 Attorneys General in Brief Defending Law that Protects Native American Children
January 14, 2019

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a bipartisan coalition of 21 states in filing an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in Brakeen v. Zinke. ICWA is a 40-year-old federal law that furthers the best interests of Native American children and protects the sovereignty of Indian tribes by preserving children’s connections to their tribal heritage.

Joining Attorney General Becerra in filing the brief are the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Colorado Supreme Court Reverses Appeals Court Ruling in Martinez Case
Ruling says state regulators correct to balance development with public health, environmental impacts; governor, lawmakers vow to update state’s policy
The Denver Post
January 14, 2019

In a win for the oil and gas industry, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that said the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission should give more weight to the public health, safety and the environment when considering new drilling.

However, the win could turn out to be a lull before the next political face-off that has become more common as drilling has ramped up in the state’s more populous areas. As industry representatives welcomed the court’s decision, saying it upholds the law’s recognition of multiple interests, legislators and Gov. Jared Polis said the ruling highlights the need for changes to better protect the public.
Attorney General Phil Weiser Pledges to Work With State Agencies, Local Communities to Ensure Oil/Gas Development is Consistent With Public Health, Safety, and Environment
January 14, 2019

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser released the following statement in response to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez:

“The Colorado Supreme Court properly ruled that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the statutory authority and obligation to regulate oil and gas development as necessary to protect the public health, safety, and environment. In so doing, it also characterized the Commission’s action as a decision on the merits of the proposed rule and emphasized the discretion of the Commission on how it can choose to address this issue.

“...Moving forward, I will work with the Commission and other state agencies to ensure that oil and gas development in Colorado is consistent with the public health, safety, and environment. To do so, the Attorney General’s office will provide sound legal advice as the Commission develops appropriate protections and evaluates particular applications. Furthermore, I am committed to working with local communities—as they enter into surface use agreements and memoranda of understanding, for example—to provide technical assistance as they seek to protect the public health, the safety of their residents, and their local environment. Finally, should the legislature seek to clarify the mandate of the Commission, I look forward to working with it.”
Updated American Indian Law Deskbook Is Now Available

The American Indian Law Deskbook  is a concise, direct, and easy-to-understand handbook on Indian law. The chapter authors of this book are experienced state lawyers who have been involved in Indian law for many years.

American Indian Law Deskbook  addresses the areas of Indian law most relevant to the practitioner.
Topics include:
  • Definitions of Indians and Indian tribes
  • Indian lands
  • Criminal, civil regulatory, and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction
  • Civil rights
  • Indian water rights
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Environmental regulation
  • Taxation
  • Gaming
  • Indian Child Welfare Act and tribal-state cooperative agreements