UPCOMING CWAG EVENTS
Energy Export Summit: On May 6, 2015, CWAG Chair Lawrence Wasden will convene Attorneys General and Congressional Members in Washington, DC for an Energy Exports conversation focusing on U.S. policies concerning the export of domestically produced energy to foreign markets.
Panelists and Attorneys General will discuss a range of topics including global demand for U.S. energy, jobs and the U.S. economy, the exportation of LNG, coal and petroleum, environmental concerns, the intricacies of oil infrastructure, key court cases and pending litigation, and the appropriate legal channels for resolution of various issues.
To join the energy conversation on Twitter, follow us at #EnergyX2015.
Attorneys General attending the Summit include:
- The Honorable Lawrence Wasden, Idaho Attorney General
- The Honorable Cynthia Coffman, Colorado Attorney General
- The Honorable Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General
- The Honorable Tim Fox, Montana Attorney General
- The Honorable Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota Attorney General
- The Honorable Edward Manibusan, Northern Mariana Islands Attorney General
- The Honorable Peter Michael, Wyoming Attorney General
- Deputy Attorney General Frederick Boss, Oregon Office of the Attorney General
- Director of Constituent Affairs Todd Dvorak, Idaho Office of the Attorney General
- Assistant Attorney General Michael Moody, Michigan Office of the Attorney General
- Assistant Attorney General Cholla Khoury, New Mexico Office of the Attorney General
- Assistant Attorney General Mike McGrady, Wyoming Office of the Attorney General
- U.S. Senator John Barrasso
- U.S. Senator Steve Daines
- US Senator Heidi Heitkamp
- National Bureau of Asian Research: Meredith Miller, Senior Vice President of Trade, Economic and Energy Affairs
- America's Natural Gas Alliance: Frank Macchiarola, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs
- Jamie Webster, Senior Director for Global Energy Markets, IHS Energy
- Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs: Bill Jackson, Shareholder
- Crow Nation: Darrin Old Coyote, Chairman
- BNSF Railway: Roger Nober, Executive Vice President Law & Corporate Affairs
- IHS Energy: Jamie Webster, Senior Director for Global Energy Markets
- Goldwyn Global Strategies: David L. Goldwyn, President
CWAG Annual Meeting: The Conference of Western Attorneys General and CWAG Chair, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden invite you to attend the CWAG Annual Meeting, July 19-22, 2015, in Wailea, Hawaii at The Grand Wailea Resort. Full meeting and registration details available here.
Download the CWAG Annual Meeting draft topic agenda now! Any questions can be directed to CWAG Meeting Planner Janine Knudsen at [email protected]
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S UNIQUE OUTREACH EFFORT
CWAG Associate Attorney General Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas announced that she is launching a new initiative to help take the Attorney General's Office to Arkansans. General Rutledge is starting Attorney General Mobile Offices, which will take the office to all 75 counties over the next year. "An elderly couple in Jasper or Eudora should not have to be scared to get on the Internet, pick up the phone or drive to Little Rock in order to speak to someone in the Attorney General's Office," said General Rutledge. "Over and over, I hear that Arkansans do not know the ways my office can serve and assist them. As the people's lawyer, I want to be accessible to everyone, and that means taking the office outside of the capital city. No issue is too small for my staff to have a face-to-face conversation, and I hope Arkansans will take advantage of this new program from the Attorney General's Office."
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico announced that a jury returned verdicts of guilty for crimes of human trafficking committed by Wallace Carson. Carson was convicted of first degree Kidnapping and Human Trafficking of a seventeen year old girl from Albuquerque, who he kidnapped from the Greyhound bus station in downtown Albuquerque in February of 2013, and two counts of Human Trafficking of a twenty-one year old girl he trafficked from San Antonio, Texas into Albuquerque. Carson also was found guilty of two counts of Promoting Prostitution and two counts of Accepting the Earnings of a Prostitute. He faces 33 years of imprisonment and could be subject to 64 additional years as a habitual offender. General Balderas stated, "I am pleased that juries are willing to understand the complexity of human trafficking, and hold offenders accountable for preying upon those who are vulnerable and subjecting those individuals to unspeakable acts and violence in order to turn a profit. My office is committed to pursuing justice in these cases and protecting New Mexico's most vulnerable populations."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan hosted the first meeting of the new Michigan Human Trafficking Commission, a standing commission within the Department of Attorney General. Twelve Commission members were appointed by Gov. Snyder to represent various key groups and public officials. This Commission will build upon the work begun by General Schuette's bipartisan 2013 Commission on Human Trafficking that assessed the state of human trafficking in Michigan and provided a report with action-oriented recommendations to lawmakers and Gov. Snyder. The new Commission will make recommendations to the Legislature to improve laws and rules to address human trafficking violations in the state and will work with the nine-person Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board in the Department of Health and Human Services. "Every day in America, human trafficking victims are robbed of their childhood, their health, their dignity, their families, and even their lives through sex slavery or forced labor," said General Schuette. "The victim-centered efforts of our 2013 Commission shined a light on these criminals, vividly illustrating that this is not just a problem for the world - it is a problem for Michigan. And now the real work begins as the new Michigan Human Trafficking Commission begins its task towards fighting human trafficking in communities across our state."
PROTECTING CHILDREN AGAINST ABUSE
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah announced that the Utah Attorney General's Children's Justice Center (CJC) Program has teamed with Utah's Department of Human Services Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and local survivors to launch One With Courage Utah. DCFS Director Brent Platt introduced local survivors and their public service announcement (PSA) messages including Deondra and Desirae Brown of The 5 Browns, followed by a presentation by the Parent Advisory Council. The program concluded with a moving musical performance by the Brown sisters. Those involved challenged all, no matter individual circumstances, to be One with Courage when it comes to talking about child sexual abuse. One With Courage Utah is a local campaign created in correlation with a national initiative to raise awareness about child sexual abuse while highlighting the unique role of Children's Justice Centers in bringing partner agencies together and providing services. "We are honored to team with our state's Division of Child and Family Services and extremely brave local survivors to launch One With Courage Utah. This initiative asks each of us, no matter our situation, to have courage," said General Reyes. "Child sexual abuse is a crime of silence that thrives because not only the perpetrator, but often times the victim, and even the victim's loved ones, do not want to share their dark secrets. It is time for all of us to be One With Courage."
CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada announced the filing of a criminal complaint against Bryan Micon. Micon was charged with one count of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming website. According to gaming regulatory authorities, this is the first state-level criminal prosecution of an illegal Internet poker website in Nevada's history. The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint includes allegations that Micon operated an unlicensed interactive gaming website in Nevada. The website, known as "Seals with Clubs," was allegedly an internet poker site that used Bitcoin as currency. "Defending Nevada's worldwide reputation as the 'Gold Standard of Gaming Integrity' is a paramount concern to the tens of thousands of Nevadans employed by the industry and the 41million tourists who visit the state each year," said General Laxalt. "Operating or otherwise conducting gaming in the state without a license is illegal, and this office will aggressively pursue individuals and companies who seek to circumvent gaming regulations."
The Federal District Court for the District of Wyoming has now issued an order permitting North Dakota and Colorado to intervene as parties, joining the State of Wyoming, in a challenge to the US Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) authority to impose federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing practices. "I am pleased the Court has allowed North Dakota to participate as a party to uphold our state's strong and comprehensive fracking regulations," said CWAG Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota. "The BLM's final rules, released on March 20, 2015, were issued despite North Dakota's efforts to persuade the BLM that the state's longstanding laws and regulations already effectively govern oil and gas development and protect our underground water sources." CWAG Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman of Colorado stated, "Colorado has robust regulations on oil and gas development, including hydraulic fracturing, and our agency regulators are doing a good job implementing them. I believe it is important to test BLM's novel assertion of regulatory authority in an area that has been traditionally-and in this case expressly-reserved for the states."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas announced that a consent decree has been reached with ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and Mobil Pipe Line Company (ExxonMobil) to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and State environmental laws stemming from the 2013 crude oil spill from the Pegasus Pipeline in Mayflower. ExxonMobil will pay $1 million in State civil penalties, $600,000 toward water quality-based Supplemental Environmental Projects and $280,000 to the Attorney General's Office for litigation costs. ExxonMobil will also pay $3.19 million in federal civil penalties and perform measures to improve pipeline safety and spill response. General Rutledge said, "This consent decree is a critical victory for the State and the Mayflower community. ExxonMobil was responsible for the damage to the environment and for disrupting lives of Arkansans. Today, ExxonMobil is being held accountable for the estimated 134,000 gallons of oil that flowed out of the ruptured pipeline."
FCC ENFORCEMENT NEWS
In his first year on the job as chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, Travis LeBlanc has issued some of the largest fines in the agency's history. AT&T agreed to pay $105 million for placing unwanted charges on consumers' phone bills. T-Mobile had to pay $90 million over similar allegations. Marriott Hotels paid $600,000 for blocking its customers' Wi-Fi hotspots. And CenturyLink and Verizon got fined $16 million and $3.4 million, respectively, for a software glitch that blocked 911 calls for six hours. In total, the FCC, working with other agencies, has collected more than $365 million in fines, settlements, and refunds for consumers since LeBlanc joined the agency. He first caught the attention of the tech industry as a top aide to CWAG Attorney General Kamala Harris of California. In California, he pressured Google, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants to agree to privacy standards for mobile apps. He also set up a high-tech crime unit and joined the federal government in blocking AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile. "He's fearless. He's not afraid to be bold," General Harris stated.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson recently wrote a strong article underscoring the need to continue the fight against DUI and to stress the alternatives to driving under the influence. General Wilson said, "In the United States, nearly 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related cases. It's the third leading preventable cause of death in the nation. While alcohol is legal for adults 21 and older, it can be deadly if used irresponsibly, regardless of age. If you do drink, never get behind the wheel. In today's world, there are many services, such as Uber, that make it easy to get home safe and sound. A DUI can cost up to $10,000, but a cab ride can cost $20. The risk is not worth it. Designate a driver, take a taxi or call an Uber - there's no excuse to drink and drive." The complete article is attached.