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Denton Becomes First Texas City to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 59 percent of voters elected to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing (“fracing”) in the city of Denton, which sits on top of the hydrocarbon-rich Barnett Shale. Although the ban does not...more

City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Appeals Ruling Striking Down Fracking Bans

The week of September 22, the Fort Collins, Colorado, City Council voted to appeal a decision rendered last month that struck down the city’s fracking ban. In that August 2014 decision, a Larimer County District Court...more

Ballard Spahr Lawyers Turn Back Robinson Township Challenge to Waste-to-Energy Facility

Although some have suggested that Robinson Township, et al. v. Commonwealth, a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down key provisions of a state law regulating the oil and gas industry, could impair...more

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

Environmental and Energy: Hydraulic Fracturing: Courts and Localities Act Where New York State Fears To Tread (7/14)

In an opinion issued on June 24, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the zoning laws adopted by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield to ban oil and gas production activities, including hydraulic fracturing, within their...more

Colorado Supreme Court Clears Ballot Initiative Aimed at Bolstering Local Control of Oil and Gas Drilling

On June 30, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title, and Submission Clause for 2013–2014 #89[1] (Initiative 89). In affirming the finding of the state’s Ballot Title Setting...more

New York’s Highest Court Affirms Zoning Ordinances Banning Hydrofracking

The Insurance Law Blog has been following decisions related to hydraulic fracturing for potential impacts on insurance coverage issues. As we previously reported in May 2013, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,...more

The Fourth Circuit Affirms District Court Decision Finding Maryland’s Contract for Differences Unconstitutional

As we reported (see link below), in October 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland declared unconstitutional an order of the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) directing the state’s...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declares Portions of Marcellus Shale Act Unconstitutional, Upholds Local Regulation of Oil and Gas...

On December 19, 2013, in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania et al., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared portions of Act 13 of 2012 (Act 13), commonly known as the “Marcellus Shale Act,” unconstitutional. As...more

PA Supreme Court Holds Portions of Oil and Gas Act Unconstitutional

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that several provisions of Act 13 of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act are unconstitutional as it gives Marcellus Shale and natural gas drillers unfettered access to drilling...more

House Passes Legislation Which Would Prohibit Department of the Interior from Enforcing Federal Fracturing Regulations

On November 20, 2013, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2728, Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, which was introduced by Representative Bill Flores (R-Texas)...more

Federal Court Finds New Jersey’s Long-Term Capacity Pilot Project Unconstitutional

On October 11, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey issued its decision in PPL Energyplus, LLC v. Hanna. This case follows a recent decision in which the U.S. District Court for the District...more

MD and NJ Programs Subsidizing New Power Plants Found Unconstitutional in Separate Federal Decisions

On October 11, 2013, New Jersey’s Long-Term Capacity Pilot Program (LCAPP) became the second state program designed to foster the development of new in-state power plants to be found unconstitutional in as many weeks. In late...more

The Atomic Energy Act Preempts Vermont’s Efforts To Close Vermont Yankee: Sometimes, Legislative Intent Is Just Too Clear To...

Last week, in Entergy v. Shumlin, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals largely struck down Vermont’s efforts to close Vermont Yankee. Although three separate Vermont statutes were at issue, and Entergy made both preemption and...more

N.Y. Appellate Court: Municipalities Can Ban O&G Activity

An intermediate appellate court in New York recently affirmed that a local government has the authority to enact zoning ordinances banning all oil and natural gas activities within municipal limits. In 2011, the Town of...more

PPL Corp. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

Brief For Southeastern Legal Foundation, CATO Institute, And Goldwater Institute As Amici Curiae In Support Of The Petition For...

An American energy company called PPL bought one of many state-owned British utilities privatized in the 1980s. In 1997, PPL thus became subject to the U.K.'s new "windfall tax," which was based in part on "profit-making...more

Supreme Court Rejects States’ Nuisance Claims But Leaves Door Open to Future Climate Change Lawsuits

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in American Electric Power v. Connecticut that federal common law nuisance claims cannot be used to address harms arising from climate change. In 2004, eight states, New York City, and...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Connecticut v. American Electric Power

The Supreme Court of the United States has granted certiorari in the Second Circuit's Connecticut v. American Electric Power decision, which allowed federal common law nuisance claims to proceed against several utilities...more

Wiggle Room for Local Regulation of Marcellus Gas Drilling, or Potentially Reversible Error?

On July 22, 2010, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decided Penneco Oil Company v. The County of Fayette, Pennsylvania,1 holding that a local "zoning" ordinance targeting natural gas drilling is not preempted by...more

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