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Ohio Supreme Court Invalidates Local Oil and Gas Regulation

Good news for the oil and gas industry in Ohio came last week in the form of a Supreme Court decision invalidating local ordinances that sought to regulate oil and gas production activities, weighing in on what has recently...more

Court Finds Certain PA Compressor Stations Not ‘Adjacent’ for Purpose of Aggregating Emissions

On February 23, 2015, the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a decision in Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future v. Ultra Resources, Inc., holding that eight compressor stations owned by Ultra...more

The Early Bird Catches the Worm: A Lesson in Submitting Drilling Applications Early to Avoid Expiration of Federal Oil and Gas...

As many of you know, permitting delays are not only frustrating but can have real consequences for project applicants with contractual deadlines. In the case of a federal oil and gas lease, operators should be mindful of the...more

FERC Technical Conferences Examining EPA Clean Power Plan Are Underway

At the close of 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) announced that it would hold a series of technical conferences to examine issues surrounding compliance with the Clean Power Plan proposed by the U.S....more

Ohio High Court: State Oil and Gas Law Trumps Anti-fracking Zoning Rules Enacted by a Municipality

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp., Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-485, issued the first state high court decision to consider and reject the proposition that local anti-fracking zoning...more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part II - Infrastructure

Because I had a seat inside the meeting room at FERC's Clean Power Plan Overview last Thursday, I got a close-up view of the protesters. Most were older (as opposed to the college-student variety), they carried signs, wore...more

District Court Rejects Challenge to Wind Farm Permitting, Finds No Violation of ESA or Eagle Protection Act

This month a federal court in Maine rejected a challenge to a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) for the Oakfield wind power project. The court determined that the Army Corps did not violate the...more

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC

It is innocuous enough: Conference on Environmental Regulations; but the plainness of title belies what is going on at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today. Today is the first public forum at FERC on EPA's Clean...more

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss a Challenge to Natural Gas Projects in the Great Barrier Reef

On Friday, February 20, a federal district court denied (pdf) a motion to dismiss, thereby breathing life into an Endangered Species Act (ESA) challenge brought against the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Bank) for...more

Pennsylvania and Ohio High Courts Issue Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Operators

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Extend Primary Term of Oil and Gas Lease - In Wayne Harrison, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 75 MAP 2014 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania...more

Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Severance Tax

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has proposed a new state severance tax on natural gas drilling. The measure, which the governor introduced as a means to fund the state’s education system, would impose a 5 percent tax on the...more

Proposed Assembly Bill 356 Would Require Additional Groundwater Monitoring by Oil & Gas Operators

California Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) has introduced an oil and gas bill to ensure that the state comes into compliance with the Class II underground injection (“UIC”) requirements under the federal Safe...more

Regulating Exploration on the Arctic OCS: U.S. Federal Regulators Propose Rules for Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic...

In recent years, the energy industry has expressed significant interest in investigating submerged lands on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Arctic for commercial quantities of oil and natural gas. The...more

The Supreme Court of Texas Marries Contractual Limitations to Insurance Policies

In a case that has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry and its insurers, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its opinion in In re Deepwater Horizon on February 13, 2015, and settled the debate concerning whether a...more

Pa. Supreme Court Denies Equitable Tolling of Oil and Gas Lease’s Primary Term

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on certification from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruled that the primary term of an oil and gas lease would not be equitably tolled during the pendency...more

The Keystone Pipeline Cleared Hurdles in Congress, But Was Tripped Up by Presidential Veto

This new year has been marked with a flurry of activity surrounding the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Following the changing of the guard in a new Republican-led Congress, Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski led...more

Land Subsidence Damage Caused by Groundwater Withdrawals in Arizona: Who Pays?

Land subsidence is a problem that affects many areas of the world, with well-publicized case studies in Mexico City, Tokyo, and certain areas within California and Arizona. ...more

OPEC’s Price War Is Entrenching North American Shale Producers’ Global Competitive Advantage

Oil price uncertainty strengthens the global competitive advantages of U.S.—and Canadian—unconventional oil projects. Both countries offer excellent geology, robust supporting infrastructure, deep local capital markets,...more

State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court: Storage Activities Hold Production Rights Under "Dual Purpose" Lease

The explosion of natural gas production in the Appalachian Basin in recent years has led to litigation involving landowners trying to get out of existing oil and gas leases to take advantage of the fierce competition among...more

The President’s FY2016 Federal Budget Request: Programs Relevant to Tribal Energy Development

The White House transmitted its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request to Congress on February 2, 2015. Overall, the budget includes over $7.4 billion in funding for clean energy technology programs across the federal agencies. ...more

Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy...more

Supreme Court of Ohio Rejects Local Governments’ Attempts to Regulate Oil and Gas Activities

In the Appalachian basin, several states have recently faced the issue of whether local governments have the ability to regulate oil and gas operations, potentially causing a maze of varying rules and requirements from one...more

Settlement Reached in Wyoming Fracking Disclosure Lawsuit: Heavier Burden of Proof for Companies Claiming Trade Secret or...

As we’ve previously discussed, a patchwork of state regulations requiring disclosure of chemicals used in fracking have been enacted by several states in recent years. One such regulation was by the State of Wyoming. While...more

Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Municipalities Cannot Block Drilling Activities Permitted By the State

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the city of Munroe Falls could not shut down a company’s drilling operations for failing to comply with local ordinances. In so ruling, the Court held that the state has...more

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