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EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. First, a couple of jurisdictions took actions...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

Litigation Over Hydraulic Fracturing in New York Rolls On, As Arguments Are Made To High Court The Same Week A New Lawsuit Emerges...

On December 16, 2013, the Town of Dryden, New York filed its merits brief with the New York Court of Appeals, arguing that state law does not preempt the Town’s local zoning ordinance purporting to ban hydraulic fracturing....more

Colorado Oil and Gas Association Files Suit Against Fracking Bans

On December 3, 2013, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (“COGA”) filed suits challenging citizen-passed initiatives that ban oil and gas activities in the cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette. The ordinance passed by the...more

A Summary of the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728)

On November 20, 2013, the House passed Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728), giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. The key provisions of the bill...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

White House Threatens Veto Of House Bill Giving States Primacy Over Federal Regulation Of Hydraulic Fracturing On Federal Lands

On November 20, the U.S. House of Representatives began floor debate on a bill giving state law primacy over federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands: H.R. 2728 (“Protecting States’ Rights and Preventing...more

House of Representatives to Consider Legislation Relating to Hydraulic Fracturing

The House of Representatives plans to consider two bills relating to hydraulic fracturing next week. The first of the two, H.R. 2728, Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, was introduced by...more

Another Judicial Assault On GHG Emissions

The federal courts barred federal common law nuisance actions to obtain money damages or injunctive relief. American Elec. Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011)(holding nuisance claims seeking injunctive relief...more

Whatever Happened To State Law Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims? Still No Music After Bell

“Therefore, the Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

Judge Upholds DOGGR's Application of UIC Fracking Exemption

Last week, a judge in Alameda County Superior Court denied the Center for Biological Diversity’s motion for summary judgment in a case arguing that DOGGR is obligated to regulate hydraulic fracturing activities under the...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

We Still Don’t Need No Stinkin Cooperative Federalism: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Holds that GHG Sources Require PSD...

Last Friday, I posted about the limits to EPA’s cooperation with states in the name of “cooperative federalism” under the Clean Air Act. On the same day, in Texas v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals only emphasized my...more

The New Range Wars: CEQA and the Williamson Act Are Deployed To Fight Global Warming Solutions In Save Panoche Valley

Nothing says “battle royal” quite like pitting several of California’s heavyweight environmental laws against one another in a “winner-take-all” litigation brawl....more

Court of Appeals to Hear Fracking Ban Case?

Last week, Norse Energy filed its Notice of Appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals. ...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

New York Appeals Court Upholds Zoning Laws Banning Hydrofracking over State Oil and Gas Laws

In Norse Energy Corporation USA v. Town of Dryden, et al. and Cooperstown Holstein Corporation v. Town of Middlefield, the Third Department upheld local ordinances banning all activities related to the exploration for and the...more

N.Y. Appellate Division Affirms Zoning Ordinance Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

Sedgwick’s Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force has been watching the ongoing litigation involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking) bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield, N.Y. In February 2012 we reported on the Supreme...more

Native Village Of Kivalina Files Its Petition For Certiorari - A Five-Year Climate Change Litigation Marathon That Has Yet To...

One day short of five years since the case was originally filed, on February 25, 2013 the plaintiffs in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp. attempt once more to get out of the starting blocks, this time with a...more

Virginia AG: Localities Cannot Ban Gas Drilling Through Zoning

Continuing on this blog’s ongoing exploration of the intersection of state and local regulation of shale drilling, several weeks ago Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an advisory opinion finding that state oil...more

Western Pa.'s Take On Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims

Originally published in Law360 on December 17, 2012. Left open by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011), was the question of whether state law nuisance...more

U.S. District Court Holds that Federal Clean Air Act Preempts Pennsylvania State Law Common Law Tort Claims

On October 12, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion and order in Kristie Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, GenOn Power Midwest, L.P., No. 2:12-cv-929, holding that state...more

Last Federal Climate Change Case Dismissed by Ninth Circuit

Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit dismissed the last climate change lawsuit still pending in the federal courts to the best of my knowledge. Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp. was a lawsuit by a small Alaskan village...more

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