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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

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

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

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

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

New Mexico Federal Court Frames The Issues That Will Define Future Fights Over Local Fracking Regulation

On January 15, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico became the first federal court to address questions related to the scope of local governments’ ability to regulate oil and gas development...more

CEQA Roundup – Recent Developments

Numerous CEQA-related developments have recently been in the news. Some of possible interest include: Kings and Kern Counties, the Kings County Farm Bureau, and a number of other groups filed a petition on February 9 with the...more

"Year of Water" Points to Major Changes During 2015 Florida Legislature

2015 is being called the "Year of Water" for the Florida Legislature. Springs have declined in flow and water quality, aquatic habitats have become degraded, and rivers flowing from Lake Okeechobee and the estuaries of these...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: What to Expect From Recent Crude Oil Derailments

These are uncertain and stressful times for all involved in the transportation of crude oil by rail. Since February 14, two fiery derailments in West Virginia and Ontario have refocused an unwelcome spotlight on the necessity...more

Senators Urge EPA To Set And Increase Biodiesel RFS Volumes

On February 9, 2015, a bi-partisan group of 32 Senators led by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...more

Greenhouse Gases and Environmental Review: CEQ’s expansive view on how NEPA treats GHGs

On December 18, 2014, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed revised guidance (“Guidance”) directing how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when...more

Clean Jobs Coalition Calls For Updated Renewable Energy Laws In Illinois

On February 4, 2015, the newly formed Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for an update of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that was put into place in 2007. ...more

Development Of Brackish Groundwater For Hydraulic Fracturing Operations: Regulatory And Policy Issues

A. The Brackish Groundwater Resource Opportunity. According to the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB”), more than 2.7 billion acre-feet of brackish groundwater exists within the State of Texas. Texas has numerous...more

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