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Quebec Environment Minister Aims to Modernize Environmental Approval Process

On February 25, 2015, the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change David Heurtel, announced a proposal to modernize the current environmental authorization regime provided...more

MassDEP — A Voice of Reason in the Stormwater Permitting Debate

EPA has been working to craft a general permit for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems for quite some time. The most recent draft permit, published last September, has received significant comment, most recently...more

EPA’s Rules Related to Carbon Emissions and Climate Change Prompt A New Focus By The Opposition

EPA’s new rules for limiting emissions of carbon dioxide for both existing power plants and proposed plants have prompted at least two substantive reports by public policy institutes focusing on the economic aspects of the...more

New Proposed Requirements for Prop 65 Warnings Create Potentially Significant Implications for Businesses Across the Country

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently sent out a notice regarding proposed rulemaking to repeal the existing regulations that govern the provision of clear and reasonable warnings...more

Is a Statewide Ban in Colorado in Play for 2016?

While Colorado cities continue to litigate their authority to ban fracing, a new environmental group is rallying to ban the practice throughout the entire state. At a gathering on February 24, the “Coloradans Against...more

Fracking: Yes! There’s Insurance Coverage for That!

Some people believe that “fracking” – the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology – is a miracle, increasing the extraction of oil and gas from places deep under the ground where hydrocarbons were...more

DOE Overhauls Export Controls for Nuclear Technology

On February 23, 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a long-awaited final rule overhauling its Part 810 Regulations (10 C.F.R. Part 810) governing the export of certain nuclear technology and assistance. Effective on...more

Regulatory Implications of New Products and Services in the Australian Electricity Market

The Energy Market Reform Working Group (Working Group) in Australia released a consultation paper at the end of 2014 regarding the regulatory implications of new products and services in the national electricity market. New...more

BakerHostetler's Shale Oil and Gas Industry 2014 Year in Review and 2015 Look Forward

Once again, shale oil and gas production dominated energy headlines in 2014, with a number of key economic, political, and legal developments making news across the country. Bolstered by technologies like hydraulic...more

The Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Much Ado ...

When one talks of pipelines in recent days one hears nearly an incessant buzz about Keystone XL, as if that is where the real action is. But it isn't, notwithstanding the histrionics over President Obama's veto of S.1, the...more

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

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