News & Analysis as of

The Unintended Effects of Protecting the Environment – How Banning Fracking Can Lead San Benito County To Bankruptcy

On November 4, 2014, San Benito County voters went to the poles to vote on Measure J, the measure designed to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and related gas and oil extraction activities, as well as other...more

Fracking Preemption Fight to Play Out in San Benito County

It appears that San Benito County will be the venue for the much-anticipated legal battle over whether local jurisdictions in California can ban hydraulic fracturing. In early November, San Benito County passed a...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

The State of Fracking

Fracking is not new to California - it has been used in oil fields for decades - but it has recently become a hot political and legal issue with increasing news reports about alleged environmental damage associated with...more

Is There a De Facto Moratorium on Well Stimulation in California?

SB 4 did not place a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing or other well stimulation treatments. SB 4 specifically states that so long as an operator complies with the notification and documentation requirements...more

DOGGR Interim Regulations Provide Operators Some Guidance on SB 4 Compliance

California’s Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) is moving full-steam ahead in its implementation of SB 4 with its most recent circulation of the SB 4 Interim Well Stimulation...more

California's New Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations: Implications and Next Steps

California's Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) is one of the first laws in the United States to regulate hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"). On November 15, 2013, the state's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) issued...more

California Agency Releases Draft Rules for Fracking, Begins to Implement Recent State Legislation

Oil and gas companies and oil-­field service providers with California operations should scrutinize newly proposed rules on hydraulic fracturing and well stimulation, with comments due by mid-­January. Introduction...more

Oil & Gas Law Alert: SB 4 Compliance Begins in December for January 2014 Well Stimulation Treatments

Yesterday, the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources ("DOGGR") released a Notice to Operators (the "Notice"), clarifying that some notification aspects of SB 4 will require compliance as early as the beginning of...more

Get Ready: SB 4 Compliance Begins Next Month!

Today, the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources ("DOGGR") released a Notice to Operators (the “Notice”), clarifying that some notification aspects of SB 4 will require compliance as early as the beginning of December...more

California Proposes New Regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

California has recently issued proposed regulations that will significantly impact oil and gas extraction in the State. Oil and gas producers that use well stimulation techniques, including hydraulic fracturing (HF), should...more

California Department of Conservation Publishes Notice of Proposed Regulations for Well Stimulation

On November 15, 2013, the California Department of Conservation (“DOC”) published the notice of proposed rulemaking action regarding draft regulations for well stimulation. These proposed regulations will implement SB 4,...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - November 5, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus: California's New Hydraulic Fracturing Law Cited In Pending CEQA Lawsuit: EnergyWire - Oct 30 -- Earlier this year, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks and...more

Potential Legal Challenges Likely to California's New Fracking Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 4 on Friday, September 20, 2013, establishing a permitting system for fracking of oil and gas wells. (See September 23, 2013 post.) The state, through the Department of Conservation,...more

Senate Bill 4 to Provide for Additional Regulation of Fracking Activities in California

State Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to Develop Fracking Regulations - Last Friday, the governor signed Senate Bill 4, which addresses the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in...more

It's Said and Done -- Governor Brown Signs SB 4 into Law

On Friday, September 20, 2013, just days after indicating his support for the bill, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 4, which establishes a permitting system for the fracking of new oil and gas wells. The Department of...more

DOGGR Delays Release of Draft Fracking Rules Pending Possible Instruction from Lawmakers

At a conference in Los Angeles at the end of July, the chair of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Felicia Marcus, noted that the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources...more

SCAQMD First in California to Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing

The possible benefits (and possible burdens) of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in California have received significant media attention lately. Much of this attention has focused on the exploitation of the Monterey Shale...more

Center for Biological Diversity Files Lawsuit Against DOGGR, Alleges Agency Fails to Enforce its Own Regulations

On January 24, 2013, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed suit in Alameda Superior Court in California, joining other environmental groups including Earthjustice and the Sierra Club in alleging that the California...more

California’s Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations Offer Substantial Trade Secret Protection for Operators

California’s Monterey shale, underlying a substantial portion of California, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, is estimated to hold 400 billion barrels of oil, or as much as 64% of the total shale oil reserves in the...more

South Coast Air Quality Management District to Consider Fracking Regulations

On October 5, 2012, the Governing Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will convene in regular session to discuss, among other things, possible regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in...more

Environmental Group Threatens Suit for Fracking-Related Endangered Species Act Violations

On August 29, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) gave notice of its intent to sue the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). CBD’s notice asserts that BLM has...more

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