News & Analysis as of

Ohio Links Earthquakes to Fracking, Toughens Drilling Rules Near Fault Lines

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is tightening permit conditions for horizontal drillers after a report from state geologists found a “probable connection” between hydraulic fracturing and a string of small...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

Hydraulic Fracturing Update: Legal Developments and Trends

On a March 18, 2014 webcast, a panel of senior US Latham & Watkins lawyers from our Environmental Department provided an overview of recent key developments related to hydraulic fracturing. Presented below are answers to some...more

Study: Statewide Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing Would Cost Colorado Billions

A statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado would cost the state $12 billion in lost gross domestic product (GDP) and result in 93,000 fewer jobs—both over 2% declines—according to a study released on Wednesday by the...more

Debates Continue Over Taxes And Fees On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio And Pennsylvania

In exchange for a $2.6 billion cut to Ohio’s state income taxes, Gov. John Kasich has proposed a package of tax increases in other areas. Included among those increases would be the gradual implementation of a 2.75 percent...more

Carson, California Bans All New Oil & Gas Drilling Activity - Takes LA's Hydraulic Fracturing Ban to the Next Level

The City Council of Carson, California has unanimously (by 5-0 vote) approved a moratorium on all new oil and gas drilling within its city limits. The moratorium is set to last 45 days for now, and the City Council will...more

Los Angeles City Council Clears Way for Fracking Ban

A vote taken by the Los Angeles City Council last week could set the stage for a city-wide ban on hydraulic fracturing. During its session on Friday, February 28, the ten-member council unanimously approved a motion to draft...more

Los Angeles City Council Votes to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing: Home Rule or Preemption

Following a string of bans enacted by municipalities in New York, Texas, Hawaii, New Mexico (a countywide ban was enacted), Vermont and New Jersey, the Los Angeles City Council approved the adoption of a local ordinance...more

Home Rule on Display in Los Angeles: First Oil-Producing City in California to Enact a Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

It was only a matter of time before a city banned hydraulic fracturing in California - a “home rule” state, where cities and localities are permitted by constitutional amendment to enact and enforce their own zoning laws as...more

Colorado Group Submits Another Anti-Fracking Statewide Ballot Petition For Consideration

Colorado voters may have yet another anti-fracking statewide ballot initiative to consider this November. The proposed constitutional amendment that was submitted to the Colorado Legislative Council on February 21 would...more

Colorado Activist Group Opposed to Hydraulic Fracturing Proposes Ballot Initiative To Give Municipalities Broad Regulatory...

Last week, the Colorado Community Rights Network, an activist group that opposes hydraulic fracturing, filed a proposed ballot initiative to amend the Colorado Constitution to give municipalities extraordinarily broad...more

Wyoming Again Takes the Lead in Fracking Regulation

Wyoming has once again taken the lead in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or as it is commonly referred to as "fracking". In response to Governor Matt Mead's Energy Strategy, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation...more

Drilling Down: A Look at the State of Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation, Legislation and Litigation in 2013

Hydraulic fracturing remained one of the most controversial environmental issues of 2013. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of injecting water, chemicals and “proppants,” oftentimes sand, under...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Act 13

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a state law that required municipalities to permit oil and gas drilling in all zoning districts, including those designated exclusively for residential use. In a 4 to 2...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

Hydraulic Fracturing Digest

Hydraulic fracturing remained one of the most controversial environmental issues of 2013. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of injecting water, chemicals and “proppants,” oftentimes sand, under...more

Broomfield Result Flips – Fracking Ban Passed

By a razor thin margin, the citizen petition that will ban hydraulic fracturing in the City of Broomfield passed by 17 votes. Initially, it was thought that the ban had been defeated....more

Colorado Voters Approve Three Fracking Bans

On Tuesday, voters in three Colorado cities approved bans on hydraulic fracturing. Citizen initiated petitions in Boulder and Fort Collins passed, which both impose 5-year moratoriums on fracking. The voters in Lafayette...more

Fracking Trade Secret Rules: A Tug Of War Without Winners

In the approximately 31 states with known reserves amenable to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a tug of war is being waged between an oil and gas industry seeking to protect its proprietary processes and environmental...more

The Moratorium Continues…

The environmental review of proposed regulations that, if adopted, would permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing gas drilling (“fracking”) in New York State, has been slow. New York State Department of Environmental...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - September 16, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Lawmakers approve bill to aid Sacramento NBA arena: Modesto Bee - Sep 12 -- On the last day of the legislative session, and only after last-minute negotiations and bill revisions,...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

Pending California Legislature Bill Aims to Increase Regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing

May 29, 2013, the California Senate passed the first bill attempting to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in this state. Senate Bill 4, headed by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), has since been sent to the...more

Colorado Ruling Raises Stakes in Fracking Litigation and Beyond

In an Independence Day gift to plaintiffs, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., No. 12CA1251 (July 3, 2013), that Colorado law does not allow pre-discovery Lone Pine orders, often used by...more

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