News & Analysis as of

Fracking Hearings Set to Begin in North Carolina

This Wednesday in Raleigh will see the first of four upcoming public hearings in North Carolina over the state’s proposed fracking rules. The hearings are part of the final phase of rule making, coming after two years of...more

Governor Christie Vetoes New Jersey Fracking Ban

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the treatment, discharge, and disposal of fracking wastewater in the state, arguing that the bill violated the United States...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Appellate court upholds environmental work for high-speed rail via Pacheco Pass: Fresno Bee - Jul 24 -- State appeals justices on Thursday upheld a lower court's approval of an...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus - Richmond approves massive Chevron refinery project with $90 million in community benefits: Contra Costa Times - Jul 30: Chevron's five year-plus quest to initiate a $1 billion upgrade...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

New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Fracking Bans

The New York Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 decision, held that the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”) does not preempt municipal zoning authority. The Court explained that land use regulation is among the...more

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Calls Proposed Denton Fracking Ban ‘Extremely Misguided’; Asks City Council to Reject Measure

On July 11th, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman sent a letter to the mayor and city council members for Denton, Texas asking that the council reject a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton. Chairman...more

Environmental and Energy: Hydraulic Fracturing: Courts and Localities Act Where New York State Fears To Tread (7/14)

In an opinion issued on June 24, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the zoning laws adopted by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield to ban oil and gas production activities, including hydraulic fracturing, within their...more

Water Issues Reframe State Fracking Debate

The debate over fracking continues nationwide, but in California there is an increasing focus on one major issue: water supply. With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record and water regulators tightening...more

New York's Highest Court Holds that Zoning Laws of New York Towns Banning Fracking Are Enforceable — A Brief Analysis of the Oral...

A non-profit, Food & Water Watch, reports that 421 measures against fracking have been passed by state and local governments and that communities across the nation are lobbying their local and state elected officials because...more

Rural Nevada Anti-Fracking Group Seeks to Enjoin Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Reese River Basin Citizens Against Fracking filed a complaint in federal court on June 27, seeking to enjoin the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from holding an oil and gas lease sale. The rural group is...more

New York and Colorado Confirm Local Governments' Rights to Ban Fracking

On Monday, June 30, the highest courts in both New York and Colorado confirmed local municipalities' rights to regulate land use within their jurisdictions. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld two towns' bans on shale...more

Environmental Law Alert - July 2014: New York Court Strikes Blow Against Fracking

This week the New York State Court of Appeals upheld the right of municipalities to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas within their borders. In Norce Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein...more

New York’s Highest Court Affirms Zoning Ordinances Banning Hydrofracking

The Insurance Law Blog has been following decisions related to hydraulic fracturing for potential impacts on insurance coverage issues. As we previously reported in May 2013, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,...more

New York High Court Affirms Local Fracking Bans

On Monday, New York’s highest court—the New York Court of Appeals—upheld local bans on shale gas drilling designed to eliminate hydraulic fracturing. The 5-2 decision clears the way for drilling opponents to target fracking...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

New York Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing

For readers following the developments in hydraulic fracturing and the potential insurance coverage implications, we have been tracking litigation in New York involving zoning ordinances passed by the Town of Dryden and the...more

NY High Court Hears Fracking Preemption Cases

Earlier this month the New York State Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Matter of Norse Energy USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein v. Town of Middlefield, in which the Court has been asked to decide whether...more

Loveland Voters Reject Two-Year Ban On Fracking

Loveland voters defeated an anti-fracking initiative that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within the city’s borders. Loveland is located about an hour north of Denver. The...more

Yet Another Proposed Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Fails: SB 1132 (Oil and gas: well stimulation treatments)

Yesterday, Senate Bill 1132 failed in the Senate. In a 18-16 vote, SB 1132 fell three votes short of the necessary majority. The bill was introduced by Senators Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Mark Leno on February 20,...more

Anti-Fracking Bill Defeated in California Senate

Yesterday, the California State Senate rejected a bill that would have put a moratorium on fracking until a state-commissioned study determined that it was safe. The bill, Senate Bill 1132, would have prohibited all “well...more

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Approves Moratorium on All Oil and Gas Activities

This past Tuesday, May 20, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a permanent moratorium on oil and gas exploration and development. Santa Cruz becomes the first county in the state of...more

$2.9 Million Verdict for Plaintiffs Against Oil and Gas Driller

On April 22, 2014, after a two-and-a-half week trial, a Dallas County Court at Law entered a final judgment on a split jury verdict awarding $2.925 million to Texas family, Bob and Lisa Parr from Decatur, against Barnett...more

Denton (TX) City Council Enacts Drilling Moratorium and Will Consider Possible Ban on Fracking

Amidst complaints from citizens, the Denton, Texas city council unanimously enacted a drilling moratorium, which will be in effect until September 9th. The ordinance, which was adopted by the council at its May 6th meeting,...more

$3 Million Verdict in Fracking Case - Fluke or the Harbinger of Claims to Come?

In a highly anticipated verdict reached on April 22, 2014, a Dallas County Court at Law jury awarded the Parr family $2.925 million against Aruba Petroleum on a nuisance claim arising out of drilling in the Barnett Shale in...more

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