News & Analysis as of

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

Energy Newsletter - July 2014

In This Issue: - Russia's Second Renewable Energy Auction Gives Both Glimmer of Hope and Cause for Concern - Tanzania Publishes First Draft of a Long-Awaited Local Content Policy - New York's Highest...more

Are Oil and Gas Producers Protecting the Environment?

In their search for Utopia, some opponents of oil and gas drilling ignore innovation … What’s harmful now will forever be that way....more

California Issues Proposed Fracking Rules

On June 13, the California Department of Conservation released proposed regulations for oil and gas production activities in the state. The draft rules are being issued pursuant to legislation passed last year. They would...more

New York State Assembly Passes Three-Year Fracking Moratorium – Senate Vote Unlikely

On Monday, the New York State Assembly voted 89-34 in favor of a three-year statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. But with the legislative session ending in just a few days, the Senate appears unlikely to take up the...more

Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP Announces Agreements to Purchase over $4 Billion of Shale Acreage in Utica,...

In two press releases Monday, American Energy Partners LP announced agreements to purchase shale acreage in the Utica and Marcellus shale for $1.75 billion, and acreage in the Permian Basin in Texas for $2.5 billion. The...more

Underground Drilling: Consultation on Proposal for Underground Access for the Extraction of Gas, Oil or Geothermal Energy

The UK government are currently inviting responses to the consultation paper issued in May into their proposals to introduce a statutory right of access to underground land (at a depth of 300 metres or below) in England in...more

Hydraulic Fracturing Continues to Produce More Legislation and Oversight

As U.S. oil and gas production has dramatically increased due to the more frequent use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to release tight oil and gas, new state legislation and rules around oil and gas drilling...more

How Local Drilling Regulations May Impede Business Development in WV

As governor, Senator Joe Manchin famously declared West Virginia to be “Open for Business.” Whether motivated by environmental or other concerns, however, some groups believe that, when it comes to the natural gas industry,...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – Romancing the Stone: Will Shale Gas Extraction Sneak Under Maine’s Feet?

From 2001 to 2011, over a million leases were signed by American landowners that permit energy companies to drill for oil and natural gas on private lands. These leases burden land in states determined to have economically...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

Texas Jury Awards Damages for Fracking Nuisance Claim for the Second Time

Last Friday, a Texas jury awarded a Tarrant County couple $20,000 in damages after finding activities at a natural gas drilling site located 165 feet from their property constituted a temporary private nuisance. The verdict...more

EPA To Consider Mandatory Disclosure Of Chemicals Used In Fracking Fluids

In what is considered a first step towards requiring natural gas drillers to disclose the chemical constituents of hydraulic fracturing fluids, EPA recently released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public...more

Ohio House Passes Severance Tax on Drilling

A long-debated severance tax on hydraulic fracturing operations within the state passed the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday, setting the stage for a Senate vote on the issue later this year. House Bill 375, which...more

Five Things Marcellus Shale Producers and Midstream Companies Should Consider Following the Robinson Township Act 13 Decision

While Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is being reconsidered on remand and certain aspects of Act 13 remain unclear, oil and gas companies in the process of obtaining state permits may take some steps to try...more

"Hydraulic Fracturing" Verdict in Texas State Court -- Texas family recovers $3 million based on nuisance theory

On April 22, 2014, a six-person jury in Dallas awarded a Texas family $2.925 million in a trial based on medical problems allegedly caused by natural gas development. While the case involved gas wells that had been...more

The Shale Play Today - May 2014

In This Issue: - Climate Action Plan Breathes New Life into Oil & Gas Air Regulations - Major Natural Gas Power Plant Announcement Indicates Different Uses for Marcellus & Utica Shale Gas - Natural Gas Expanding...more

Study Suggests EPA Underestimated Natural Gas Methane Emissions, But Not for Fracking, and EPA Releases Study Examining Fracking...

In several recent studies on methane emissions relating to the natural gas industry, scientists concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) underestimated the quantity of methane the industry releases to the...more

Illinois Voters Defeat Local Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing after Controversial Campaign

On Tuesday, Voters in Johnson County, Illinois rejected a local referendum designed to pressure county commissioners into enacting a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, the referendum—technically a non-binding...more

Energy Newsletter - March 2014

In This Issue: - REGULATORY: Oil & Gas Regulatory, Government Relations: Congress Probes Crude Rail Safety Developments; Voluntary Industry-Regulator Agreement Addresses Safety Concerns - Environmental: A "Diesel...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

Two State Senators Try Enacting a Fracking Moratorium in California: What Are the Chances When the Last Effort Recently Failed?

The California Assemblymembers who sought a moratorium on all well stimulation activities early last year (vis-à-vis failed bills AB 1301, AB 1323, and AB 649) are seeking yet another moratorium, this time by amending SB 4,...more

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