News & Analysis as of

Frackers v. Anti’s – Scoring update

The box scores after election day showed frackers 4, anti’s 4. Courtesy of a gubernatorial grand-slam by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hydraulic fracturing is now banned throughout the entire state of New York....more

New York Environmental Commissioner Will Issue an Order Early Next Year Banning “Fracking,” Under a Moratorium Since 2008

In a much-anticipated report, the New York State Department of Health has concluded that high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) should be banned statewide. In a nutshell, the Department found that there was insufficient...more

New York Bans Hydraulic Fracturing

The ban comes in light of a report from the New York State Department of Health claiming there is insufficient information to understand the health risks....more

The Shale Play Today - December 2014

In This Issue: - Breaking News: America's Next Energy Hub - Philadelphia Dealt Major Setback - First Long-Term Comprehensive Field Study of Natural Gas Underway - 1,000 More Miles of Pipeline Planned to...more

Benesch Shale Industry Report Quarterly Summary - Q3 2014

In this Issue: - Top Issues and Considerations - Shale Industry Moves - Ohio Shale Infrastructure - Government - Excerpt from Shale Industry Moves: E&P – Overview for Ohio...more

Denton Ban Emboldens Fracking Opponents in Other Texas Cities

After the first municipal ban on hydraulic fracturing in Texas went into effect on December 2in Denton, residents of other Texas cities are considering whether to pursue bans in their own backyards. Residents from disparate...more

To Fracture or Not to Fracture, That Is the Question in Florida

Using one line to get to the heart of the matter, on December 2, 2014, two Florida senators filed a bill aimed to ban fracking throughout the state. Senate Bill 166 defines hydraulic fracturing as the process of pumping...more

Illinois Drilling Rules Dodge First Blow in Latest Lawsuit

Illinois’ fledgling hydraulic fracturing industry avoided another delay last week. The rules, which adopt a regulatory framework to facilitate and regulate unconventional drilling, were finally published after over a year in...more

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

Colorado Oil & Gas Association Seeks Overturn of Broomfield Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

On Monday, November 24, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) filed a lawsuit in the Broomfield District Court for declaratory judgment to invalidate that city’s temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing. The ban, known as...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

New Federal Chemical-Disclosure Regulations? Public-Comment Period Has Ended

In our July/August newsletter, we wrote that in May 2014, the Obama administration began to accept comments regarding potential federal hydraulic-fracturing regulations. The EPA, through an advance notice of proposed...more

The Myth of the Regulatory Gap: BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Compared to Existing State Law

For the better part of the last decade, oil and natural gas production from domestic wells has increased steadily. Technical advancements in identifying promising sources of oil and gas and extracting hydrocarbons from...more

Federal Preemption May Be The Key For Calif. Railroads

Railroad operators across the U.S. are seeing a bright future due to the resurgence in freight rail traffic. Intermodal (i.e., cargo container) shipping is booming. In 2013, intermodal volume on the major railroads totaled...more

Denton Becomes First Texas City to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 59 percent of voters elected to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing (“fracing”) in the city of Denton, which sits on top of the hydrocarbon-rich Barnett Shale. Although the ban does not...more

Ohio Elections Yield Mixed Results on Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

Last week’s Election Day in Ohio produced victories for fracing supporters and opponents alike. Proposed hydraulic fracturing bans were on the ballot in four different municipal contests. Voters in one city, Athens, approved...more

Election Scoreboard: Frackers 4, Anti’s 4

Hydraulic fracturing bans had eight at-bats last Tuesday. Here are the results. Denton, Texas - YES 58.64%... NO 41.36%...more

“Frac Free Denton” Faces Legal Fight

On November 4, 2014, Denton, Texas, became the first Texas city to vote to ban fracking within city limits, as covered by Reuters, the Star-Telegram, and The Wall Street Journal. The ballot initiative, which passed with just...more

Two County Fracking Prohibitions Succeed While One Fails: What the Voting Results in Santa Barbara, San Benito, and Mendocino...

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, three counties in California presented voters with measures to ban hydraulic fracturing and other forms of intensive oil and gas operations. Voters in Santa Barbara County rejected the...more

First AIPN Model Contract for Unconventional Resource Operations

Concluding two years of work by a drafting committee comprised of more than 160 industry representatives from 26 countries spread across five continents, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) on 25...more

City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Appeals Ruling Striking Down Fracking Bans

The week of September 22, the Fort Collins, Colorado, City Council voted to appeal a decision rendered last month that struck down the city’s fracking ban. In that August 2014 decision, a Larimer County District Court...more

Uncertainty Prevails as Illinois Delays a Decision on Fracing Regulations

Last week, Illinois’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to push back its decision about whether to approve proposed rules governing horizontal fracturing operations until November 6. The delay promises to fuel...more

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban...more

Studies Identify Flawed Well Construction (not Fracturing) as Source of Gas Contamination

For the past several years, the rapid growth of oil and natural gas production from shale and other unconventional sources has prompted vocal and often sensationalized concerns regarding the potential for migration of gas...more

Senators Critique Proposed Federal Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On September 30, 2014, a block of twelve Democratic U.S. Senators presented a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), urging stricter fracking regulations. The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”),...more

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