News & Analysis as of

TX House Subcommittee Hears Testimony from Railroad Commission Seismologist on Proposed Rules Related to Disposal Wells in...

Following the Texas Railroad Commission’s recent proposal for additional rules related to disposal wells in “high-risk” seismic areas, on Monday, August 25, members of the Texas House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity heard...more

August Fracking Roundup

Various news sources are reporting on a coming “re-fracking” boom targeting older, low- or non-producing wells that may benefit from enhanced oilfield recovery techniques. For example, Reuters is reporting that the fast pace...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Defamation Case Involving Fracking Claims

On August 21, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in an ongoing dispute between a homeowner and Texas-based oil driller Range Resources Corp. The case is not a typical homeowner vs. oil driller...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Extenders Déjà Vu: Fate of Expired Clean Energy Tax Provisions Closely Tied to Election - Congress - Administration - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy -...more

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two...more

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets...more

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

What Remains of Act 13 in Pennsylvania after Robinson? Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Strikes Further Provisions of Act 13 as...

Earlier this year, we reported in our Client Alert dated January 15, 2014, on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 83 A.3d 901 (Pa. 2013). In Robinson, the Supreme Court...more

SB 1281 (Pavley): Oil & Gas Production; Water Use Reporting

SB-1281 was amended in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on August 4, 2014. A scheduled hearing on August 6 was postponed and held on suspense under Joint Rule 62(a). As of this writing, a hearing has not yet been...more

You think your housing issues are complicated?

I just read this piece in The Washington Post by Emily Badger about the housing shortage in certain rural areas of the United States (Ohio and Pennsylvania, specifically), due to the influx of labor in the fracking...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

A Focus on Energy: M&A Trends in the Energy Sector [Video]

Houston-based Latham & Watkins partner Robin Fredrickson talks about M&A trends in the energy sector....more

Fracking Contractor Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Clean Water Act Violation

A federal court in Ohio has handed down a 28-month prison sentence and imposed a $25,000 fine for dumping fracking waste in violation of the Clean Water Act....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

News Media Touts “Findings” of New Study on Fracking Wells Leaks, But Fails to Recognize Limitations of Data

New unconventional fracking wells leak far more than older traditional gas wells, says a smattering of news media outlets reviewing a new study released by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on June 30, 2014. ...more

Leaked EPA Draft Offers Insight into Upcoming Shale Wastewater Regulations

The rapid expansion of shale drilling in recent years has brought with it an increase in the wastewater that is generated during the fracking process. One fracking well can produce over one million gallons of wastewater in a...more

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...more

Report Recommends Update of USEPA UIC Program Citing Hydraulic Fracturing Concerns

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report yesterday, July 28, 2014, that presents a need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) to update the Underground Injection Control class II...more

BLM Agrees to Complete Hydraulic Fracturing EIS for Leases in California

A recent agreement between environmentalists and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may open the floodgates to challenges of the sufficiency of Environmental Assessments (EA) or Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for oil...more

Regulation – a help or a hindrance to the UK shale industry?

DESPITE significant public opposition in the UK to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and shale gas development, there has been a upswing of activity and announcements in the first half of 2014. In May, the British...more

The EPA, H20, and Fracking: An EPA study of drinking water and hydraulic fracturing could have far-reaching implications for...

As many who work in the oil and gas industry are aware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing forward with a multiyear Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. On...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

Analysts and Industry Leaders Bullish on North American Fracking Demand

Upon review of second quarter earnings reports from industry participants, analysts are rather bullish on future demand for hydraulic fracturing in North America. Halliburton in particular is looking to take advantage...more

The Accommodation Doctrine Revisited: A Question of "Fairness to Both Parties"

As Texas holds tight to its position as the nation's number one oil and natural gas producing state, the Texas Supreme Court's decision to revisit the over forty-year-old accommodation doctrine, which requires oil and gas...more

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