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Babst Calland: New York Attorney General Seeks Dismissal of Fracking Lawsuits

By Michael C. Murphy The New York Attorney General’s office has filed motions to dismiss two lawsuits that seek to force Governor Cuomo to end a delay in deciding the future of shale drilling within the State. The two lawsuits, filed separately by a group of landowners and the bankruptcy trustee...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act. In Walker v. Noon , the appeals court upheld the ruling of a Noble County trial court finding that the 1989 version of the Dormant Mineral Act applied and that a severed...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Judge Denies Requests To Intervene In Act 13 Case

By Matthew L. Lambach On April 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini denied the petition to intervene of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association , Marcellus Shale Coalition and American Petroleum Institute in the Act 13 litigation, which was remanded...

Babst Calland: Legislation Proposed to Strengthen Penalties for Oil and Gas Violations in Ohio

By Benjamin J. Bolinger Ohio House Bill 490 , which would strengthen penalties for violating Ohio’s oil and gas regulations, is now pending before the Ohio House agriculture committee. The bill was introduced in response to illegal dumping of oil field waste. Industry officials have so far indicated...

Babst Calland: Federal Judge Enjoins Hempfield Township, Pa., From Prohibiting Seismic Testing

By Nicholas J. Habursky On April 10, 2014, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction forcing Hempfield Township to permit ION Geophysical of Houston (ION) to perform seismic testing on the Township’s roads. Hempfield Township argued that it does not specifically permit seismic testing...

Ohio Announces Additional Permitting Requirements For Horizontal Drilling

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has changed permitting requirements after finding a probable connection between horizontal drilling activity near a previously unknown microfault and recent seismic activity in the Mahoning County area. Moving forward, any new permits...

Babst Calland: EPA Seeks Comment on Methane and VOC White Papers

By Holly A. Pisanelli On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released five technical white papers for peer review, each one focusing on a possible source of methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions within the oil and natural gas sector. The papers describe estimated...

Babst Calland: RACT Rulemaking Expected to Impact Major Sources of NOx and VOC Emissions in Pennsylvania

By Meredith Odato Graham Proposed regulatory amendments published on April 19, 2014 are likely to affect hundreds of facilities in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has estimated that 141 sources will need to install additional pollution control equipment...

Babst Calland: Another Ohio Trial Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

By Michael T. Altvater The Belmont County Court of Common Pleas ruled that a recorded will is a title transaction for purposes of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act. In Albanese v. Batman the trial court held that a will recorded in the county recorder’s office qualifies as title transaction and...

Babst Calland: Legislation Concerning Seismic Testing in Pennsylvania to be Introduced

By Joshua F. Hall On April 24, 2014, Representative Robert Matzie of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, indicated in a statement that he will introduce legislation concerning liability for damage caused by a party conducting seismic testing. The statement indicates that the soon to be proposed...

Babst Calland: Ohio Shale Jobs Report Shows 79% Increase Since 2011

By Meredith L. Calfe The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released its quarterly report on the shale industry last Friday. The report shows a 79% increase in core shale-related industry employment in Ohio over the last two years, with an additional 1.5% increase in ancillary jobs, such...

State Net Capitol Journal: Slashed Oil Estimate Threatens Fracking In California

In 2011, an energy firm hired by the state of California estimated that a 1,750-square-mile rock formation extending from Sacramento to Los Angeles could yield 13.7 billion barrels of oil, based on existing extraction technologies. That projection spurred hopes of an energy boom in the state like those...

Split New York High Court: Municipalities May Pass Laws Banning Fracking

ALBANY, N.Y. — (Mealey’s) A divided New York Court of Appeals on June 30 ruled that local municipalities may pass bans on the oil and gas extraction procedure that uses hydraulic fracturing because the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt...

Babst Calland: Warren Resources to Acquire Marcellus Assets

By Scott K. McKernan Warren Resources has executed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire Marcellus shale assets from Citrus Energy Corporation and two other working interest owners, reports Shale Energy Insider. The acquired assets, located in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, are all held by production...

Rice Energy to Acquire Wells and Acreage in Greene County, Pa.

By Scott K. McKernan The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Rice Energy Inc. is acquiring 12 wells and 22,000 net acres in Greene County, Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Inc. Seven of the wells are currently producing and the five other wells are being developed, according to a statement by...

Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act Is not Applicable to Oil and Gas Leases

By Alana E. Fortna In a recent opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed whether Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 (the “Act”), and the applicable statute of frauds contained therein, applies to oil and gas leases.  In Nolt v. TS Calkins & Associates, LP...

Babst Calland: New York Court Dismisses Suits Seeking to Compel State’s Environmental Impact Statement

By Holly A. Pisanelli On July 11, 2014, a New York state trial court dismissed two similar cases in which the plaintiffs sought to compel the State to finalize a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“SGEIS”) pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”...

Babst Calland: U.S. EPA Proposes Amendments to Air Rules Affecting Oil and Gas Industry

By Meredith Odato Graham [On July 17] the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published proposed amendments to federal air regulations at 40 C.F.R. 60, Subpart OOOO (Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution). Subpart OOOO was first promulgated...

Babst Calland: Commonwealth Court Issues Decision On Remaining Issues In Act 13 Case

By Lawrence H. Baumiller In its far-reaching decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], which was issued on December 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated several critical provisions of Act 13. Additionally, the Supreme Court remanded...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Dormant Mineral Act Case

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court will review a key question of state law concerning application of the Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). In Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC , the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified the following questions...

Babst Calland: Proposed Pa. Legislation Seeks to Require Use of Steel Products Produced in U.S.

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Two pieces of proposed legislation were introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday, July 31. Each has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 1458 , if passed, would amend Title 58 by requiring that steel casings (or other...