Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: Summit Petroleum: EPA's Aggregation of Oil and Gas Emissions Based on 'Mere Functional Relatedness' is Unreasonable

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit* in Summit Petroleum Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Nos. 09-4348; 10-4572) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] vacated EPA's order aggregating Summit's sour gas wells and sweetening...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP Fracking Blog: Federal vs. State Regulation

On September 10, 2012, members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Natural Resources wrote to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, requesting that the Bureau of Land Management's proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing on federal land be made stronger. The group...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Accepting Data Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing Study

By Armando F. Benincasa In an update on its study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would be accepting data and analyses from the public to supplement data which it is already collecting and...

DLA Piper Energy Alert: With Revised Proposed Regulations, 'Fracking' Returns to the Fore of New York State's Energy Policy

By Robert J. Alessi and Jeffrey D. Kuhn New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's administration has issued revised proposed regulations for high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking or HVHF) in New York State, a move that will avoid sending the entire process back to the drawing board. Issuance...

Fulbright & Jaworski Releases 'Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale Drilling Litigation'

By Barclay Richard Nicholson and Stephen C. Dillard Over the last four years, with the continued development and production of natural gas from shale formations throughout the country, lawsuits involving hydraulic fracturing activities have increased. Many of these lawsuits filed by landowners in...

William A. Ruskin: Hydrofracking And The Debate Over Municipal Infrastructure

By William A. Ruskin On February 11, 2013, the IADC conducted a lively, interactive panel discussing the risks and benefits of shale oil and gas extraction at the IADC Mid-Winter Meeting . The panel represented the spectrum of political, regulatory and scientific views on the issue and debated perceived...

William A. Ruskin: Among Environmentalists, Hydrofracking is Not a 'Yes or No' Issue

By William A. Ruskin On April 10, 2013, I participated in " Justice Speaks ," an event sponsored by the Justice Action Center at New York Law School on hydraulic fracturing. Joining me on the podium was Daniel Raichel , a Project Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council ("...

Fulbright & Jaworski Releases Trade Secrets and the Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing - Toward a Global Perspective

This Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. paper is in collaboration with the global law firm Norton Rose. Trade Secrets and the Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing provides a global view of how governments have attempted to strike a balance between the benefits of hydraulic fracturing technology innovation...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania DEP Finds No Link Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Methane Contamination

By Armando F. Benincasa, Brian J. Pulito and Thomas J. Sengewalt After a 16-month investigation, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday that hydraulic fracturing for natural gas by WPX Energy, Inc. was not responsible for methane contamination in three private water...

State Net Capitol Journal: Ohio's $500 Billion Oil Resource Frustrating Drillers

The Utica Shale formation in eastern Ohio grabbed the national spotlight two years ago when the state's Department of Natural Resources estimated it held 5.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil, more than twice Yemen's oil resource and worth nearly $500 billion. But U.S. drillers that set up rigs...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Attorney General Rules Counties May Sell Water to Oil and Gas Operators

The Ohio Attorney General's office was recently asked to give its opinion on a county's authority to sell water that is available to oil and gas drillers in need of large quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing purposes. Specifically, Harrison County had inquired about the legality of entering...

California Energy Group Defends Oil and Gas Leasing

DENVER - A California nonprofit, non-partisan trade association that represents some 450 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, royalty owners, and service and supply companies on Juje 25 filed its brief with a California federal district court defending federal oil and gas leasing in the nation’s...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: DOE Study: Fracking Didn't Contaminate Water

By Brian J. Pulito A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a Western Pennsylvania drilling site. Richard Hammack, a geologist with the Department of Energy’s...

Zoning Ban On Fracking: OK in New York, But Maybe Not OK In Pennsylvania

By William A. Ruskin Local bans on hydraulic fracturing continue to be fiercely debated as the use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development of shale reserves increasingly gains in popularity. Grassroots opponents of hydraulic fracturing increasingly stress the non-environmental social impacts...

Mediation in Oil and Gas Law Disputes

By Lisa C. McManus, Esq. [1] | Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise wherever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Mechanical Integrity Assessment in Pennsylvania

By Stephen C. Smith Well operators in Pennsylvania must inspect each operating well at least quarterly to ensure it is in compliance with the well construction and operating requirements as required by Pa. Code title 25, § 78.88 . At a minimum, inspections must determine: (1) The well-head...

State Net Capitol Journal: Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper Proposes New Colorado Drilling Regulations

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) last week proposed new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas drilling operations in the Centennial State. His proposals include a first-in-the-nation call to force drillers to reduce the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas linked to global...

Babst Calland: Department of the Interior Releases Semiannual Statement Of Regulatory Priorities

By Jonathan E. Dan The Department of the Interior has released its Statement of Regulatory Priorities , a subsection of which highlights the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s priorities on energy issues including hydraulic fracturing. BLM’s stated highest regulatory priorities include...

Babst Calland: EPA Issues Advisory Concerning Design of Newly Constructed Natural Gas Processing Plants

By Jonathan E. Dan The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued an Interim Chemical Accident Prevention Advisory concerning the design of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) installations at natural gas processing plants. EPA has found that some existing plants were constructed in accordance...

West Virginia State University Designs Energy Management Concentration to Support West Virginia’s Growing Natural Gas Industry

By Briana J. Marino West Virginia State University has developed a new academic program designed to educate the next generation of oil and gas employees, developers, and industrialists in the Appalachian region. WVSU now offers a Concentration in Energy Management associated with its Bachelor of Science...

A New LexisNexis Publication: "The Legal and Regulatory Landscape of Hydraulic Fracturing"

Perhaps no topic in energy and environmental law has been more controversial than the extraction of shale oil and gas from rock formations through hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” It is the subject of vigorous debates over its purported economic benefits and environmental impacts. With...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Zoning Restrictions on Oil and Gas

On June 30, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that under the “Home Rule” principle, towns may ban oil and gas production activities, including but not limited to hydraulic fracturing, through the use of local zoning laws in the case of Wallach v. Town of Dryden . The Court ruled that...

Babst Calland: Energy Transfer Partners Approves Construction of New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Michael T. Altvater Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.’s board of directors has approved the construction of a new pipeline to transport gas to markets in the United States and Canada. The pipeline’s capacity is proposed to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet per day and may be expanded up...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Appellate Court Adopts Fixed ‘Look Back’ Period For 1989 Dormant Mineral Act

In the recent 7th District Court of Appeals case of Eisenbarth v. Reusser , 7th Dist. Monroe No. 13 MO 10, 2014-Ohio-3792 [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], the court determined that the “look back” period for the 1989 Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) was fixed...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: U.S. EPA Moves Forward with Potential TSCA Rulemaking Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing

By Armando F. Benincasa, Member The public comment period for USEPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures and potential regulation pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) came to a conclusion on September 18, 2014 and sets the...