LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Babst Calland: Ohio’s 5th District Court of Appeals Weighs in on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

By Michael T. Altvater Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently held that the 1989 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act applies to current disputes concerning ownership of severed mineral estates. The court in Wendt v. Dickerson followed previous rulings from the Seventh District...

Babst Calland: EPA Inspector General Continues Review of Fracking Rules Over Objections from Senate

By Holly A. Pisanelli The Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Arthur Elkins, has vowed to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of state and federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing. The IG recently responded by letter to early October correspondence from...

Babst Calland: New York Court Declines to Re-Hear Land Use Case as Governor Anticipates Health Report by End of 2014

By Michael C. Murphy On October 16, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals denied a request by the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy to re-hear arguments in the landmark case affirming local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil and gas-related activities within their borders...

Babst Calland: Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act Signed Into Law

By Matthew L. Lambach On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 402, also known as the Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act, into law. The Act imposes a duty on a lessee to deliver a surrender document to a lessor within 30 days of the...

Babst Calland: Unconventional Well Report Act Signed Into Law in Pennsylvania

By Michael K. Reer On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 2278, The Unconventional Well Report Act, into law. The Act requires operators of unconventional wells to submit monthly production reports to the Department of Environmental Protection. The change is to revise...

Babst Calland: Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Fox Business reported that Sunoco Logistics Partners will invest $2.5 billion in the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to an East Coast port. Mariner East 2 will connect processing plants in Pennsylvania, West...

Babst Calland: West Virginia University Announces Launch of Field Laboratory for the Long-Term Study of Shale Gas Production Operations

By Christopher "Kip" Power West Virginia University recently announced that it will be establishing the “Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory,” at a site in the Morgantown Industrial Park near the WVU campus. The laboratory is being funded as part of a five-year...

Babst Calland: New Supplementary Rules for Fixed Time and Cost Construction Arbitration Have Been Developed by the American Arbitration Association

By Dylan B. Spadaccino, Esq. Arbitration has historically been the preferred method for resolving construction disputes in the United States, as many in the industry have (1) preferred the idea of having complex construction disputes decided by someone with construction-specific experience and expertise...

Babst Calland: Recovery Under Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act

By Ashley R. Passero The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in Shafer Electric & Construction v. Mantia , recently held that a contractor’s could still recover under a theory of quantum meruit (also known as unjust enrichment) despite the contractor’s failure to comply with the Pennsylvania...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Amends Mechanics’ Lien Law to Create New Notice Procedures and Requirements

By James D. Miller, Esq. On October 14, 2014, Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Act No. 142 (the “Act”) amending the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law, 49 P.S. 1101 et seq., which brings Pennsylvania in line with several other states by creating a more structured notice procedure...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Major Oil and Gas Lease Busting Case for Review

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over Hupp v. Beck Energy , an important Ohio case involving the interpretation of oil and gas leases. The case involves a challenge by landowners in Monroe County to a standard form oil and gas lease. The landowners argued that the...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Dormant Mineral Act Cases

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court scheduled oral argument in two significant Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) cases. Oral argument has been scheduled on Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. for May 6, 2015. As previously reported on ShaleEnergyLawBlog, the Corban case is likely...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania High Court Prohibits Tolling of Oil and Gas Leases During Litigation

By Steven B. Silverman [On Feb. 17], the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. , a significant opinion in which the Court refused to apply equitable tolling principles that other oil and gas jurisdictions have adopted [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Operator Prevails in Air Aggregation Case

By Meredith Odato Graham {On Feb. 23}, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of a natural gas operator in a closely-watched case involving air aggregation issues [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In 2011...

Babst Calland: EIA Reports on Natural Gas Storage Capacity

By Holly A. Pisanelli The U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a report indicating that the overall natural gas storage capacity in the lower 48 states was relatively unchanged between November 2013 and November 2014. The EIA measures natural gas storage capacity in November...

Babst Calland: First Installment of Quadrennial Energy Review Recommends Investment in Energy Infrastructure

By Holly A. Pisanelli The White House recently released a report from the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) , focusing on U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure. In January 2014, President Obama directed the administration to conduct the QER as part of his Climate Action...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Reaffirms Decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp.

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its prior decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp . [ enhanced opinion available to lexis subscribers ]. In Belmont Hills Country Club v. Beck Energy Corp. [ enhanced opinion ] and Bentley v. Beck Energy Corp [ enhanced opinion...

Babst Calland: New York Issues Final Environmental Review on High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

By Michael C. Murphy | On May 13, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released its Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, signaling the completion of its environmental review of...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Creates Task Force on Pipeline Infrastructure Development

By Joshua F. Hall On May 27, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the formation of a task force to help the Commonwealth, the natural gas industry and communities partner for the development of new pipeline infrastructure to allow natural gas and related byproducts to more effectively reach...

Babst Calland: EPA Issues New Rule on Definition of Waters of the United States

By Abigail Faulkner Jones On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the long-awaited final rule redefining the extent of the agencies’ jurisdiction over “waters of the United States” (WOTUS...

Babst Calland: New York Formally Bans High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing To Develop Marcellus Shale

By Michael C. Murphy | On June 29, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued its Findings Statement which officially prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing to develop natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale. The issuance of the Findings Statement concludes a...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

By David E. Northrop Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64 , signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code. The changes and additions take effect on September 29...

Babst Calland: Gov. Tomblin Forms The West Virginia Commission On Oil And Natural Gas Industry Safety

By Briana J. Marino On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety. Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission is charged with “reviewing...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

By David E. Northrop The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites. The rules, codified at OAC 1501:9-2-01, 1501...

EPA Inspector General Reports on Hydraulic Fracturing Regulators

By Michael K. Reer The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released a report entitled, “ Enhanced EPA Oversight and Action Can Further Protect Water Resources From the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing .” The report evaluates how...