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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...

Babst Calland: Ohio Oil and Gas Production Soars

By Michael T. Altvater Oil and gas production increased by 640% from 2012 to 2013 according to a report published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The one year increase was the largest in Ohio history and is the most natural gas that Ohio has produced since 1982. Much of the increase is...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania House and Senate Pass Budget Without Marcellus Gas Severance Tax

By Matthew L. Lambach Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed a budget that did not include a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Governor Tom Corbett withheld his signature while he continues to work with lawmakers on pension reform. Copyright 2014 • Babst...

Babst Calland: New York’s Highest Court Upholds Right of Municipalities to Ban Oil and Gas Activities

By Michael C. Murphy Today the New York Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil and gas-related activities within their borders. Specifically, the Court ruled that there was nothing within the plain language, statutory scheme...

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...

Cadwalader Clients & Friends Memo: FERC Versus State Authorities: Supreme Court Agrees to Review ONEOK v. Learjet

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition to hear an appeal by several companies contending that antitrust claims filed against them under state law over alleged manipulation of gas prices during the western energy crisis from 2000 to 2002 were precluded by the Natural Gas Act (“...

Duane Morris LLP: D.C. Circuit Ruling Has Potential Implications for Natural Gas Pipeline and LNG Projects Under FERC Environmental Review

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This turn of events is likely to cause anyone with, or planning to have, a...

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...

Foley & Lardner LLP: N.Y. Property Tax Exemption Extension for Renewable Energy Systems

The New York legislature has passed a bill that extends a real property tax exemption for wind, solar and certain other energy systems until January 1, 2025. The bill provides that real property which includes an eligible energy system is exempt from certain real property taxes for a period of fifteen...

Foley & Lardner LLP: 1-3 MW Solar RFP Issued in Palo Alto, California

By Jason W. Allen , William D. DuFour III and Justus J. Britt The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 1-3 MW (AC) in order to create a CPAU-branded Community Solar Program. The CPAU has stated that its primary objectives for such program are to help facilitate...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Foreign Investors in U.S. Projects Have Right to Due Process in CFIUS Proceedings

Although United States Courts are generally reluctant to interfere in Executive Branch decisions related to national security, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Ralls Corp. v. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States , 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13389, recognized an important...

Norton Rose Fulbright: Commerce Announces Russian Oil Industry Export Controls

By Stephen M. McNabb , Stefan Reisinger , Kimberly Hope Caine and Gwen S. Green On August 1, 2014, the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS") issued a final rule imposing a licensing requirement for the export of a wide range of items to Russia that are intended...

Norton Rose Fulbright: U.S. Proposes Stringent Standards For Rail Transport Of Flammable Liquids

By Eva Fromm O'Brien , Bob Greenslade , Jennifer Blair Caplan , Alan Harvie and Jean Piette On July 23, 2014, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ("PHMSA"), an agency within the US Department of Transportation ("DOT"), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking...

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...

Cadwalader: Gloves Are Off: FERC Issues Public Notice of Alleged Violations in Powhatan Investigation

On August 5, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ( "FERC" ) issued a public Staff Notice of Alleged Violations ( "NAV" ) regarding alleged manipulative Up To Congestion trading by Powhatan Energy Fund (Powhatan) in the PJM energy market. The NAV states that FERC’s...

Keller and Heckman LLP: EPA Rulemakings Seek to Buttress Renewable Fuel Program

By Jean-Cyril (JC) Walker and Adrienne M. Timmel Over the past few weeks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) finalized several rules affecting its Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) Program. On July 18, 2014, EPA finalized its rules concerning the Renewable Identification...

Troutman Sanders LLP: New York Public Service Commission Authorizes Longer Term NYSERDA REC Agreements

In a July order , the New York Public Service Commission authorizes the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to offer longer-term, fixed-price renewable energy credit agreements, extending the maximum term from ten to twenty years. Following the 2004 creation of the New...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Production Hits New High in First Half of Year

By Elena L. Rorabaugh As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Pennsylvania’s reported natural gas production in the first six months of 2014 reached 1.9 trillion cubic feet. Production is up from 1.7 trillion cubic feet reported over the second half of 2013 and 1.4 trillion over the first...