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Texas Governor Signs Law Preempting Local Fracking Regulations

AUSTIN, Texas — (Mealey’s) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 18 signed a bill that preempts regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the city level, overriding the fracking ban that was passed last year in a referendum that was approved in the City of Denton. Property Rights In a statement...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Proposes Zero Discharge Rule For Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

On April 7, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed regulations which would create pretreatment standards of performance for existing and new sources of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. EPA is proposing to establish a “zero discharge”...

Troutman Sanders: IRS Releases Updated Guidance Further Clarifying ‘Beginning of Construction’ For Renewable Energy Facilities

On March 11, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-25, which updates its prior guidance to reflect the extension of the beginning of construction deadline for the PTC and ITC made by the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA). TIPA extended the deadline from January 1, 2014...

Troutman Sanders: Southern Co. Teams Withy Tesla On Powerwall

The Atlanta Business Chronicle (5/28, Couret, Subscription Publication, 130K) reports that “at its annual stockholders meeting on Wednesday,” Southern Company reported that it has entered into an agreement with Tesla to “test commercial-scale battery storage.” The article points...

Troutman Sanders: FERC Offers EPA Advice On Commission’s Potential Role In Clean Power Plan

On May 15, 2015, the FERC commissioners sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) addressing two areas where FERC could contribute to maintaining reliability under EPA’s Clean Power Plan (“CPP”). FERC’s letter was in response to EPA’s Acting...

Troutman Sanders: FERC Approves Novel NOA Amendment To Address Network Upgrades Required Solely To Accommodate QFs Siting In Constrained Areas

In an order issued May 21, 2015, FERC approved an amendment to PacifiCorp’s Network Operating Agreement (“NOA”) between PacifiCorp and its merchant function, PacifiCorp Energy, allowing for a new planning redispatch protocol. The amendment prevents the need for PacifiCorp to build network...

Troutman Sanders: SCE&G Reaches Settlement On $37M Program To Expand Solar Projects In South Carolina

The Charlotte Business Journal reports that S.C. Electric & Gas, the SCANA Corp. (NYSE:SCG) subsidiary that has about 660,000 electric customers, has reached an agreement with consumer and renewable-energy advocates on a $37 million program designed to get 84.5 megawatts of solar on its system by...

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...

Oklahoma Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Fracking Bans

OKLAHOMA CITY — (Mealey’s) Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on June 1 signed a law that establishes the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as the “sole regulator” of the state’s oil and gas industry and prohibits local municipalities from passing bans on hydraulic fracturing operations...

DLA Piper: EPA Report Finds No Evidence Fracking Causes Widespread Impacts On Drinking Water

By: Robert J. Alessi and Jeffrey D. Kuhn | This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally. The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a...

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...

Ballard Spahr LL:P: Hawai’i Enacts Legislation Creating Community-Based Renewable Energy Program

By Howard H. Shafferman and Katie Leesman A law that could significantly expand access to renewable energy generation in Hawai’i through a new community-based renewable energy program was approved by Governor David Ing on June 8, 2015. While the new law is couched in terms of “renewable...

Ballard Spahr LLP: Penn Study Unlikely To Result In Flood Of Fracking Lawsuits

By Harry Weiss and Philip N. Yannella | A recently released study from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for gas and oil and cardiac and neurological illnesses. Whether the report triggers a rash of lawsuits is an open...

Troutman Sanders: AWEA Petitions FERC to Significantly Reform Pro Forma Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreement

On July 7, 2015, the Commission issued a notice calling for comments on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by the American Wind Energy Association (“AWEA”) on June 19, 2015 in Docket No. RM15-21-000. In its petition, AWEA requested that the Commission initiate a rulemaking to significantly amend...

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...

DLA Piper Asia-Pacific Energy Sector Update: Financing Renewable Energy Projects

Despite scepticism around climate change in certain countries in the region, we continue to see growing investment in renewable energy and carbon reduction technologies across the Asia Pacific. Our current mandates include renewable energy projects across the renewable spectrum - solar, wind, biofuels...

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...

Babst Calland: Rice and Gulfport Enter Into Midstream Joint Venture in Utica Shale

By Brittany A. Roof As reported by Oil and Gas Investor , Rice Midstream Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Rice Energy Inc., and Gulfport Energy Corporation have teamed up to build a pipeline gathering and water line system in Ohio’s Utica Shale. Over the next six years, the companies plan to spend...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Governor Signs 3-state Agreement Pledging Support for Ongoing Natural Gas Development in the Appalachian Basin

The Tri-State Shale Summit is a collaborative effort on behalf of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to bring together industry leaders to facilitate a discussion on the opportunities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. The Summit features engaging and enlightening panels and keynotes on topics...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Wyoming District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Enjoining BLM from Regulating Hydraulic Fracturing

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming (“District Court”) granted motions for preliminary injunction filed by various states, tribes, and industry members (“Petitioners”) seeking to enjoin the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) from...

Babst Calland: Application for Mountain Valley Pipeline Filed with FERC

By Nikolas E. Tysiak According to the Washington Observer-Reporter , a formal application for the Mountain Valley Pipeline was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) last week. The pipeline will extend 301 miles and connect the shale gas fields of northwestern West...

Babst Calland: Federal Court Invalidates Portions of a Local Ordinance, Which Banned the Use of Underground Injection Wells

By Alana E. Fortna On October 14, 2015, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania invalidated several provisions of a Grant Township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania local ordinance that was intended to prevent an oil and gas operator from operating an injection well that...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Issues Order Addressing Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rate Applications for Natural Gas Storage

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued Opinion No. 538 denying ANR Storage Company’s (“ANRS”) application for market-based rates (“MBR”) for natural gas storage service. FERC noted that the matter was the first fully-litigated proceeding where a gas storage provider has sought...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Reaffirms Reservation Charge Crediting Policy; Orders Changes to Gas Pipeline Tariff’s Crediting, Force Majeure and Interruption of Service Provisions

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued an order to Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC rejecting claims that FERC had failed to make specific factual findings to support its conclusion that the existing absence of reservation charge crediting provisions in Algonquin’s tariff was unjust and unreasonable,...