Category Archives: Oil & Gas

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President Trump Signs Resolutions Eliminating Regulatory Requirements

Last week, President Donald J. Trump signed two congressional resolutions overturning rules that impact the energy extraction and mining industries. On Tuesday, February 14, President Trump signed a resolution eliminating a June 2016 SEC rule that required companies engaged in the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals to disclose payments, including taxes, royalties … Continue Reading

CNH Issues Bidding Guidelines and Agreements for the First Pemex Farm-Out (Trion Project)

From Jorge Aleman Juarez  of GT Mexico City and  Derek J. Anchondo of GT Houston: On July 27, 2016, the Commissioners of Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (the CNH) held a meeting to discuss and approve the invitation to bid, the Bidding Guidelines, and the exploration and production license agreement (the License Agreement) for the selection of the partner(s) … Continue Reading

CEQ Issues Measured Final Guidance for Federal Agencies in their Consideration of GHG Emissions in NEPA Reviews

On Aug. 1, 2016, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Reviews. CEQ issued the guidance in an endeavor “to provide greater clarity and more consistency in how agencies … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court Rules Leaded Gasoline is Not “Oil” Subject to Less Stringent Cleanup Requirements

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) upheld a statutory interpretation by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that the statutory definition of “oil” does not include leaded gasoline. As a result, contamination from leaded gasoline released from a gas station was not eligible for less stringent remediation standards applicable to “oil” releases.  Based on … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court Rules Global Warming Solutions Act Mandates Annual, Declining Restrictions on GHG Emissions

In a decision that will have far-reaching consequences for the Massachusetts economy, Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), passed in 2008, mandates the imposition of annual, declining limits on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.  In Kain vs. Dept. of Environmental Protection (SJC-11961, May 17, 2016), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court … Continue Reading

Does FERC’s Denial of Authority to Construct Jordan Cove Signal a More Rigorous Test for Future LNG Projects?

On March 11, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied an application by Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. (Jordan Cove) for authority under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to site, construct, and operate a facility at Coos Bay, Oregon, for the exportation, principally to Asia, of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In … Continue Reading

CFTC Settles with Total Gas for Attempted Market Manipulation, And What Says FERC Enforcement?

From Douglas M. Grom, Harris L. Kay, and Gregory K. Lawrence: On Dec. 8, 2015 States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it had simultaneously filed and settled charges against Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (Total Gas) and Therese Tran (Tran), for violations of Section 6(c) and 9(a)(2) of the Commodity Exchange … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Reverses Class Certification Where Class Members Not Commonly Injured by Contamination on Their Property

On September 15, the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court’s order certifying a class of property owners who sought nuisance based damages and injunctive relief. In Smith v. ConocoPhillips Pipe Line Co., No. 14-2191, 2015 WL 5332450 (8th Cir. Sept. 15, 2015) the Court concluded that there was no evidence showing that class members were … Continue Reading

Industry and States Legally Challenge Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

States and industry organizations are seeking to invalidate a recent hydraulic fracturing rule promulgated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (the Rule).1 The Rule will go into effect on June 24, 2015, and litigation has been filed by states and industry organizations to halt implementation of the Rule. Industry organizations brought suit to request … Continue Reading

The Proposed Pennsylvania Budget, New Oil and Gas Regs, and the Fear of Fracking

In early March, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf submitted his proposed budget.  The Department of Environmental Protection issued a new iteration of proposed revisions to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Regulations that has since appeared in the April 4 Pennsylvania Bulletin, 45 Pa. Bull. 1615.  Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley reportedly stated the Administration’s support for the Delaware River … Continue Reading

New York Clears the Way for Permitting LNG-Refueling Stations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced on January 28, 2015 that it has finalized a new regulatory regime to allow the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations in all parts of the State except for New York City.  Under the agency’s final Part 570 regulations, the facilities would be … Continue Reading

Stepping Off the Gas Pedal: New York Adds Upper Limit to Proposed LNG Rules

Despite the abundance of natural gas within the state and region, and the reputation of natural gas as the cleanest burning of fossil fuels, New York remains a treacherous political environment for companies seeking to expand the use or extraction of gas. The anti-fracking movement maintains a strong base of support in the state and … Continue Reading

2014 Voters Address State, Local Infrastructure Funding Proposals

Written by Robert S. Brams, Alais L. M. Griffin‡, Jennifer R. McEwan˘, Jamey L. Tesler and David Veator. On Nov. 4, 2014, voters across the country addressed a series of state and local infrastructure funding proposals that will have substantial ramifications for transportation and infrastructure finance in many major states. As these results will impact the … Continue Reading

Texas High Court May Have Remade Utility Ratemaking

Written by Dane McKaughan. On Jan. 14, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in Texas Coast Utilities Coalition v. Railroad Commission of Texas, affirming the express statutory authority in the Railroad Commission of Texas to adopt “formula rate” tariffs. Such tariffs could fundamentally change the way in which regulators establish gas utility rates, … Continue Reading

Mexican Energy Reform: The Secondary Legislation and its New Business Opportunities

This GT Alert is an update to “Mexican Energy Reform: Impact and Opportunities,” published June 4, 2014. This GT Alert describes the most relevant aspects of the secondary legislation in connection with energy matters published in the Federal Official Gazette (DOF) on August 11, 2014. Background On December 20, 2013, the DOF published the amendments … Continue Reading

New York Court Tosses Property Owners’ Little NEPA Challenge to New York State’s Failure To Complete Hydraulic Fracturing EIS For Lack of Standing

A trial court in Albany, New York has landed another blow against high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“HVHF”) in New York by tossing two lawsuits (decisions available here and here) brought by property owners and a bankrupt operator challenging New York’s failure to complete its environmental review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in a timely manner.  This comes a little … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals’ Dryden/Cooperstown Decision – Sanctity of Local Zoning Upheld, But Does It Doom NY Fracking?

This post follows up on today’s earlier post on the New York Court of Appeals’ decision in Wallach v. Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Middlefield. In a 5-2 vote, New York’s highest court – the Court of Appeals – upheld the power of local governments to ban, through adoption of local laws, high-volume hydraulic fracturing.  The … Continue Reading

Mexican Energy Reform: Impact and Opportunities

This GT Alert describes the most relevant aspects of the Initiatives of the Secondary Laws implementing the Energy Reform, submitted to the Mexican Congress on April 30, 2014. Background On December 20, 2013, the Federal Official Gazette (DOF) published the amendments to the Mexican Constitution for energy-related matters (the Constitutional Amendments). These amendments became effective … Continue Reading

EPA Initiates Rulemaking On Reporting About Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids

From Chris Bell of GT Houston: EPA today published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment, by August 18, 2014, on a variety of options EPA is considering to collect and make available to the public information about chemicals used in oil and gas exploration and production, particularly those used in hydraulic fracturing.  79 … Continue Reading

Shale boom crosses borders

The U.S. domestic shale boom is rolling along. Canadian oil sands production is continuing rapidly. What’s next for North America sits south of the border in Mexico. Mexico plans to open itself to international oil-and-gas bidding next year for the first time in nearly 75 years after constitutional changes approved late last year. Nicolas Borda, … Continue Reading

UPDATE: U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Emergency Order Requiring Additional Testing and Stricter Rail Transportation Requirements for Crude Petroleum

Just days after issuing a stringent, yet confusing Emergency Order on the transportation of petroleum crude oil by rail, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a superseding Amended Emergency Order, dated March 6, 2014, which backtracks and reduces the stringency of its original February 25, 2014 Emergency Order. In its Amended Order, DOT … Continue Reading
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