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Wyoming federal judge issues preliminary injunction against BLM’s hydraulic fracturing regulations

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and several states, including Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Utah, and the Ute Indian Tribe rejoiced when Wyoming federal judge Scott W. Skavdahl issued a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new hydraulic fracturing regulations. “We are pleased to see Judge Skavdahl agrees with our request … Continue reading

Colorado Supreme Court decides to hear fracking regulation cases

On Monday, September 21, The Supreme Court of Colorado agreed to decide whether localities can ban hydraulic fracturing operations or limit the storage of fracking waste products within their limits. The Court agreed to hear two cases, one involving a ban in the City of Longmont, and the other involving a ban in the City … Continue reading

Berkeley Lab researchers quell frackquake fears, FEMA discusses induced seismicity

On July 9 the California Council on Science and Technology in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, released an expanded independent scientific report on hydraulic fracturing discussing anthropogenic earthquakes. Berkeley Lab researchers found “no recorded cases of induced seismicity” in California. The report concludes that to date there have been no known seismic events linked … Continue reading

Railroad seeks dismissal of tribal suit challenging transportation of crude oil

Earlier this year, a Swinomish tribe filed suit in Washington state federal court against BNSF Railway Company (BNSF). In the lawsuit, the tribe challenges the amount of crude oil shipped by BNSF across tribal land. BNSF has authority under a settlement agreement it entered into with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. The settlement agreement granted … Continue reading

Opposition to federal fracking rules grows

Earlier this year, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its final version of rules governing hydraulic fracturing on federal land. As discussed in a previous post, these rules will not only impose heightened requirements on drilling operations but also increase the reporting duties for drilling operators. Shortly after the BLM released … Continue reading

Colorado Supreme Court refuses to authorize Lone Pine orders in fracking cases

On Monday, April 20th, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Antero Resources v. Strudley, a case closely watched by many in the oil and gas industry. The Supreme Court was confronted with the issue of whether the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure permit a trial court to issue a Lone Pine order—that … Continue reading

California Governor asked to impose fracking moratorium

Thus far, California has rebuffed attempts at instituting a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing. In fact, several localities in California have also rejected fracking bans. Nonetheless, on Thursday, several environmental groups petitioned California Governor Edmund G. Brown to impose an immediate moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and other methods of well stimulation in the state. The … Continue reading

Wyoming to strengthen chemical disclosure requirements for fracking operations

The Wyoming Public Records Act (WPRA) requires that oil and gas companies disclose information about the chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing operations. Specifically, companies must disclose the type of chemical used, the concentration of each chemical, the chemical compound name, and the CAS number—the unique number assigned to that chemical for purposes of public … Continue reading

Los Angeles well stimulation ban questioned

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion to ban any oil and gas well stimulation or the use of wells for waste disposal injection. After passing the motion, the City Council authorized the city attorney to write the ordinance with the assistance of the Department of City Planning (DCP). Similar to … Continue reading

Broomfield, Colorado: The latest town sued because of a local fracking ban

Several cities have recently passed local legislation banning the use of hydraulic fracturing. These local fracking bans have become the subject of litigation in a number of states. Broomfield, Colorado has become the latest locality to be sued for banning hydraulic fracturing within city limits. In 2013, Broomfield voters passed Local Question 300— an amendment … Continue reading

Fracking bans may thrust California localities into contentious legal battle

On November 4th, Denton became the first city in Texas to enact a ban against hydraulic fracturing. The next day, several members of the oil and gas industry and the state of Texas sued Denton, alleging that the ban was invalid. It is possible that other parties are also planning on suing Denton over the … Continue reading

Fracking dominates the November ballot

One of the most highly debated issues during the November election was the question of whether localities have the authority to enact fracking bans. Several cities throughout the country have attempted to enact prohibitions against hydraulic fracturing with varying degrees of success. Denton, Texas has become one of the latest cities to consider such a … Continue reading

The New York Court of Appeals rules on local ban on fracking

The New York Court of Appeals recently denied an energy company’s motion for rehearing in Matter of Wallach v. Dryden. Matter of Wallach was a consolidated appeal in which the court heard challenges to local fracking bans enacted in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield. The parties challenging the bans argued that the local laws … Continue reading

Revisions to proposed fracking regulations in California

California recently circulated its third version of S.B. 4., a bill passed last year that sets forth rules regarding well stimulation operations. The California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources received over 100,000 comments from the public regarding the first version of S.B. 4. The second version of the bill also received … Continue reading

US geological survey researchers release findings on reports of induced seismicity in Colorado and New Mexico

Researchers with the US Geological Survey recently released a study claiming a link between wastewater injection and reported seismicity in the Raton Basin of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. The researchers sought to explain a series of August-September 2011 earthquakes in the region and claimed that there was “strong evidence that [the] earthquake sequence … Continue reading

Irreconcilable differences: Colorado court finds that a local hydraulic fracturing ban is preempted by the Colorado Oil and Gas Act

Hydraulic fracturing has become a hot button topic in Colorado as oil and natural gas development has increased near urban and residential areas. During the 2012 election, in response to citizen concerns, the cities of Longmont, Lafayette and Broomfield adopted some form of ban on hydraulic fracturing, despite strong warnings from the state and local … Continue reading

Ban on hydraulic fracturing in Santa Cruz County, California

On March 20, 2014, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to prohibit hydraulic fracturing and oil and gas development in their county. This ban continues the ten-month moratorium that was started in September 2013. Santa Cruz’s ban of hydraulic fracturing is largely symbolic because there are no known oil leases in the … Continue reading

Environmental groups protest drilling in Utah and Nevada

On May 7, 2014, WildEarth Guardians filed a complaint in the US District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, against the US Forest Service and the US Bureau of Land Management, seeking to enjoin these agencies from approving oil and gas drilling in the Ashley National Forest, located in the Uinta Basin. In a Record … Continue reading

EPA reviews states’ solid waste management regulations for oil and gas operations

In an April 1, 2014 memorandum, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summarized state regulatory programs concerning the management of solid waste from oil and natural gas exploration, development and production (E&P) operations. In reviewing each state’s regulations, the EPA focused on surface storage and disposal facilities managing produced waters, drilling muds, drilling cuttings, hydraulic … Continue reading

Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission finalizes hydraulic fracturing rules

The Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission finalized its proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations at a public meeting on April 2, 2014. The Commission first proposed these regulations in December 2012 and has revised the draft regulations several times. The regulations require the disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process and, with this last … Continue reading

University of Colorado report examines economic effects of a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing

With five municipalities and Boulder County in Colorado voting to ban hydraulic fracturing, the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado – Boulder studied the economic effects of a statewide hydraulic fracturing ban.The research was conducted on behalf of several local economic-development companies, including the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, who wanted to … Continue reading

California hydraulic fracturing moratorium bill approved by Senate Committee

On April 4, 2014, in a 5 to 2 vote with two members abstaining, the California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee approved proposed legislation (Senate Bill 1132) that would place an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and acidizing activities throughout the state, both onshore and offshore, until a sufficient state study on the threats … Continue reading

Methane emissions from oil and gas operations targeted by state regulations

Ohio has joined Colorado and Wyoming in issuing new regulations aimed at limiting the emission of methane gas from oil and natural gas operations to address climate change and health concerns. In development for more than a year, the revised Ohio rules are effective immediately and apply to high volume hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas … Continue reading

Lone Pine Order in hydraulic fracturing lawsuit to be reviewed by Colorado Supreme Court

On April 7, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to review a court of appeals decision that overturned a Lone Pine Order and a dismissal order issued by the lower court in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corporation, Antero Resources Piceance Corporation, Calfrac Well Services, and Frontier Drilling LLC (Case No. 2011-cv-2218, Denver County District Court), … Continue reading
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