Mealey's Fracking

  • September 17, 2020

    Groups Seeks Emergency Stay Of EPA's Decision To Rescind Methane Waste Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Environmental groups on Sept. 15 moved in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for an emergency stay of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to rescind the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule, arguing that the EPA administrator engaged in a "transparent effort to manufacture reasons to rescind protections" designed to reduce pollution caused by the flaring of methane during oil and gas operations (Environmental Defense Fund, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-1359, D.C. Cir.).

  • September 17, 2020

    Company: Municipality Is Acting In Bad Faith To 'Illegally' Shut Down Fracking

    DENVER — A hydraulic fracturing company on Sept. 14 sued the city and county of Broomfield, Colo., in Colorado federal court, contending that it is using its regulatory and police powers in bad faith to "illegally and unconstitutionally" shut down the company's operations (Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. v. The City and County of Broomfield, No. 20-2779, D. Colo.).

  • September 17, 2020

    Groups: Federal Approval Of Fracking Leases In Colorado Violated Federal Law

    DENVER — Environmental groups on Sept. 15 filed a petition in Colorado federal court contending that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated federal law when it approved a resource management plan (RMP) that made nearly 1 million acres of public lands and mineral estate in Colorado's Western Slope available for hydraulic fracturing (Western Slope Conservation Center, et al. v. United States Bureau of Land Management, et al., No. 20-2787, D. Colo.).

  • September 15, 2020

    Briefly: Regulatory Agency Says Need For Pipeline Was Established

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Sept. 9 filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the need for a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured oil was established based on the long-term contracts that exist for the project's capacity (Environmental Defense Fund v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 20-1016, D.C. Cir.).

  • September 14, 2020

    Briefly:  Pennsylvania Agency Orders Company To Change Route Of Pipeline

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Sept. 11 issued an administrative order suspending all work by Sunoco Pipeline LP on the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Chester County, Pa., while the company submits plans to change the original route of the pipeline, which is designed to transport hydraulically fractured oil and gas from shale formations in Pennsylvania to refineries in Marcus Hook, Pa. (In the matter of: Sunoco Pipeline LP, Pa. DEP).

  • September 10, 2020

    States File Joint Reply Seeking To Have 2016 Methane Rule Vacated

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The states of Wyoming and Montana on Sept. 4 filed a joint reply brief in Wyoming federal court contending that the 2016 the Methane Waste Prevention Rule, which requires oil and gas producers to use currently available technologies and processes to cut flaring in half at oil wells on public and tribal lands in an effort to reduce methane pollution, is "unlawful" and should be vacated (Wyoming, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-285, D. Wyo.).

  • September 10, 2020

    Groups Want To Intervene In Water Case Challenging EPA Rule That Affects Fracking

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two hydraulic fracturing industry trade groups on Sept. 4 moved in California federal court to intervene in a drinking water lawsuit brought pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA), contending that some states have "improperly used procedural gimmicks" to prolong certification decisions the companies need to conduct fracking operations (American Rivers, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-4636, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 04, 2020

    Trump Administration:  Arctic Drilling Case Fails Despite Group's Additional Filing

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Aug. 10 filed a response in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that conservationists' supplemental authorities cited in opposition to offshore oil and gas exploration in the Arctic "overlook a critical distinction with this appeal" and that the groups still lack standing (League of Conservation Voters, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Nos. 19-35460, 19-35461 and 19-35462, 9th Cir.).

  • September 03, 2020

    Debtor, Agency Reach Deal To End Adversary Case About Rejection Of Contracts

    HOUSTON — Hydraulic fracturing operator Chesapeake Energy Corp. and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reached a deal on July 17 that ended Chesapeake's adversary proceeding in federal bankruptcy court in Texas as FERC agreed that it would not issue any ruling regarding Chesapeake's requirement to honor certain contracts while it is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In re:  Chesapeake Energy Corporation, No. 20-33233, Adv. No. 20-03231, S.D. Texas Bkcy.).

  • September 03, 2020

    Fracking Company:  Ohio Agency Should Be Compelled To Issue Injection Well Permit

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A hydraulic fracturing operator on Aug. 5 filed a brief in the Ohio Supreme Court contending that mandamus relief to compel the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to issue a saltwater injection well permit to dispose of fracking waste is its only way out of "administrative purgatory" (Ohio ex rel. Omni Energy Group LLC v. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, No. 202-0528, Ohio Sup.).

  • September 03, 2020

    Fracking CEO:  Coronavirus, Actions By Russia And Saudi Arabia Led To Bankruptcy

    WILMINGTON, Del. — The CEO of a hydraulic fracturing company on Aug. 17 filed a first-day declaration in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, saying his company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy, its second in little more than four years, was precipitated by "a historic decline" in oil and natural gas prices that was worsened by the new coronavirus pandemic and "certain actions taken by Russia and Saudi Arabia" (In re:  Chaparral Energy Inc., No. 20-11947, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • September 01, 2020

    Army Corps Of Engineers: Court Erred In Approving Keystone XL Pipeline Stay

    SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Aug. 27 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a district court erred when it ruled that an injunction preventing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is valid because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to perform "a full and proper analysis" of the environmental impact caused by construction of the pipeline (Northern Plains Resource Council, et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., Nos. 20-35412, 20-35414, 20-35415, and 20-35432, 9th Cir.).

  • September 01, 2020

    States: Agency Exceeded Its Authority In Changing Federal Environmental Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — Numerous state attorneys general on Aug. 28 sued the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in California federal court, saying it exceeded its authority when it changed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that the plaintiffs say will reduce regulations for hydraulic fracturing operations and other types of development that harm groundwater and the climate.  The changes to NEPA followed an executive order issued by President Donald J. Trump (States of California, et al. v. Council on Environmental Quality, No. 20-6057, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 01, 2020

    Irreparable Harm Standard Not Met As Group Seeks To Block Pipeline, Judge Says

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 28 denied a motion for a preliminary injunction sought by the Sierra Club, which sought to halt construction of a hydraulic fracturing pipeline that is being opposed in three separate but related lawsuits that contend that the pipeline will taint the aquifer that supplies drinking water to the surrounding community (Sierra Club v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., No. 20-460, W.D. Texas).

  • August 28, 2020

    Group: Agency's Post-Hoc Argument Regarding Methane Rule 'Error' Is 'Flawed'

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — An environmental advocacy group and the attorneys general for California and New Mexico on Aug. 25 filed a supplemental response brief in Wyoming federal court contending that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) decision to rescind the Methane Waste Prevention Rule is an attempt to "circumvent the administrative process" and that the BLM's "confession of error" is "legally flawed" (Wyoming, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-285, D. Wyo.).

  • August 27, 2020

    87 Members Of Congress Ask EPA To Immediately Withdraw New Methane Standard

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan group consisting of 87 members of Congress on Aug. 25 sent a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to immediately withdraw the EPA's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and gas industry regarding methane emissions.

  • August 26, 2020

    Fracking Company Investor: Misrepresentations Constitute Securities Law Violations

    NEW YORK — A shareholder on Aug. 24 filed a putative class action against a hydraulic fracturing services company in New York federal court, alleging violations of federal securities laws as a result of misrepresentations the company made in its financial projections (James Costello v. CNX Midstream Partners LP, et al., No. 20-6820, S.D. N.Y.).

  • August 26, 2020

    Groups Sue Interior Secretary For Approving Fracking Lease Program In Alaska

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The National Audubon Society (NAS) and other environmental advocacy groups on Aug. 24 sued Secretary of the Interior David W. Bernhardt in Alaska federal court, contending that he and agencies under his authority violated federal law when they approved a hydraulic fracturing leasing program in the Coastal Plan of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (National Audubon Society, et al. v. David W. Bernhardt, et al., No. 20-205, D. Alaska).

  • August 20, 2020

    Agency Confesses 'Error' In Promulgating 2016 Methane Rule, Says It Is Flawed

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on Aug. 18 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court confessing its "error" in connection with promulgating the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule that regulates the flaring of methane gas in hydraulic fracturing operations and insisting that it is flawed and should be vacated (Wyoming, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-285, D. Wyo.).

  • August 19, 2020

    Judge Allows Companies Limited Intervention In Federal Fracking Lease Dispute

    BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge in Idaho on Aug. 17 denied various hydraulic fracturing companies the right to intervene in a federal lease dispute on grounds that they were already represented by another intervenor but granted other fracking operators the right to intervene pursuant to the narrow issue contained in a footnote to a previous memorandum decision and order regarding requests as to what work, if any, will be permitted during a stay in drilling activity (Western Watersheds Project, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 18-187, D. Idaho).