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Mealey's Fracking

  • June 24, 2019

    Tribes, Environmental Groups Say Appeal Of Fracking Leases Is Not Moot

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Native American tribal groups and conservationists on June 21 filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that their appeal of the Trump administration’s decision to reinstate hydraulic fracturing leases on tribal land in Montana is not moot, as the administration has suggested (W.A. Moncrief, Jr. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 18-5340, D.C. Cir.).

  • June 24, 2019

    Panel:  Residents Hit By Fracking Earthquakes May Not Recover Insurance Premiums

    DENVER — A panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 21 affirmed a district court’s ruling and refused to certify a question to the Oklahoma Supreme Court regarding residents’ claims that they could recover premiums they had to pay for earthquake insurance as a result of hydraulic fracturing activity (Matt Meier, et al. v. Chesapeake Operating LLC, et al., No. 18-6152, 10th Cir.).

  • June 24, 2019

    Groups:  Rehearing Needed For Fracking Permits Approved By Trump Administration

    DENVER — Environmental groups on June 20 filed a petition for rehearing in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the court should vacate the environmental assessments (EAs) related to the Trump administration’s approval of hydraulic fracturing permits and allow the groups to provide supplemental information pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 18-2089, 10th Cir.).

  • June 19, 2019

    Activists:  Pennsylvania Governor Should Order Probe Into Fracking And Cancer

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Hollywood actors, state legislators, environmental groups and residents on June 17 sent a joint letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf calling on him to order the state Department of Health to investigate cancers that have been diagnosed in all counties where hydraulic fracturing operations are conducted.

  • June 19, 2019

    Agency To Probe Trump Administration’s Use Of Funds For National Monument Fracking

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two federal legislators on June 17 announced that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) will open an investigation into whether the Trump administration violated “longstanding prohibitions” against using appropriated funds for hydraulic fracturing leasing activities within the historic boundariesthe Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

  • June 14, 2019

    Groups File Briefs Supporting Fracking Company In Federal Lease Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a hydraulic fracturing industry trade group on June 12 filed separate amicus curiae briefs in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, each contending that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) cancellation of a fracking lease issued to Solenex LLC was “arbitrary and capricious” (Solenex LLC v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 18-5345, D.C. Cir.).

  • June 11, 2019

    California, New Mexico Seek Ruling That Methane Rule Repeal Was ‘Unlawful’

    SAN FRANCISCO — The attorneys general for the states of California and New Mexico on June 7 moved in California federal court for summary judgment declaring that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to rescind the 2016 Waste Prevention Rule that pertains to methane flaring by hydraulic fracturing operationswas “unlawful.” The plaintiffs argue that the court should vacate the decision because methane flaring can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause and worsen respiratory problems (California, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 18-5712, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 11, 2019

    5th Circuit Panel Refuses To Rehear Environmental Damage Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 denied  a petition for rehearing filed by a company that conducted fracking operations on an insured's facility asking it to reconsider its ruling that reversed a federal court's finding that a site pollution legal liability insurer waived its subrogation rights under an onshore master services agreement (MSA) (Halliburton Energy Services Inc. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-20678 consolidated with No. 18-20239, 5th Cir.).

  • June 10, 2019

    Fracking Company Executive: ‘Volatile Market Conditions’ Have Led To Bankruptcy

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Hydraulic fracturing company White Star Petroleum Holdings LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on May 28, posting negative working capital of $70 million due to what is says are “volatile market conditions” that have hurt independent operators in the Mississippian Lime formation in Oklahoma (In re:  White Star Petroleum Holdings LLC, No. 19-11179, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • June 10, 2019

    Chevron: California Ordinance ‘Frustrates’ State Law That Allows Fracking

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Chevron Corp. on April 19 filed a brief in California appellate court contending that a local ordinance passed by Monterey County, Calif., “frustrates” the purpose of state law regarding hydraulic fracturing by banning activities that the state promotes and permits (Monterey, et al. v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., et al., No. H045791, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).

  • June 7, 2019

    Fracking Company: Agency’s Lease Cancellation ‘Built Upon False Premises’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hydraulic fracturing company on June 5 filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) cancellation of a fracking lease was “built upon false premises and dangerously wide-sweeping assertions of ‘inherent’ agency authority” (Solenex LLC v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 18-5345, D.C. Cir.).

  • June 7, 2019

    Groups: Trump Administration’s Lease Approvals Will ‘Adversely Impact’ Public

    DENVER — Environmental groups on June 5 sued the Trump administration in Colorado federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and a review of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to issue 59 oil and gas leases for hydraulic fracturing covering 61,910.92 acres in Utah, saying the agency did not consider how the air pollution from developing the leases would “adversely impact public health, the environment, the climate, and treasured public lands like Dinosaur National Monument” (Rocky Mountain Wild, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-1608, D. Colo.).

  • June 6, 2019

    $3M Fracking Deal Made Public Due To Court Error May Be Published, Judge Says

    WASHINGTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania judge on June 4 ruled that a formerly sealed document indicating a $3 million hydraulic fracturing settlement was reached among companies and several residents, which was accidentally made public after it was posted on a court website, may be published (Stacey Haney v. Range Resources-Appalachia LLC, No. 2012-3534, Pa. Comm. Pls., Washington Co.).

  • June 6, 2019

    Panel:  Woman Lacks Standing To Challenge Municipality’s Fracking Permit Approval

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A panel of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on June 6 ruled that a woman did not have legal standing to challenge a local municipality’s decision to grant a hydraulic fracturing permit to companies that seek to build a developmental well and well pad in the township (Jane Worthington v. Mount Pleasant Township, et al., No. 1149 CD 2018, Pa. Cmwlth., 2019 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 523).

  • June 5, 2019

    Judge:  Fracking Patent Dispute Belongs In Texas Based On Evidence, Witnesses

    LAFAYETTE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 31 transferred a hydraulic fracturing patent dispute to Texas federal court after he ruled that although the case could remain in its current jurisdiction, the object of the patent and key witnesses are located in Texas (Extreme Technologies LLC v. Stabil Drill Specialties LLC, No. 19-219, W.D. La.).

  • June 4, 2019

    Group: Trump Administration Failed To Assess Climate Impact Of Fracking

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An environmental group on June 3 sued the Trump administration in New Mexico federal court, contending that the administration failed to take a “hard look” and fully assess the significance of the climate impact associated with its approval of hydraulic fracturing leases in violation of federal law (WildEarth Guardians v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-505, D. N.M.).

  • June 3, 2019

    Split Pennsylvania High Court Vacates Fracking Ruling; Residents’ Objections Valid

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court on May 31 vacated a lower court ruling that a local municipality’s objections to a hydraulic fracturing permit were “insufficient” to show that the impact would be detrimental.  The majority said that testimony of residents who objected to the permit was “relevant and probative” (EQT Production Company, et al. v. Borough of Jefferson Hills, No. 4 WAP 2018, Pa. Sup.).

  • May 31, 2019

    Tribe:  Trump Administration Violated Federal Law With Fracking Permit Approval

    TULSA, Okla. — The Pawnee Nation on May 30 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court contending that when the Trump administration approved permits for hydraulic fracturing on tribal land, it violated federal law by failing to address the impact of drilling on water pollution and did not assess the risk of earthquakes (Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 16-cv-697, N.D. Okla.).

  • May 31, 2019

    Groups:  Trump Administration’s Argument Against Fracking Lease Case ‘Fails’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Native American and conservation groups on May 17 filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that, in a case regarding a federal agency’s decision to reinstate hydraulic fracturing leases on tribal land in Montana, the Trump administration’s argument opposing the groups’ appeal fails (W.A. Moncrief, Jr. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 18-5340, D.C. Cir.).

  • May 30, 2019

    Trump Administration Appeals Ruling Banning Offshore Alaska Oil Drilling

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on May 29 filed a notice of appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals regarding a district court’s ruling that President Donald J. Trump’s executive order that opened areas of the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Alaska for oil and gas drilling is “unlawful” because it exceeded the president’s authority under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) (League of Conservation Voters, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Nos. 19-35460, 19-35461 and 19-35462, 9th Cir.).