Mealey's Fracking

  • August 15, 2017

    Michigan High Court Refuses To Hear Appeal Of Fracking Ballot Initiative Ruling

    LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Supreme Court on July 25 declined to hear an appeal by three Michigan state agencies that challenged the constitutionality of a statute that imposes a time limitation on gathering signatures for the group’s ballot initiative to ban fracking (Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, et al. v. Director of Elections, et al., No. SC155897, Mich. Sup.).

  • August 11, 2017

    En Banc D.C. Circuit Will Not Rehear Methane Rule Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The en banc District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 10 refused to grant a petition for rehearing en banc sought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that challenged a split panel decision that found that the EPA did not have the authority to stay the agency’s rule on fugitive methane emissions (Clean Air Council, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1145, D.C. Cir.).

  • August 7, 2017

    Judge Allows Discovery Of Absent Members Of A Class In Fracking Lease Dispute

    DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas on July 20 granted a hydraulic fracturing company’s motion for leave to file limited discovery on absent members of a class that is suing the company related to oil and gas leases (Arbuckle Mountain Ranch of Texas Inc., et al. v. Chesapeake Energy Corporation, et al., No. 14-4584, N.D. Texas).

  • August 7, 2017

    Texas Not Proper Jurisdiction For Case Among Fracking Sand Companies, Panel Says

    DALLAS — A Texas appeals court on July 27 partially reversed and partially affirmed a lower court’s rulings on multiple motions for personal jurisdiction in a dispute between several hydraulic fracturing companies that were in the business of selling fracking sand, concluding that Texas was not the proper jurisdiction for the claims (Northern Frac Proppants, II, LLC, et al v. 2011 NF Holding, LLC, et al. and Badger Mining Corporation v. 2011 NF Holdings, LLC, et al. and 2011 NF Holdings, LLC, et al. v. J&P Capital, LLC, et al., No. 05-16-00319-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., Dallas; 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7100).

  • August 7, 2017

    Groups Debate Whether D.C. Circuit Court Can Hear EPA Methane Rule Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Petroleum industry groups filed a brief on Aug. 3 in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the court lacks jurisdiction to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to grant administrative reconsideration of the agency’s rule on fugitive methane emissions (Clean Air Council, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1145. D.C. Cir.).

  • August 7, 2017

    Companies: Colorado Fracking Fluid Injury Claim Fails, Dismissal Appropriate

    DENVER — Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) and another energy company on July 13 filed a joint motion in Colorado federal court, arguing that the chemical injury lawsuit a man filed against them related to his work on a hydraulic fracturing site should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim (Jeylan Abdulkadir v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., et al., No. 16-281, D. Colo.).

  • August 7, 2017

    Fracking Company Seeks Approval Of $921,996.66 Award In Lease Dispute

    DENVER — An oil and gas exploration company on July 31 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado moved for an order confirming a $921,996.66 arbitration award it won in a lease dispute regarding rights in the Bakken Shale formation (Slawson Exploration Company, Inc. v. U.S. Energy Development Corporation, No. 17-1248, D. Colo.).

  • August 4, 2017

    Groups Debate Whether D.C. Circuit Court Can Hear EPA Methane Rule Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Petroleum industry groups filed a brief on Aug. 3 in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the court lacks jurisdiction to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to grant administrative reconsideration of the agency’s rule on fugitive methane emissions (Clean Air Council, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1145. D.C. Cir.).

  • August 2, 2017

    Groups: Agency Violated Federal Law When It Approved Fracking Permits

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A collection of environmental groups on July 28 filed a reply brief in New Mexico federal court contending that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to “take a hard look” at the cumulative impact of approving permits for hydraulic fracturing in the Mancos Shale formation (Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 15-209, D. N.M.).

  • August 1, 2017

    District Of Columbia Circuit Court Will Hear En Banc Challenge To Methane Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The en banc District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 31 issued an order calling for the parties to file briefs in advance of a rehearing of a split decision issued by a panel of the court that held that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lacked authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to stay a rule on fugitive methane emissions (Clean Air Council, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1145. D.C. Cir.).

  • August 1, 2017

    Fracking Group: Case Against Trump Administration For Arctic Drilling Order Fails

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The American Petroleum Institute (API) on July 28 moved, as an intervenor, to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the Trump administration, contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a cognizable claim when they argue that President Donald J. Trump’s executive order opening the Arctic Ocean for oil and gas exploration was “an unlawful attempt” to reverse permanent protection for the Arctic Ocean (League of Conservation Voters, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-101, D. Alaska).

  • August 1, 2017

    Groups: Agency Exceeded Its Authority In Delaying Methane Rule Implementation

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Sierra Club and other environmental advocacy groups on July 27 filed a brief in California federal court contending that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke exceeded his authority when he delayed implementation of a rule aimed at reducing methane waste connected to hydraulic fracturing operations (Sierra Club, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 17-3885, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 27, 2017

    Los Angeles County Seeks To Prevent Resumption Of Fracking In Aliso Canyon

    LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County filed a brief on July 24 in California state court seeking to prevent the reopening of the Aliso Canyon gas field, a hydraulic fracturing site that experienced a gas leak of 100,000 metric tons of methane in 2015, alleging that the gas company is “unnecessarily exposing County residents to potentially catastrophic health and safety risks” (The County of Los Angeles v. Calfornia Department of Conservation, Divison of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, et al., No. BS168381, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • July 27, 2017

    Judge Dismisses Some Fracking Companies In Lithium Battery Injury Lawsuit

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a lithium battery injury lawsuit brought against hydraulic fracturing companies by former employees on July 20 dismissed two of the defendants on grounds they owed no duty to the injured parties (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al. and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113098).

  • July 26, 2017

    Congressmen Seek Investigation Of Alleged Russian Funding Of Anti-Fracking Groups

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two Republican congressmen on June 29 sent a letter to the U.S. secretary of the Treasury asking for “a full and complete investigation” into allegations that Russia has used a shell corporation in Bermuda to funnel money to environmental groups that oppose hydraulic fracturing in an effort to influence the U.S. domestic oil and gas industry.

  • July 25, 2017

    EPA Proposes Rescinding Rule That Governed Fracking On Federal, Indian Land

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on July 24 proposed a rule that would rescind a rule issued in 2015 that it says imposes “burdensome reporting requirements and other unjustified costs” on oil and gas companies that want to conduct hydraulic fracturing operations on Indian and tribal lands.

  • July 25, 2017

    11 Attorneys General Sue EPA For Delaying Rules Regarding Chemical Accident Safety

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The attorneys general of 11 states on July 24 filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking review of the EPA’s decision to delay implementation of federal requirements preventing the release of toxic chemicals by chemical companies (State of New York, et al. v. E. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-1181, D.C. Cir.).

  • July 20, 2017

    Split Pennsylvania High Court: State Violated Law With Oil, Gas Lease Fund Plan

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court on June 20 partially reversed and partially vacated and remanded a lower court ruling and found that the commonwealth violated the state constitution when it planned to use $117 million from the state’s Oil and Gas Lease Fund to pay the commonwealth’s operating expenses (Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 10 MAP 2015, Pa. Sup.).

  • July 18, 2017

    Claims Against Driller’s CEO Largely Dismissed Without Prejudice By Magistrate

    PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on July 10 dismissed without prejudice claims against the chief executive officer of a drilling company in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by a company that rents hydraulic fracturing equipment (Get-Er-Done Drilling, Inc. v. US Crossing Unlimited, LLC, et al., No. 16-1426, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105770).

  • July 18, 2017

    3rd Circuit: Groups May Not Intervene In Fracking Case Dealing With Well Ordinance

    PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 17 ruled that environmental groups that sought to intervene in a lawsuit between a hydraulic fracturing company and a municipality regarding underground injection control wells (UICs) were not parties to the lawsuit and therefore could not challenge a consent decree reached between the company and the municipality (Seneca Resources Corporation v. Highland Township, et al., No. 16-3592, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12716).