Mealey's Fracking

  • August 12, 2019

    Groups:  Writ Of Mandamus Needed For Records About Possible Fracking Site

    DENVER — Residents, environmental organizations and nuclear workers advocacy groups on July 31 moved in Colorado federal court for a writ of mandamus ordering the U.S. government to provide records that pertain to a grand jury that investigated the actions of Rockwell International Corp. at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) former weapons-grade plutonium-239 processing facility, Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, which is now being considered as a site for hydraulic fracturing operations (Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups, et al. v. United States of America, No. 19-76, D. Colo.).

  • August 09, 2019

    Counsel Debate Royalty Calculations In Fracking Lease Case Before 6th Circuit

    CINCINNATI — Attorneys for a hydraulic fracturing company and those for a class of leaseholders on June 19 debated before the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the correct method of calculating royalties under certain fracking leases and disagreed about what was truly the central issue in the case (Zehentbauer Family Land LP, et al. v. Chesapeake Exploration LLC, et al., No. 18-4139, 6th Cir.).

  • August 09, 2019

    Shareholder:  Fracking Company Misleading Statement Violated Securities Law

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A shareholder in a company that builds and maintains hydraulic fracturing wells on July 29 filed a class action in Delaware federal court contending that the company violated federal securities laws when it filed a misleading registration statement in its attempt to sell the company to another entity through a wholly owned subsidiary (Chad Wuollet v. C&J Energy Services Inc., et al., No. 19-1411, D. Del.).

  • August 09, 2019

    Groups:  Conference Needed In National Monuments Cases Against Trump Administration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Environmental advocacy groups on July 30 moved in District of Columbia federal court for a status conference in their consolidated lawsuits against the Trump administration, arguing that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has damaged Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by authorizing a contractor to collect data in the area as part of land use planning efforts (The Wilderness Society, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2587, Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2591, D. D.C. [consolidated]).

  • August 09, 2019

    Fracking Services Company Files For Bankruptcy Due To ‘Depressed’ Oil Prices

    HOUSTON — A company that provides hydraulic fracturing services on July 1 filed a declaration in federal bankruptcy court in Texas stating that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the combination of “prolonged, depressed oil prices and the resulting reduction in demand” for its products (In re:  Weatherford International Plc., No. 19-33694, S.D. Texas Bkcy.).

  • August 09, 2019

    Confidentiality Agreement Breached; Trade Secrets May Be Involved, Judge Says

    HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 6 ruled that a software company’s former employee breached a confidentiality agreement related to material used in hydraulic fracturing simulation applications that may contain trade secrets.  However, the judge said the scope of the breach must be determined at trial (M-I LLC v. Q’Max Solutions Inc., et al., No. 18-1099, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131275).

  • August 07, 2019

    Fracking Company, Former Employees Settle Trade Secrets Case For $1.6M

    DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Aug. 5 approved a consent order that settled a trade secret violation case between a hydraulic fracturing company and its former employees as the company agreed to pay $1,625,000 in unpaid compensation and the former employees agreed not to use the information they took (Wolf Resources LLC v. Cody Derner, et al., No. 19-515, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130043).

  • August 07, 2019

    Native American Mineral Owners Want Fracking Despite Tribe’s Lawsuit Over Permits

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A group of Native American mineral rights owners filed a brief in New Mexico federal court on Aug. 6 seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups against the Trump administration for alleged violations of federal law in connection with approval of hydraulic fracturing permits.  The mineral rights owners, who support fracking in their region, contend that it is a sacred Navajo right to pursue “economic opportunity” (Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-703, D. N.M.).

  • August 07, 2019

    Group:  Trump Administration Violated Law Related To Fracking Information Request

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An environmental advocacy group on July 26 filed a complaint in District of Columbia federal court contending that the Trump administration has wrongfully withheld records related to the group’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, as it pertains to information about hydraulic fracturing activities on federal land (WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Secretary of the Interior, et al., No. 19-2233, D. D.C.).

  • August 06, 2019

    Tribe:  Delay In Objecting To Fracking Pipeline Valid Based On Federal Regulations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Native American tribe on Aug. 2 filed a brief in the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals contending that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s argument that the tribe should have intervened earlier in its objection to the construction of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured gas across tribal lands is not valid because FERC’s own regulations required it to engage in off-the-record negotiations first (Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 19-1009, D.C. Cir.).

  • August 06, 2019

    8th Circuit Affirms Injunction Barring Tribal Court Claims Against Gas Companies

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A tribal court lacks jurisdiction over declaratory and injunctive relief claims filed by oil and gas companies seeking to halt the tribal court and tribal members from prosecuting the members’ lease royalty claims against them, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Aug. 5 (Kodiak Oil & Gas [USA] Inc., et al. v. Jolene Burr, et al., Nos. 18-1824, 18-1856, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23368).

  • August 01, 2019

    16 States Say U.S. High Court Must Hear Pipeline Case; Lower Court Ruling ‘Wrong’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sixteen states filed a joint amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on July 29, arguing that the Fourth Circuit’s decision that the federal government violated federal law and lacked statutory authority to grant the permit for a hydraulic fracturing pipeline is wrong and the Supreme Court must hear the case because the lower court’s ruling makes it “impossible” for any federal agency to grant an easement under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18A1181, and United States Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18A1182, U.S. Sup.).

  • July 30, 2019

    Trump Administration:  Tribe’s Opposition To Fracking Permits ‘Has No Merit’

    TULSA, Okla. — The Trump administration on July 26 filed a brief in an Oklahoma federal court arguing that none of the claims raised by Native Americans who oppose federal permits for hydraulic fracturing on tribal land has merit and that their claim that the administration violated federal law should be denied (Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 16-cv-697, N.D. Okla.).

  • July 30, 2019

    Panel: State Law Not ‘Unconstitutional’ Regarding Use Of Fracking Lease Funds

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on July 29 found that the Pennsylvania Fiscal Code and the Supplemental General Appropriations Act of 2009 are not “facially unconstitutional” with regard to how they appropriate funds received from hydraulic fracturing leases in the state (Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Pennsylvania, et al., No. 228 M.D. 2012, Pa. Cmwlth.).

  • July 24, 2019

    Judge:  Local Exception Valid, Fracking Earthquake Case Belongs In State Court

    TULSA, Okla. — A federal judge in Oklahoma on July 23 remanded to state court a class action against oil companies regarding earthquake damage allegedly caused by hydraulic fracturing operations, ruling that the local exception requirement to federal class action law had been met (James Adams v. Eagle Road Oil LLC, et al., No. 18-568, N.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122424).

  • July 24, 2019

    Fracking Sand Company Files For Bankruptcy Due To Decline In Demand

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A company that provides sand for hydraulic fracturing operations on July 15 filed a petition in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, saying a decline in demand and “burdensome” transportation costs have forced it to restructure its business (In re: Emerge Energy Services LP, No. 19-11563, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • July 23, 2019

    Panel: Pennsylvania Agencies Have Regulatory Authority Over Fracking Sites

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on July 22 ruled that state agencies had the statutory authority to set hydraulic fracturing regulations pertaining to drilling sites, spill remediation, the storage of waste water and the process of reporting waste at fracking sites (The Marcellus Shale Coalition v. Department of Environmental Protection of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 573 MD 2016, Pa. Cmwlth., 2019 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 672).

  • July 16, 2019

    Groups:  Trump Administration Violated Law In Approving Arizona Fracking Leases

    PHOENIX — Environmental advocacy groups on July 15 sued the Trump administration in Arizona federal court, contending that government agencies approved oil and gas leases for hydraulic fracturing “without ever analyzing the impacts of these leases on local communities, public lands, wildlife, and the environment” (Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Raymond Suazo, et al., No. 19-8204, D. Ariz.).

  • July 15, 2019

    Trump Administration: Court Erred In Finding Lease Cancellation ‘Arbitrary’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration on July 11 filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that a district court erred when it held that delay alone may be the basis for determining that an agency action is arbitrary and capricious with regard to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) cancellation of a fracking lease (Solenex LLC v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 18-5345, D.C. Cir.).

  • July 15, 2019

    Fracking Groups Seek Stay Of Methane Rule Case To Assess Related Lawsuits

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Two hydraulic fracturing industry groups on June 28 moved in Wyoming federal court contending that the state of Wyoming’s case against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) related to its Methane and Waste Prevention Rule should be stayed to assess the effect of the ongoing challenges to the rule (Wyoming, et al. v. United States Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-280, D. Wyo.).

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