WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the state of Louisiana have filed a reply brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it should dismiss as moot or reverse a case in which environmental groups challenge a federal hydraulic fracturing lease sale pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because the lawsuit is now “irrelevant.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A hydraulic fracturing operator has filed a reply brief in Ohio federal court arguing that it should issue judgment in its favor as to another fracking company’s liability on claims for breach of contract and declaratory judgment regarding overriding royalty interests in oil and gas deposits.
DENVER — A hydraulic fracturing company and its officers filed a brief in Colorado federal court responding to the objections raised by plaintiff shareholders who disagree with a magistrate judge’s report that recommends that their securities fraud action be dismissed. The company maintains that the report’s “comprehensive analysis of the complaint’s deficiencies is correct.”
ATLANTA — A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed and remanded a lower court ruling and has determined that genuine issues of material fact exist in a mineral rights dispute based on discrepancies in information pertaining to whether one of the parties drilled mineral samples on the property in question.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio appellate panel has affirmed dismissal of a hydraulic fracturing lease dispute on grounds that the oil and gas lease in question had not expired but had extended into a secondary term and remained in full force and effect and, therefore, the fracking operator was within its rights to continue production on the plaintiffs’ property.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An appellate panel in Ohio has affirmed a trial court’s decision and held that a hydraulic fracturing operator did not breach its lease with landowners regarding its payment of royalties in connection with a mineral rights contract.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hydraulic fracturing pipeline company has filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a landowner’s motion to defer consideration of his petition for writ of certiorari pending resolution of two separate cases, arguing that the case at hand does not cite either of the separate lawsuits, despite certiorari having been granted in those cases months before the instant petition was filed.
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has denied a petition for rehearing en banc sought by Roman Catholic nuns who disagreed with a panel’s decision that their opposition to a hydraulic fracturing pipeline underneath the grounds of their property pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) constituted a collateral attack on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of the project.
NEW ORLEANS — A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition for review sought by a group of shrimpers and fishermen related to a clean air permit dispute for a natural gas pipeline, ruling that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not act arbitrarily in its conclusions regarding the impact of pipeline construction on the environment and the need for compensatory mitigation.
SALT LAKE CITY — Three groups have filed a brief in Utah federal court arguing that they should be permitted to intervene in a lawsuit over the dimensions of two national monuments, the boundaries of which have potential implications for hydraulic fracturing, because the groups say they “have the full preservation of the Monument and protection of its objects of historic and scientific interest at the heart of their organizational missions.”
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) filed a brief in the Texas Supreme Court contending that it was within its discretion when it ruled against a hydraulic fracturing operator’s request to have the RRC force pooling of oil and gas resources on a parcel of land.
WHEELING, W.Va. — A mineral rights owner has filed a reply brief in West Virginia federal court contending that it should remand his hydraulic fracturing royalty dispute to state court on grounds that the federal court lacks jurisdiction.
ST. LOUIS — The federal government approved permits for a non-Indian energy company’s hydraulic fracturing well project along Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota on the reservation of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation after a complete vetting of the project and with full input from the tribe during the review process, the government says in defending a summary judgment ruling in its favor to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has filed a reply brief in Wyoming federal court supporting its motion to dismiss an oil company’s complaint that it has the right to drill on federal land without obtaining the BLM’s permission. The agency says subject matter jurisdiction is lacking because there was no final agency action and the United States has not waived sovereign immunity.
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma has partially granted and partially denied a hydraulic fracturing company’s attempt to have all charges for groundwater contamination against it dismissed, ruling that claims for public nuisance and successor liability are valid.
TORONTO — The organization Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) has released a report recommending a moratorium on the development of new natural gas wells across Canada and calling for an end to government subsidies for oil and gas companies, based on health information it gained studying individuals in British Columbia.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Environmental groups on Dec. 21 sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in Alaska federal court challenging the agency’s decision to hold a lease sale for offshore hydraulic fracturing in Cook Inlet on grounds that the final environmental impact statement (EIS) failed to adequately evaluate the environmental impact of drilling activity.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hydraulic fracturing company engaged in a federal lease dispute with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that it should deny a motion by an intervenor Native American group seeking to have the appeal assigned to the same panel that heard a prior, related appeal. The fracking operator says that while the attempt is “an understandable litigation tactic,” it is still “inappropriate.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three members of Congress on Dec. 15 filed an amicus curiae brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting the position of environmental groups that argue that a lower court correctly vacated a federal hydraulic fracturing lease sale because a review was needed pursuant to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
WACO, Texas — A federal magistrate judge in Texas has recommended that a fracking company be dismissed from a patent infringement action over pumping devices used on fracking wells.