CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A federal judge in Wyoming on Jan. 7 granted a mineral rights owner’s motion for reconsideration of the district court’s ruling to quash subpoenas she filed against energy companies in an antitrust lawsuit pertaining to the monopolization of hydraulic fracturing rights. The judge held that the mineral rights owner “significantly narrowed the scope” of the subpoena and in so doing took “reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden” on the companies.
PITTSBURGH — A geologist who performed land evaluations for energy companies in exchange for a share of royalties from any hydraulically fractured oil or gas produced on the land he surveyed filed an amended complaint Jan. 10 in Pennsylvania federal court contending that the energy firms breached their contract with him by improperly deducting costs from the money it paid him.
SEATTLE — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 reversed and remanded a lower court’s decision and held that a hydraulic fracturing company had satisfied the requirements to intervene in a federal lease dispute.
LAKE CHARLES, La. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on Dec. 27 filed a brief in Louisiana federal court arguing that it should dismiss the amended complaint in a case in which hydraulic fracturing trade groups argue that the DOI violated federal law by not holding regular fracking lease sales, on grounds that the lawsuit “suffers at least three threshold defects.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Jan. 10, the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments and questioned attorneys regarding whether the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) conducted a flawed environmental analysis for oil lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hydraulic fracturing pipeline company on Jan. 7 filed a final joint brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that the arguments of environmental groups seeking to prevent construction of the pipeline lack merit and that the project should continue because its federal authorization was upheld years ago.
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana, along with 12 other states, on Jan. 6 filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that President Joseph R. Biden Jr. violated federal laws when he issued an executive order halting federal hydraulic fracturing lease sales, which the states say deprived them of revenue to which they are “statutorily entitled.”
GALVESTON, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 6 dismissed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the cancellation of a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying that the case is moot because the company that had been building the pipeline abandoned the project.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hydraulic fracturing pipeline company on Dec. 20 filed a supplemental brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that its petition for review is not mooted by the fact that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the company’s application for a temporary certificate for the construction of the pipeline pending completion of proceedings at the circuit court level.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A state court panel in Pennsylvania in a Nov. 30 unpublished opinion struck down part of a city ordinance to limit hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the city had improperly used its legislative authority in approving the portion of the ordinance that was based on a Census Bureau map that had not been updated with current information regarding population density.
PITTSBURGH — A hydraulic fracturing company on Dec. 14 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court opposing class certification in a breach of contract case on grounds that the leaseholders’ motion to certify is premature.
PITTSBURGH — A man who says he has an ownership interest in a hydraulic fracturing valve system that is used by a valve manufacturing company on Nov. 16 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court contending that the company’s motion to dismiss his intellectual property case should be denied because he says he has “more than adequately” established the basis for the relief he seeks.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A shareholder in an oil and gas exploration company on Dec. 13 sued the company and its officers in New York federal court contending that they violated federal securities laws when they issued false and misleading statements that caused him and other investors to purchase stock at artificially inflated prices.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With no conflict in authority and no important issue presented, a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by pipeline company Dakota Access LLC challenging an ordered environmental analysis for a pipeline project should be denied, tribal respondents argue in their Dec. 16 brief in opposition in the U.S. Supreme Court.
DENVER — A Native American association and environmental groups filed a brief in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 16 arguing that a lower court erred when it dismissed their case against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in which they argued that the agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by predetermining the outcome of its NEPA analysis for hydraulic fracturing permits in the Mancos Shale formation.
BISMARCK, N.D. — A magistrate judge’s recommendation to grant summary judgment to the Department of the Interior (DOI) and an energy development company on an Indian tribe’s claims that the government acted arbitrarily in issuing permits for a hydraulic fracturing drilling project should be rejected and the permits should be revoked because the well sites endanger the tribe’s only supply of drinking water, the tribe argues in Dec. 17 objections to the recommendation.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The citizen group and the medical doctor seeking reversal of a lower court’s ruling pertaining to a hydraulic fracturing ordinance on Dec. 17 filed a reply brief in California Supreme Court contending that the underlying opinion in the appeals court “establishes a novel test for preemption” that conflicts with the Supreme Court’s precedents.
DALLAS — A shareholder in a hydraulic fracturing company on Dec. 15 sued the company and its officers in Texas federal court alleging that they violated securities laws when they filed “materially incomplete and misleading” documents in connection with a planned merger.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A hydraulic fracturing company on Nov. 29 filed a brief with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) arguing that residents who allege that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) erred in its finding that the fracking operator did not contaminate their water supply should not be allowed to amend an interlocutory order because they offer no facts to support the “ambiguous request for relief” and they have failed to comply with the EHB’s rules.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Federal agencies on Nov. 16 filed an answer in Alaska federal court contending that environmental groups lack standing and fail to state a claim in their challenge to the incidental take regulation (ITR) issued by those same federal agencies that allows the Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) to “take” polar bears and walruses to pursue hydraulic fracturing in Alaska’s Northern Slope.