SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) have reached a settlement that calls for the BLM to conduct a supplemental environmental analysis (EA) in response to the CBD’s lawsuit against the agency related to its decision to open California’s Bay Area and Central Coast to hydraulic fracturing.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Groups that advocate for hydraulic fracturing activity in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) have moved in Alaska federal court seeking summary judgment declaring the Biden administration’s actions unlawful with regard to his decision to issue a moratorium on federal lease sales in that region.
DALLAS — Investors have filed a brief in Texas federal court contending that it should deny a motion to dismiss a hydraulic fracturing securities fraud case against Exxon Mobil Corp. because new facts included in the shareholders’ amended complaint “are sufficient to support direct, corporate and scheme liability.”
TRENTON, N.J. — The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on Dec. 7 announced that it unanimously approved a final rule prohibiting the discharge of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations in the basin, including wastewater that may be exported into the basin.
HOUSTON — Shareholders in a putative class action against a hydraulic fracturing company and three of its senior executives moved in Texas federal court for certification of the class on grounds that securities cases are “particularly well-suited” for class certification.
DENVER — A hydraulic fracturing company and its officers have filed an objection to a magistrate judge’s report even though it recommends that a securities fraud class action against the defendants be dismissed, arguing that the report allows the plaintiff shareholders to amend their complaint, which would be their fourth chance to state a claim.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The state of Wyoming has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in Wyoming federal court contending that its cancellation of federal oil and gas lease sales for hydraulic fracturing in Wyoming was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.”
ST. LOUIS — Federal government officials “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in approving 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, the tribe says in an opening brief in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a summary judgment ruling for the government defendants.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council in a unanimous vote with three council members absent on Dec. 2 passed a resolution banning new oil wells and calling for existing wells to cease operation within the next 20 years.
ADA, Ohio — A research study conducted by a team at Ohio Northern University that was provided to Mealey Publications on Dec. 1 finds that excessive withdrawals of water in the Ohio River basin for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing operations constitute a threat to aquatic ecosystems.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 30 published a U.S. oil company’s memorial asserting that the Slovak Republic caused it to lose more than $568.2 million in potential profits by failing to remove protesters from a work site and imposing unnecessary regulatory requirements, thereby indirectly expropriating its investment.
MONTROSE, Pa. — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Nov. 29 announced that hydraulic fracturing company Coterra Energy Inc. will pay $16.29 million for the construction of new public water supply lines in Dimock Township after it pleaded no contest to charges that it committed environmental crimes related to discharging methane into local groundwater.
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin Indian tribe and the operators of a crude oil and natural gas pipeline were ordered by a federal judge on Nov. 28 to meet and come up with a joint plan to deal with a possible rupture of the pipe at a river crossing on the tribe’s reservation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An environmental group has filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that its lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) related to the federal lease sale for hydraulic fracturing in the Gulf of Mexico is not moot because, contrary to the DOI’s argument, the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) does not affect a court’s ability to grant effective relief for the claims in the case, and it is silent on the central question in the appeal.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A hydraulic fracturing operator filed a brief in Ohio federal court arguing that it should deny another fracking company’s motion for summary judgment on all claims in a breach of contract case related to two assignments of overriding royalty interests (ORRI) in oil and gas deposits because the other company cites no authority for its position.
WHEELING, W.Va. — A hydraulic fracturing company has removed to West Virginia federal court a royalty dispute brought by a mineral rights owner who seeks a declaration from the district court that he is the lawful owner of the oil and gas rights under a specific estate and is therefore entitled to all related royalty payments.
SAN FRANCISCO — A hydraulic fracturing operator has filed an opening brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that an environmental group that is challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) approval of 667 fracking leases is also attempting to deny the operator’s due process rights to defend their specific leases. The operator argues that it is a necessary party to the litigation.
SALT LAKE CITY — Environmental advocacy groups on Nov. 22 moved in Utah federal court seeking to intervene in a lawsuit pertaining to the dimensions of two national monuments, arguing that it is entitled to intervention as a matter of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) because the size of the monuments has implications for potential hydraulic fracturing activity in the region.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Chevron U.S.A. Inc. has filed a brief in California Supreme Court arguing that a local ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing is “not a true land use regulation in the relevant sense” and contending that the environmental groups who filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the measure fail to identify any “locality-specific land use justifications” for the ban.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that it should not review a petition filed by landowners who oppose a hydraulic fracturing pipeline on grounds that the petition lacks merit and does not conflict with precedent.