Mealey's Fracking

  • February 18, 2020

    Groups:  President Trump Acted Without Authority When He Ordered Arctic Drilling

    SAN FRANCISCO — Environmental groups on Feb. 13 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a lower court correctly held that President Donald J. Trump acted “without statutory or constitutional authority when he ordered 128 million acres of permanently protected, public lands in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans to be opened to expedited, private industrial oil and gas development” (League of Conservation Voters, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Nos. 19-35460, 19-35461 and 19-35462, 9th Cir.).

  • February 18, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Orders Divided Argument In Fracking Pipeline Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 14 granted a motion by the U.S. solicitor general and determined that it will hold divided oral argument when it hears a case in which environmental groups and supporters of the hydraulic fracturing industry dispute whether a pipeline can be built across the Appalachian Trail (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1587, U.S. Forest Service, et al. v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1584, U.S. Sup. [consolidated]).

  • February 11, 2020

    D.C. Circuit Says With Artifacts Destroyed By Pipeline Work, Tribe Lacks Standing

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 dismissed a tribal historic office’s efforts to challenge construction of a natural gas pipeline across tribal lands, saying the office lost its standing when the pipeline work destroyed more than 20 ceremonial stone features the office was trying to protect (Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 19-1009, D.C. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 3766).

  • February 10, 2020

    Texas False Advertising Claims Yield $6.7M Award, Permanent Injunction

    HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 7 agreed with two plaintiffs that two defendants that falsely advertised their carbon steel flanges as standard-compliant must be permanently enjoined but stood by his earlier rejection of a jury’s $26 million disgorged profit award in the case on grounds that it is excessive (Boltex Manufacturing Co. LP, et al. v. Ulma Piping USA Corp., et al., No. 17-1400, S.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21770.).

  • February 10, 2020

    Groups:  Federal Agency Failed To Evaluate Fracking’s Effects In Central California

    LOS ANGELES — Environmental groups on Jan. 14 sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in California federal court, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent hydraulic fracturing across eight counties in California’s southern Central Coast and Central Valley region on grounds that the BLM has failed to evaluate the health effects of fracking on local communities (Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, et al., No. 20-371, C.D. Calif.).

  • February 10, 2020

    Court Should Reconsider Ruling On Mineral Rights, Pennsylvania Landowners Say

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two family trusts that own land on Jan. 29 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court contending that it should reconsider its ruling that their challenges to the mineral rights in a disputed deed were without merit because the decision is “inconsistent” with the controlling authority in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, et al. v. Thomas E. Proctor Heirs Trust, et al., No. 12-1567, M.D. Pa.).

  • February 07, 2020

    Group:  U.S. Supreme Court Should Consider Environmental Justice In Pipeline Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A nonprofit civil liberties organization on Jan. 22 filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, contending that the construction and operation of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured gas across portions of the Appalachian Trail would have a “disparate impact on people of color” and would contribute to the “continued systematic discrimination faced by racial minorities in matters of environmental justice” (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1587, U.S. Forest Service, et al. v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1584, U.S. Sup. [consolidated]).

  • February 07, 2020

    Fracking Company:  Pennsylvania Methane Remediation Order Is ‘Unreasonable’

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A hydraulic fracturing company on Feb. 4 filed a notice of appeal with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) contending that its order to remediate methane migration from a gas well is “unreasonable and unsupported by fact” (In the Matter of Range Resources Appalachia LLC, No. 2020014, Pa. EHB).

  • February 04, 2020

    U.S. Legislators Propose Bill To Ban Fracking Nationwide In 2025

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., along with other legislators, on Jan. 31 introduced a bill that would ban hydraulic fracturing nationwide, effective in 2025.

  • January 31, 2020

    FERC:  3rd Circuit Pipeline Ruling Will ‘Impair’ Natural Gas Act

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Jan. 30 said that the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision that affirmed the state of New Jersey’s power to prevent construction of a natural gas pipeline for which federal approval and eminent domain have already been granted “will substantially impair full application of” the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (PennEast Pipeline Company LLC, No. RP20-41-000, FERC).

  • January 24, 2020

    Solicitor General Seeks Divided Oral Argument In Supreme Court Pipeline Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. solicitor general, on behalf of the United States Forest Service (USFS) and other federal parties, on Jan. 22 moved in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a divided oral argument when it hears a case in which environmental groups and supporters of the hydraulic fracturing industry dispute whether a pipeline can be built across the Appalachian Trail (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1587, U.S. Forest Service, et al. v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1584, U.S. Sup. [consolidated]).

  • January 24, 2020

    Government Seeks Relief, Penalties Against Fracking Company For Well Violations

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. government on Jan. 22 filed a lawsuit for injunctive relief and civil penalties against a hydraulic fracturing company for violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at multiple oil and gas production facilities the government contends are liable for contaminating the air with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (United States v. Gulfport Energy Corporation, No. 20-340, S.D. Ohio).

  • January 24, 2020

    Judge Rules Navajo Tribe May Not Add Intervenors In Federal Fracking Dispute

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge in New Mexico on Jan. 21 ruled that members of the Navajo Tribe are not permitted to add more mineral rights and landowners as intervenors in a lawsuit brought by environmental advocacy groups against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the approval of hydraulic fracturing permits in the Mancos Shale Play (Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-703, D. N.M.).

  • January 23, 2020

    Fund Moves To Appoint Lead Plaintiff In Fracking Securities Fraud Class Action

    PHILADELPHIA — The Allegheny County Employees’ Retirement System (AERS) on Jan. 21 moved in a Pennsylvania federal court for the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico to be appointed as lead plaintiff in a class action against a hydraulic fracturing pipeline company, the executives of which the plaintiffs say committed securities fraud and coerced a Pennsylvania agency to get approval for the Mariner East 2 pipeline (Allegheny County Employees’ Retirement System v. Energy Transfer LP, et al., No. 20-200, E.D. Pa.).

  • January 22, 2020

    Pennsylvania High Court: Fracking Rule Of Capture Stands, Case Vacated, Remanded

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Jan. 22 vacated and remanded a case regarding the rule of capture, concluding that developers who conduct hydraulic fracturing operations may rely on pressure differentials to drain oil and gas from under another person’s property, at least in the absence of a physical invasion (Adam Briggs, et al. v. Southwestern Energy Production Company, No. 63MAP, 2018, Pa. Sup., 2020 Pa. LEXIS 343).

  • January 17, 2020

    Groups: U.S. Forest Service May Not Grant Right To Build Pipeline On Federal Land

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Environmental groups on Jan. 15 filed a response brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that the Appalachian Trail cannot be separated from the land that constitutes it; therefore, neither the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) nor any other federal agency can grant an oil or gas pipeline right-of-way that crosses the trail on federal land (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1587, U.S. Forest Service, et al. v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1584, U.S. Sup. [consolidated]).

  • January 13, 2020

    Right To Intervene In Delaware River Basin Fracking Case Debated At 3rd Circuit

    PHILADELPHIA — An attorney for three Pennsylvania state senators and counsel for the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on Dec. 9 debated at the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the senators’ right to intervene in a lawsuit over hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin (DRB), with the senators’ attorney insisting that “it’s hard to see how the senators don’t have an interest” in the case (Wayne Land and Mineral Group LLC v. Delaware River Basin Commission, No. 19-2354, 3rd Cir.).

  • January 13, 2020

    National Monuments Cases Against President Trump Valid, Group Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on Jan. 9 moved in District of Columbia federal court for partial summary judgment in consolidated lawsuits against the Trump administration concerning the reduction in size of national monuments, which would allow access to land for hydraulic fracturing, contending that there is no genuine issue of disputed material fact and, therefore, all of the plaintiffs in the consolidated actions are entitled to judgment as a matter of law (Hopi Tribe, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2590; Utah Diné Bikéyah, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2605; and Natural Resources Defense Council, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2606, D. D.C. [consolidated]).

  • January 13, 2020

    Panel Says Implied Covenant Of Development Not Violated In Fracking Lease Dispute

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An Ohio appellate panel on Dec. 9 affirmed a lower court ruling and held that a landowner’s claim for breach of contract regarding a hydraulic fracturing lease was properly dismissed because the implied covenant of reasonable development had not been violated (Thomas J. Pavsek v. Will Wade, No. 18 MO 0024, Ohio App., 7th Dist., Monroe Co., 2019 Ohio App. 5330).

  • January 13, 2020

    Landowners’ Mineral Rights Challenge Is Without Merit, Federal Judge Rules

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 18 ruled that landowners’ challenges to the mineral rights in a disputed deed were without merit and held that the commonwealth of Pennsylvania rightfully holds subsurface rights to oil and gas available for hydraulic fracturing (Pennsylvania, et al. v. Thomas E. Proctor Heirs Trust, et al., No. 12-1567, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 217042).

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