CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A hydraulic fracturing company on Oct. 22 filed a reply brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that its process of subtracting costs when calculating royalties for holders of hydraulic fracturing leases is proper based on clauses in the contracts at issue and that the plaintiffs have failed to plead a fraud claim sufficiently.
LAKE CHARLES, La. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on Oct. 27 filed a brief in Louisiana federal court arguing that it should not consolidate a hydraulic fracturing lawsuit filed by fracking industry trade groups with another one brought by Louisiana and other states against the Biden administration, contending that the case filed by the trade groups challenges federal agency actions “outside the scope” of the action filed by the states.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The state of North Carolina on Nov. 1 sued a company in state court contending that discharge from its oil and gas pipeline has polluted local groundwater on private property, as well as in the Oehler Nature Preserve.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 2 proposed a rule to reduce methane emissions that will set limits on the oil and gas industry by addressing the process of venting and flaring excess methane at well sites and will update rules for pipelines by requiring operators to eliminate leaks.
DENVER — On Nov. 1, shareholders in an oilfield services company filed a brief in Colorado federal court seeking class certification of their securities fraud lawsuit, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court has “repeatedly stressed” the importance of class actions in redressing wrongs committed under federal securities laws.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board should reject allegations by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. that a patented, fully electric method and system for monitoring and controlling a hydraulic fracturing operation would have been obvious, the patent owner maintains in an Oct. 21 filing.
FORT WORTH, Texas — An equipment company on Oct. 28 filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court seeking declaratory judgment that it is not infringing patents held by a hydraulic fracturing company for machinery used in drilling operations. The court issued a summons Oct. 29 ordering the fracking operator to answer the complaint.
MONROE, La. — President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Oct. 6 filed an answer in Louisiana federal court contending that it lacks jurisdiction to rule on a lawsuit brought against the president related to his executive order halting new federal hydraulic fracturing leases because the plaintiffs failed to give notice 60 days before filing a citizen suit seeking to compel the administration to comply with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Oct. 14 filed a brief with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB), arguing that residents have not established that the DEP erred when it found that a hydraulic fracturing company did not contaminate their water supply and, therefore, the EHB should deny the residents’ motion for summary judgment.
PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania legislators on Sept. 27 filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a lower court’s decision that they lacked standing to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) regarding its moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin (DRB) is “fundamentally inconsistent” with standing precepts in Article III of the U.S. Constitution.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Oct. 15, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. denied a petition for a stay sought by a hydraulic fracturing pipeline company that wanted to prevent a circuit court’s ruling from taking effect, according to a note on the docket. The company had opposed the circuit court’s decision, which vacated an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorizing the pipeline’s construction.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 18 granted permission to a pipeline operator to file a petition for a writ of certiorari with a sealed supplemental appendix in which the operator seeks reinstatement of an easement for the pipeline beneath sacred Indian lands and reversal of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals finding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “acted unlawfully” in approving the easement.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its second time weighing in on a request for attorney fees incurred by declaratory judgment plaintiffs accused of infringing a patent used in the hydraulic fracturing industry, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 14 upheld an award by a North Dakota federal judge.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appellate panel on Oct. 12 affirmed a lower court ruling and held that state law preempts a local ordinance passed by Monterey County that prohibits drilling new oil and gas wells and reinjecting produced water back into the ground.
PHILADELPHIA — An order of Roman Catholic women on Oct. 13 filed a notice of appeal in Pennsylvania federal court, indicating that they will take their opposition to a hydraulic fracturing pipeline to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Sept. 27, energy companies filed a reply brief in Wyoming federal court contending that it should reconsider its decision to quash their subpoenas against a nonparty oil and gas company in an antitrust lawsuit pertaining to the monopolization of mineral rights related to hydraulic fracturing in local shale plays, arguing that the court’s ruling was “clearly erroneous” because the magistrate judge wrongly held that the defendants do not need a subpoena because they can obtain the information they seek from other sources.
DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Sept. 28 remanded to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) a hydraulic fracturing lease dispute in which environmental groups argue that the agency violated federal law when it approved leases on certain federal lands because the BLM relied on environmental assessment documents that were outdated.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Businesses that are intervenors in a federal hydraulic fracturing lease dispute between an energy trade group and the Biden administration on Oct. 5 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court contending that the state of Wyoming’s challenge to a “fictitious” national “moratorium” is barred by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Oct. 5, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released the findings of a grand jury that concluded that Sunoco Pipeline LP “criminally failed to properly report and address the environmental hazards created by its operations during the entirety” of the project to build the Mariner East 2 Pipeline (ME2), which would carry hydraulically fractured gas across Pennsylvania to refineries in Marcus Hook, Pa.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Two Native American tribes on Oct. 1 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court arguing that an energy company failed to sufficiently allege that an arbitration panel exceeded its authority or manifestly disregarded the law when it ruled that the company’s preferential right to hydraulic fracturing leases is not an absolute right.