Mealey's Fracking

  • September 19, 2019

    Pipeline Company Tells High Court 4th Circuit Ruling Is ‘Profoundly Wrong’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A pipeline company on Sept. 11 filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that it should review a lower court’s ruling that blocked the construction of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured oil and gas through portions of national forest land on grounds that the ruling “erroneously converts the Appalachian Trail into a 2,200-mile barrier to critical infrastructure” (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, et al., No. 18-1587, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 18, 2019

    Shareholder Names Fracking Company, Others In Stock Drop Suit

    SAN ANTONIO — A shareholder on Sept. 16 filed a securities class action lawsuit against a provider of hydraulic fracturing and complementary services to leading upstream oil and gas companies, certain of its senior executives and others in Texas federal court, alleging that the defendants failed to disclose certain business and financial issues with the company in Securities and Exchange Commission documents issued in preparation of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in violation of federal securities laws (Richard Logan v. ProPetro Holding Corp., et al., No. 19-217, W.D. Texas).

  • September 17, 2019

    Briefly:  Court Orders Parties To File Briefs In Light Of Similar Pipeline Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A clerk in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 13 issued an order telling the parties in a pipeline dispute to file briefs concerning how a similar, related pipeline lawsuit affects the case at hand (Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 18-1224, D.C. Cir.).

  • September 12, 2019

    Appellant To Panel: Cross-Appellant View Of Patent Is Wrong

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In competing reply briefs recently filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an appellant and cross-appellant continue to debate the essence of a disputed fracking patent, as well as whether the panel possesses appellate jurisdiction in the case (EnerPol LLC v. Schlumberger Technology Corp., Nos. 2019-1079, -1120, Fed. Cir.).

  • September 11, 2019

    3rd Circuit Vacates Ruling; Pipeline Company’s Eminent Domain Power Limited

    PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 10 vacated and remanded a district court ruling and held that claims brought by a pipeline against the state of New Jersey should be dismissed because the pipeline company does not have all the rights of the federal government with regard to the power of eminent domain simply by virtue of the fact that the government delegated some of that power to the company (In re PennEast Pipeline Company LLC, No. 19-1192, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27254).

  • September 09, 2019

    Tribal, Environmental Groups: Fracking Group Not Entitled To Intervene In Case

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Native American tribal group and advocates for the environment on Sept. 5 filed a brief in New Mexico federal court, arguing that a hydraulic fracturing trade group “failed to establish” that it should be allowed to intervene in a dispute over drilling permits issued by the Trump administration because its interests are already “adequately represented” by other parties (Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 19-703, D. N.M.).

  • September 05, 2019

    Judge:  Expert Witness Excluded In Part; Counterclaims Denied In Gas Migration Case

    WICHITA, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas on Sept. 3 dismissed two separate counterclaims brought by hydraulic fracturing operators against a gas storage company and partially granted the storage company’s motion to exclude the companies’ expert witness in a long-running legal dispute over the migration of stored natural gas to the property used by the fracking companies (Northern Natural Gas Company v. L.D. Drilling Inc., No. 08-1405, D. Kan., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149372).

  • September 05, 2019

    6th Circuit Affirms Class Certification For Landowners In Fracking Lease Suit

    CINCINNATI — Certification of a class of landowners suing for unpaid royalties under fracking leases was appropriate once the plaintiffs dropped their claim that the leases were breached when oil and gas was sold at below-market prices and stipulated that they will proceed only with their post-production-costs theory of liability, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 15 (Zehentbauer Family Land, LP, et al. v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al., No. 18-4139, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24289).

  • September 05, 2019

    Split Panel Vacates Injunction In Dispute Over Texas Fracking Ordinance

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A divided Texas appellate panel on Aug. 22 dissolved a temporary injunction and remanded a dispute between a hydraulic fracturing company and a town to trial court, concluding that the company did not show that an ordinance that imposes fines would lead to “irreparable injury” (Flower Mound v. EagleRidge Operating LLC, No. 02-18-00392, Texas App., 2nd Dist., Fort Worth, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 7561).

  • September 05, 2019

    Colorado Judge Reopens Case On Local Fracking Bans

    BOULDER, Colo. — A Colorado judge on Aug. 23 reopened a lawsuit in which the Colorado Supreme Court had previously held that local bans on hydraulic fracturing, as well as ordinances against the storage of fracking waste within city limits, are preempted by state law (Colorado Oil & Gas Association, et al. v. City of Longmont, Colo., et al., No. 2013CV63, Colo. Dist., Boulder Co.).

  • September 05, 2019

    Judge Denies Mandamus In Dispute Over Fracking At Former Nuclear Site

    DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Sept. 4 denied a petition for a writ of mandamus sought by residents, environmental organizations and nuclear workers advocacy groups that wanted to order the U.S. government to provide records that pertain to a grand jury that investigated the actions of Rockwell International Corp. at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) former weapons-grade plutonium-239 processing facility, Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, which is now being considered as a site for hydraulic fracturing operations.  The judge ruled that the petitioners did not cite any legal authority for the proposition that they are entitled to the business records they seek (Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups, et al. v. United States, No. 19-76, D. Colo.).

  • September 04, 2019

    Municipality Says It Should Not Have To Pay Sanctions To Fracking Company

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania municipality on Aug. 9 filed a reply brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it should not have to pay sanctions against it that were won by a hydraulic fracturing company because political subdivisions in Pennsylvania are entitled to a stay (Pennsylvania General Energy Company LLC v. Grant Township, No. 19-2472, 3rd Cir.).

  • September 03, 2019

    Judge Upholds Mineral Contract Verdict Against Fracking Company

    CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on Aug. 29 denied a hydraulic fracturing company’s motion to alter a judgment issued by a jury in favor of a leaseholder couple that alleged breach of contract, but stayed the execution of the judgment pending a recalculation of prejudgment interest (Arnold K. Richards, et al. v. EQT Production Company, No. 17-50, N.D. W.Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147332).

  • September 03, 2019

    Briefly: Trump Administration, Company Say Pipeline Opponents Cannot Show Harm

    RICHMOND, Va. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Aug. 29 filed a brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that a stay sought by groups that oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry hydraulically fractured oil and gas through West Virginia and Virginia, should be denied because the groups cannot show that they will suffer irreparable harm (Wild Virginia, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., No. 19-1866, 4th Cir.).

  • September 03, 2019

    Briefly: Pennsylvania Fines Pipeline Company $319,461

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Aug. 29 announced that it fined Sunoco Pipeline LP $319,461 for discharges of hazardous chemicals related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which is scheduled to transport hydraulically fractured oil and gas from shale formations in Pennsylvania to refineries in Marcus Hook, Pa.

  • August 29, 2019

    Wyoming: 2016 Methane Rule Exceeded Authority; Revision Was Proper

    SAN FRANCISCO — The state of Wyoming on Aug. 26 moved in California federal court for dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the states of California and Wyoming against the Trump administration related to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) revision of a 2016 rule that regulated venting and flaring of methane gas at hydraulic fracturing facilities.  The state contends that the revision was proper because the BLM exceeded its statutory authority when it issued the rule in 2016 (California, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 18-5712, N.D. Calif.).

  • August 29, 2019

    Indians Seek $100 Million From Government For Class Members’ Gas, Oil Royalties

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma are back in federal court over their rights to royalty payments from oil and gas operations on tribal land, filing a class complaint Aug. 21 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeking more than $100 million in damages from the government (William S. Fletcher, et al. v. United States, No. 1:19-cv-01246, Fed. Clms.).

  • August 23, 2019

    Group:  Agency Must Produce Interior Documents Related To Energy Interests

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An environmental group on Aug. 21 filed a complaint against the Trump administration under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to compel compliance with the group’s request for communications among Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, individuals at his former lobbying firm and members of the oil and gas industry (Western Values Project v. U.S. Department of the Interior, No. 19-2527, D. D.C.).

  • August 23, 2019

    Briefly:  Groups Say Federal Agency’s Pipeline Impact Review Was Too Narrow

    RICHMOND, Va. — Environmental groups on Aug. 21 moved for a stay of an opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) related to the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which would carry hydraulically fractured oil and gas through parts of West Virginia and Virginia, on grounds the FWS’s analysis of the impact the pipeline would have on the local environment was too narrowly focused (Wild Virginia, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., No. 19-1866, 4th Cir.).

  • August 12, 2019

    Trump Administration:  Fracking Lease Cases Fail Based On Jurisdiction, Mootness

    SALT LAKE CITY — The Trump administration on Aug. 8 moved in Utah federal court to dismiss two consolidated cases challenging federal hydraulic fracturing leases, contending that the district court lacks jurisdiction and that one of the groups’ cases is “moot” (Friends of Cedar Mesa v. U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., No. 19-13, and Southern Utah Wilderness Association v. David Bernhardt, No. 19-266, D. Utah).