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Energy & the Law

Category Archives: Hydraulic Fracturing

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What’s Going On in Denton, Texas?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

As you probably know, the Denton City Council denied a petition signed by several thousand citizens to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits. The denial sent the question to the November 4 general election ballot.  Here is the proposition, its legalese in full bloom: SHALL AN ORDINANCE BE ENACTED PROHIBITING, WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE CITY OF DENTON, TEXAS, HYDRAULIC FRACTURING,… Continue Reading

Truth and Illusion in the Fracking Debate

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

“What is it like to live inside your head with Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny?” So asks the sister in “Bridges of Madison County” after the brother wonders if the Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood characters had sex all those years ago. And so it is from certain quarters in the hydraulic fracking debate who continue to… Continue Reading

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing, Regulations

Co-author Sandra Mazan In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets exemption from revealing the contents of hydraulic fracturing chemicals. The court also required the WOGCC, when deciding what a… Continue Reading

Frac(k)ing, Parr v. Aruba, and Minority Oppression

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing, Litigation

WHAT IS IT, FRACING OR FRACKING? Having gone back-and-forth over how to spell the process, I’ve figured it out. Why it is “Fracing”: That’s what the engineers call it, and they’re the ones who do it.  Some law firm blogs stand fast with their friends and agree.  It’s a gerund:  A noun formed from a verb by adding “-ing”.  So… Continue Reading

Are Personal Injury Damages Available in a Nuisance Case?

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing, Lease Disputes

Co-Author Maryann Zaki As promised, on May 22, today’s post is a study of the personal injury issues raised by the defendants in Parr v. Aruba. You will find a more detailed analysis here. In this post we raise the question and discuss what the parties believe the answer should be. The Havner Hurdle Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Havner established hurdles to a… Continue Reading

Barnett Shale Drilling Increased North Texas Ozone – Fact or Fiction?

Posted in Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

It’s been said that if you torture numbers, they will confess to anything. Perhaps we should call in a UN peacekeeping force to address the treatment of hydraulic fracturing in North Texas. A University of North Texas study presented to the North Central Texas Council of Governments by student Mahdi Ahmadi, working with his advisor… Continue Reading

A Plaintiffs’ Jury Verdict in a Texas Fracing Case

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing, Pollution

Co-author Maryann Zaki In case you’ve been living in your van down by the river, you’ve heard that a Texas jury awarded $2.9 million to landowners in a case involving alleged hydrocarbon exposure due to hydraulic fracturing operations. Here is the jury verdict. The Parrs sued Aruba Petroleum, alleging that drilling and fracing at Aruba’s 22 wells located within two miles of… Continue Reading

Is There Schizophrenia About Fracking?

Posted in Climate Change, Hydraulic Fracturing

Schizophrenia : A mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by impaired emotional responses. Common symptoms include delusions, such as paranoid beliefs; hallucinations and disorganized thinking. Somebody is crazy, or at least very, very wrong, about the hydraulic fracturing debate. Earthquakes and Fracking In the controversy over “frackquakes”, brave small-town citizens are standing up to the rapacious oil… Continue Reading

Technology Will Silence the Critics of Drilling

Posted in Climate Change, Hydraulic Fracturing

Technology and innovation will resolve the issues, real and imagined, that confront hydraulic fracturing. I arrive at that opinion because of history: Before 1914, France had three dozen airplanes, more than all other air forces in the world put together. Germany, Britain, Italy, Russia, Japan and Austria all had no more than four planes each… Continue Reading

Gasland II, Rebuked

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Gasland II made its villainous debut this week on HBO.  It‘s more egregious than the first in that it not only repeats disproven scenarios, but adds new ones that are equally misinformed. I complain about these injustices as a hobby, so don’t take my word for it. Listen to someone who makes a living understanding and explaining these matters.       Steve Everley of Energy in… Continue Reading

How Much Water Does Fracking Shale Gas Consume, and Where?

Posted in Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Jesse Jenkins of the Energy Collective ponders the question. He reports as follows: According to the US Energy Information Administration 27,000 new gas wells were completed in the U.S. in 2011, many of which were horizontal wells implementing hydraulic fracturing. Each well consumes 5 million gallons of water per well for fracking and completion. He… Continue Reading

A Look at Two Approaches to Oil and Gas Regulation

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

This is a tale of two regulatory schemes. First, there is the federal way, and I’m not making this up: In my last post we learned that if the BLM, when preparing its PRMP/FEIS (which in some incomprehensible way is different from a PRMP/EIS, but which nevertheless includes an RFD) which is issued by an EA and adopted… Continue Reading

Fracking Stymied on Federal Lands in California

Posted in Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

In an opinion with as many acronyms as the Dallas Cowboys have draft-pick detractors, a California federal court in Center For Biological Diversity v. Bureau of Land Management, held that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act in its assessment of oil and gas leases on federal lands in California. A “FONSI” – a Finding of No Significant Impact… Continue Reading

Who’s Against Fracking and What are They Saying?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

“Science is my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament.” Kenneth, 30 Rock Keeping in mind the importance of science, technology, and transparency in evaluating the safety and reliability of fracking, let’s take a look at some of the leaders in the anti-fracking movement. The results are worthy of your attention. Displaying an understanding of science… Continue Reading

Two States – Two Approaches to Fracking

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing

Two states recently addressed regulation of hydraulic fracturing of gas wells in two radically different ways.  Ohio The Ohio legislature has passed Senate Bill 315, to be signed by the governor, requiring reporting of information on all wells that are stimulated (If you go to the link, the new legislation is underlined).  To summarize: Operators and contractors injecting substances into the… Continue Reading

EPA Cries “Uncle”

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing

Invoking the spirit of Emily Litella, the Environmental Protection Agency offered a govenmental ”never mind” when it withdrew its emergency order that attempted to hold Range Resources responsible for contamination of drinking water on Parker County, Texas, well sites under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  Those who have followed this case know that several investigations into the EPA’s assertions showed no link… Continue Reading

Fracking: Safe and Essential or an Environmental Hazard?

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing

If you were wondering whether the debate over the safety and effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing has entered our national conciousness, check this out:    In a serious approach to the issue, the opinion magazine National Review recently joined in the conversation in a piece by Kevin Williamson, The Truth About Fracking – What the Protestors Don’t Know.  The focus is on the Marcellus… Continue Reading

Texas Has Frac Fluid Disclosure Rules

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing

Effective February 1, 2012, the Texas Railroad Commission implemented a new rule that will require operators and service and supply companies who disclose the chemical contents of fracking fluids.  This rule implements a statute passed in the 2011 legislative session.  The rule requires disclosure of the nature and content of additives and chemical ingredients used… Continue Reading