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Category Archives: Hydraulic Fracturing

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Truthiness and Truth Edition

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Truthiness: A quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively, “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination or facts. Today we explore truthiness in action. Let’s start with the loftiest bully pulpit in the land. The Washington Post gave President… Continue Reading

Who Needs A Master Service Agreement?

Posted in Contract Disputes, Hydraulic Fracturing

You do, whether you are a vendor or an operator. Matador Production Company vs. Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems, Inc. is a treatise on what can go wrong with a frac job: Failure of pumps, worker inexperience, failure of the “delayed release gel breaker”, failure to clean gel hoses, failure to pump enough gel and proppant, loss of materials, profuse apologies, invoices,… Continue Reading

Fracking, Trigger Warnings, and a Safe Room

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

First, an apology. I have brought shame to my own self and this blog for failing to invoke trigger warnings about activities I will mention again, after the appropriate trigger warning. (I had no idea there were so many.) Trigger Warning This post will refer to activities in oil and gas production as they are commonly described in the industry…. Continue Reading

Lipsky Revisited – Details and Debate

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing, Litigation, Pollution

I often wonder if anybody actually reads our modest, quasi-weekly offerings. They do! And they respond! To criticize!  I earn my keep being “critiqued” by impatient judges, aggressive opposing counsel and, occasionally, less-than-happy clients, so – challenge accepted. “Critique” One: Lipsky was not Range’s lessor, therefor I know nothing about the case. Surely, this person lives in my house, where I enjoy a… Continue Reading

How Are the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute and Jade Helm 15 Alike?

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing, Litigation, Pollution

May a court “draw rational inferences from circumstantial evidence” when determining if a plaintiff  has met its burden in a suit in which the defendant has invoked the Texas Citizens Participation Act . That was the question in In re Lipsky. What is The Anti-SLAPP Statute? The purpose of the TCPA (the “Anti-SLAPP” statute) is to protect citizens from… Continue Reading

A Scourge Worse than Fracking!

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing

Allen Gilmer of DrillingInfo.com warns us about a threat to the nation’s health and safety that makes hydraulic fracturing look like a kindergarten cupcake party (if there were still such a thing).  What’s worse is this scourge is not limited to communities where there is oil and gas production. The young seem to be most afflicted. See the link to Allen’s blog post: http://info.drillinginfo.com/whats-more-dangerous-puppies-or-fracking/ As long… Continue Reading

Meanwhile in Texas … Who Should Decide About Fracking?

Posted in Energy Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

Who should decide when, where, how, and even if, hydraulic fracturing should occur? The locals: “You hypocrites Our good public servants in Austin want ‘local control’ when its against Washington, but deny us the same right.  We know better than you about what’s best for our community. To hell with catastrophic litigation exposure and declining tax revenues. If you didn’t get a regular royalty check and had to… Continue Reading

Frackers v. Anti’s – Scoring update

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy, Hydraulic Fracturing

The box scores after election day showed frackers 4, anti’s 4. Courtesy of a gubernatorial grand-slam by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, hydraulic fracturing is now banned throughout the entire state of New York. In this ballgame within a ballgame, it’s Yoko and Shawn, the likes of Moveon.org , and wealthy Manhattanites: 1 Mineral owners, asthmatics, underemployed up-staters, and cash-starved municipalities: 0 Producers… Continue Reading

Election Scoreboard: Frackers 4, Anti’s 4

Posted in Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing bans had eight at-bats last Tuesday. Here are the results. Denton, Texas See the Ballot Question in a recent entry. YES 58.64% NO 41.36% Athens, Ohio “To establish a community bill of rights for residents and natural communities of Athens and to protect those rights by prohibiting shale gas and oil extraction and related activities; and by… Continue Reading

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