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Energy & the Law

Category Archives: Local Ordinances

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State Well Permit Prevails Over Local Zoning – Again

Posted in Legislation, Local Ordinances

Co-author Brooke Sizer The state laws of Louisiana regulating oil and gas exploration and production will trump local regulations. See St. Tammany Parish Government v. State of Louisiana, Office of Conservation. (Forgive us for that word that should be avoided in a civil society.)  The conflict St. Tammany is a home-rule charter parish that adopted a… Continue Reading

Reaping What You Sow – City of Dallas Sued by Trinity East Energy

Posted in Contract Disputes, Eminent Domain, Local Ordinances

Suppose I own a large tract of land in the region of the Barnett Shale, the exclusive right to allow (or prevent) drilling on the aforesaid land, and a desparate need for funds. You have $19 million and the desire to exploit the minerals. I take your $19 million, and when you ask for permission to drill I… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down Pro-Industry Law

Posted in Local Ordinances, Regulations

Author: Martin P. Averill In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the energy industry. By a 4-2 decision the Court struck down a 2012 law (commonly known as “Act 13”) aimed at preventing municipal interference with oil and gas exploration. Three different approaches Interestingly, the precise rationale for… Continue Reading

Dallas City Council Passes Draconian Drilling Ordinance

Posted in Local Ordinances, Regulations

It was a triumph of hysteria over common sense, a thrashing of science at the hand of ignorance, capitulation to a small but loud minority of NIMBY protestors. The City of Dallas has passed one of the strictest drilling ordinances in the country.  The ordinance amounts to a defacto ban on future drilling because of the requirement that no well can be closer than five football fields from… Continue Reading

Portions of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 Declared Unconstitutional

Posted in Energy Policy, Local Ordinances

In a victory for local control of oil and gas activity, or for environmentalists hoping to ban gas drilling altogether, or both, a Pennsylvania court struck down two major provisions of that state’s new oil and gas statute as unconstitutional. Act 13 of the Pennsylvania legislature, signed into law in February 2012, significantly amended the Pennsylvania Oil… Continue Reading

Taxes, Taxes, and More Taxes

Posted in Local Ordinances

John Maynard Keynes is no favorite of fiscal conservatives (There is more to like from Friedrich Hayek), but Mr. Keynes did have it right when he said, “The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward”. In two separate Texas suits, oil and gas producers are attempting to live out Mr…. Continue Reading

Dallas Task Force Recommends Drilling Ordinance

Posted in Local Ordinances, Regulations

The Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force has issued recommendations for regulation of hydraulic fracturing.  The task force focused on zoning requirements, permitting requirements, air quality issues, and water-related issues.  A few highlights: Locations will be more difficult to find. Wells must be 1,000 feet from residences, churches, schools and other community buildings.  Setbacks of 500… Continue Reading