Category Archives: Litigation

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ESA Mega-Settlement Part II: CBD Files Notice of Intent to Sue Over 417 Species

The Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed on August 23, 2016 a Notice of Intent to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS” or “the Service”) over missed Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) 12-month finding deadlines for 417 species found across the nation, three-quarters of which are found in the southeastern United States. The upcoming … Continue Reading

Ruling on Pipeline Agreements in Sabine Chapter 11 Case Indicates Battles That Lie Ahead in Energy Company Bankruptcy Cases

This post is co-authored by Kelley Drye Bankruptcy attorney Ben Feder. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman ruled last week in the chapter 11 case of Sabine Oil & Gas that Sabine could utilize the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to “reject” certain agreements with pipeline operators.  This decision will permit Sabine to walk away from its obligations … Continue Reading

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Decision Upholds Importance of Conservation Agreements

On March 1, the oil and gas industry won a significant victory when the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) decision that conservation agreements supported by the industry obviated the need to list the dunes sagebrush lizard under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”).  Conservation Agreements are … Continue Reading

Sierra Club Sues Over Oklahoma Earthquakes

The Sierra Club has filed suit against three oil and gas companies operating in Oklahoma, alleging that the companies’ wastewater injection practices were behind the recent uptick in earthquake activity in the state. The petition, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on February 16, seeks relief under … Continue Reading

Compliance with the Clean Air Act Increasingly Unlikely to Protect Companies from Nuisance Suits

A recent decision out of the Sixth Circuit found that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt common law claims brought against an emitter based on the law of the state in which the emitter operates. This decision, Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, Inc., No. 14-6198, 2015 WL 6646818 (6th Cir. Nov. 2, 2015), … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 44

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 44 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, Louisiana, and Maryland. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate … Continue Reading

A New Weapon in the Fight for Land Development: Use of Takings Lawsuits to Challenge Local Fracking Bans

Owners of land with substantial oil and gas resources have begun using the “takings” concept of property law to challenge local bans on fracking. “Takings claims,” which traditionally involve the seizure of some or all of private property without just compensation to the owner, are now being expanded by plaintiffs to encompass the idea that … Continue Reading

Enviros Sue to Subject E&P Industry to Chemical Release Reporting Regime

Several environmental groups have sued EPA, seeking a decision on a 2012 petition (“2012 Petition”) they filed with the agency, which requests that EPA add oil and gas exploration wells to the list of facilities required to report releases of toxic chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory (“TRI”) pursuant to the Emergency Planning and Community … Continue Reading

Longmont Fracking Ban Struck Down

On July 24th, Boulder County District Judge Dolores Mallard struck down the Longmont, Colorado ban on hydraulic fracturing. The ban, which was passed in November 2013, amended the city’s charter to prohibit hydraulic fracturing. After some failed negotiations with the state, a suit challenging the law was brought a month later by the Colorado Oil … Continue Reading

Texas Jury Awards Nearly $3 Million to Family Alleging Health Problems from Natural Gas Wells

An April 22nd verdict by a Texas jury awarded $2.9 million to a family that alleged natural gas wells drilled on adjacent property by Aruba Petroleum Inc. caused significant health and economic difficulties. The jury’s five to one verdict found that although Aruba’s actions were not abnormal for the area, the company did take intentional … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 33

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 33 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Virginia. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate … Continue Reading
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