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Category Archives: Regulatory

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Obama Administration Releases First Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review

Posted in Regulatory
The Obama Administration released the first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”), which focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (“TS&D”). The QER was first launched in Obama’s Climate Action Plan in June 2013, and is designed to provide an overview of and guidance for federal energy policy. The QER takes the form of… Continue Reading

Federal Government Releases Regulations for Fracking on Federal Lands

Posted in Regulatory
Last Friday, the Department of Interior released its final rule updating the regulations that govern hydraulic fracturing on federal public and American Indian lands. It covers standards for wells and well construction, disposal of wastewater, and disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process. These regulations have been in the works since 2012, and Interior… Continue Reading

Critical Habitat Designations Pose Substantial Threat to Oil and Gas Development

Posted in Regulatory
The federal government can restrict access to public lands for oil and gas drilling purposes through a number of means. Recently, President Obama’s proposal to designate millions of acres of land in Alaska as wilderness made the national press, as did his recent designation of forestlands in California as a national monument and his outright… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Litigation, Regulatory
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

EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative Data Tracks Agency Action in the Energy Industry

Posted in Regulatory
Recently released data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s National Enforcement Initiative demonstrate how intensely EPA’s enforcement program is focused on the oil and gas industry, especially within key shale plays and basins.[1] More specifically, this map overlays the location of concluded enforcement actions and inspections and evaluations between fiscal years 2011 and 2014 over… Continue Reading

Gov. Cuomo Bans Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State Following Issuance of Department of Health Report

Posted in Regulatory
On December 17, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) office announced that it was banning hydraulic fracturing in New York because of health concerns, following the issuance of a long-awaited public health review of hydraulic fracturing by the state’s Department of Health (see our previous coverage here). The decision of whether to allow hydraulic fracturing had become… Continue Reading

DOE Authorizes LNG Export from Freeport Terminal

Posted in Regulatory
The Department of Energy has issued the two final authorizations (here and here) for Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P., and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC (Freeport), to export domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement (FTA). The agency determined that, with record domestic production at 75.05 Bcf/d, the… Continue Reading

Presidential Monument Power May Allow Obama to Unilaterally Restrict Access to Public Lands

Posted in Regulatory
The final mid-term election of a presidency typically represents the last election of consequence for the President, and the point where Presidents demonstrate an increased willingness to take actions that are politically unpopular or controversial. While Presidential pardons are perhaps the most notable of these politically unpopular lame-duck actions, the President’s monument designation authority is… Continue Reading

Virginia Announces New Joint Fracking Review Process

Posted in Regulatory
Virginia recently announced a special joint review process between the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (“DMME”) and Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) of applications to use hydraulic fracturing in the commonwealth’s Coastal Plain.  The Coastal Plain provides about half of the freshwater used by Virginia residents, and one company has already proposed drilling in… Continue Reading

Department of Energy No Longer Issuing Conditional Approvals of LNG Export Licenses

Posted in Regulatory
The Department of Energy (“DOE”) has announced that it will no longer be issuing conditional approvals of export licenses for liquefied natural gas (“LNG”).  DOE will instead wait until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has approved environmental reviews for the projects, including rehearing requests, allowing DOE to focus its efforts on the applications of… Continue Reading

Study Finds Artificial Earthquakes Weaker

Posted in Regulatory
A recently released study has found that artificial earthquakes resulting from the use of disposal wells for produced waters and other oil and gas wastewaters are less intense, and in general about sixteen times weaker, than naturally occurring earthquakes. The peer-reviewed paper included analysis of eleven earthquakes occurring between 2011 and 2013 in Arkansas, Colorado,… Continue Reading

Agreement Leads to Withdrawal of Anti-Fracking Measures in Colorado

Posted in Regulatory
A group pushing two anti-fracking measures in Colorado has withdrawn the initiatives after reaching a deal with Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), who agreed to create a task force to make recommendations on how to minimize land-use conflicts in siting oil and gas facilities. The task force will consist of equal representation from energy companies, environmental… Continue Reading

Commerce Department Places Severe Restrictions on Fracking Equipment Sales to Russia

Posted in Key Documents, Regulatory
This post was prepared by guest bloggers Eric McClafferty (202-342-8841) and Michael Dobson (202-342-8517), attorneys in Kelley Drye & Warren’s Export Controls and Compliance Practice. Earlier today, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a Federal Register notice (79 Fed. Reg. 151, 45675-82) describing expanded export controls on Russia. BIS previously implemented severe restrictions on licensable… Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 33

Posted in Key Documents, Litigation, Regulatory
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