Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

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Monthly Archives: February 2012

2011 Pipeline Capacity Additions

Posted in Energy
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has a new report on pipeline capacity additions last year:  "The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that U.S. natural gas pipeline companies added about 2,400 miles of new pipe to the grid as part of over 25 projects in 2011. New pipeline projects entered service in parts of the U.S. … Continue Reading

Has NY Missed the Gas-Drilling Boom?

Posted in Energy
That’s the question asked in this article from The Journal News.  Their answer:  "Most experts say no, but several said low natural-gas prices could have an effect on the pace drillers set in New York should the state allow high-volume hydrofracking." And why is pace important?  From the Times-Tribune, regarding the slow down in Pennsylvania:  … Continue Reading

PA Pipeline Safety Article

Posted in Energy
The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article on pipeline safety regulation in Pennsylvania:  "Pennsylvania regulators are taking steps to begin safety checks of some natural gas pipelines in the Marcellus Shale regions – hiring inspectors and drafting new rules that will bring the state in line with the rest of the nation. *** But a dispute … Continue Reading

USACE Reissues Nationwide Permits – Wells Pad Construction Now Covered

Posted in Environment
Last week the United States Army Corps of Engineers reissued 48 of the 49 existing nationwide permits that authorize certain activities requiring Clean Water Act 404 permits. The Federal Register notice, published February 21, 2012, can be found here.  The prior version of NWP 39, permitting certain Commercial and Institutional Development activities, excluded coverage for the constuction of … Continue Reading

Ohio EPA Oversight Costs a Thing of the Past?

Posted in Environment
Paying Ohio EPA its “oversight costs” (administrative costs) might be a thing of the past?  A recent Ohio First Appellate District decision (Ohio v. Mass Realty) suggests that parties under an Order are not obligated to make such payments.  This is a very interesting decision that Ohio EPA chose not to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.  If you … Continue Reading

Choke Points: Pipeline Infrastructure

Posted in Energy
The WSJ has an interesting article on the need for more take-away infrastructure in the Bakken:  "The reason for Clearbrook crude’s big discount to WTI is much the same as for WTI’s big discount to Brent: logistics. The volume of oil heading into Clearbrook has surged. North Dakota’s output in 2005 was below 100,000 barrels … Continue Reading

PA Impact Fees

Posted in Energy
Pennsylvania counties may soon be imposing impact fees according to this report from CBS News:  "After Gov. Tom Corbett signs a bill passed by state lawmakers this week, county commissioners or county council members in about 35 counties will have 60 days to decide whether to impose the 15-year impact fee on their local Marcellus … Continue Reading

MarkWest Processing Plant Coming to Harrison County, Ohio

Posted in Energy
At least that’s the report from the Dover-New Philadelphia Times Reporter:  "Colorado-based energy company involved in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas has announced plans to build a processing facility in Harrison County.  MarkWest Energy Partners, with corporate offices in Denver, said the plant is expected to begin initial operations in mid-2013." Interesting… Continue Reading

Recorder’s Office Sees Boom

Posted in Energy
This article from cleveland.com takes a brief look at the leasing activity in Ohio from inside the recorder’s office.  It begins:  "Paul McKeegan has served two decades as Jefferson County Recorder, but nothing has prepared him for what’s occurred in his Steubenville office over the past year.  His once-sleepy office has become a bustling, elbow-to-elbow … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: Myth and Reality

Posted in Energy, Environment
We thought you might be interested in this column on several myths told about hydraulic fracturing.  A sample:  "Those who oppose the practice say that chemicals in fracking fluids can pollute water tables that lie just a few hundred feet or less below the surface. In rock formations like the Marcellus shale, a deposit in … Continue Reading

PA: Blanket Assignments Upheld

Posted in Energy
Recently, an appellate court in Pennsylvania affirmed, on mandamus, the ability of oil and gas producers to record blanket lease assignments.  See Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC v. Golden, Case No. 883 C.D. 2011 (Jan. 27, 2012).  From the decision (among other things):  "Next, the Recorder asserts that Chesapeake is not entitled to mandamus relief because it has available the … Continue Reading

House Hearing on U.S. EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Research in Pavillion, WY

Posted in Energy, Environment
We thought you might be interested in the testimony at a recent House Subcommittee hearing on U.S. EPA’s hydraulic fracturing research in Pavillion, WY.  For example, from Tom Doll, State Oil & Gas Supervisor, Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission:  "The Pavillion Draft Report was issued with incomplete data and technically inadequate conclusions.  There was … Continue Reading

Ohio EPA Pulls Water Quality Rules Package

Posted in Environment
Ohio EPA first introduced a water quality rule package in 2006 – intended to cover water quality standards, 401 certifications and antidegradation.  The most recent reintroduction of that rule package was filed in December 2011, three days before Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) program was to take affect.  The CSI program requires rules to undergo economic … Continue Reading

“Everything You Know About Peak Oil Is Wrong”

Posted in Energy
That’s the title to an article in BusinessWeek looking at past claims of economic collapse due to exhausted natural resources.  A sample:  "Start with oil. In 1971, the Limits to Growth team forecast that the world’s supply would run out 10 years from today. And yet according to renowned oil analyst Daniel Yergin, technology advances … Continue Reading

New Ohio Air Permit

Posted in Energy, Environment
Ohio EPA has issued its final air pollution shale oil and gas well-site general permit.  "This general permit covers all operations involved in an oil and gas well site during the production phase of the well. This includes glycol dehydration units, natural gas and diesel engines, storage tanks, flares, and ancillary equipment."  You can view it and … Continue Reading