Mealey's Fracking

  • August 02, 2023

    Briefly: FERC Says Pipeline Case Is Now Moot, Should Be Dismissed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) moved in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to dismiss a petition filed by environmental groups that oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline, arguing that the petition is moot because Congress has ratified FERC’s orders approving the pipeline through its passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).

  • August 02, 2023

    Briefly: Pipeline Companies To Pay $12.5M In Penalties For 2 Oil Spills

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has reached a consent agreement with two pipeline companies under which they will pay a combined $12.5 million in civil penalties for violating safety laws and the Clean Water Act (CWA) in connection with oil spills in Montana and North Dakota.

  • August 02, 2023

    Climate Change Law Group Says Court Must Vacate Willow Project Master Plan

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An academic think-tank affiliated with Columbia Law School that is focused on issues pertaining to climate change filed an amicus curiae brief in Alaska federal court seeking to advise the court “on the errors underpinning” the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) approval of the Willow Project and “the consequences of allowing the project to proceed without an adequate analysis of alternatives and climate change impacts.”

  • August 01, 2023

    Mineral Owners’ 2nd Amended Complaint Seeks Class Status For Royalty Dispute

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mineral rights owners filed a second amended complaint on July 31 in Ohio federal court seeking to make their lawsuit against a hydraulic fracturing operator and a drilling company for “intentionally, knowingly, and unlawfully” underpaying royalties on lease agreements a class action, saying there are “hundreds” of mineral interest owners that are affected by the defendants’ conduct.

  • August 01, 2023

    Fracking Operator Joins Agency’s Motion To Dismiss Dispute Over Fracking Report

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A hydraulic fracturing operator joined a motion to dismiss filed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the state Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) in an appeal filed by a resident who says the DEP failed to act in response to contamination of his water supply from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that were used in fracking operations. The operator adopts the DEP’s argument that the resident attempts to “bootstrap” other general claims of DEP inaction regarding soil and air concerns that are outside the EHB’s jurisdiction.

  • August 01, 2023

    Appellate Panel: Fracking Operator Has Exclusive Rights To Produced Water

    EL PASO, Texas — A split appellate panel in Texas affirmed a lower court’s decision that held that, based on the language and context of the mineral leases in dispute, a hydraulic fracturing operator has the exclusive right to the oil and gas product stream, including the produced water, contrary to the claims of a water well services company.

  • July 31, 2023

    Pennsylvania Appeals Panel Affirms Fracking Injury Award Of More Than $1.3M

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — In an unpublished nonprecedential opinion, a Pennsylvania appellate panel has affirmed an award of $1,304,906.17 in damages to a man who was injured while working on an oil rig, ruling that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in various procedural decisions made throughout the trial.

  • July 27, 2023

    U.S. Supreme Court Vacates Stay, Says Mountain Valley Pipeline May Proceed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 27 granted a motion to vacate the stay orders issued by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that halted development of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

  • July 26, 2023

    Damage Caused By Insured’s Fracking Work Is Not Occurrence, Panel Reiterates

    PHILADELPHIA — Following a panel rehearing, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 25 reiterated that an insurer owes no coverage to its insured for damages to natural gas wells caused by the insured’s fracking work because neither faulty workmanship nor failure to perform a contract in a workmanlike manner can be construed as an occurrence as required by the policy.

  • July 13, 2023

    4th Circuit Stays Development Of Mountain Valley Pipeline Pending Review

    RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel stayed development of the Mountain Valley Pipeline pending an appeal by environmental advocacy groups that say the approval of the project violates federal law.

  • July 10, 2023

    Fracking Company:  Agency’s Failure To Process Permits Calls For Immediate Relief

    DENVER — A hydraulic fracturing operator has moved in Colorado federal court seeking immediate mandamus relief, arguing that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has failed to process the company’s applications for permits to drill (APDs) in a manner consistent with the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), which it says establishes obligatory procedures related to APDs.

  • July 10, 2023

    Pipeline Company Says Groups’ Bid For Stay Fails Because Court Lacks Jurisdiction

    RICHMOND, Va. — Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (MVP) filed a response to supplemental authority in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that the court should deny a motion for a stay of agency actions sought by pipeline opponents because the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) removes the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the petition and “shows that Petitioners cannot prevail on the merits.”

  • July 07, 2023

    Amici Support Groups’ Bid To Stay Pipeline Case Based On Separation Of Powers

    RICHMOND, Va. — Legal scholars filed an amicus curiae brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that it should grant a stay sought by environmental groups that oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) pending a review of the approval granted to the pipeline project by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) because “an act of Congress violates the separation of powers when it directs the result in pending litigation without amending substantive law.”

  • July 06, 2023

    Willow Project Master Plan, Wrongly Approved Twice, Violates Law, Groups Say

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Environmental groups filed an amended complaint in Alaska federal court seeking declaratory relief against federal agencies for their second approval of a master plan for an oil and gas development plan in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) known as the Willow Project, after a federal judge vacated the government’s initial approval of the plan for violating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

  • July 06, 2023

    Native Alaskans, Others Say Willow Project Wrongly Approved, Federal Law Violated

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Native American group and environmental organizations filed an amended complaint in Alaska federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against federal agencies for their decision to approve the Willow Master Development Plan for the hydraulic fracturing operation referred to as the Willow Project, arguing that the plan was wrongly approved because it violates multiple federal laws.

  • July 06, 2023

    Judge Stays Compliance Order, Says Fracking Company May Continue To Operate

    DENVER — A state court judge in Colorado has granted a stay requested by a hydraulic fracturing company that allows it to continue operating despite an order from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) finding that the company violated a compliance agreement by not storing and treating fracking waste in a manner that protects public health.

  • July 06, 2023

    Royalty Owner Says Fracking Company’s Bid To Compel Arbitration Is Invalid

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A mineral rights owner filed a brief in Ohio federal court opposing a hydraulic fracturing operator’s motion to compel arbitration in a royalty payment dispute, arguing that the provision in the mineral lease that purports to require arbitration of the claim is invalid under Ohio’s general principles of contract law.

  • June 30, 2023

    Patent Dispute Over Tool Used In Oil, Gas Drilling Industry Partly Reinstated

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that although a Texas federal judge correctly construed two disputed claim terms, his subsequent finding of noninfringement with regard to a patented tool and method for moving oil and gas drilling pipes must be reversed, in part.

  • June 30, 2023

    Insurer Says 3rd Circuit Properly Found Faulty Workmanship Is Not Occurrence

    PHILADELPHIA — Rehearing of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of an insurer in a dispute over coverage for damages to natural gas wells caused by the insured’s fracking work is not warranted because the panel correctly found that neither faulty workmanship nor failure to perform a contract in a workmanlike manner can be construed as an occurrence under the policy at issue, an insurer says in response to the insured’s petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc.

  • June 29, 2023

    Fracking Company Says Bid To Quash Subpoena In Abandoned Wells Case Fails

    WHEELING, W.Va. — A hydraulic fracturing company has filed a brief in West Virginia federal court contending that it should deny a landowner’s motion to quash a subpoena in a case pertaining to abandoned wells on jurisdictional grounds and because the landowner has not met his burden for resisting discovery.

  • June 28, 2023

    Residents Say City Violated Law By Approving Permit Altering Drilling Zone

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Residents have sued Arlington, Texas, in a state court alleging that the city council violated the state law on open meetings when it approved a permit for oil and gas wells after failing to post adequate notice of the company’s application.

  • June 26, 2023

    Fracking Sand Company CEO Denies Allegations In Securities Fraud Case

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The CEO of a company that was sued for securities fraud related to its business of selling allegedly high-quality sand used as a proppant for hydraulic fracturing operations has filed an answer to the amended complaint in the case, denying all allegations.

  • June 26, 2023

    Company Says Archdiocese Is Wrong About Jurisdiction In Drilling Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — An energy company has filed an opposition brief in a California court arguing that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles erroneously claims that the court lacks jurisdiction to rule on the company’s complaint for breach of contract in relation to a dispute over the operation of an oil and gas production facility on land owned by the archdiocese.

  • June 23, 2023

    Federal Judge: Trespassing Pipeline On Tribal Land Must Be Shut Down In 3 Years

    MADISON, Wis. — An Indian tribe is entitled to permanent injunctive relief and monetary damages for the past and continued trespass of an oil pipeline that crosses the tribe’s reservation because it runs along easements that have expired and the threat of rupture has increased due to the movement of a river, a Wisconsin federal judge held in ordering the pipeline’s owner and operator to cease operations on the reservation within three years.

  • June 23, 2023

    Groups Sue Agency For Allowing More Drilling In San Joaquin Valley Of California

    FRESNO, Calif. — Environmental advocacy groups on June 22 sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in California federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for alleged violations of federal law as a result of the BLM’s approval of drilling permits on public land in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

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