Hydraulic Fracturing: Ninth Circuit Grants Summary Judgment Against Federal Agencies in Offshore Drilling Case
On June 3, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment to environmental groups, the State of California, and the California Coastal Commission (together, “plaintiffs”) in their lawsuit against federal agencies including the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (together, “defendants”). Environmental Defense Center, et al. v. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, et al., No. 19-55526. The Ninth Circuit held that the defendants “violated environmental laws when they authorized unconventional oil drilling methods on offshore platforms in the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of California.”
Hydraulic Fracturing: Colorado Governor Signs Bill Requiring Disclosure of Chemical Products
On June 9, 2022, the Governor of Colorado signed Bill HB22-1348, Oversight Of Chemicals Used In Oil & Gas, into law. The bill requires disclosure of information on chemicals used in “downhole oil and gas operations” to the oil and gas conservation commission, which will then create yearly reports for the general assembly. The bill goes into effect on July 31, 2023.
Public Lands: BLM Issues Geologic Carbon Storage Policy
On June 10, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management sent out a press release announcing its new instruction memorandum for geologic carbon sequestration projects. The memorandum provided authorization procedures for the process of injecting and permanently storing carbon dioxide underground on public lands. Currently, no approved carbon sequestration projects on BLM lands exist, but the agency is processing two applications for lands in Wyoming and Montana, respectively.
Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:
Slowik & Knopp, California Court of Appeals Approves Staying PAGA Claims Under Exclusive Concurrent Jurisdiction Doctrine, (June 2, 2022)
Sartain & Blakey, No Off-Lease Gas Use Recovery For Royalty Owners, (June 6, 2022)
Sartain & Blakey, California Climate Change Suit Returns to State Court, (June 8, 2022)
McFarland, Capitol Hill Hearing Technologies to Reduce Methane Emissions, (June 8, 2022)
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FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register June 2 – June 10, 2022):
87 FR 35535: Notice Comments period ends 8/9/22: “Request for Information To Inform the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization” (6/10/2022).
Environmental Protection Agency
87 FR 35318: Proposed Rule, Comments period ends 8/8/22: “Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification Improvement Rule” (June 9, 2022).
87 FR 35608: Proposed Rule, Comments period ends 8/9/22: “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Gasoline Distribution Technology Review and Standards of Performance for Bulk Gasoline Terminals Review” (June 10, 2022).
87 FR 33824: Notice: “Oil Spill Final Restoration Plan 3 and Environmental Assessment: Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands, Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, Birds, and Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities; and Finding of No Significant Impact” (June 3, 2022).
87 FR 34131: Rule: “Export Administration Regulations: Revisions to Russia and Belarus Sanctions and Related Provisions; Other Revisions, Corrections, and Clarifications” (June 6, 2022).
87 FR 33727: Notice: “Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys Related to Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico” (June 3, 2022).
87 FR 33200: Notice, Comments period ends 8/1/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Non-Federal Oil and Gas Operations on National Wildlife Refuge System Lands” (June 1, 2022).
U.S. HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
H.R.8013 “To establish the Committee on Large-Scale Carbon Management in the Department of Energy and a Federal Carbon Removal Initiative, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (June 9, 2022)
H.R.7996 “To require congressional authorization for the drawdown and sale of petroleum products in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (June 9, 2022)
H.R.7963 “Strategic Petroleum Reserve Replenishment Act” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (June 7, 2022)
U.S. SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
S.4227 “A bill to streamline the oil and gas permitting process and to recognize fee ownership for certain oil and gas drilling or spacing units, and for other purposes.” Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining. Hearings held. (June 7, 2022).
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PRESS RELEASES
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 24- June 11, 2022)
52 Pa.B. 3326: “THE PENNSYLVANIA CLEAN STREAMS LAW AND THE FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT” APPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) PERMITS AND WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT (WQM) PERMITS UNDER THE CLEAN STREAMS LAW AND FEDERAL CLEAN WATER ACT (June 11, 2022).
HB2461: Act: “An Act providing for the leasing of subsurface rights on State forest and park property for oil and natural gas development; making an appropriation; and abrogating an executive order and other orders and administrative policies.” Referred to ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY [Senate].
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney