Oil and Gas Leasing: Environmental Groups File Suit Challenging Peregrine Program
On August 25, 2022, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s approval of Emerald House’s Peregrine “oil and gas exploration” program in Alaska. Sierra Club, et al., v. Bureau of Land Mgmt. The Peregrine program is a five-year, year-round program set to appraise oil and gas in the Alaskan Reserve, involving drilling, construction and deconstruction of drilling sites, and fossil-fuel powered flights and transportation in and out of the Reserve. The conservation groups claim BLM failed to sufficiently analyze potential emissions from the Peregrine program in its Environmental Impact Statements, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Pipelines: FERC Grants Extension of Time to Mountain Valley Pipeline
On August 23, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a request for an extension of time filed by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, for its eponymous pipeline project. FERC received notices of intervention and comments from individual landowners and interest groups. While some parties argued in favor of an extension in order for property restoration to continue in a timely fashion, other parties commented that Mountain Valley lacked good cause for an extension and that the project no longer served the public’s interest. FERC determined that there was good cause and sufficient public interest for the project to continue with an extension of time. Mountain Valley now has until October 13, 2026, to finish its pipeline.
Pipelines: Environmental Group Challenges East 300 Upgrade Project
On August 15, 2022, the environmental group Food & Water filed a petition seeking review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the East 300 Upgrade Project (“the project”). Food & Water Watch v. FERC, Docket No. 22-1214. The East 300 Upgrade Project includes the construction of compressor stations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The petition claims FERC failed to consider whether the project would comply with the emissions reduction requirements in the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
GHG Emissions: California Bans Gas-Powered Car Sales Effective 2035
On August 24, 2022, the California Air Resources Board voted to approve the Advanced Clean Cars II Regulations, which would require all vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission vehicles starting in 2035. The regulations do allow for conventional vehicles to continue to be used on the roads after 2035, and plug-in hybrid vehicles may continue to be sold after 2035.
Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:
McFarland, Should I Sell Carbon Credits? A Decision Guide for Ranchers (August 19, 2022)
Energy Connects, TotalEnergies and Eni announce major offshore gas discovery off Cyprus (August 22, 2022)
Webb, The New Methane Emissions Charge: One (Limited But Important) Stick In The Inflation Reduction Act, (August 23, 2022)
Sartain & Brown, Busted Land Transaction Violated the Statute of Frauds (August 24, 2022)
Energy Connects, Shell and Energy Transfer sign 20-year LNG deal (August 25, 2022)
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FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
EPA settles with L.A.-Area Amalie Oil for violating Clean Water Act (August 23, 2022)
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register August 20– August 26, 2022):
Environmental Protection Agency
87 FR 52487: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 9/26/22: “Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation; GA; Redesignation of the Atlanta, Georgia 2015 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to Attainment” (August 26, 2022)
87 FR 52337: Rule: “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New York; Oil and Natural Gas Control Measures” (August 25, 2022)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
87 FR 51974: Notice, Comments Period Ends 9/23/22: “Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-604); Comment Request; Extension” (August 24, 2022)
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
87 FR 52224: Rule: “Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines: Repair Criteria, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments” (August 24, 2022)
87 FR 52411: Notice, Comment Period Ends 9/26/22: “Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group; Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #7.1: Terrebonne HNC Island Restoration Project” (August 25, 2022)
Ocean Energy Management Bureau
87 FR 52443: Rule: “Adjustment of Service Fees for Outer Continental Shelf Activities” (August 26, 2022)
87 FR 51359: Notice: “Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Marine Site Characterization Surveys” (August 22, 2022)
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PRESS RELEASES
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 35- August 27, 2022)
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney