Pipelines: Pennsylvania DEP Accepting Public Comments on Transco Pipeline
On October 5, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) held a virtual public hearing on permit applications for earth disturbance and water obstructions for the Regional Energy Access Expansion Pipeline project by Transco. The project would go through Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and York counties. The DEP is also accepting written comments on the permit applications until October 12, 2022, per its press release from September.
Environmental Impact Statements: Federal Court Orders Redo of Montana Mine Environmental Impact Analysis
On September 30, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, Billings Division, issued an order directing recompletion of an environmental impact analysis for granted state and federal permits for a proposed expansion of Westmoreland Rosebud Mining’s mine. Montana Env’t Info. Ctr. V. Haaland, et al., No. 1:19-cv-00130. The court gave the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 19 months to redo its research, finding that the agency did not properly consider the environmental impacts of the mine.
LNG Exports: Lawsuit Filed Challenging FERC’s Orders Declaring No Jurisdiction Over Nopetro’s Florida LNG Facility
On September 28, 2022, Public Citizen, Inc. filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging orders by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the Port St. Joe, Florida LNG Facility owned by Nopetro. Public Citizen v. FERC, Case No. No. 22-1251. FERC’s initial order declared the Port St. Joe facility was not subject to its jurisdiction, and the subsequent order affirmed. If affirmed, these orders would exclude the facility from NEPA review.
Regulation: Biofuel and Low Emissions Fuel Bills Introduced in Pennsylvania Senate
On October 3, 2022, the Pennsylvania Senate introduced SB 1338, the Biofuel and Low Emission Transportation Fuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act (Biofuel Act), and SB 1339, the Alternative Low-Emission Transportation Fuels Incentive Act (Fuels Act). According to a memo by Sen. Gene Yaw, the Biofuel Act would provide incentives and a registration process for “low carbon transportation fuels, including RNG [Renewable Natural Gas.]” The Fuels Act would authorize grants and rebates to provide financial incentives for the use of low-emission fuels such as LNG, hydrogen, and biofuels.
Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:
Bloomberg, Gazprom Halts Gas Supplies to Italy in Latest Energy Battle (October 1, 2022)
McFarland, Who owns rights to store oil in an underground salt cavern? (October 3, 2022)
Spiegeleir & Tigre, GUEST COMMENTARY: THE ROLE OF HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS IN TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE: A CASE STUDY OF THE PHILIPPINES (October 5, 2022)
Bloomberg, White House Takes Closer Look at Controversial Gasoline Export Ban Option (October 5, 2022)
Sartain, More Climate News You Don’t Often Hear (October 5, 2022)
Energy Connects, Neptune Energy to extend gas supplies to UK this winter (October 7, 2022)
Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks September 30, 2022- October 7, 2022:
Nationwide Work Starts to Plug Abandoned Gas and Oil Wells (Wall Street Journal)
OPEC+ Discusses Cutting Oil Output (Rigzone)
LNG shipping rates ‘shooting for the stars’ at $500,000 per day (American Shipper)
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Penn State Farmland Energy Legal Podcast: Listen to the latest episode here.
FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
ICYMI: DOE Brings Constructive Tribal Clean Energy Summit to Close (October 6, 2022)
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register September 30 – October 7, 2022):
Environmental Protection Agency
87 FR 61014: Notice: “Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability” (October 7, 2022)
87 FR 60897: Rule, Effective Date 11/7/22: “Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extensions of the Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Areas Classified as Marginal for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (October 7, 2022)
87 FR 60816: Rule, Effective Date 12/5/22: “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters” (October 6, 2022)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
87 FR 59870: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 11/17/22: “Accounting and Reporting Treatment of Certain Renewable Energy Assets” (October 3, 2022)
87 FR 61009: Notice, Comments Close 11/7/22: “Agency Information Collection Extension” (October 7, 2022)
87 FR 61152: Rule, Effective Date 11/7/22: “Streamline and Update the Department of Transportation Acquisition Regulation (TAR Case 2020-001)” (October 7, 2022)
87 FR 60338: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 11/4/22: “Airworthiness Criteria: Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for the Insitu Inc. ScanEagle3 Unmanned Aircraft” (October 5, 2022)
87 FR 60213: Notice, Comments Close 11/3/22: “Monthly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations” (October 4, 2022)
87 FR 59783: Notice: “Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys Related to Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico” (October 3, 2022)
87 FR 59816: Notice, Comments Close 12/2/22: “Intent To Request an Extension From OMB of One Current Public Collection of Information: Pipeline Corporate Security Review Program” (October 3, 2022)
U.S. HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
H.Res.1260 “Of inquiry requesting the President, and directing the Secretary of Energy, to transmit to the House of Representatives certain information relating to plans to draw down and sell petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and plans to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” Placed on the House Calendar, Calendar No. 142. (September 30, 2022)
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PRESS RELEASES
DEP Collects $147,250 from Rice Drilling B LLC for Violations in Greene County (October 6, 2022)
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 41- October 8, 2022)
SB 1338: “An Act amending the act of July 10, 2008 (P.L.1009, No.78), known as the Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act, further providing for short title of act and for definitions; providing for low emission transportation fuel incentive and for registration and other requirements; and further providing for department authority and responsibility and for infrastructure reports.” Referred to ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY [Senate] (October 3, 2022)
SB 1339: “An Act amending the act of November 29, 2004 (P.L.1376, No.178), known as the Alternative Fuels Incentive Act, further providing for title of act, for short title of act, for definitions and for Alternative Fuels Incentive Fund; repealing provisions relating to biomass-based diesel production incentives; further providing for annual report; and repealing provisions relating to interfund transfer.” Referred to ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY [Senate] (October 3, 2022)
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant