National Energy Policy: Department of Energy Oil Sale and Repurchasing Policies Announced
On October 18, 2022, a fact sheet posted on the White House website announced a Notice of Sale by the Department of Energy to release up to 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), beginning on October 19, 2022. The purpose of the release is to lower energy costs, according to a press release by the DOE. Additionally, the DOE finalized a rule to repurchase crude oil for the SPR once the price oil is “at or below about $67-$72 per barrel.”

Infrastructure: DOE Requests Feedback for Rural Energy Improvement Program
On October 14, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it had issued a formal Request for Information seeking public input on its $1 billion Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program. According to the press release, the purpose of the program is to make energy systems in those areas more “resilient” to climate change and to support economic opportunity. The DOE also said it expects to announce funding opportunities for project proposals in 2023.

Oil and Gas Regulations: Court Reverses EPA’s Decision Denying Suncor Exemption from Clean Air Act
On October 17, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit published an opinion reversing the decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which had denied Suncor Energy, Inc. an exemption from the Clean Air Act for its Colorado oil refineries. Suncor Energy Inc. v. EPA, No. 19-9612. The court ruled that the definition of “refinery” as used by the EPA lacked clarity and explanation by the agency. Suncor had originally been granted an exemption from the Clean Air Act’s mandate to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard Program by having both its East and West Colorado refineries treated as separate “small refineries.”

Climate Change: New Jersey Files Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas Companies Alleging They Misled Public
On October 18, 2022, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General announced it had filed a lawsuit in New Jersey state court against five oil and gas companies and a petroleum trade association, alleging the defendants misled the public about climate change. Platkin, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al. The petition accuses the organizations of “inflating and sustaining the market for fossil fuels” which then cost the state of New Jersey billions of dollars in climate change impacts. The petition also requests an injunction to stop the “deception” and  civil monetary damages for said costs.

Pipelines: Enbridge to Pay Over $11M in Settlements for Line 3 Pipeline Violations
On October 17, 2022, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources announced that, as a result of investigations into Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline project, the company would settle and pay over $11 million and begin “environmental restoration” projects. The violations found included water quality violations and discharges into surface waters and wetlands at 12 locations.


Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:

McFarland, Does the Railroad Commission have to plug P-13 wells? (October 14, 2022)

Sartain, Beware Assignor: Own the Leases Before You Reserve the Override (October 17, 2022)


Bloomberg, White House Planning Oil Reserve Release Announcement This Week (October 18, 2022)

Bloomberg, Oil Rises as China Debates Cut to Virus Quarantine for Travelers (October 20, 2022)

Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks October 14–21, 2022:

Another SPR crude oil sale announced, revised purchase policy unveiled (Oil & Gas Journal)

Pa. moves natural gas well emissions rule forward, seeks to beat federal deadline (Shale Impact)

EC greenlights joint control of German LNG Terminal by KfW and Gasunie (Offshore Energy)

Energy transition to gather pace in Europe while the rest of the world lags, DNV finds (Offshore Energy)

API releases study on benefits of low-carbon hydrogen produced from natural gas (Daily Energy Insider)

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Penn State Farmland Energy Legal Podcast: Listen to the latest episode here.



DOE Invests $14 Million to Enhance Environmental and Wildlife Benefits from Solar Energy Infrastructure (October 17, 2022)

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $30 Million from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Speed Up Wind Energy Deployment (October 18, 2022)

DOE Announces Continued Action To Protect American Consumers And Address Global Supply Disruption Caused By Putin’s Energy Price Hike (October 18, 2022)

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $2.8 Billion to Supercharge U.S. Manufacturing of Batteries for Electric Vehicles and Electric Grid (October 19, 2022)

Biden-Harris Administration Launches $250 Million Program To Strengthen Energy Security For Rural Communities (October 20, 2022)


EPA Settlement Holds Tanker Truck Company Accountable for Two 2021 Oil Spills in Athol and Revere, Mass. (October 20, 2022)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register October 14–21, 2022):

Energy Department

87 FR 63588: Rule: “Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Electric Motors” (October 19, 2022)

87 FR 63860: Rule: “Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for VRF Multi-Split Systems” (October 20, 2022)

Environmental Protection Agency

87 FR 63061: Notice: “Pesticide Registration Maintenance Fee: Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations” (October 18, 2022)

87 FR 63950: Rule: “Parent Company Definition for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting” (October 21, 2022)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

87 FR 63487: Notice: “Sunshine Act Meetings” (October 19, 2022)

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

87 FR 62564: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 12/13/22: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Sideroxylon reclinatum” (October 14, 2022)

87 FR 62446: Notice, Comments Close 11/14/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Leasing of Sulfur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf” (October 14, 2022)

87 FR 62364: Notice: “Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Tugs Towing Drill Rig in Cook Inlet, Alaska” (October 14, 2022)

Other Agencies

87 FR 62930: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 12/16/22: “Endangered and Threatened Species; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Nassau Grouper” (October 17, 2022)

87 FR 62787: Notice: “Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 72-Indianapolis, Indiana, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Mercury Marine (Marine Service, Repair, Winterization, or Replacement Kits), Brownsburg, Indiana” (October 17, 2022)

87 FR 62790: Notice: “Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 82-Mobile, Alabama; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Aker Solutions, Inc. (Subsea Oil and Gas Systems); Mobile, Alabama” (October 17, 2022)

87 FR 63142: Notice, Comments Close 12/2/22: “Request for Stakeholder Input on Options for Combating International Deforestation Associated With Commodities” (October 18, 2022)

87 FR 63086: Notice: “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Alabama Trustee Implementation Group: Final Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Recreation Enhancements: Supplemental Restoration Plan” (October 18, 2022)

87 FR 63519: Notice, Comments Close 11/18/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Non-Federal Oil and Gas Operations on National Wildlife Refuge System Lands” (October 19, 2022)


H.R.9182 “To establish a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. (October 17, 2022)

PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 43- October 22, 2022)


Written by:
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney