Community Impacts: USDA Invests $81 Million in Clean Energy Investments for Colorado Rural Communities ⚡
On June 17, 2024, the USDA announced that areas in Colorado will be receiving “partially forgivable loans” totaling approximately to $81 million under the Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) Program. The PACE program allots $1 billion in funding to allow for access to clean energy for rural communities. The Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association will be granted approximately $9 million to build two “solar and battery energy storage projects” and the Delta Montrose Electric Association will be given the remaining $72 million for “a grid-connected solar photovoltaic system.”

Community Impacts: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Collects $180 In Gas Drilling Impact Fee
On June 18, 2024, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) detailed around $180 million in gas drilling impact fees that were charged to Pennsylvania shale gas drillers in the past year. According to the PUC, about $100 million the funds collected from gas drilling companies are to be given to county and municipal governments that were directly affected by the drilling. An additional approximate $63 million will be contributed towards the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which in turn will provide financial support towards environmental projects related to highways, sewers, and other infrastructure. The remaining funds will be given to other state agencies. According to the PUC report, impact fee funds in 2023 were $100 million less than in 2022 due to the lower prices of natural gas.

National Energy Policy: IRS, Treasury Department Publishes Rule Granting Tax Breaks to Renewable Energy Businesses Who Meet Wage Requirements
On June 25, 2024, the IRS and Department of the Treasury published a rule granting tax credits or deductions to renewable energy businesses provided they meet wage requirements, as a part of the continuing implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. Businesses who pay wages equal to or above the prevailing wage quality for the tax credits. The IRS announced the regulation in a press release on June 18, 2024.

Pipelines: Ohio District Court Upholds Commission’s Determination in Easement Case
On June 26, 2024, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued an opinion, upholding a prior ruling in favor of Columbia Gas Transmission’s pipeline easement. Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC v. 171.54 Acres of Land, More or Less, in Fairfield, No. 2:17-cv-70, (S.D. Ohio June 17, 2024). Plaintiff Columbia Gas Transmission (Columbia) acquired an easement to construct a natural gas pipeline through defendant Sergeant Stone, Inc.’s (Stone) land. However, Stone claimed it had plans to mine portions of the land leased to plaintiff. The court appointed a Commission, who determined Columbia owed $0.00 in damages to Stone, despite not finding either side’s argument convincing. Stone appealed. In its published decision, the court affirmed that Stone did not meet the burden of proving it had suffered special damages and denied Stone’s motion to exclude Columbia’s expert testimony, as the court failed to see a flaw in the methodology used by said expert. As such, the Commission’s $0.00 in damages to Stone recommendation was upheld.




July 2024 Quarterly Dairy Legal Webinar: U.S. State Milk Pricing & Supports, Part 2 – Each quarter’s free one-hour webinar covers the legal and regulatory developments in the U.S. dairy industry from the preceding quarter and includes an in-depth look at a single focus topic of law, regulation, or government policy of interest to dairy professionals of all kinds.1 hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania licensed attorneys at no charge, more information, and registration available here.

“HPAI in Poultry and Cattle: How Can We Miss You if You Won’t Go Away?” Brook Duer Presents with the National Agricultural Law Center – This webinar will lay out the foundational statutes, regulations, manuals and procedures that authorize USDA-APHIS authority, through the lens of these two HPAI outbreaks in divergent species, including a slate of sometimes sweeping powers to compel a range of disease control measures and tactics. The webinar will also trace the last 60 days’ progression of the HPAI outbreak in dairy cattle to illustrate how the invocation of disease control measures evolves and adapts to the changing conditions of a disease, host animal, known potentials and methods for transmission, and the potential economic implications. More information, and registration available here

Understanding Agricultural Law – A free monthly Zoom webinar series for all agricultural and rural business advisors. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. Recordings and materials from the series, more information, and registration available here.

Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks 

Biden oil sale brings in record revenue for 2024 (Politico Power Switch)

Rising US labor costs threaten to derail new LNG projects (Reuters)

EU imposes first-ever sanctions on Russian LNG (Oil and Gas Journal)

Europe’s messy Russian gas divorce (Brookings Brief)

U.S. energy production exceeded consumption by record amount in 2023 (US Energy Information Administration)

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

Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:

Chin, Oil Holds Gain as Traders Weigh Escalating Geopolitical Tensions (June 25, 2024)

Turner, Cities, E-commerce & Public Health: 3 Legal Pathways to Limiting Freight Vehicle Emissions (June 27, 2024)

Williams, Giemanjer, Hardwick, Harrison, Gareze, Downstream GHG Emissions to be Taken into Account in Planning Decisions (June 25, 2024)

Wentz, Francis, Climate Change, Health Impacts, and State Obligations under International Law (June 24, 2024)

Bloomberg, Oil Steadies as Industry Report Points to Rising US Stockpiles (June 26, 2024)



Arizona State University Joins Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative as University Partner (June 24, 2024)

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Over $63 Million to Support Commercialization of Transformative Energy Technologies (June 25, 2024)


EPA Reclassifies Three Ozone Nonattainment Areas from Moderate to Serious (June 26, 2024)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register June 1, 2024 – June 7, 2024)

Environmental Protection Agency

89 FR 53496 Notice: “Tennessee; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories; Supplemental Delegations of Authority” (June 27, 2024)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

89 FR 53609 Notice: “Columbia Gulf Transmission, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Amoco South Pecan Lake Abandonment Project” (June 27, 2024)

89 FR 53616 Notice: “Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, CCL Midscale 8-9, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Corpus Christi Liquefaction Midscale Trains 8 & 9 Project” (June 27, 2024)

Land Management Bureau

89 FR 53869 Rule: “Rights-of-Way, Leasing, and Operations for Renewable Energy; Corrections” (June 28, 2024)

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

89 FR 53880 Rule: “Pipeline Safety: Periodic Updates of Regulatory References to Technical Standards and Miscellaneous Amendments; Technical Correction” (June 28, 2024)

Other Agencies

89 FR 53961 Notice “Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Furie Operating Alaska, LLC Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska; Correction” (June 28 . 2024)



DEP To Host Virtual Public Hearing on Permit Application for PGE Phase IV Pipeline Project in Lycoming County (June 25, 2024)

Pennsylvania Receives an Additional $28.6 Million to Restore Abandoned Mine Land for Economic Development Projects (June 25. 2024)

PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 54, No. 26 – June 29, 2024)

Department of Environmental Protection

(54 Pa.B. 3717) Availability of Proposed Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit for Earth Disturbance Associated with Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Processing or Treatment Operations or Transmission Facilities (ESCGP-4); Availability for Public Comment (June 29, 2024)

(54 Pa.B. 3718) Technical Advisory Committee on Diesel-Powered Equipment Meeting (June 29. 2024)

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

54 Pa.B. 3768Natural Gas Service (June 29, 2024)

Pennsylvania Legislature

Written by:
Victoria Dutterer, Research Assistant
Riley Amdor, Research Assistant
Caden Dean-Sauter, Research Assistant
Samuel Sweeten, Research Assistant
Jose Rojas, Research Assistant

Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney