Oil and Gas Regulation: Well Plugging Bill Becomes Law in Pennsylvania
On July 19, 2022, Pennsylvania bill, HB 2644, which establishes and allocates funds to an Orphan Well Plugging Grant Program (“Program”) became law, effective immediately. Funding for the Program will be used to receive and approve applications, provide civil liability for well pluggers, and issue grants to plug oil and gas wells. The bill will also set criteria for which wells qualify for the program and who qualifies as a well plugger.
LNG Exports: Sierra Club Files Lawsuit Appealing Driftwood LNG Permit
On July 19, 2022, filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding a proposed natural gas export terminal permit. The petition asks the court to review the permit granted to Driftwood LNG by the Army Corps of Engineers in Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana. The Sierra Club, according to a press release by the group, argues that the permit violates Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and fails to “avoid and compensate for impacts to wetlands.”
Oil and Gas Leasing: BLM Announces Notice of Intent to Conduct EIS in Colorado
On July 18, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management under the Department of the Interior released a notice of intent to create a Resource Management Plan (RMP) Amendment and accompanying Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for “8.3 million acres of BLM-managed surface land and 27 million acres of Federal mineral estate.” The stated purpose in the notice is to evaluate approaches for BLM to protect and manage big game habitats on public lands in Colorado, though the notice also says this purpose may be refined. The intended schedule is to complete the RMP within two years.
Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:
Bloomberg, Oil Edges Up as Traders Weigh Mideast Supply After Biden’s Trip (July 18, 2022)
Bloomberg, China to Post Record Decline in LNG Imports as Economy Slows (July 19, 2022)
Sartain, Texas Court Addresses MSA Indemnity Obligations (July 21, 2022)
National Ag Law Center, Environmental Law Highlight: Developments From the First Half of 2022 (July 21, 2022)
Bloomberg, Nord Stream Says Russian Gas Shipments Resumed on Thursday (July 21, 2022)
Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks July 15, 2022-July 22, 2022:
D.C. Moves To Ban Natural Gas In Most New Buildings, Aiming For Carbon Neutrality (dcist)
37 shale drilling permits issued in Ohio, Pa., W. Va. during week ended July 10 (Shale Gas Reporter)
Full Committee Hearing On Federal Hydrogen Pipeline Regulatory Authorities (Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources)
U.S. natural gas supply and demand balance shifts amid outage at Freeport LNG (EIA)
Allegheny County Council overrides Rich Fitzgerald’s veto, bans fracking in parks (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Connect with us on Facebook. Every week we post the CASL Ledger detailing our publications and activities from the week.
FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
DOE Welcomes New Biden-Harris Administration Appointees (July 19, 2022)
DOE Announces $96 Million for Advancing Clean Vehicle Technologies to Reduce Carbon Emissions (July 21, 2022)
Biden-Harris Administration Launches $225 Million Program to Lower Utility Bills Through More Efficient Building Codes (July 21, 2022)
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
EPA Takes Steps to Further Safeguard Public Health at the Universal Oil Products Superfund Site in East Rutherford, New Jersey (July 22, 2022)
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register July 15 – July 22, 2022):
87 FR 43952: Rule, Comments Period Ends 2/17/23: “Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Certification for Ceiling Fan Light Kits, General Service Incandescent Lamps, Incandescent Reflector Lamps, Ceiling Fans, Consumer Furnaces and Boilers, Consumer Water Heaters, Dishwashers, and Commercial Clothes Washers, Battery Chargers, and Dedicated-Purpose Pool Pumps” (July 22, 2022).
Environmental Protection Agency
87 FR 42651: Rule: “Implementing Statutory Addition of Certain Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory Beginning With Reporting Years 2021 and 2022” (July 18, 2022).
87 FR 43030: Notice, Comments Period Ends 8/18/22: “Certain New Chemicals; Receipt and Status Information for June 2022” (July 19, 2022).
87 FR 43847: Notice, Comments Period Ends 9/20/22: “Proposed NPDES General Permit for New and Existing Sources and New Dischargers in the Offshore Subcategory of the Oil and Gas Extraction Category for the Western Portion of the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico (GMG290000)” (July 22, 2022).
87 FR 43772: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 9/20/22: “Community Right-To-Know; Adopting 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting” (July 22, 2022).
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
87 FR 43837: Notice, Comments Period Ends 9/20/22: “Commission Information Collection Activity (FERC-555); Comment Request; Extension” (July 22, 2022).
Bureau of Land Management
87 FR 43050: Notice, Comments Period Ends 9/2/22; “Notice of Intent To Amend Colorado Resource Management Plans Regarding Big Game Conservation and Prepare an Associated Environmental Impact Statement” (July 19, 2022).
87 FR 43049: Notice, Comments Period Ends 8/18/22: “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Alabama Trustee Implementation Group: Draft Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Recreation Enhancements: Supplemental Restoration Plan” (July 19, 2022).
87 FR 43292: Notice: “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Florida Trustee Implementation Group: Final Phase V.4 Florida Coastal Access Project: Restoration Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment; and Finding of No Significant Impact” (July 20, 2022).
Ocean Energy Management Bureau
87 FR 42800: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 10/26/22: “Proposed Rule for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Management Review: Blueprint for Restoration” (July 18, 2022).
87 FR 43243: Notice: “Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys Related to Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico” (July 20, 2022).
87 FR 43114: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 9/19/22: “Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards” (July 19, 2022).
87 FR 43889: Notice, Comments Period Ends 9/20/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Request for Comment on Fiscal Year 2023 Expirations Under the Paperwork Reduction Act” (July 22, 2022).
U.S. HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
H.R.8402 “To amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to prohibit the Secretary of Energy from prescribing any new or amended energy conservation standard for a product that is not technologically feasible and economically justified, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (July 15, 2022).
H.R.8395 “EPA Regulatory Authority Act of 2022” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (July 15, 2022).
U.S. SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
S.4571 “A bill to reaffirm that the President of the United States lacks the authority to stop oil and gas leasing on Federal public land.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (July 20, 2022).
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.” Ordered to be reported with amendments favorably. (July 21, 2022).
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION PRESS RELEASES
DEP Submits Final Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Watershed Plan with New State Funds Supporting Partners’ Progress (July 19, 2022).
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 30- July 23, 2022)
HB 2644 “An Act amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for oil and gas well plugging oversight; in development, further providing for bonding and for well plugging funds; establishing the Oil and Gas Well Plugging Grant Program; and making a related repeal.” Act No. 96, Became Law Without Govenor’s Signature (July 19, 2022).
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney