Pipelines: Crow Creek Pipeline Case Reaches Settlement
On August 9, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho entered an order approving a settlement and dismissing with prejudice a lawsuit which disputed federal authorization of the Crow Creek Pipeline in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho. Yellowstone, et al. v. Bolling, et al., Case No. 4:20-CV-00192-DCN. As a result of the settlement, the U.S. Forest Service agreed it would complete a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline project, although the settlement does not preclude future challenges under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Methane Emissions: DOE Announces Funding for Emissions Mitigation and Monitoring Research
On August 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would release up to $32 million for research and development of mitigation and monitoring technologies for methane emissions from oil and natural gas producing wells, pipelines, compressor stations, and other infrastructure. According to the DOE’s press release, the funding is in pursuit of the national goal to “to cut global methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.”
Pipelines: Mariner East 2 and Revolution Pipelines Developer Pleads No Contest in Criminal Pollution Cases
On August 5, 2022, subsidiaries of Energy Transfer pleaded no contest to environmental crime charges in cases regarding its Mariner East 2 and Revolution pipelines. The charges involved the spillover of drilling fluid used in the Mariner East 2 pipeline into drinking water and Energy Transfer’s violation of protocols and codes in installing erosion control devices for its Revolution pipeline, the latter of which eventually led to multiple landslides, according to a press release by the Pennsylvania Attorney General. According to a fact sheet released by the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the settlement allows for free review, testing, and remediation of residents’ drinking water which may have been affected.
GHG Emissions: New Mexico Oil Group Appeals New State Ozone Regulations
On August 5, 2022, the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico (IPANM) filed a notice of appeal challenging the state Environmental Improvement Board’s new regulations for oil and gas operators, which went into effect that same day. According to IPANM’s press release, the regulations require oil and gas operators to have an engineer certify their emissions data and they allege this would “inflict economic hardship” on New Mexico residents.
Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:
Sartain, Louisiana Legacy Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss (August 10, 2022)
Markowitz, et al., This Week’s Climate Policy Update (August 8, 2022)
McFarland, Ownership of Pore Space – North Dakota Supreme Court Opinion Protects Surface Owners’ Rights (August 8, 2022)
McFarland, Inflation Reduction Act Tackles Methane Emissions (August 8, 2022)
Stoczkiewicz. Czech Republic-Poland’s dispute over the Turów mine: Financial implications and lost opportunities for just transition in Poland (August 11, 2022)
Bloomberg, Rhine River Withers to Crisis Level as Europe Craves Energy (August 10, 2022)
Bloomberg, Ukraine Latest: Russian Oil Halted on Central European Pipeline (August 9, 2022)
Bloomberg, Cuba Fuel Depot Fire Enters Third Day; Injury Toll Mounts (August 7, 2022)
Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks August 6, 2022- August 12, 2022:
Russian pipeline natural gas exports to Europe down 40% (Oil and Gas Journal)
Russian Oil Flows Halted Through Pipeline to Central Europe (Bloomberg)
Virginia Bans Five Banks From State Deals Over O&G, Coal Stance (Rigzone)
Oil companies see ‘net positive’ in climate bill (E&E News)
Connect with us on Facebook. Every week we post the CASL Ledger detailing our publications and activities from the week.
Penn State Shale Law Podcast: Listen to the latest episode here.
FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Biden-Harris Administration Advances $750 Million Program to Strengthen Clean Energy Manufacturing and Recycling (August 3, 2022)
DOE Announces $32 Million to Reduce Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Sector (August 5, 2022)
Biden-Harris Administration Launches New Offices to Lower Energy Costs and Deploy Clean Power Nationwide (August 10, 2022)
DOE Announces Contract Awards For Latest Crude Oil Sales From The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (August 11, 2022)
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
EPA Announces $8 Million in Grants Available for Tribes and Insular Areas to Replace Diesel Equipment and Reduce Harmful Emissions (August 4, 2022)
EPA Selects Educational Organizations to Receive Over $3.2 Million to Support Environmental Projects Nationwide (August 9, 2022)
EPA meets with partners in Aurora to usher in next generation of clean, zero- and low-emission school buses in Colorado (August 10, 2022)
EPA Awards over $225,000 to Advance Environmental Justice in Arizona (August 11, 2022)
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register August 4 – August 12, 2022):
87 FR 47652: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 9/6/22: “Procedures for the Acquisition of Petroleum for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve” (August 4, 2022)
Environmental Protection Agency
87 FR 48332: Proposed Rule: “Spring 2022 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” (August 8, 2022)
87 FR 48128: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 10/7/2022: “Addition of Diisononyl Phthalate Category; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting” (August 8, 2022)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
87 FR 49784: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 10/11/22: “Duty of Candor” (August 12, 2022)
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
87 FR 48217: Notice: “Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water” (August 8, 2022)
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
87 FR 49913: Notice: “Hazardous Materials: Notification of Compliance Procedures and Proposed Termination of Certain Jet Perforating Guns Approvals” (August 12, 2022)
87 FR 48302: Proposed Rule: “Semiannual Regulatory Agenda” (August 8, 2022)
Safety and Environmental Enforcement Bureau
87 FR 47789: Notice, Comments Period Ends 10/3/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Platforms and Structures” (August 4, 2022)
87 FR 47788: Notice, Comments Period Ends 10/3/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Oil and Gas Well-Completion Operations” (August 4, 2022)
87 FR 47786: Notice, Comments Period Ends 10/3/22: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Open and Nondiscriminatory Access to Oil and Gas Pipelines Under the OCS Lands Act” (August 4, 2022)
Ocean Energy Management Bureau
87 FR 47727: Notice: “Notice of Availability of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats and Finding of No Significant Impact” (August 4, 2022)
87 FR 49656: Proposed Rule, Comments Period Ends 9/26/22: “Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Navy Training Activities in the Gulf of Alaska Study Area” (August 11, 2022)
87 FR 48352: Proposed Rule: “Semiannual Regulatory Agenda” (August 8, 2022)
U.S. HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE
H.R.8678 “To direct the Secretary of Energy to restrict certain grants to any State that has in effect a law prohibiting hydraulic fracturing within such State, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (August 5, 2022).
U.S. SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
S.4754 “A bill to require the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study and submit a report on national resource adequacy, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (August 3, 2022).
S.4771 “A bill to amend the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to provide for direct loans to Indian tribes and tribal energy development organizations for energy development, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (August 4, 2022).
S.4776 “A bill to transfer funds for Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Energy Improvements at Public School Facilities to the Attorney General to award grants to States to promote safety and security in schools.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (August 4, 2022).
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 33- August 13, 2022)
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN COMMISSION
87 FR 48217: Notice: “Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water” (August 8, 2022)
HR 224 “A Resolution urging the President of the United States to restart and expedite the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline.” Referred to ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY [House] (August 11, 2022)
Ethan Durand, Research Assistant
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney