GHG Emissions: Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Against EPA Seeking Updated Nitrogen Oxide Emissions Standards
On December 7, 2022, the Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to update 2006 air pollution standards for stationary combustion turbines. Env’t Def. Fund v. EPA, Case No. 3:22-cv-7731. The lawsuit cites the EPA’s duty to review and revise the air pollution standards under the Clean Air Act every eight years and asks the court to require the EPA to do so.

National Energy Policy: Multiple Congressional Bills Proposed Regarding Wells, Taxes, and Climate Emissions
On December 7th and 8th, 2022, several bills were introduced in the U.S. Senate relating to oil and gas regulations. On December 7th the bill, Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act, was introduced in the Senate by senator Merkley through the Environment and Public Works Committee. The proposed bill would create a program at the Department of Energy to track and plug orphaned wells. On December 8th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee released the Methane Emissions Research Act. The proposed bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a national study of methane emissions from oil and gas facilities. On the same day, the “Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act” was released though the Finance committee which would prohibit oil companies grossing more than $50 million per year from deducting “expenses intangible” from taxes and stop other tax benefits. Lastly, the proposed “Use it or Lose it Act” would require certain covered leases to be “diligently developed” under threat of an annual fee not less than $10 per acre.

International Development: Australia Caps Prices of Gas and Coal for 1 Year
On December 9, 2022, the Australian Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release announcing its Energy Price Relief Plan, which includes a 12-month price cap on the prices of gas and coal. The wholesale gas price cap is $12 per gigajoule and the cap on the price of coal used for electricity is $125 per ton. The stated purpose of the plan is to provide relief to consumers from energy price spikes.


Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:

Sartain, The “Greatest Estate” Doctrine Impacts a Lease Assignment (December 13, 2022)


Mallen & Markowitz, Over $1.2 Billion in Funding Announced by Department of Energy for Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs (December 15, 2022)
Bloomberg, Oil Declines After Section of Major Keystone Pipeline Restarts (December 15, 2022)

Bloomberg, White House Begins Plan to Refill US Emergency Oil Reserves (December 16, 2022)

Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks December 3– December 9, 2022:

EU delays decision on natural gas price cap, countries still at odds (Reuters)

Uzbekistan halts gas exports to save supplies for home market (Natural Gas World)

Colorado air quality regulators miscalculated oil and gas emissions in latest plan to improve ozone pollution (The Denver Digest)

Pennsylvania lifts ban on gas production in polluted village (AP)

Colo. aims for 100% EVs with no gasoline bans (PoliticoPro)

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



U.S. Secretary of Energy Hosts Battery Workforce Initiative Roundtable (December 12, 2022)

DOE National Laboratory Makes History by Achieving Fusion Ignition (December 13, 2022)

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $3.7 Billion to Kick-Start America’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Industry (December 13, 2022)

U.S. Department of Energy Announces Over $15 Million to Drive Down Costs of Geothermal Drilling (December 14, 2022)

DOE Announces $32 Million in Research Opportunities for Underrepresented Groups (December 14, 2022)

U.S. Department of Energy Releases County-by-County Data Detailing Energy Jobs Data (December 15, 2022)

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $750 Million To Accelerate Clean Hydrogen Technologies (December 16, 2022)

DOE Announces Repurchase of Oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (December 16, 2022)

Secretary Granholm Statement on DOE Order Vacating 1954 Atomic Energy Commission Decision In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer (December 16, 2022)


NEWS UPDATE #5: TC Energy Pipeline Rupture and Oil Discharge Near Washington, Kansas (December 15, 2022)

Biden-Harris Administration Announces $14.3 Million in Brownfields Grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Train Environmental Workers (December 14, 2022)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register December 10–December 16, 2022):

Energy Department

87 FR 77298: Rule: “Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedure for Air-Cooled, Three-Phase, Small Commercial Package Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment With a Cooling Capacity of Less Than 65,000 Btu/h and Air-Cooled, Three-Phase, Variable Refrigerant Flow Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps With a Cooling Capacity of Less Than 65,000 Btu/h” (December 16, 2022)

Environmental Protection Agency

87 FR 76738: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 1/30/23: “Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Restrictions on the Use of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons Under Subsection (i) the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020” (December 15, 2022)

87 FR 76039: Notice: “Public Meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory Board” (December 12, 2022)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

87 FR 76189: Notice: “Sunshine Act Meetings” (December 13, 2022)

Natural Resources Revenue Office

87 FR 76082: Notice: “States’ Decisions on Participating in Accounting and Auditing Relief for Federal Oil and Gas Marginal Properties (December 12, 2022)

Other Agencies

87 FR 76816: Rule: “Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Numerical Limitation for FY 2023 for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program and Portability Flexibility for H-2B Workers Seeking To Change Employers” (December 15, 2022)

87 FR 76112: Rule: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for the Dolphin and Union Caribou” (December 13, 2022)


H.R.9576: “To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and carry out a benchmarking and transparency initiative for commercial and multifamily properties to advance knowledge about building energy and water use and greenhouse gas emissions and inform efforts to reduce energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions nationwide, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (December 15, 2022)

H.R. 9545 “To amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to reinstate the ban on the export of crude oil and natural gas produced in the United States, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (December 14, 2022)

H.R.9489 “To direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a National Laboratory Biotechnology Program to address biotechnology threats, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, and Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (December 12, 2022)


DEP Issues Notice of Violation to Shell Chemicals Appalachia, LLC for Air Emissions Exceedances (December 14, 2022)

PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 51 December 17, 2022)


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