Public Health: DOI Publishes Draft Guidance for $500 Million Grant to States for Orphaned Well Cleanup
On January 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released draft guidance on the $500 million grant that is being provided to states under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the purpose of orphaned well cleanup. This grant will be used to build the infrastructure and create the jobs necessary for “well site plugging, remediation, and reclamation.” The guidance indicates what information states must provide to receive a “Phase 1 Formula grant,” which includes the allotted $500 million in funding based on well inventories and estimated costs.

Environmental Impact Studies: 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that BLM’s Environmental Assessment Violated NEPA Requirements
On February 1, 2023, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of environmental activists who challenged the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) approval of 370 oil and gas drilling permits in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, et al. v. Haaland, et al., No. 21-2116. The permitting was challenged on the grounds that BLM’s Environmental Assessments (EAs) failed to sufficiently consider the environmental impacts of the permit approvals, particularly with respect to GHG emissions, air quality, and water standards. In its ruling, the Court agreed with the activists in that the EAs “failed to take a hard look” at air pollutant and GHG emissions impacts but disagreed with respect to the BLM’s assessment for impacts on water sources. The case was reversed and remanded to the district court to remedy the NEPA violations.  

Pipelines: FERC Revises Schedule for Environmental Assessment of Three Natural Gas Projects
On February 3, 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) published three new notices with respect to specific pipeline projects that are being assessed for final approval in 2023. The first project is Texas Eastern’s Appalachia to Market II and Entriken HP Replacement Project, which aims to construct a new pipeline for the distribution of natural gas to companies in New Jersey. The newly published notice announces that the final issuance of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project will be moved up from July 14th  to February 10th. The second notice concerns Tansco’s Southeast Energy Connector Project, which will construct pipelines in Coosa and Chilton Counties, Alabama. Similarly, the issuance of an EA for this project is being moved up from August 4th to March 24th. The final FERC notice concerns another of Transco’s pipeline projects, the Texas to Louisiana Energy Pathway Project, which will construct and modify compressor stations in several Texas counties, including Fort Bend, Hardin, and Victoria. Similarly, this notice revises the EA schedule for the project, moving up the issue date from November 30th to June 9th.

National Energy Policy: DOE Publishes Proposed Regulation for Consumer Conventional Cooking Products
On February 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR), which proposes new amendments to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) with respect to consumer conventional cooking products. In summary, the new rule gives the DOE the authority to regulate certain consumer products and industrial equipment, including various types of electric and gas cooking tops and conventional ovens. The purpose of the amended energy conservation standard is, as required by the EPCA, to improve energy efficiency in a way that is “technologically feasible and economic justified.” The proposed rule notes that while short-term manufacturing costs and product prices will rise, the social benefits of the amendments will greatly outweigh these values.


Oil & Gas Law & Policy Resources:

Markowitz, et al., This Week’s Climate Policy Update (January 30, 2023)

Bloomberg, Russia’s War in Ukraine is Accelerating the Shift Away From Oil and Gas, BP Says (January 30, 2023)

Bloomberg, Oil Set for Monthly Drop as Chinese Demand, Fed Meeting in Focus (January 31, 2023)

Hardwick, Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net Zero Age – the EU’s Answer to the Inflation Reduction Act (February 2, 2023)

Energy Connects, ADNOC signs agreements with 23 companies for local manufacturing opportunities (February 3, 2023)

Follow us on Twitter @AgShaleLaw—Top #ShaleLaw HotLinks January 28– February 3, 2023:

Equitrans gets positive FERC EIS for Ohio Valley Connector expansion (Oil & Gas Journal)

DOE advances first efficiency rules for gas stoves (PoliticoPro)

California Activists Redouble Efforts to Hold the Oil Industry Accountable on Neighborhood Drilling (Inside Climate News)

FERC speeds up environmental reviews for 3 gas projects (PoliticoPro)

Germany Wants to Take Action to Curb Russian LNG Imports (Bloomberg)

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



DOE Invests More Than $130 Million to Lower Nation’s Carbon Pollution (January 30, 2023)


Biden-Harris Administration Announces $340 Million for Water Infrastructure and Lead Pipe Replacement Projects in Philadelphia (February 3, 2023)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register January 28–February 3, 2023):

Environmental Protection Agency

88 FR 5835: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 3/1/23: “Clean Air Plans; 2015 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Requirements; Clean Fuels or Advanced Control Technology for Boilers; San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles-South Coast Air Basin, California” (January 30, 2023)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

88 FR 7430: Notice: “Wyoming Interstate Company, LLC; Notice of Scoping Period Requesting Comments on Environmental Issues for the Proposed Diamond Mountain Compressor Station Abandonment Project” (February 3, 2023)

Natural Resources Revenue Office

88 FR 5916: Notice, Comments Close 3/31/23: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Royalty and Production Reporting” (January 30, 2023)

Interior Department

88 FR 5789: Rule, Comments Close 3/1/23: “Practices Before the Department of the Interior” (January 30, 2023)

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

88 FR 6376: Rule: “Reorganization of Title 30-Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf” (January 31, 2023)

88 FR 5968: Proposed Rule, Comments Close 3/31/23: “Renewable Energy Modernization Rule” (January 30, 2023)

Other Agencies

88 FR 7080: Notice: “Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys Related to Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico” (February 2, 2023)

88 FR 7005: Rule: “Importations of Water Into and Exportations of Water From the Delaware River Basin; Discharges of Wastewater From High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing and Related Activities” (February 2, 2023)


H.R.647 “To repeal restrictions on the export and import of natural gas.” Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (January 31, 2023)


S.235 “A bill to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to provide that consumer room air cleaners are covered products to which certain energy conservation standards apply, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (February 2, 2023)

S.218 “A bill to prohibit the Secretary of Energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. (February 1, 2023)


PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 53, No. 5 February 4, 2023)


SB 143 “An Act amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in preemptions, providing for restrictions on utility services prohibited.” Referred to local government. [Senate] (January 30, 2023)


Written by:
Kole Zellers, Research Assistant
Kendal Ashman, Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler, Staff Attorney