Monthly Archives: August 2014

Marcellus Gas Play Generates Political Skirmishing in PA

The Marcellus shale gas play in Pennsylvania has generated abundant natural gas, stimulated economic activity in several regions that have been struggling and created fertile arenas for political skirmishing. These skirmishes crisscross the state and involve a variety of political combatants. In September 2013, Democrat Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed criminal charges against XTO Energy… Read More »

PA DEP’s Latest Regulatory Initiative – Subsurface Standards for Gas Wells

At the June 25, 2014 meeting of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board meeting, the DEP unveiled their proposed concepts for some new rulemaking that would take place under Title 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78, Subchapters D and H.   The Technical Advisory Board was told that these changes… Read More »

The House of Representatives Passes Legislation to Modify the Endangered Species Act to Require Transparency in the Listing Process

The House of Representatives passed a bill which would require federal agencies involved in the listing process to publish data they use to determine whether a species should be designated as “endangered” or merely “threatened” and further directed the federal government to provide states with data used to make a decision on an endangered species… Read More »

Ballot Initiatives, Including One to Establish an Environmental Bill of Rights and Another Which Would Have Withheld Revenues From Communities Banning Oil and Gas Drilling, Withdrawn in Compromise

In an attempt to avoid a clash at the ballot box, Governor John Hickenlooper announced on August 6, 2013 a delicately balanced compromise on local control of oil and gas drilling that will remove all ballot initiatives regarding oil and gas drilling from the November ballot. Congressman Jared Polis agreed to drop two measures he… Read More »

Sound Science and the Endangered Species Act: A District Court and the House of Representatives Want Better Science

Decisions to list a species as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act are to be made “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”  16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(1)(A).  Decisions to list species are governed by the Administrative Procedures Act, in addition to the “best available science” standard of the ESA. … Read More »