Category Archives: Oil and Gas

Commonwealth Court Opens Brief Window for Impact Fee Refund

On March 29, 2017, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a decision in Snyder Brothers, Inc. v Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, No. 1043 C.D. 2015, reversing and rejecting the PUC’s interpretation of the obligation to pay impact fees under Act 13 for a low producing or “stripper” well, which is defined as an “unconventional gas… Read More »

PADEP Sues Townships Over Fracing Bans

On the same day it issued permits authorizing two energy companies to dispose of oil and gas wastewater in underground injection wells, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) filed a petition for review in Commonwealth Court challenging two townships for attempting to restrict unconventional gas operations.  In asking the court to enjoin the townships… Read More »

Environmental Activism and Social Protests – Is the Truth Dead?

In a country so divided on so many issues and with so much information available from so many sources it is hard to discern fact from fiction.  The recent revelations by and about “fake news” mongers, who populate the internet with misinformation, either for fun, profit or to advance their own cause, should not surprise… Read More »

State Department Approval of Keystone XL Gives False Sense of Pipeline’s Regulatory Finalty

“I’ll call Nebraska.”  That was President Trump’s answer when a reporter questioned the regulatory finality of the Keystone XL (‘KXL’) pipeline.  With the issuance of the State Department’s permit for cross-border construction, TransCanada finally received the federal permission it needs to complete KXL’s northernmost section.  This authorization has been ten years in the making.  What… Read More »

Another PA Supreme Court Decision Affecting Oil and Gas Operations

September 28, 2016 was another tough day for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry, the PA Department of Environmental Resources and the PA General Assembly as the Commonwealth’s highest court called into question portions of PA Act 13 of 2012, the Oil and Gas Act.  While legal minds are still reading and interpreting the 88 page… Read More »

PA DEP Chapter 78 Rules for Conventional Wells – Gone But Not Forgotten

In late June of this year Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 279.  This enactment, now known as Act 52 of 2016, created the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Advisory Council.  This seventeen member council will oversee DEP actions and policies that impact conventional oil and gas activities.  However and more importantly for the Commonwealth’s conventional… Read More »

Federal Agencies’ Assault the Oil and Natural Gas Industry

At a recent Congressional Call-Up organized by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), participating company representatives were briefed by IPAA staff on key federal issues impacting the oil and natural gas industry.  The thrust of the briefing, which would be the nucleus of our comments delivered to members of Congress later that day, focused… Read More »

NGOs Seek to Block Pipeline Development

Last summer I published an article in this blog discussing the fact that many stakeholders were turning their focus to pipelines.   http://www.environmentalessentials.com/stakeholders-focus-on-pipelines/ With steady supplies of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays as well as gas from gulf states and low prices expected to continue, it is not surprising that NGOs have… Read More »

Pennsylvania’s Plans For Controlling Methane Emissions From Shale Gas Operations

On January 20th Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley hosted a webinar to announce the steps his department will take to control methane emissions associated with unconventional natural gas activities in the Commonwealth. He outlined an aggressive plan he and Governor Wolf believe is necessary to reduce Pennsylvania’s contribution of greenhouse gas emissions.… Read More »

Pennsylvania DEP Moves Forward with Oil and Gas Rulemaking Despite Legal and Political Challenges

On January 6, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) forwarded to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) DEP’s proposed final rulemaking package that would revise the oil and gas regulatory program applicable to conventional oil and gas operations (Chapter 78) and create a separate chapter applicable to unconventional drilling (Chapter 78a) in Pennsylvania. As… Read More »