Archive for posts tagged ‘energy’

Early Takeaways from the Deepwater Horizon Decision

Last week, Judge Carl Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana issued an opinion in the first phase of the trial over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which remains the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history The court had previously split the trial into three phases. The first was conducted between February and April 2013… Full Story

Looking Ahead at State-Local Conflicts Over Fracking

A recent UT Energy Center Law Blog post by Samantha Blons focused on a case brought by a natural gas producer against the City of Dallas, after the city denied the company a natural gas production permit.  (A new city ordinance restricts production within the city limits.)  The Dallas case is an early example of… Full Story

Battle Over Fracking in Dallas Continues With Takings Lawsuit

The City of Dallas is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the City’s refusal to authorize gas drilling by a company that had leased mineral rights on city property. The lawsuit—which alleges takings, fraud, and breach of contract claims—comes as the latest development in a seven-year saga over the status of urban gas drilling and… Full Story

BLM Fracking Rules and Water Supply

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently regulates hydraulic fracturing (fracturing) through a rule that was adopted three decades ago and last revised in 1988.  43 C.F.R. § 3160.  Because of its age, the existing rule does not account for the risks or opportunities that have resulted from innovations in horizontal drilling and fracturing technology…. Full Story

Planning Organizations Could Manage Regional PACE Programs

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently signed new PACE enabling legislation into law.  S.B. 385 overhauls existing statutes that authorized PACE in Texas but never gave rise to any actual PACE programs. Municipalities and counties can now enter into PACE contractual assessments for water and energy efficiency improvements with owners of real property.  (For more background on PACE… Full Story

A War on Coal, or a War on Climate Change?

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday its plan to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants.  This is the latest salvo in what some Texans (and others) call the “war on coal.”  It is more likely a reluctant act born of political gridlock — a second-best option for a… Full Story

California Magistrate Finds BLM Fracking Leases Violate NEPA

Oil and gas producers have tagged California as the next great fracking frontier.  The state has a storied history in the energy sector and remains the fourth largest oil producer in the country, with pumpjacks still scattered around Los Angeles and even hidden within a luxury shopping mall. Its Monterey Shale formation is estimated to contain more than 15 billion barrels of oil – about 64… Full Story

Ninth Circuit Rules Against PACE Proponents; Texas Bill Shows Way Forward

Back in December, we blogged about PACE litigation and predicted that the sole court that sided with challengers to a federal rule limiting PACE-financing on residential real estate – the Northern District of California – would be overturned.  This week, the Ninth Circuit did just that, snuffing any short-term hopes that may have remained for broad-scale PACE… Full Story

Psychological and Cultural Biases Distort Fracking Debates

Energy law is the product of energy politics, and politics can be emotional and contentious.  At the same time, many energy policy disputes turn on questions amenable to scientific study — the fight over acid rain in the 1980s, the long-running battle over climate change, and the current fight over hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), to name… Full Story