Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Friday, February 16, 2018

Why Texas is a Leader in Wind Power


Although Texas has long been a leader in global oil production, the state is also one of the top producers of wind energy in the world. In fact, just five countries produce more wind energy than Texas does. Obviously, the state also leads the nation in electricity-generation capacity from wind, far outpacing the second-ranked state, Oklahoma. These were among the findings in the American Wind Energy Association’s fourth-quarter report that was recently released (


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Saturday, January 27, 2018

T. Boone Pickens Closes Energy Hedge Fund

T. Boone Pickens recently announced in a Linkedin post that he has closed his energy hedge fund. What this means for the energy futures market remains to be seen. Meanwhile, if you are involved in energy drilling or transactions, speak to our experienced oil and energy contracts  attorneys.


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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Energy Transfer Partners Brings Defamation Claim Against Environmental Groups

After years of protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe,  indigenous rights activists and environmental groups, the Trump Administration granted final construction approval to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) in January 2017. The approval was the culmination of a hard fought battle that required the advice and counsel of experienced energy and environmental attorneys.


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Thursday, December 28, 2017

EPA Sued Over Ozone Levels

A number of environmental and public health groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency claiming the federal agency has unreasonably delayed designating major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S., including Houston, out of compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA), particularly regarding ozone levels.


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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Natural Gas Flares on the Rise in West Texas

According to a recent report released by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the oil boom in the Permian Basin has contributed to increased natural gas flaring in West Texas. The EDF report was based on data collected by the Texas Railroad Commission in 2014 and 2015 which found that oil producers in the basin were burning off an average of 3 to 4 percent of their natural gas. 

Although gas flaring is a byproduct of oil exploration and a common practice in developing fields, the flares emit sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds such as benzene. As such, establishing regulatory standards for gas flaring requires the advice and counsel of


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Monday, November 27, 2017

In Focus: Measuring the Seismic Activity of Oil Field–Linked Quakes

According to a number of scientific studies, there is a direct link between the recent wave of earthquakes throughout the state of Texas and new oil and gas-related drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

Today, a state-funded earthquake monitoring system at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) known as TexNet is measuring and tracking seismic activity in the state, particularly in West Texas which has seen a fracking boom. TexNet relies on 22 permanent and 40 portable monitoring stations to track seismic activity. The system was set up in 2015 after lawmakers authorized state-funding.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

ExxonMobil and PDC Energy Settle Clean Air Act Claims

Exxon Mobil Corp. recently agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle a lawsuit brought by Department of Justice for alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at petrochemical manufacturing facilities in Texas and Louisiana. In a related development, Denver-based PDC  Energy Inc. also agreed to pay $2.


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Monday, October 23, 2017

$100 Million in Damages Awarded in Eagle Ford Shale Dispute

As anyone in the energy production sector can attest, contracts are the bedrock of doing business in the oil and gas industry. Recently, a legal dispute between two oil companies in the Eagle Ford Shale culminated in a $100 million award in damages. A South Texas jury found that Canada’s Talisman Energy USA Inc. violated a joint operating agreement with Houston’s Matrix Petroleum by underpaying the company for Eagle Ford oil and gas production.


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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Texas Supreme Court Reviews Emission Credit Suit v TCEQ, October 11, 2017

Texas Supreme Court justices on Wednesday October 11 tried to figure out an appropriate penalty for a coating manufacturer that missed a statutory deadline to serve the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality with a lawsuit challenging an agency ruling on pollution emissions credits.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Homeowners Join Lawsuit Against Arkema

As Hurricane Harvey was wrecking havoc on Southeast Texas, the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby experienced a power loss after it was inundated floodwaters, triggering explosions and fires. Poisonous fumes allegedly spread over a several mile area surrounding the plant. Although Arkema officials maintained it was a non-toxic irritant, residents within a 1.5 mile radius were evacuated for a week. Upon returning, they were advised to wear protective clothing and drink bottled water.


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Friday, September 22, 2017

Harvey Triggers Major Gasoline Spill in Texas

What were the environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey?

As Southeast Texas continues to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the immediate and long term environmental impacts will be a key consideration. In particular, the storm triggered failures numerous leaks from petrochemical storage tanks into area waterways.


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