Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Number of Energy Leases on Federal Land Continues to Fall

What is the Obama Administration's position on drilling on federal lands?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released data showing the number of oil and natural gas leases on federal land fell last year, continuing a trend that began in 2008. Moreover, the number of unused drilling permits is at an all time high.

Reasons for Falling Energy Production

Some observers argue that the Obama Administration is squandering the shale renaissance by not promoting drilling on U.S. lands.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dallas Coal Power Plants Targeted by the EPA

What is the status of Luminant Coal Plants in North Texas?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) has issued a preliminary ruling that three Luminant coal plants emitting sulfur dioxide do not comply with federal standards. This comes after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) told the agency there was insufficient data from the EPA tests and that the sites around the Big Brown, Martin Lake and Monticello plants should have met federal standards. For its part, Luminant believes the EPA's methodology was flawed.
Read more . . .

Monday, March 21, 2016

Energy Company Contract Lawsuits Could Have Huge Impact on $500 Billion Pipeline Sector

Can oil and gas producers use Chapter 11 to escape long-term pipeline contracts?

Falling energy prices have put many Texas oil and gas producers in a difficult spot, particularly those committed to long-term contracts with the pipeline companies that transport their products.

Houston-based Sabine Oil and Gas and Fort Worth-based Quicksilver resources are seeking permission from bankruptcy courts to cancel or renegotiate long-term pipeline and gathering contracts. If the requests succeed, midstream companies, many of which have invested billions in pipelines and other infrastructure for fracking, could face serious problems as other oil and gas producers adopt the same strategy.
Read more . . .

Monday, February 22, 2016

Emissions Rules Blocked by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that put a hold on federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Read more . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Opponents of Christie's Exxon Mobil Deal Return to Court

The settlement between Gov. Chris Christie's administration and Read more . . .

Friday, January 29, 2016

The New York Times Takes a Look at Texas Land Deals

“The vultures are circling, but I’m going to do my best to keep them hungry.” That is the note I sent back to the client who forwarded me this New York Times article about land speculators hoping to snap up ranch land in Texas while oil prices are low.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Paris Climate Talks May Result in Boom for Texas Oil and Gas Industries

What are the implications of the recent climate talks on the Texas natural gas industry?

On November 20, 2015, world leaders from across the globe embarked on Paris, France to engage in discussions over climate change and the potential impacts of global warming and other environmental phenomena. During these talks, 196 participating nations partook in 146 panel presentations by scientists, resulting in a mutual goal of limiting global warming to 2.
Read more . . .

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Vitol Said to Plan U.S. Oil Export to Europe after Ban Lift

Now that the 1975 ban on oil exports has been lifted, the first week in January will see a shipment of 600,000 barrels of domestic crude oil transported by tanker in the Houston Ship Channel. Sold to Vitol Group, the oil will most likely be sent to Europe. This will be the first shipment since President Obama signed the bill that repealed broad restrictions against the export of unrefined crude oil. Announcement of this shipment was made only a week after the bill was signed.

Read more . . .

Monday, December 28, 2015

City Refuses to Renew Waste Management Contract With Austin Energy

What will Austin Energy do with their non-hazardous industrial waste?

Businesses create an enormous amount of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.  Due to the mass amount of garbage they produce, we expect large companies to follow strict rules and regulations when it comes to disposing their waste.  Now, a large Texas company will not have to change the way they dispose of their non-hazardous waste.

Since 2013, the City of Austin has contracted with Republic Services to allow the dumping of waste generated by Read more . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Obama Rejects Keystone XL Project, Citing U.S. Climate Leadership

What was the basis for Obama's rejection of the pipeline legislation?

President Obama announced on Friday, November 6th that his administration would not be issuing the permit for the Keystone Pipeline. This settles, at least in the present, a controversial issue that has dogged his presidency. While Obama stated in his final decision that the pipeline would have undermined the U.S. effort to curb greenhouse gases, and in so doing delighted environmentalists, his opponents remain disappointed and angered.
Read more . . .

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ethanol Mandates are Outdated, says Environmental Group

Do advanced biofuels have lower life-cycle carbon density than gasoline?

An environmental group contends advanced biofuels made from switchgrass and leftover corn stalks are greener than first-generation alternatives made from corn. An analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) draws on evaluations of gasoline carbon intensity that support calls to overhaul federal biofuel mandates.

Now, some oil industry organizations and other groups have seized on these studies that question the environmental benefits of traditional corn-based ethanol. Meanwhile Corn Belt lawmakers who support the present mandates argue some of the next-generation biofuels now in production threaten the corn growers’ business model. But the working group claims the current mandate is crowding out next generation biofuels.
Read more . . .

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