Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Texas Oil and Gas Economy on the Rise

As oil and gas producers maximize the benefits of advanced drilling techniques such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling and take advantage of favorable pricing, the oil and gas economy in Texas is making impressive gains, driven largely by upstream production. While this presents opportunities to producers and investors alike, successfully navigating the current economic landscape often requires the advice and guidance of an experienced energy industry attorney.


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Texas Leads the Nation in Clean Water Act Violations


According to a new report by Environment Texas, an environmental advocacy group, Texas leads the nation in violations of the Clean Water Act. The report found that over a 21-month period from January 2016 to September 2017, major industrial facilities in the state released pollution that exceeded levels allowed under Clean Water Act (CWA) permits 938 times. By comparison, Pennsylvania was second on the list with more than 600 exceedances. If your business has been cited for CWA violation, it is essential to enlist the services of an experienced health, safety and environmental attorney.


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Monday, March 26, 2018

Texas Supreme Court ruled on March 23 that coating manufacturer should proceed with its appeal of TCEQ Emission Credits decision

The Texas Supreme Court ruled on March 23 that coating manufacturer AC Interests LP should be allowed to proceed with its appeal TCEQ decision, saying that the law left the consequences of delay ambiguous. The majority found that, since the TCAA did not spell out how to interpret the time limit for providing notice, the proper interpretation is the time limits are directory and not mandatory. That is, the suit should not be dismissed even if notice was served late.


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

TCEQ Nearing Decision on Dripping Springs’ Wastewater Discharge Permit

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is slated to render its final decision on the city of Dripping Springs’ proposed wastewater discharge permit. One factor that may weigh in this decision is a recent, unrelated dye-trace study of the effect on the drinking water and inhabitant species in the Onion Creek area. The opposition from environmental advocates and community residents highlights how resolving such controversies requires the advice and guidance of health, safety, and environmental attorneys.


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Monday, February 26, 2018

In Focus: Mineral Rights and Property Rights

Advances in horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas extraction techniques have contributed to an energy boom in Texas. At the same time, questions over mineral rights and property rights have become hot button issues. When landowners and mineral rights owners are involved in disputes, it is essential to have the advice of an experienced energy contracts attorney.


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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.


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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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