Environmental and Energy Law Blog

Monday, June 20, 2016

EPA Unveils New Methane Emissions Rules

What is the extent of methane emissions in the U.S. oil and gas industry?

In May, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new rule designed to curb methane emissions in the oil and gas industry. The goal is to prevent 11 million tons of "carbon dioxide equivalent" emissions by 2025 from new or modified oil and gas wells. The EPA also plans to regulate existing oil rigs, well pads and auxiliary equipment after further study of emissions from these sources.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Texas Supreme Court Limits Cities' Role in Emissions

Can cities in Texas enforce state level environmental regulations?

In May, the Texas Supreme Court invalidated criminal enforcement provisions of Houston's air quality ordinance.  In particular, the court struck down stipulations that allowed for fines up to $2,000 a day for violations of state environmental regulations.  A requirement that certain facilities register with the city and also pay a fee was also invalidated.

Challenge by BCCA

The ordinance was challenged by BCCA Appeal Group Inc., a business coalition that was comprised of companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp.

Read more . . .

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Record Breaking Settlement in BP Oil Spill Case Approved

How much with the oil spill cost BP?

In 2010, one of the largest environmental disasters in history took place off the coast of the United States: the BP oil spill.  In April of that year, an oilrig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.  The accident killed 11 workers and caused millions of gallons of oil to be released into the ocean.

Read more . . .

Saturday, May 7, 2016

States Push Back Against BLM

Do the states have authority over oil and gas activity on federal lands?

The battle between a number of states and The Bureau of Land Management over the regulation of oil and gas on federal lands presses on. In 2015, a U.S. District Court judge issued an injunction blocking the implementation of more stringent rules related to underground injections, including fracking.

More recently,

Read more . . .

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.
Read more . . .

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 . . .

Archived Posts


© 2019 The Law Office of C. William Smalling, P.C. | Disclaimer
Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith Street, Ste. 1600, Houston, TX 77002
| Phone: 281-455-6569 | 7133533920

Business Disputes Litigation | Copyrights | Trade Secrets | Trademarks and Service Marks | Civil Litigation | Appellate Law | Construction Litigation | Product Liability | Business Law | Trusts & Estate Planning | Areas of Practice | Our Firm | Statutes & Summaries | Legal Services

Law Firm Website Design by
Zola Creative