Is it an Unfair Trade Practice When You're the Buyer?

Most consumers are at least familiar with the existence of unfair trade practice statutes and anti-trust law. Likely very few, however, have stopped to consider whether those statutes apply to the leasing of oil and gas interests in the Marcellus Shale. Yet, those are the precise questions at issue in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Chesapeake Energy Corp. et al., No. 2015IR0069 (Pa. Ct. Comm. Pl. Dec. 15, 2017). Continue reading

The Battle for Monterey County

In Monterey County, Chevron has taken the lead in a pitched battle over local government’s ability to regulate oil and gas development. At issue is “Measure Z,” a citizens’ initiative passed in November 2016 that impedes county-wide oil and gas development by, among other things, banning hydraulic fracturing, wastewater injection, and the drilling of new oil and gas wells.  Continue reading

EPA Sued Over (Alleged) Failure to Meet RCRA Rulemaking Requirements for Oil and Gas Wastes

The production of oil and gas generates waste; that much seems beyond dispute. What is presently in dispute in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, however, is the extent to which the United States has met the rulemaking requirements for regulating that waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  Continue reading

Supreme Court of Colorado Confirms that Local Governments Cannot Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

From May to August, I was preoccupied with bar examination (Pennsylvania) and wedding preparation. That’s no excuse, however, not to mention two of this year’s most important shale law decisions. In the twin decisions in City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Assoc. and City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Assoc., the Supreme Court of Colorado held that Colorado state law preempts local government regulation of hydraulic fracturing. In doing so, the Supreme Court of Colorado effectively confirmed what it had held 24 years earlier in the context of the City of Greeley’s city-limits drilling ban. See Voss v. Lundvall Bros., 830 P.2d 1061 (Colo. 1992). Continue reading