Archives: New York

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Midstream Gathering Agreements Targeted by Recent Oil & Gas Bankruptcies

Continuing low oil and natural gas commodity prices have led to bargain prices at the pump, but also high tension in many boardrooms. This strain on the industry has resulted in many exploration and production, or “E&P,” companies seeking relief from high debt and reduced revenue in bankruptcy. In recent cases, those E&P companies have … Continue Reading

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling That New York State’s Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing Did Not Extend the Primary Terms of Oil and Gas Leases

New York’s 2010 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, culminating in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s formal ban of the practice in his state on December 17, 2014, made many large waves in the political, legal, and public arenas, the residual effects of which have yet to ebb completely. The latest installment came on August 19, 2015, when the … Continue Reading

Bakken Crude-by-Rail: Environmental Groups Ask New York to Regulate DOT-111 Tank Cars

A recent state-law challenge by environmental groups to an aspect of crude-by-rail transportation has teed up the question of federal supremacy over railroad regulation. Because federal law generally preempts state regulation of railroads, the environmental groups must fashion their state-law challenges to invoke a traditional area of state regulation—in many instances, land use.1 But a … Continue Reading

New York High Court Affirms Local Fracking Bans

On Monday, New York’s highest court—the New York Court of Appeals—upheld local bans on shale gas drilling designed to eliminate hydraulic fracturing.  The 5-2 decision clears the way for drilling opponents to target fracking at the local government level while the statewide moratorium remains in limbo. Judge Victoria Graffeo wrote the opinion for the majority, … Continue Reading

New York State Assembly Passes Three-Year Fracking Moratorium – Senate Vote Unlikely

On Monday, the New York State Assembly voted 89-34 in favor of a three-year statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.  But with the legislative session ending in just a few days, the Senate appears unlikely to take up the bill, rendering the vote largely symbolic. Speaker Sheldon Silver emphasized the need for caution in exploring New … Continue Reading

New York Landowners Sue Governor Cuomo Over Fracking Review

A large group of New York property owners have filed suit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the state concludes its five-year-long assessment of whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing.  The group, called the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (“JLCNY”), alleges the state has unjustifiably delayed the review process, making it impossible for the … Continue Reading

Litigation Over Hydraulic Fracturing in New York Rolls On, As Arguments Are Made To High Court The Same Week A New Lawsuit Emerges At The Trial Court Level

On December 16, 2013, the Town of Dryden, New York filed its merits brief with the New York Court of Appeals, arguing that state law does not preempt the Town’s local zoning ordinance purporting to ban hydraulic fracturing.  To date, less than 1% of the state’s towns and cities have enacted similar zoning laws, but … Continue Reading

New York Landowners Threaten State with Takings Claims over Drilling Moratorium

In a draft complaint circulated to its members this week, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York—a group of pro-drilling landowners—laid out several claims against state agencies and Governor Andrew Cuomo as a result of delays in issuing a final decision on the use of hydraulic fracturing in New York following a 2008 moratorium. After … Continue Reading

Severance Tax Debate Continues

Through the summer and leading up to the adoption of Ohio’s biennial budget, changes to Ohio’s severance tax were discussed in the General Assembly and in the media.  Severance tax provisions were cut from discussions fairly early in the budget process, and the budget became law without any change to the severance tax.  Still, those … Continue Reading

Local Fracking Bans Tested In Court While New York State Remains Undecided

After five years of “health impact analysis” on the effects of fracking, the New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) has still offered no timeline for completion of the study.  The NYSDOH study was commissioned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, an agency controlled by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The NYSDOH issued a … Continue Reading

New York Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Extension Bill Remains Stalled in Senate

Activity, or inactivity in this case, has continued in recent weeks on the decision over the future of hydraulic fracturing in New York. As the New York Senate’s summer recess approaches, the Senate bill proposed in early March that would formally extend the fracturing moratorium still awaits a vote due to resistance by Senate Republicans, despite widespread calls … Continue Reading

New York Court Upholds Local Hydraulic Fracturing and Oil and Gas Development Bans

Last Friday, a four judge panel of a New York appeals court upheld two local zoning laws that prohibit activities related to oil and gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing.  The decisions in Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield mark the first appellate ruling … Continue Reading

New York State Assembly Votes to Extend Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium

The New York State Assembly voted on March 6 to suspend the issuance of drilling permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus and Utica formations until May 15, 2015. A copy of the bill—Assembly 5424-A—can be found here. The vote came as the state’s de facto moratorium approaches the five-year mark. Under the current … Continue Reading

Leaked New York Department of Health Report: Hydraulic Fracturing Can Be Safely Conducted

A previously confidential New York state agency report analyzing the human health impact of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) operations released to a limited number of media outlets last Thursday concludes that HVHF can be performed safely under the state’s proposed regulations. The leaked February 2012 health assessment is a supplement to the comprehensive Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), a study … Continue Reading

Seven States File Notice of Intent To Sue USEPA Over Methane Emission Standards

On December 11, 2012, a group of seven states led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneidermann notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of their intent to sue the agency.  The states–Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont–claim that EPA failed to address methane emissions standards for the oil and gas … Continue Reading

New York DEC Releases Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations, Extends Rulemaking Process

Yesterday the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed with the New York Department of State a revised draft of its proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing in the state.  According to reporting by the New York Daily News and other outlets, DEC faced a deadline of yesterday by which to file the draft rules in order to … Continue Reading