Author Archives: Andrew J. Scholz

North Carolina Becomes the 22nd State to Permit Hydraulic Fracturing

Unknown-1North Carolina’s governor signed into law the Energy Modernization Act, which  lifts the moritorium on fracking.  North Carolina becomes the 22nd state to permit fracking.  It is predicted that shale gas exploration will begin in 2015.  Permits will be fast-tracked.  North Carolina officials and others debate the total amount of shale gas in North Carolina.   At least one academic has stated, however, that the Sanford sub-basin provides the best opportunity to extract natural gas from the state. Some predict, on the other hand,…

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Potential Criminal Penalties for Disclosure of Fracking Fluid Trade Secrets

Unknown-1The North Carolina legislature has introduced  a bill that, among other things, would impose criminal penaties to those persons that publicly disclose fracking chemicals that are deemed trade secrets.   There are numerous exceptions to the bill, such as allowing doctors and first responders to obtain such trade secret information during emergencies.    In most jurisdictions that permit and regulate hydraulic fracturing, a number of chemical ingredients are recognized as industry trade secrets exempt from public disclosure.   North Carolina’s proposed law is among the most progressive in…

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This Week’s Top Legal Related Fracking News

  • 136000087456h8zColorado public finances bolstered by oil and gas taxes and fees (Denver Post)
  • Santa Cruz County bans fracking (Reuters)
  • North Carolina Senate passes fracking laws, sending to the house (Fayotville Observer)
  • EPA initates public rulemaking on chemical fluid reporting (National Law Review)
  • New York senator introduces bill seeking to ban wastewater from being transproted into the state.  (Think Progress)
  • Pennsylvania rabbit breeder sues energy company over low flying helicopters.  (Allentown Morning News)

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Texas Jury Awards $2.95 Million To Texas Homeowners

UnknownA jury in a Texas hydraulic fracturing case rendered a $2.95 million verdict to homeowners who claimed that an energy company’s fracking activities contaminated their drinking water.   Essentially, the 6 member jury, voting 5-1, found that the energy company’s activities were “intentional” thereby creating a “private nuisance” under Texas law. The nuisance claim was the only count on the verdict form.  The original Complaint asserted numerous other claims against the defendant.   According to the Verdict Form, $275,000 of the total verdict related to claimed…

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Anti-Fracking Protester Fights Injunction Preventing Her From Tresspassing Onto Private Lands

In a heated battle concerning land rights of lessees and property owners to be free of tresspassers versus First Amendment rights of protestors, the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas heard arguments as to whether to modify an existing injunction against a Pennsylvania resident from travelling onto privately owned and leased land.   The resident is a vocal opponent of hydraulic fracturing and had sought to have the injunction lifted or modified.  She had reportedly given tours of drilling sites and piplines to anti-fracking activists, including celebreties.   …

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