Category Archives: Legislation/Regulation

Environmentalists and Energy Industry Find Common Ground

Unknown Compromise in the fracking debate gained significant momentum today, with numerous reports that high profile environment groups and energy groups agreed to over a dozen standards for the practice of hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus shale area.   According to the Environmental Defense Fund, fracking “risks can be managed…[b]ut that doesn’t mean they will be managed. It’s going to take a big effort by local citizens, by the state regulators, and by the progressive members of industry.” The proposed standards, which exceed most state…

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Pennsylvania Considers Fracking Ban In State Forests

Pennsylvania State Representative Greg Vitalo, introduced Pennsylvania Bill 950, which, if passed, would permanently ban hydraulic fracturing within state forests.   Although three quarters of a million acres have been leased for drilling, former Governor Rendell, through executive order, restricted future leasing on such property.   The bill reportedly has bipartisan support.  Notably, it would only restrict future leasing in state forests and, consequently, the prior leases would be honored.   A prior bill which sought a five year moratorium was never passed by the State senate.  …

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Illinois General Assembly Takes Up Fracking Regulations

On March 14, 2013, the Illinois General Assembly will hold a hearing concerning the proposed “Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act” which would prohibit high volume horizontal fracking without proper permitting.   Governor Pat Quinn praised the bill and industry groups notably praised its proposal for balancing the two sides of the debate. The comprehensive and lengthy bill includes, for example, includes a required permitting process, requires fracking be kept certain distances from various objects and entities (e.g., public aquifers, schools, homes), and requires specific…

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New York Health Commissioner Considers Fracking Recommendation Within Weeks

Reportedly, New York’s Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah confirms that his recommendation to Governor Cuomo regarding fracking will not wait several years until various studies are completed.  Instead, his recommendation to Governor Cuomo may be made in several weeks.  According to the Associated Press, Shah does not see any possibility of further delay until final results of the studies, including the Geisinger Health Study. Meanwhile, New York’s General Assembly passed (for the third time) a proposed moratorium on fracking.  The prior two…

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North Carolina Advances Possibility of Near Term Fracking

North Carolina’s current forecast for fracking is several years off.  However, several developments suggest that fracking may be a near-term possibility in that state.  For example, a recent bill entitled the Domestic Energy Jobs Act would advance the date for permitting to 2015.  According to Senator Berger, fracking in the state would bring in much needed revenue by taxing the gas industry while simultaneously creating thousands of much needed jobs.   Among the initiatives in the bill, it would:

  • Create an “Energy Jobs Council” whose

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