Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Shale Law Weekly Review - September 30, 2020

Written by: 
Jackie Schweichler – Staff Attorney
Sarah Straub – Research Assistant 

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national and international legal developments relevant to shale gas.

State Regulation: North Dakota’s Industrial Commission Amends Gas Capture Guidance Policy 
On September 22, 2020, the Industrial Commission of North Dakota approved revisions made to the Gas Capture Guidance Policy which regulates gas capture in the Bakken region’s oil fields. The Gas Capture Guidance policy states two goals: reducing the amount of flared gas while increasing the amount of captured gas and creating incentives for investments to be made towards infrastructure which captures gas. Through the policy, the Commission set a goal of increasing gas capture from 88% to 91% by November 1st of this year. The revisions also amend the definition of stranded gas to include spacing units which have not had drilling activity within them in the past five years to encourage development in those areas.  

LNG Infrastructure: Environmental Groups Petition Court for Review of Alaska LNG Project 
On September 21, 2020, several environmental groups filed a petition for review of the Alaska LNG Project (Project) in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  The environmental groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, initially petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision (FERC) for rehearing on June 22, 2020. (Docket No. CP17-178-000). In the petition, the environmental groups argue that the Project is not in the public interest, and approval violates the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. 

From the National Oil & Gas Law Experts:  
Charles Sartain, Lessons from an Operating Agreement Dispute (September 25, 2020) 
John McFarland, EIA Data on US Energy Flow 2019 (September 23, 2020) 
Romany Webb, The Law Of Enhanced Weathering For Co2 Removal: A New Sabin Center White Paper (September 22, 2020)

Agency Press Releases - State/Federal 

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: 
DEP Completes Review, Approves Permit Modification Requests for Mariner East 2 in Delaware and Chester Counties, (September 22, 2020) 
DEP Collects $736,000 from TransCo for Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Violations, (September 22, 2020)

State Actions - Executive/Legislative

Pennsylvania Legislature: 
SB 1173 “An Act amending the act of January 8, 1960 (1959 P.L.2119, No.787), known as the Air Pollution Control Act, further providing for advice to department.” Re-referred to Appropriations (September 21, 2020). 
SB 1305 “An Act amending the act of November 30, 2004 (P.L.1672, No.213), known as the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, providing for location of Tier II sources.” Referred to Environmental Resources and Energy (September 21, 2020). 
HB 2025 “An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a public comment process on and submit to the General Assembly a measure or action intended to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions by imposing a revenue-generating tax or fee on carbon dioxide emissions.” Veto No. 12 (September 24, 2020). 

House Environmental Resources and Energy
Voting meeting on September 30, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. on HB 707, HB 2002, HB 2197 and any other business that may come before the committee. 
Informational meeting September 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. on spill reporting requirements under the Clean Streams Law and SB 619.

Federal Actions - Executive/Legislative

Federal Executive Agencies—Actions and Notices:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
85 FR 59299 “Notice of Orders Issued Under Section 3 of The Natural Gas Act During August 2020” Notice (September 21, 2020). 
85 FR 59297 “Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction 4, LLC; Application To Amend Export Term Through December 31, 2050, for Existing Non-Free Trade Agreement Authorization” Notice (September 21, 2020). 
85 FR 59302 “Delaware River Partners LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order” Notice (September 21, 2020). 
85 FR 59779 “Northern Natural Gas Company; Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Clifton to Palmyra A-Line Abandonment Project” Notice (September 23, 2020). 
85 FR 59778 “Rockies Express Pipeline LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order” Notice (September 23, 2020). 
85 FR 60153 “Magnolia LNG, LLC; Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Notice of Request for Extension of Time” Notice (September 24, 2020). 
85 FR 60155 “Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Notice of Application Tendered for Filing With the Commission and Soliciting Additional Study Requests and Establishing Procedural Schedule for Relicensing and Deadline for Submission of Final Amendments” Notice (September 24, 2020). 
85 FR 60154 “Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization; Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC” Notice (September 24, 2020). 
85 FR 60454 “Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization; Northwest Pipeline LLC” Notice (September 25, 2020). 
Interior Department 
85 FR 59821 “Notice of Teleconference Meeting of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Public Advisory Committee” Meeting notice (September 23, 2020). 
Environmental Protection Agency 
85 FR 60157 “Notice of Final Approval for an Alternative Means of Emission Limitation” Notice; final approval (September 24, 2020). 
Ocean Energy Management Bureau 
85 FR 60266 “Notice on Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sales” Notice (September 24, 2020). 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Actions: 
HR 4447 Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019 “This bill requires the Department of Energy to award grants to assist rural electric cooperatives with identifying, evaluating, designing, and demonstrating energy storage and microgrid projects that utilize energy from renewable energy sources.” “The Clerk was authorized to correct section numbers, punctuation, and cross references, and to make other necessary technical and conforming corrections in the engrossment of H.R. 4447” (September 24, 2020). 

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: 
S. 4727 “A bill to require the establishment of an advanced energy technology research initiative and an advanced energy technology and modeling grant program, and for other purposes.” “Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources” (September 24, 2020). 
S. 4725 “A bill to establish programs to facilitate the commercial application of clean energy and related technologies in the United States.” “Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources” (September 24, 2020). 
S. 4642 “A bill to amend the Mineral Leasing Act to ensure sufficient bonding and complete and timely reclamation of land and water disturbed by Federal and Indian oil and gas production, and for other purposes” “Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources” (September 22, 2020). 
S. 4641 “A bill to amend the Mineral Leasing Act to provide for transparency and landowner protections in the conduct of lease sales under that Act, and for other purposes” “Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources” (September 22, 2020).  

Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive ShaleLaw HotLinks: 
Mountain Valley Seeks to Resume Construction Of Pipeline” The Roanoke Times 
Colorado Oil, Gas Industry Ramps Up Opposition To Bigger Buffers for Fracking Sites” The Denver Times 
Refiners Shifting Toward Renewable Diesel” Oil and Gas Journal 
U.S. Weekly LNG Exports Almost Double” LNG World News 
Plugging Abandoned Oil Wells Is One ‘Green New Deal’ Aspect Loved By Both Republicans And Democrats” Forbes

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