As the United States begins to enter a warming period leading up to the onset of Spring, Bracewell & Giuliani’s Scott Segal, head of the firm’s Policy Resolution Group, takes a look back on the Polar Vortex – the bouts of severe cold experienced by much of the country in early 2014. In this video interview, Scott discusses the impact of growing shale gas resources on the energy sector, the key role that coal-fired electric generation played during the Polar Vortex, and what this experience of severe cold tells us about future energy policy and prices.
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Video Interview: The Polar Vortex and Energy – A Look at the Impact of Shale and Coal on Energy PricesMonday, March 10, 2014 9:41 am by George Felcyn
Sandra Snyder, Richard Alonso and Tim Wilkins
On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, EPA issued a pre-publication copy of a proposed rule that if adopted would transfer greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting in Texas from EPA Region 6 to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The proposed rule has yet to be published in the Federal Register. When it is published, the public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed rule. EPA must review and respond to those comments before it can adopt a final rule that would transfer authority to TCEQ. (more…)
Major news out of Europe confirmed the strongly held belief of many in the energy sector that European states will be the next frontier in the shale gas revolution, and it seems sooner rather than later.
In a much anticipated decision, on January 22, 2014, the European Union adopted a series of non-binding recommendations on companies engaging in hydraulic fracturing within the EU’s borders. The newly released recommendation calls for member states to adopt “minimum principles” for fracking in each member country, such as, for example, requiring a careful assessment of environmental impacts and risks, ensuring that wells conform to best practice standards, monitoring environmental effects, and informing the public about materials utilized in individual wells. The legislations calls for member states to apply the principles within six months and to report to the EU annually about what specific steps are being taken to comply. (more…)
Spurred on by Congress, on Monday, the Federal Highway and Transit Administrations adopted a categorical exclusion which may spare some projects a detailed review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Specifically, projects that receive less than $5,000,000 in federal funding will be presumed not to have to undertake any NEPA review at all.
The fact that there would be some type of CatEx along this line was never in doubt – in July 2012, Congress included a provision in Section 1317 of the highway bill (called “MAP-21”) specifically ordering DOT to (1) designate a CatEx for any project that receives less than $5 million in federal funding and (2) promulgate a rule to carry out the CatEx. The question was how DOT would implement this mandate: Would any project whatsoever that received less than $5 million be excluded, even if DOT had other major decisions to make on the project – decisions that would normally require NEPA review? (more…)
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Powered by Bracewell & Giuliani’s energy and environmental attorneys and government relations professionals, the ShalePlay app is the first of its kind, offering a comprehensive resource on news and information related to shale gas and hydraulic fracturing, including the latest industry trends and updates. (more…)
EPA Issues NPDES Permit that Includes Limited Chemical Disclosure Requirements for Oil and Gas Operations Offshore CaliforniaFriday, January 10, 2014 2:52 pm by Michael Weller and Jason Hutt
Region 9 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday made available the finalized National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit applicable to discharges from oil and gas exploration facilities offshore Southern California. NPDES General Permit No. CAG280000 (2014 NPDES General Permit), issued under provisions of the Clean Water Act, authorizes discharges from exploration, development and production facilities located offshore of Southern California in accordance with specified effluent limitations, monitoring and reporting requirements and various other conditions.
The final 2014 NPDES General Permit includes certain new requirements that EPA indicates were added to address offshore hydraulic fracturing operations, including increases in the monitoring requirements associated with produced water discharges and new inventory and reporting requirements. (more…)