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Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell & Giuliani, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
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  1. EPA Considering Major Changes to Risk Management Program

    Monday, August 11, 2014 12:49 pm by and

    Spurred by several recent industrial incidents, both onshore and offshore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced several potential revisions to its Clean Air Act Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations.  The RMP program Request for Information (2014 RMP RFI) contemplates a vast array of changes that could, on the one hand, increase the number of sources regulated, e.g., the addition of ammonium nitrate as a regulated substance; and on the other, increase the costs of those sources currently regulated, e.g., mandatory third-party audits, installation of automated detection and monitoring systems.

    Other proposed changes could be controversial or simply difficult for sources to integrate, e.g., mandatory root cause investigations, siting requirements, mandatory disclosure of chemicals and accident history for the facility.  At this time, EPA indicates that it is not committed to undertaking a rulemaking and that it is engaged only in information gathering to assess whether changes to the RMP are necessary.  Comments on the RFI must be received by October 29, 2014.  (more…)


  2. Battles Continue Over Local Bans on Hydraulic Fracturing

    Monday, July 28, 2014 10:44 am by

    In towns across America, hydraulic fracturing continues to be a hot-button issue, with municipalities in at least twelve states adopting measures to ban hydraulic fracturing altogether on a temporary or permanent basis.  Recent developments in Texas, California, and Colorado demonstrate that battles continue over local bans on hydraulic fracturing. (more…)


  3. INFOGRAPHIC: EPA’s Regulatory Timeline for Disclosure and Reporting of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals

    9:18 am by

    In May 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) seeking comments on its proposed rule regarding disclosure and reporting requirements for chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Comments for this proposed rule for the upstream shale industry are due September 18, 2014.

    For a printable version of this infographic, please click here.


  4. Environmental Regulations Impacting the Energy Industry – Summer 2014

    Friday, June 20, 2014 11:06 am by


  5. Underground Drilling Access for UK Shale Developers: The 300 Metre Question

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 3:29 pm by and

    Since the lifting of the fracking moratorium in December 2012, the UK Government has continued to work with regulators and the industry to develop a clear regulatory regime for shale gas which encourages exploration and investment while protecting public safety and the environment. Steps taken to date include:

    • the introduction of tax incentives to support early development of onshore oil and gas projects, including shale gas projects (as described in our blog post); and
    • the publication of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for Further Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing, which assessed the environmental effects of future onshore oil and gas licensing in the UK, as well as the publication of new planning guidance which clarifies the interaction of the planning process with the environmental and safety consenting regimes (as described in our blog post). (more…)

  6. EPA Proposes Rule Seeking to Curb GHG Emissions and Dampen U.S. Appetite for Electricity

    12:37 pm by , , and

    On June 2, 2014, EPA issued a proposed rule to control carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.  In its public outreach, EPA presents the rule as requiring a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 from the baseline year 2005.  It is true that the rule would result in CO2 emissions that are 30% lower than in 2005, but the actual state-by-state emission reduction requirements are based on a 2012 baseline, which may disadvantage certain states or companies that made significant CO2 reductions before that year.  The proposal establishes GHG emission targets for each State (except the District of Columbia and Vermont, which do not have any coal-fired power plants), and the targets represent very different levels of emission reduction in different states based on what EPA believes is economically feasible in each state. (more…)


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