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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. Environmental Regulations Impacting the Energy Industry – Summer 2014

    Friday, June 20, 2014 11:06 am by


  2. 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…)

  3. 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…)


  4. EPA Takes Aim at Federal Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals

    Monday, May 19, 2014 2:11 pm by and

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken its first official step toward creating a federal regulatory program that would require disclosure and reporting concerning chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.  On May 9, 2014, EPA released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that seeks public comment on the types of information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing substances or mixtures and the mechanism for obtaining this information.

    While the ANPR is directed to the public in general, companies in the oil and gas industry, particularly those that manufacture, import, process or distribute chemical substances used in hydraulic fracturing treatments, should take note. (more…)


  5. Gunnison Sage Grouse Continues Its Wobbly Path Toward Listing

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 3:48 pm by , and

    Last week, the Gunnison Sage Grouse took another detour on its road to being listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as a federal court agreed to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) request to postpone a listing decision by six months. A listing – and the concurrent protection of over 1.7 million acres in western Colorado and southeastern Utah – would have significant impacts on oil and gas and grazing activities in the region.  The grouse’s wobbly path toward listing is therefore being closely watched by the oil and gas industry, ranchers and environmentalists alike, but also offers an interesting lesson on how and why certain species get listed, why some do not, and how the listing timeline can be influenced by third parties. (more…)


  6. Mexican President Submits Legislation to Congress for Implementation of Constitutional Energy Reforms

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014 4:52 pm by and

    Following the historic constitutional energy reforms passed by the Mexican Congress in December 2013, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto submitted on April 30, 2014 for the consideration and approval of the Mexican Congress the secondary legislation (the “Legislation”) that will implement these reforms, overhauling the Mexican oil and natural gas, petrochemical, and power generation industries.  Committees of the Senate and House will now study the Legislation with final passage expected by the end of June.  The Legislation includes nine new laws and amendments to several current laws.

    Oil and Gas Reform
    The cornerstone of the Mexican energy reforms will be the enactment of the proposed Hydrocarbons Law (Ley de Hidrocarburos) and the Hydrocarbons Revenue Tax Law (Ley de Ingresos Sobre Hidrocarburos).  These new statutes will regulate, among other items: (i) the types of exploration and production contracts that will be granted to Mexican and foreign operators as well as joint ventures between certain state-owned companies such as Pemex and private parties; (ii) the rules for the granting of such contracts and execution by the National Hydrocarbons Commission (“CNH”) through a public bid process; and (iii) the regulations for midstream and downstream activities.  (more…)


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