EPA Seeks Stakeholder Comments on Reforming Existing Regulations

*This article originally appeared in Washington Legal Foundation’s Counsel’s Advisory at wlf.org on April 21, 2017.

President Trump has made regulatory reform a priority for his Administration. Among other actions, on February 24, 2017, the President issued Executive Order 13777 on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, which mandates that each agency establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to “evaluate existing regulations … and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law.”

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Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 6, No. 15

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • Federal agencies moved to dismiss NEPA challenge to use of offshore hydraulic fracturing.
  • Government, NGOs moved for summary judgment in Big Cypress hydraulic fracturing challenge.
  • Pennsylvania town’s wastewater disposal ban ruled unconstitutional.
  • Court dismissed Oklahoma earthquake litigation.
  • New trial ordered for hydraulic fracturing tort case.
  • China surpassed Canada as largest customer of U.S. crude oil.

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Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 6, No. 14

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • President Trump signed Energy Independence executive order requiring agencies to review oil and natural gas regulations.
  • Interior Department to repeal valuation rule for fossil fuels produced on federal land.
  • California Air Resources Board approved methane regulations for oil and gas operations.
  • Maryland to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing.

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President Issues Executive Order on Energy and Climate

On March 28, President Donald Trump issued an executive order called Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth (Order). The Order charts a new course for United States energy policy by directing agencies to reverse actions taken by the Obama administration to address climate change, including the Clean Power Plan. Specifically:

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NAESB to Create a Mexican Addendum for Purchases and Sales of Natural Gas in Mexico

On Wednesday March 30, 2017, the North American Energy Standards Board (“NAESB”) Wholesale Gas Quadrant (“WGQ”) Contracts Subcommittee voted to move forward with the development of a Mexican Addendum to the NAESB Base Contract for the Purchase and Sale of Natural Gas.  Developing a Mexican Addendum should make Mexico a more desirable market for natural gas trading by providing greater certainty about the legal structure of gas trades.

As part of the 2017 NAESB WGQ Annual Plan, the WGQ Executive Committee proposed, and the Board approved, a proposal to review whether to develop a Mexican Addendum.  In December 2016, WGQ members voted not to pursue a Mexican Addendum.  However, that meeting was not well-attended and several parties who had advocated for creating a Mexican Addendum were not present.

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Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 6, No. 13

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • Trump administration issued presidential permit for Keystone XL pipeline.
  • PHMSA issued advisory bulletin on classification of threats to integrity of gas pipelines.
  • Federal court rejected lawsuit challenging Delaware River Basin Commission’s jurisdiction to regulate natural gas development within the Basin.
  • Environmental NGOs filed petition for review of FERC decision granting certificate to Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline in D.C. Circuit.
  • Colorado: Intermediate appellate court held that state Oil and Gas Conservation Act requires oil and gas development to proceed in a manner protective of the environment.
  • Study concluded that the majority of methane found in groundwater in the Barnett Shale does not come from hydraulic fracturing.
  • Changes occur in economics of hydraulic fracturing as domestic oil production rebounds.

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