A coalition of seven conservation groups has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) allocation of more than 800,000 acres of federal lands in three western states to potential oil shale and tar sands development.
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U.S. Oil Production Strong as Ever, Says Raymond James
Domestic oil production may be showing signs of slowing down, but analysts with Raymond James & Associates Inc. don’t think it’s a trend.
California Regulators Stand By PG&E Fine
Safety staff at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week reiterated its rationale for a proposed $2.25 billion penalty against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) arising from the natural gas pipeline explosion two years ago in San Bruno (see NGI, May 13).
CPUC Staff Insists that PG&E Deserves $2.25B Pipeline Fine
Safety staff at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Wednesday reiterated their rationale for a proposed $2.25 billion penalty against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) in a reply to the utility’s recent filing in the CPUC penalty consideration cases arising out of a natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and explosion in San Bruno, south of San Francisco (see Daily GPI, May 7).
Range Backed in Pennsylvania Lease Extension Case
A Pennsylvania judge has ruled against a Lycoming County landowner who had argued an oil and gas lease could not be extended because he was not aware of an extension clause.
Chesapeake Royalties Lawsuit Remanded to Ohio District Court
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has remanded back to a Youngstown, OH, district court a class action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy Corp., which holds leases from predecessor operators that allegedly underpaid natural gas royalties to Ohio landowners for more than a decade.
U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in Louisiana has dismissed a charge against former BP plc executive David Rainey, who was accused of obstructing a congressional investigation concerning the Macondo well blowout in April 2010 (United States of America v. David Rainey, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 12-29). The government failed to allege knowledge of a pending congressional investigation, and the law Rainey was charged under did not apply to congressional subcommittee investigations, the judge stated in a 44-page ruling. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), whose inquiry was the basis for the obstruction charge, said he thought the ruling was incorrect. “When a judge undercuts Congress’ ability to keep companies like BP honest, he undercuts the voice of Americans everywhere,” Markey said. “This was a congressional investigation, plain and simple, and this kind of narrow and off-the-wall interpretation of how Congress investigates wrongdoing is deeply troubling.” Rainey still faces a felony charge carrying a maximum five-year sentence for making false statements to federal investigators (see NGI, Nov. 19, 2012).
Judge Dismisses Obstruction Charge Against BP Exec
A federal judge in Louisiana has dismissed a charge against a former BP plc executive accused of obstructing a congressional investigation concerning the Macondo well blowout in April 2010.
New York Landowners Sue Norse Over Expired Leases
A group of about 89 landowners in western New York state filed a lawsuit in a U.S. bankruptcy court against Norse Energy Corp. USA on Friday after the company declared a force majeure and extended its oil and gas leases.
Ohio Water District Sells More Water to Gulfport, Enacts New Policy
The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) has agreed to sell more water to Gulfport Energy Corp. for Utica Shale drilling activities, as it adopts a new short-term water sales policy and partners with the U.S. Geological Survey to study the impact of future water withdrawals.