As producers turned up the volume on their opposition to the federal government’s regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on public lands, they caught a break in the long-awaited proposed rule that Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued Friday.
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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected without comment former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s appeal to overturn his 19 convictions for fraud. Two years ago the high court ruled that federal prosecutors had used an improper legal theory to convict Skilling in 2006, saying Skilling couldn’t be convicted under a federal statute outlawing fraudulent schemes to withhold “honest services” (see NGI, June 28, 2010). Although the Supreme Court invalidated the prosecution’s honest services theory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans last year found the federal government’s evidence of conspiracy sufficient to uphold his convictions (see NGI, April 11, 2011). The Fifth Circuit said the verdict would have been the same because there was “overwhelming evidence that Skilling conspired to commit securities fraud and thus we conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the verdict would have been the same absent the alternative-theory error.”
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Monday announced that it will open a comment period and hold a series of public scoping meetings to collect information to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for two proposed oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico’s (GOM) Eastern Planning Area.
The Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA) rules governing offshore seismic survey permitting and natural gas leasing have been posted and are expected to go into effect in mid-March, bringing the return of offshore gas drilling in Mississippi one step closer to reality.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said Wednesday Catalyst Energy Inc. has been fined $185,000 and faces new restrictions after several incidents involving non-Marcellus Shale oil and natural gas wells in three northwestern counties.
A Vectren Corp. official told a panel of Indiana lawmakers on Tuesday that the state’s 30-year contract to purchase coal-to-substitute natural gas (SNG) from a New York company should be modified so smaller gas customers aren’t stuck with the bill should the deal prove to be a bad investment.
With at least two cities having passed ordinances banning hydraulic fracturing (fracking) until local rules for it can be established, state legislation has been proposed (SB 88) to reiterate that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) has jurisdiction to oversee the practice by oil/gas exploration and production (E&P) companies.
A state official said a bill advancing in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that offers tax breaks to large businesses could also be used to help the state lure an ethane cracker and the thousands of jobs it would provide.