Industry and environmental advocates disagreed sharply on Wednesday during a Congressional subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, about an increasingly common practice of environmental legal settlements morphing into de facto regulation.
Articles from Litigation
In one of his first actions as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt told a roomful of agency employees that while he rues the current “toxic” political climate, he wants EPA to follow a definitive regulatory process and the rule of law, thereby avoiding costly legal battles. He added that EPA’s counterparts in state government need to see the federal agency as “partners…not adversaries.”
BP plc agreed to pay $175 million between 2016 and 2017 to settle a class action lawsuit that sought up to $2.5 billion, which claimed the company deceived shareholders by downplaying the severity of the April 2010 Macondo well blowout. The settlement, BP said, “does not resolve other securities-related litigation in connection with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.” In 2014 U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison of the Southern District in Houston approved Multidistrict Litigation case No. 2185 (see Daily GPI,May 16, 2014). Investors that bought BP American depository shares from April 26 to May 28, 2010 had been allowed to pursue claims that BP executives’ public statements “did not reflect the magnitude of the disaster facing the company.” BP officials had said in 2010 that 1,000-5,000 b/d of oil was leaking from the Macondo well, when internal estimates suggested that the figure was 10 times higher.
The Williams Companies Inc. (WMB) is suing would-be merger partner Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE) and ETE CEO Kelcy Warren over a recent private offering of ETE units and alleged interference with the merger plan by Warren.
Gulfport Energy Corp. has dropped a lawsuit against a small village in Southeast Ohio, electing to resolve a conflict about its ability to buy water for its drilling operations from a reservoir in the community outside of court.
On the third anniversary of the Sept. 9, 2010 San Bruno natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and explosion pipeline owner/operator Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) said it has settled substantially all of the legal claims that resulted from the blast.
Following threats earlier in the year from Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC) has joined a lawsuit by the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) against the city of Longmont’s ban last year on hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
A bipartisan coalition of senators has expressed concerns that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to expand its definition of diesel fuels in the draft permitting guidance to gain more federal control over hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
Shortly after several families in northeastern Pennsylvania sued each other over plans by Chief Oil & Gas LLC to build a natural gas transmission pipeline through their neighborhood, the Dallas-based company has joined the fray with its own lawsuit in federal court.
Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. and a private seller of assets in the Williston Basin have leveled a second round of lawsuits against each other in federal court in North Dakota, the latest in a series of legal battles involving about 15,500 gross oil and gas acres.