The Colorado House passed HB 1310 to the state senate last week, causing continued concern among officials at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and across the industry.
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The West Virginia Senate has passed two bills to benefit the oil and gas industry. SB 508, which would clarify the language that defines a private nuisance, passed 20-12 and has been sent to the state House judiciary committee (see Shale Daily,Feb. 18). It would make it more difficult for residents to file lawsuits against producers and other businesses by requiring them to prove physical property damage or a bodily injury claim. SB 565, which would allow drillers to construct access roads and well pads before submitting plans and receiving a permit, passed the chamber 31-1 and has been sent to the House energy committee. Operators could start work without submitting engineering plans or receiving a permit from the state, but they would still be required to do so before drilling any wells. The legislature’s 60-day 2016 legislative session adjourns March 12.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a pair of bills on Wednesday that would prohibit localities from restricting or placing outright bans on a long list of oil and gas activities, and spelling out that such regulations are the dominion of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC).
California’s legislature late Wednesday passed a heavily amended bill (SB 4) aimed at regulating the oil/natural gas practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and Gov. Jerry Brown said he intends to sign the measure. For different reasons, industry, environmental and some major news media expressed displeasure with the version of SB 4 that ultimately passed both houses of state’s legislature.
NGI’s Shale Daily reported that lawmakers in Pennsylvania had passed a bill that the state chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) opposes because it would allow forced pooling, and that it was unclear if Gov. Tom Corbett, a foe of forced pooling, would sign it (see Shale Daily, July 5). Patrick Henderson, Corbett’s energy adviser, told NGI’s Shale Daily the administration still opposes forced pooling, but doesn’t believe SB 259 would allow the practice. “Nothing in SB 259 requires someone to lease their land; changes the terms of a lease; or reduces the royalties paid to landowners,” Henderson said. “SB 259 is not forced pooling and has no relation to forced pooling.” The governor, he said, has until Wednesday (July 10) to decide whether to sign the bill.
The House Friday passed legislation that would open more federal waters to oil and natural gas exploration and production, but the bill has next to no chance of advancing in the Senate and being signed into law by President Obama.
The Republican-led House Thursday passed legislation that would enact the terms of a U.S.-Mexico transboundary agreement governing the development of shared oil and gas resources along the two countries’ maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama earlier this week said he opposed the bill, but he stopped short of saying he would veto it.
The Indiana Supreme Court announced Thursday that it will hear a case involving a 30-year contract for the state to purchase coal-to-substitute natural gas (SNG) from a proposed $2.8 billion gasification plant in southwestern Indiana.
Even as an administrative process is ongoing to hammer out new state rules on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by oil/gas regulators, the California Senate on Thursday passed on a 27-11 vote a measure (SB 4) to cover chemical disclosure requirements and public notice before fracking can take place. It drew short, at the industry’s urging, of placing any moratorium on the practice for an interim period.
In what is believed to be a first in the industry, elected officials in Mora County, NM, have enacted a total ban on oil and gas drilling.