Pennsylvania Budget Negotiations Drag On, Calls Renewed for NatGas Tax

Some lawmakers returned from recess to the Pennsylvania Capitol on Monday as the state remains without a revenue package to balance a nearly $32 billion budget that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf let pass into law last week without his signature for the third year in a row.

July 18, 2017

North Dakota to Continue Focus on Abandoned Wellsites

Even as regulatory rollback continues at the federal level under the Trump administration, North Dakota state officials are pushing ahead to address the cleanup of abandoned oil/natural gas wellsites under a stepped-up effort mandated by state lawmakers.

April 20, 2017

Briefs — Louisiana Coastal Damage Lawsuit

The U.S. Fifth District Court of Appeals has denied a plaintiff’s’ petition for a rehearing of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (SLFPA-E) lawsuit against oil and gas companies alleging damages to coastal land. Plaintiffs have exhausted all avenues of litigation, except through the U.S. Supreme Court. “We are pleased with the panel’s decision to uphold the U.S. district court decision to do away with the SLFPA-E lawsuit. These frivolous lawsuits have contributed to the litigious hellhole we now find our state in.” said Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. “This action throws cold water on current litigation against Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.” In July 2013, the Board of Commissioners of SLFPA-E filed a lawsuit in Louisiana state court against 97 exploration and production oil and gas companies alleging that their activities had damaged coastal lands and that they also “increased the risk of flooding due to storm surges and necessitated costly flood protection measures.” The district concluded that on all of the board’s claims, none of the board’s stated grounds for relief constituted a claim under state law. The board then appealed. Last March the appeals court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the claim.

April 13, 2017

North Dakota Lawmakers Busy Tweaking Industry Rules

The North Dakota Legislature has carved out a new state environmental agency as a cabinet-level unit, set higher limits for spill reporting and established a safety/environmental self-auditing program for oil/natural gas operators in the state.

April 11, 2017

West Virginia Severance Tax Collections Trending Higher

West Virginia’s severance tax collections through the first nine months of fiscal year (FY) 2017 have come in $13 million above estimates, reversing a downward trend that began in 2015 when the state was forced to make spending cuts due in part to the steep decline of commodity prices at the time.

April 7, 2017

PA Fiscal Office Again Says Proposed NatGas Tax Would Set Nation’s Highest Rate

Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) said this week that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s renewed proposal for a 6.5% severance tax on natural gas production would give the state the highest effective rate in the country.

April 6, 2017

Dueling Oklahoma Legislative Bills Aim to Expand Drilling Laterals

Oklahoma’s Senate this month has produced two competing bills aimed at allowing longer horizontal laterals in non-shale formations in the state. The state’s two principal industry groups back different measures.

March 30, 2017

Colorado Legislative Proposal Seeks Increased Drilling Distance From Schools

Colorado’s oil/gas industry is pushing back against a proposal in the state legislature (HB 1256) seeking to expand current setback requirements beyond 1,000 feet for oil/natural gas drilling from schools.

March 28, 2017
500 Days Later, State Department OKs Keystone XL

500 Days Later, State Department OKs Keystone XL

The U.S. State Department issued TransCanada Corp. a presidential permit for its controversial Keystone XL (KXL) oil pipeline on Friday, reversing a decision made about 500 days earlier that the $8 billion project was not in the nation’s interest.

March 24, 2017

Wyoming Gov. Mead Compels Pipeline Authority to Drop FERC Challenge

The administration of Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead confirmed that it had asked the Wyoming Power Authority (WPA) to drop its challenge to a FERC order allowing Commission staff to act on some filings while it lacks a quorum.

March 24, 2017