SB 576: Revised Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Legislation Introduced in West Virginia

On March 10, 2017, Senate Bill 576 (SB 576) was introduced in the West Virginia Senate to take the place of SB 244, which addressed the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources. Similar to SB 244, SB(…)

SB 244: Co-Tenancy and Joint Development Legislation Introduced in West Virginia

On February 10, 2017, Senate Bill 244 (SB 244) was introduced in the West Virginia Senate to address the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources. Sponsored by, among others, Senate President Mitch C(…)

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Ohio Dormant Mineral Act Case

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Walker v. Shondrick-Nau, Exr. (Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-5793). As more fully explained in our Blog post discussing Walker, in September the Ohio Supreme Court held that, if a su(…)

PA Supreme Court Strikes Down Additional Provisions of Act 13

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the last remaining challenged sections of Act 13 of 2012 to be invalid in an opinion issued September 28, 2016 in the Robinson Township v. Commonwealth line of cases.  Read more about it in our Administrative Wa(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: FAA Issues Performance-Based Standards for Applicants Seeking a Waiver of the Small Unmanned Aircraft Rules

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued Performance-Based Standards highlighting information that an applicant must include in order to seek a waiver of Part 107, the rules that apply to the operation of a small unmanned aircraft sys(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: FAA Releases Application and Instructions for Small Drone Waivers

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the form and instructions on how to apply for a waiver from certain requirements included in the “Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems” Final Rule. This f(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Congress and the FAA Ease the Way for Use of Drones by the Energy Industry

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued regulations permitting the use, with certain limitations, of small unmanned aircraft systems (small drones) for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. On July 13, 2016, Congress passed severa(…)

Governor Signs the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Act

On June 23, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Act (S.B. 279), which abrogates the Environmental Quality Board’s revisions to the Chapter 78 regulations concerning conventional oil and natural gas wells.  The Act p(…)

Pipeline Safety Alert: Reauthorization Bill Provides PHMSA with Significant New Authority

On June 22, 2016, the President signed into law the PIPES Act, reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) federal pipeline safety program through fiscal year 2019.  Among several amendments to the Pipeline Safet(…)

PIPES Act Sent To President For Signature

On June 13, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) legislation that reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) federal pip(…)

New WV Law Regarding Decedents’ Real Estate

On May 13, 2016, West Virginia Governor Early Ray Tomblin signed into law Senate Bill No. 702 which amends §44-8-1 of the Code of West Virginia dealing with the real estate of decedents.  Under this amended law, if a decedent devises the proceeds of t(…)

House ERE Committee Moves to Bar Chapter 78/78a Regulatory Package

On May 3, 2016, the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (“ERE Committee”) voted 19-8 to advance a concurrent resolution that would disapprove the Chapter 78/78a regulations that were approved for promulgation by the Environ(…)

Forced Pooling Bill Introduced in West Virginia

As reported by the Wheeling Intelligencer, for the fifth year out of the last six, pooling legislation has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates (HB 4426). A similar measure failed to pass in 2015 after a 49-49 vote on the final day(…)

West Virginia Senate Bill Would Eliminate Some Taxes for Natural Gas Producers

As reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail  and Natural Gas Intelligence, the West Virginia Senate recently passed SB 419, which, if enacted, would eliminate certain volumetric fees that natural gas producers pay in addition to the state’s severance t(…)

Senate Bill 257 Introduced In Ohio Would Facilitate Curing Title Defects

Senate Bill 257 was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly on December 30, 2015. The Bill, introduced by Senators Bill Seitz and Michael Skindell and co-sponsored by Senator John Eklund, would revise current Ohio Revised Code Section 5301.07. The cur(…)

Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64, signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code.  The changes and additions take effect o(…)

West Virginia Fair Pooling Bill Defeated on Last Day of Legislative Session

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, the last day of the West Virginia legislative session, the Fair Pooling bill (H.B. 2688) was defeated by a tie vote in the West Virginia House of Delegates.  The Fair Pooling bill, which we first discussed two weeks ago, w(…)

Marcellus Shale Coalition Releases Statement On PA Governor Wolf’s Budget Proposal

During his March 3, 2015 budget address, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf again proposed higher energy taxes.  In response, the Marcellus Shale Coalition issued a statement, reiterating the vast benefits that have been realized by the Commonwealth as a(…)

Proposed Bill Would Provide Public Utility Commission With Power To Order Unitization In Some Circumstances

On January 23, 2015, Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw introduced Senate Bill 313 (SB 313), which would provide a process for persons actively engaged in the business of extracting oil or gas, who own or leased at least 65% of the working interests in a p(…)

Congressman Introduces Bill to Allow Landowners to Sue New York Over Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

U.S. Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) recently introduced into Congress the Defense of Property Rights Act (H.R. 510), which would allow landowners affected by New York’s hydraulic fracturing ban to sue the government over agency action that “unreasonab(…)

Three Oil and Gas Bills Pass Pennsylvania Senate Panel

A Pennsylvania senate committee recently unanimously approved two bills regarding oil and gas royalty calculations.  StateImpact Pennsylvania reported that Senate Bills 147 and 148 were approved by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committ(…)

WV Senate Passes Permit Transfer Legislation

As reported by The State Journal, the West Virginia Senate has passed Senate Bill 280 (“SB 280”) which, if it becomes effective, would allow the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to transfer well work permits from o(…)

Ohio Amends Lease Recording Statute to Clarify Status of Oil and Gas Leases

The Ohio legislature has clarified that oil and gas leases create an interest in real property. Ohio’s Substitute House Bill 9 includes a provision amending Ohio’s lease recording statute (R.C. 5301.09) as follows: In recognition that such leases and(…)

Unconventional Well Report Act Signed Into Law

On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 2278, The Unconventional Well Report Act, into law. The Act requires operators of unconventional wells to submit monthly production reports to the Department of Environmental Pro(…)

Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act Signed Into Law

On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 402, also known as the Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act, into law.  The Act imposes a duty on a lessee to deliver a surrender document to a les(…)

Bills Affecting Production Reporting And Lease Termination Pass PA House and Senate

Two bills primarily sponsored by PA Representative Tina Pickett (Republican, Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) have recently passed the State House and Senate. House Bill (HB) 2278, Unconventional Well Report Act, would require the operator of an unconve(…)

New York Governor Signs Climate Change Preparedness Bill

On September 22, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the “Community Risk and Resiliency Act”, which amends several provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) to incorporate consideration of potential climate change impacts(…)

Ohio Governor Vows to Hike Drilling Tax

Ohio Governor John Kasich increased his rhetoric regarding a new severance tax on shale oil and gas production. So far, the legislature has opposed any additional increase in the severance tax that was passed in House Bill 375 in May of this year. Gov(…)

PA Bill Would Permit Severance Tax Without Repealing Impact Fee

On August 25th, Rep. White (D-Allegheny, Beaver and Washington) introduced House Bill 2403 (2014) in order to repeal Section 2318 of Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Section 2318 provides that upon the imposition of a(…)

Proposed PA Legislation Seeks to Require Use of Steel Products Produced in U.S.

Two pieces of proposed legislation were introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday, July 31. Each has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 1458, if passed, would amend Title 58 by requiring that(…)

New York Assembly Passes Three-Year Fracking Moratorium; Bill Now Moves to Senate

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced that the Assembly passed a bill on June 16, 2014, that would impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for a period of three years.  The legislation, which passed by a vote of 96 to 37, calls for th(…)

PA House Bill Would Require DCNR Leases of State Forest Land To Face Public Scrutiny

As reported by Law360, Representative Rick Mirabito, D-Lycoming, recently introduced House Bill 2318, which, if passed into law, would require the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to provide notice and require public input(…)

North Carolina Governor Signs Hydraulic Fracturing Bill

On June 4, 2014, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the Energy Modernization Act, which lifts a 2012 moratorium that blocked the issuance of oil and gas drilling permits in the state.  In addition to allowing for the permitting of hyd(…)

PA Senate Bill Requires Environmental Quality Board To Differentiate Between Well Types

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1378 was recently referred to the Senate’s Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.  If adopted, the bill would require the Environmental Quality Board to differentiate regulations between those relating to conventional o(…)

Pa. Senators Propose New Natural Gas Tax

On Thursday, a group of Pennsylvania state legislators, led by Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia), unveiled a proposal that would impose a 5% severance tax on drillers operating in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale industry.  According to the legislato(…)

Revised bill proposes 2.5% tax rate for Ohio horizontal drillers

As part of his off-year budget bill, Ohio governor, John Kasich, has proposed a top severance tax rate increase on horizontal drilling to 2.5% as part of a tax package designed to lower income-tax rates. The bill, which is expected to be supported by(…)

West Virginia Future Fund Signed Into Law

The Future Fund Bill, which was passed by the House on February 25th, was signed into law by West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin on March 20th, reports the West Virginia Metro News.  As described in an earlier post on this blog, the Future Fund wi(…)

PA House Panel Approves Bill To Reform Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act

As reported by legal news website Law360, a Pennsylvania bill was approved by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee that would amend the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979 (GMRA) and will move to the House floor. House Bill 1684 w(…)

West Virginia Future Fund Bill Passed by Legislature

As originally described in a post by Ben Milleville on February 25th, amended Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, has passed the Senate and now awaits ratification by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.  As the West Virginia State Journal reports,(…)

Natural Gas “Forced Pooling” Bill Currently Pending in the West Virginia Legislature

As reported in The Wheeling Intelligencer, the West Virginia Legislature continues to consider H.B. 4558 and S.B. 578, which would allow oil and gas producers to create production units through “Forced Pooling.”  If passed, such a law would allow natu(…)

West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21st.  The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 2(…)

Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474, introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic f(…)

Updates to Ohio's Proposed Severance Tax Increase

The Ohio House Ways and Means Committee updated House Bill 375, which proposes changes to the severance tax on natural resources. Among the updates are an increase in the proposed severance tax to 2.25% from 2% for horizontal wells, a reduction in the(…)

Severance Tax Bill Introduced in PA House to Benefit Transportation

Kevin Haggerty, a Democratic state representative from the northeast region of Pennsylvania, recently introduced House Bill 1947 to impose a 5% severance tax on the gross value of each unit severed, plus an additional 4.6 cents per unit.  “Unit” is de(…)

Pennsylvania Proposed Legislation Encourages Re-Use Of Mine Influenced Water

On January 13th, the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of a senate bill that encourages oil and gas operators to re-use mine-influenced water for hydraulic fracturing.  Senator Kasunic (D-Fayette/Somerset) re-introduced the b(…)

West Virginia Legislature Contemplates “Future Fund,” Creating Committee on Energy

West Virginia delegates outlined their agendas for the legislative session that began last week.  Among the items included in the agendas is a “future fund” that would be established with proceeds generated by the oil and gas industry in West Virginia(…)

Ohio House of Representatives Proposes Increase In Severance Tax

A bill to increase the severance tax on oil and gas drilling has been proposed in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 375 would increase the severance tax for horizontal shale wells to 1% for the first five years of production, and to 2% aft(…)

U.S. House Approves Permit Processing Reform Measures

This week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a trio of key energy bills.  In addition to the bill that would limit federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, the House also passed two bills that include provisions aimed at reforming fede(…)

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill Limiting Federal Regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting the Interior Department from enforcing regulations on hydraulic fracturing in any state that already has regulations in place. The bill recognizes the states’ authority to regulate hydraulic(…)

West Virginia Legislature Considers Gas Trust Fund

West Virginia Senate President Jeff Kessler is leading the drive to create an oil and natural gas trust fund named the “Future Fund” that would support education, economic development or tax relief decades from now, reports the Global Post.  Kessler r(…)

West Virginia’s New Horizontal Drilling Regulations Now In Effect

West Virginia natural gas operators saw a shift in the permitting and regulation process as new rules governing horizontal drilling went into effect on July 1, 2013.  Authorized by the West Virginia Legislature with its passage of the Horizontal Well(…)

Ohio Budget Passes With No Increase in Severance Tax, Contains Other Regulatory Changes for Oil and Gas Production

Ohio’s biennial budget was signed into law on June 30. The new budget legislation does not include an increase to the oil and gas severance tax, which would have only applied to operators of horizontal wells. The budget also includes several changes t(…)

PA Legislation Would Mandate Use of Closed Systems for Non-Freshwater Fluids

A bill was recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would require use of closed containment or loop systems for all non-freshwater associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  Introduced by Representative Karen Boba(…)

WV Division of Highways and IOGAWV Present to Legislature on Road Use Issues

The State Journal reports that the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways (DOH), recently presented to state lawmakers regarding West Virginia roadway issues.  DOH showed pictures of roads in Ohio, Marshall and Ritchie Counti(…)

Senate Approves Bills To Expand Natural Gas Infrastructure

Two bills aimed at expanding natural gas infrastructure to rural and under-served areas in the state were passed by the Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday.  The legislation originated after realizing that a large part of Pennsylvania is not served by na(…)

Maryland Legislature Anticipates Development of Marcellus Shale

Maryland recently enacted legislation, Senate Bill 854, which amends Title 14 (Oil and Gas) of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, and imposes reclamation and financial assurance requirements.  The new legislation adds the requirement(…)

Pa. House Bill Calls for Transparency of Deductions from Royalty Checks

On May 16th, Pennsylvania House Bill 1414 was referred to the Environmental Resources and Energy House Committee.  If passed into law, the bill would require Pennsylvania oil and gas operators to share certain information concerning production, wells(…)

West Virginia Legislation Authorizing New Regulations and Trade Secrets Awaits Governor's Signature

The West Virginia legislature has passed Senate Bill 243, the legislation which authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Oil and Gas (OOG), to promulgate the pending Horizontal Well Act regulations.  According to the West Virgi(…)

West Virginia Pooling Bill Fails in Senate

Updating a previous post, The Intelligencer reports that the West Virginia Senate declined to consider legislation that would have allowed un-leased land to be included in drilling units.  Senator Brooks McCabe (D-Kanawha), who introduced Senate Bill(…)

Bill Under Consideration to Allow Pooling in West Virginia

The West Virginia Senate is reportedly considering legislation, Senate Bill No. 616, that would allow un-leased land to be included in drilling units.  This bill would not force an unwilling landowner into a unit, but rather would provide a mechanism(…)

Update regarding Senate Bill 411 (Mine Water Use Bill)

As we previously reported in a mid-February post, a bill has been proposed “that would limit the treatment liability of entities that choose to utilize acid mine water (AMD) for hydraulic fracturing of oil/gas wells, or other industrial uses.” Senate(…)

Pennsylvania Representative Introduces Legislation to Require Pipeline Impact Disclosure in Easements

On March 11, 2013, Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Reese introduced legislation that would require a new disclosure statement in easements for certain natural gas pipelines.  The legislation, House Bill No. 904, specifically provides that “[a]n(…)

Pennsylvania Representative Introduces Legislation to Ban Drilling on DCNR Lands

On March 8, 2013, Pennsylvania State Representative Greg Vitali (D-Delaware County) introduced legislation, House Bill 950, to permanently ban Marcellus Shale leasing on “lands owned and managed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources”(…)

West Virginia House of Delegates Approves Bill to Increase Possible Pipeline Penalty to $2 Million

On February 28, 2013, the West Virginia House of Delegates reportedly approved a measure that would significantly increase maximum civil penalties for safety violations involving natural gas pipelines regulated by the West Virginia Public Service Comm(…)

West Virginia Legislature to Consider Horizontal Well Rules and Several Energy Bills

The State Journal reports that West Virginia lawmakers introduced 60 energy-related bills in the first two days of the 2013 regular West Virginia legislative session.  Twenty four of the bills concern natural gas, while 16 address a broad range of coa(…)

Ohio Agencies Unveil New Legislation on Drilling Wastes

Ohio’s rules governing naturally occurring radioactive waste, already among the most restrictive in the country, may be getting even tighter.  Several Ohio government agencies are proposing legislation that would tighten regulations dealing with radio(…)

PA State Senator Introduces Bill That Would Add Pugh Clause to Leases

Pennsylvania state Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming County) has introduced legislation that would effectively add a Pugh clause to leases being unitized for development of shale gas.  Senate Bill 356, which was introduced by Senator Yaw and several others(…)

PA State Senator to Introduce Public Notification and Access to Information Act for Gas Pipeline Projects

As indicated in this article from January 29th, Andy Dinniman, state senator for Pennsylvania’s 19th Senatorial District, planned to introduce the Public Notification and Access to Information Act this week.  Reportedly, the Act would require the post(…)

NJ Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Ends

A one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey ended yesterday, the Star-Ledger reports.  Gas resources are projected to be limited in New Jersey, and a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman reported that no applicat(…)

Questions About West Virginia's Horizontal Well Act Remain

The West Virginia State Journal recently observed that the effect of the Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act, passed by the West Virginia Legislature in December 2011, remains unclear.  The Act provided a statutory and regulatory framework for nat(…)

PA House and Senate Announce New Environmental Committee Chairs

The Pennsylvania House and Senate have announced new chairs for the state House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees.  Rep. Ron Miller (R-York) will replace Rep. Scott Hutchinson as the majority chairman of the House Environmental(…)